Theological Education

The American Association of Theological Schools virtually put the Southern Baptist seminary at Louisville on a year’s probation this month and asked President Duke McCall to relinquish personal leadership ties with the accrediting agency.

The action grew out of the seminary’s dismissal last June of 13 professors, one of whom was subsequently reinstated.

Charging that McCall and the seminary’s trustees “are ultimately responsible for the conditions that have made possible the development of what they themselves have called an intolerable situation,” the AATS Commission on Accrediting (1) threatened removal of accreditation next December pending “a full inquiry as to whether they have taken adequate steps to repair the damage” and (2) recommended to the AATS executive committee (which promptly carried out the proposal) that McCall be asked to submit his resignation from the vice presidency of the AATS and from membership in the Commission on Accrediting.

A special committee headed by Dr. Luther A. Weigle, dean emeritus of Yale Divinity School, had investigated the dismissals. “Efforts were directed,” an AATS statement said, “to making a report on the character of the administrative procedures leading up to this particular incident.” Accrediting standards of the AATS specify that “regard will be had for … the character of (a theological school’s) administration.”

Last month the investigating committee spent three days gathering information in Louisville. It interviewed McCall and members of the present faculty, as well as trustees, three of whom reportedly are unsympathetic toward the dismissal action, and 10 of the dismissed professors. McCall welcomed the committee personally. Minutes of the trustees’ meetings ...

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