The Association of Theological Schools has given Asbury Theological Seminary until 2009 to resolve governance problems or risk losing accreditation. After visiting the school, the association concluded that Asbury "does not adequately define or implement the roles, responsibilities, and structure of administrators and faculty in governance and administration." A student filed a complaint after Asbury's board forced Jeffrey Greenway to resign as president in October 2006. An Asbury spokesperson said the association has helped the seminary "to focus and clarify a specific area of governance that the seminary will now be able to strengthen." Asbury said the process "is similar to the kind of periodic review and action all seminaries undergo comprehensively at least once every 10 years."

A California appeals courts reversed a lower-court ruling that had allowed three Episcopal churches to retain their property after leaving the denomination in 2004. The conservative churches in North Hollywood, Newport Beach, and Long Beach have joined the Anglican Province of Uganda. Eric Sohlgren, lead lawyer for the three churches, criticized the July reversal, arguing, "What the court said here was that if a hierarchical church wants to take control of local church property, all it has to do is pass a rule." Churches in Virginia are locked in a similar struggle with the Episcopal Church.

Kansas Attorney General Paul Morrison filed 19 misdemeanor charges against George Tiller, a Wichita doctor who performs late-term abortions. Morrison alleges that Tiller broke a Kansas law by procuring second opinions from a doctor who has financial ties to him. Tiller contributed thousands of dollars in 2006 to Morrison's successful campaign against Phil Kline, the previous attorney general who had targeted Tiller for prosecution.

Related Elsewhere:

Christianity Today reported on Asbury's problems in the wake of Greenway's resignation earlier this year.

Bible Belt Blogger Frank Lockwood posted a memo from Asbury's president saying that the seminary's accreditation was not threatened after Association of Theological Schools commissioners visited the school.

News on the California appeals court's ruling includes:

Diocese wins another round in legal battle | The L.A. Episcopal district, not a breakaway congregation, owns that parish's property, says a judge, citing an appellate court precedent. (The Los Angeles Times)
Church ordered to forfeit property | Panel rules the Episcopal Diocese of L.A. has the right to claim St. James' property as a result of its split from the diocese. (The Daily Pilot, Costa Mesa, CA)
Church Dissidents Lose Property Appeal | Three congregations that broke away from the Episcopal Church over the appointment of a gay bishop are not entitled to property claimed by the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, a California appeals court has ruled. (The New York Times)
Local church case echoes Calif. suit | Attorneys in Episcopal split disagree on influence (The Gazette, Colorado Springs)

Further coverage of Anglican division is available on our site.

Weblog linked to news about the Kansas abortion battle as outgoing attorney general Phil Kline's cases against Tiller were tossed.

Tiller has pleaded not guilty to the current misdemeanor charges, and a judge known for his pro-life stance was assigned to the case.

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