The pressure is off Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia to add a woman to its all-male board of directors. Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges, which has accredited the seminary since 1954, had threatened to remove its endorsement if the seminary did not name a woman to the board (CT, Oct. 22, 1990, p. 51). However, the accreditation agency reversed its course in late June, saying Westminster had satisfied the agency’s criteria by putting more women on board subcommittees.
Westminster is run by a board of clergy and ordained elders, which, in accordance with the seminary’s understanding of biblical church leadership, have been males only. Constitutional attorney William Bentley Ball, representing the school, said Middle States’s action represented “a distinct threat to religious liberty and an equally severe denial of academic freedom.” Westminster had filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education body that oversees Middle States, and the department had begun investigating Middle States’s newly developed criteria for cultural diversity. Education Secretary Lamar Alexander had deferred reauthorizing Middle States as an accrediting body until the issue was resolved.
Meanwhile, Westminster named Samuel Logan, formerly the school’s academic dean, as its new president.
Suit Names Swaggart
A federal bankruptcy judge has approved a $750,000 settlement that drops some defendants from defrocked preacher Marvin Gorman’s $90 million defamation suit against evangelist Jimmy Swaggart. Swaggart, his wife, and the Assemblies of God General Council, however, are still listed as prime defendants in the case, which is scheduled for court this month. Gorman’s personal ...1
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