Candi Finch, an assistant professor of theology in women’s studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, reported on Twitter she has been fired by seminary trustees.
Baptist Press reported Oct. 17 that Southwestern’s board “affirmed an administration decision to discipline a faculty member” not identified by name during the single public session of a two-day meeting of trustees in Fort Worth, Texas.
“Yesterday the @swbts trustees voted to fire me,” Finch tweeted the next morning. “Tough day but I trust in God.”
Finch’s faculty page has been removed from the seminary website. Interim President Jeffrey Bingham said in an e-mail she is “no longer a member of the faculty at Southwestern.”
“We are thankful for how God used her to train students while here, and we ask God to bless her future ministry opportunities,” Bingham said Oct. 18.
Finch was elected to Southwestern’s faculty effective the beginning of 2015, after serving under presidential appointment since 2012. She was the first person to occupy the Dorothy Kelley Patterson Chair of Women’s Studies, named in honor of the seminary’s former first lady.
Originally from Tampa, Florida, Finch was an avowed feminist during her college years at the University of South Florida, before she was exposed to the “complementarian” view of gender roles in the church and home in seminary.
She received both her M.Div. in women’s studies and Ph.D. in systematic theology from Southwestern Seminary. While on faculty she taught courses including Biblical Theology of Womanhood, Feminist Theology, Intro to Women’s Studies, Communication for Women, Women in Church History and Girls Ministry.
On Twitter she called it “a great privilege” to learn and serve at the seminary for more than 15 years.
Finch also served as executive assistant to the first lady at Southwestern before former President Paige Patterson was fired in May for past remarks deemed offensive to women. She defended Patterson in May after thousands of women signed a petition calling for his ouster, saying the open letter “does not reflect the majority of Southern Baptists.”
According to a Baptist Press story, the full board of trustees voted to uphold the May decision by board officers to terminate Patterson amid media reports that he mishandled reports of rape. The vote came in reaction to a motion referred from the SBC annual meeting in June asking the full board to “consider revisiting” the decision by the executive committee.
Patterson, meanwhile, recently launched a revamped personal website, paigepatterson.org, designed by Colter & Co. Design, a small business owned by Sharayah Colter, wife of Patterson’s former presidential chief of staff.
“Dr. Paige Patterson, an architect of the Conservative Resurgence of the Southern Baptist Convention, is a global theological educator with 60 years of ministry experience,” according to an “About” page. “Having served as president of three theological institutions and as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Patterson brings a lifetime of leadership expertise to his work as a theologian and evangelist.”
“During the past six decades, Patterson has served as a member of many boards and councils including the International Council for Biblical Inerrancy,” the introduction continues. “A native Texan, Patterson has served as pastor to several churches in the United States in addition to his international ministry as a preacher and teacher at Bible conferences across the globe.”
A “Ministry Request” page includes a form to contact Patterson about a possible preaching or speaking engagement.
“It has been my true honor to create Dr. Paige Patterson’s new website,” Colter said on Twitter. “I praise the Lord in advance for the thousands who will hear the saving message of Jesus b/c of Dr. Patterson’s continued dedication to the ministry of the gospel of Christ. Blessings!”
Finch did not respond to an e-mail sent to her seminary address in time to comment for this story.