An academic power struggle began last month at Melodyland School of Theology in Anaheim, California. In a written declaration to Chancellor Ralph Wilkerson, the school faculty asked for a major reorganization of the school and that it be given a separate identity from the church pastored by Wilkerson.

According to sources at the school (who asked that their names be withheld), the faculty and school president J. Rodman Williams have been laboring over reorganizational issues and proposals for some time.

On Monday, October 31, a four-point program was laid before Wilkerson that had been signed by nineteen professors and staff members. The strongly-worded document requests that the office of chancellor be eliminated and that the authority of chief executive be transferred to the president.

While expressing gratitude to Wilkerson for his leadership in starting the school, the proposal in the first place effectively eliminates his control over it. Secondly, the reorganizational plan requires that finances of the school be separated from those of Wilkerson’s church, Melodyland Christian Center.

Thirdly, the faculty proposal calls for a new board that would retain only president Williams—an apparent attempt by the faculty to bring worldwide representation to the board of directors. The proposal also would require substantial fund-raising and publicizing activities on the part of prospective members. The four-point program concludes with the request that the name of the school be changed.

The faculty also signed a statement showing an intent to form a corporation, tentatively called the Charismatic Theological Center. Spokesmen point out, however, that “a separate identity does not necessarily mean separation.” ...

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