Carver School Set to Move to Samford

Samford University is poised to take control of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s controversial Carver School of Church Social Work at the start of the 1996–97 school year, pending a vote by Southern’s trustees this month.

Approval is expected because the proposal has been recommended by a five-member study committee at Southern, located in Louisville, Kentucky. “Relocation of the Carver School to Samford holds promise of strengthening the Christian social conscience of our university community,” Samford president Thomas Corts says. “It is crucial that Southern Baptists maintain an emphasis on the great social issues of our time.”

Last month, trustees at Samford, a Southern Baptist school in Birmingham with 4,630 students, approved the transfer, which would include acquisition of all Carver School library books, periodicals, and computer software.

“This is the most positive and constructive proposal that could have been achieved under these circumstances,” Southern president R. Albert Mohler, Jr., told CT. “It would not be feasible to keep Carver here.”

In March, Mohler fired Diana Garland as dean of the nation’s only accredited master’s program in social work operated by a seminary (CT, May 15, 1995, p. 54).

Garland had openly criticized Mohler for not hiring Gordon College social-work professor David Sherwood, who would not affirm a ban on women in ordained ministry.

Southern trustees supported the 35-year-old Mohler in the firing and approved his request to hire only conservative faculty who agree with the seminary’s administration.

Fall enrollment at Southern dropped 13.4 percent compared to a year ago. Enrollment at the campus is 1,241, a decrease of 197 students, although ...

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