Former Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary president John Mulder suspended as minister
John Mulder last October resigned as president of the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary after 21 years, citing health concerns, including some mild strokes.

A month later, the Presbytery of Transylvania, which overseas Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregations in eastern Kentucky, launched an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct. Yesterday, Mulder admitted the misconduct, and was suspended from his ordained office for 14 months by the presbytery.

"In the final years of my presidency I yielded to personal temptation by inappropriately engaging in sexual conduct with adult women outside my marriage vows, my pastoral vows, and contrary to Scripture," Mulder wrote in a letter to the seminary's faculty and student body. "I ask now your forgiveness for these sins, and for the harm they have caused the Seminary."

In his letter, Mulder also noted that he is being treated for medical depression and alcohol abuse.

The Louisville Courier-Journal notes that "sexual misconduct" has a specific meaning in the PCUSA: it's "a misuse of authority and power that breaches Christian ethical principles by misusing a trust relation to gain advantage over another for personal pleasure in an abusive, exploitative, and unjust manner." But the paper says it's unknown if Mulder sexually abused his authority with seminary employees or students.

"That is not the issue, who they are," Dorothy Ridings, chairwoman of the seminary's board of trustees, told the paper. "The issue is that it happened." She did, say, however, that Mulder's actions were not criminal, and that the board knew about the misconduct when Mulder resigned, but wanted ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.