FORT WORTH, Texas (ABP) — Four prominent professors abruptly resigned from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in early November, only to be named faculty members of the new B.H. Carroll Theological Institute started by former Southwestern leaders.
The faculty members who resigned are Bruce Corley, professor of New Testament; Stan Moore, professor of church music and acting dean of the school of church music; Budd Smith, professor of foundations of education; and James Spivey Jr., associate professor of church history and associate dean of the seminary's Houston extension campus.
None of the professors provided information about the nature of their new assignments, according to a statement released by Southwestern Nov. 4.
Later that day, however, Corley was named president of the B.H. Carroll Institute, an alternative center for theological training to be based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The other three were named the initial faculty. The appointments are effective Jan. 1.
The announcement was made by Scotty Gray, a retired Southwestern dean who serves as a director of the institute, and Russell Dilday, who was fired as president of Southwestern in 1994 by fundamentalist trustees.
The new institute, named for the founder of Southwestern, will use a church-based teaching model, the organizers said. Instead of a residential campus, the institute will utilize the resources of up to 100 “teaching churches.” Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas, site of the Nov. 4 press conference, was named the first teaching church.
The institute will have a board of directors, seek accreditation, and use the Internet for some instruction, organizers said. No site for the administrative center has been selected, they said. A first-year budget of $400,000 is anticipated.
When plans for the institute were announced in July, Gray said it “definitely will be Baptist in orientation, but it will not be affiliated with any organization. It will be self-sustaining, both in its governance and its finances.” A statement issued at the time said the institute would function in “a non-traditional, non-duplicating, non-political, non-competitive way.”
In a statement, Southwestern president Paige Patterson said the four departing faculty members had “given a number of years of service to Southwestern Seminary,” for which “the trustees, administration, faculty and large numbers of students offer profound appreciation.” He also said he wishes the faculty members well “in every noble enterprise they attempt for Christ.”