Trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary have elected a new president to replace prominent Southern Baptist leader Paige Patterson, who was fired last year following accusations that he poorly handled students' sexual misconduct claims.
Adam W. Greenway, dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, was elected as the seminary's new president Wednesday.
Randy Stinson, provost and senior vice president for academic administration at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, was also confirmed by the trustees as the new provost for SWBTS.
SWBTS search committee chair, Danny Roberts, said in a statement that he considered Greenway to be “a man of impeccable character who demonstrates kindness and humility in his dealings with others.”
“[Greenway is] a leader who surrounds himself with talented people and allows them to work within their giftedness, a bridge builder in the Southern Baptist Convention, and a true scholar with a heart for missions and evangelism,” said Roberts, as reported by the Biblical Recorder.
Russell Moore, president of the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, took to Twitter to congratulate Greenway and Stinson, saying they “will do a stellar job. Bright days ahead for a great school.”
“@RandyStinson has been my friend for over twenty years, through everything. I trust him with my life. @SWBTS students, you are going to love him and President @AdamGreenway. They will lead well and you will enjoy your years of study,” continued Moore.
Last May, the SWBTS Executive Committee voted unanimously to fire Patterson, a longtime SBC president, over allegations that he had improperly handled students' sexual misconduct claims, and for saying he had never advised couples to get a divorce, even in an abusive relationship.
Of particular concern, according to a statement by Kevin Ueckert, chair of SWBTS’ Board of Trustees, were two incidents involving the reporting of alleged sexual assaults.
One incident, which happened at SWBTS in 2015, involved a female student reporting that she had been raped, with Patterson telling the Chief of Campus Security in an email that he wanted to meet alone with the student without authorities in order to “break her down” because her story had changed many times.
“The attitude expressed by Dr. Patterson in that email is antithetical to the core values of our faith and to SWBTS,” Ueckert said last year. He added that another student record "made available to me with permission, [showed] that an allegation of rape was [also] made by a female student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2003."
"[T]he correlation between what has been reported and also revealed in the student record regarding the 2003 allegation at Southeastern and the contents of this email are undeniable," Ueckert added.
Norman L. Geisler, chancellor and distinguished professor of Apologetics and Theology at Veritas International University in Santa Ana, California, argued that the firing was wrong.
“Many who opposed Dr. Patterson were apparently caught up in winds of the #MeToo movement of the day. But no doctrinal or moral charges were even offered, let alone proven by two or more credible witnesses against him. Rather, personal opinions about isolated cases were offered,” wrote Geisler in a column published by The Christian Post in 2018.
“He did nothing worthy of being fired. No biblical grounds were given, let alone, seriously considered.”
For his part, Patterson has denied any wrongdoing. Following his firing, Patterson was given a position at Southern Evangelical Seminary in North Carolina to co-teach a course on ethics.