The struggle over the governance of Erskine College and Seminary continues
The ongoing battle between the board of trustees of Erskine College and Erskine Seminary and their founding denomination, the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, over the governance of the schools remains unresolved following the ARPC’s annual denominational meeting that ended Thursday. ARPC pastors and ruling elders, who make up the delegates to the denomination’s highest court, the General Synod, voted to appoint committees to continue to study the issue and report back at next year’s annual meeting.
In making the motion to continue to study the situation, former ARPC Synod moderator Steve Maye said, according to a reporter for The Aquila Report, that if Erskine cannot become a faithful institution between now and next year’s Synod meeting, then the two institutions should part ways “so that peace would reign.” Maye’s motion received overwhelming approval by the delegates.
The controversy centers on the right of the ARPC Synod, which appoints members of the board of trustees, to be able to remove board members with cause. At the 2011 Synod meeting, the Erskine board was directed to revise its charter and bylaws to clarify the relationship between church and schools and acknowledge that the Synod, which is slated to give the college and seminary $431,000 in funding this coming year, has the power to remove board members when necessary.
In February, the board, which had representatives at last year’s Synod agreeing to the directive, refused to make the necessary changes to the charter and bylaws. Among its reasons for declining, the board cited accreditation agencies’ demand that the board be autonomous.
Eleven members of Erskine’s board submitted a “minority report” in May disputing many of the majority members’ objections to the Synod’s directive. The minority group said that accreditation is not an issue and that several other similar Christian colleges had such relationships with their founding denominations without any consequence to their accreditation status.
During Thursday’s debate, according to The Aquila Report, delegate Mark Ross said he had spoken with several accreditation representatives who told him they would be closely monitoring the situation to make sure the Synod did not take any “hostile” action toward the schools, warning against “blackmailing” Erskine by withholding funds.
Delegate Paul Mulner responded that it wasn’t blackmail for the church to ask one of its agencies to comply with a directive in order to continue to receive funding, but that it was blackmail for accreditation agencies to threaten the Synod in the decisions it makes in order to run its own schools.
William Evans, an ordained minister in the ARPC and chairman of Erskine College’s Department of Bible, Religion, and Philosophy, sees a possible split on the horizon.
“A key question for the Synod at this point is continue reading on the World Magazine website . . .
More Posts in the Same CategoryErskine College
- A message from Erskine Board of Trustees Chair Joe Patrick Dear Ministers and Elders, Prior to the June 2012 meeting of the General Synod, I wanted to follow up regarding my previous note. Earlier I had communicated the Erskine Board of Trustees’ response to the 2011 Synod motions regarding the removal of trustees from the Erskine Board. David Conner has given a presentation on these motions to the Board of ...
- How Does Erskine Implement Christian Education? — Two Opinions Two Opinions about implementing Christian Education. ONE: I can watch on my television as three hundred cyclists climb the Alps and then race through the streets of Paris toward the finish line, not having any idea whatsoever which one is engaged in Christian cycling and which is practicing Jewish cycling perhaps or Hindu cycling. In other ...
- Erskine College Board reaches out to ARP Synod Written by Liz Carey, Independent Mail Friday, 24 February 2012 Erskine College said it wants to keep dialogue with the General Synod of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church open, its President David Norman said. The school released another news release Wednesday to expand on a previous news release that said the school’s board of trustees voted last week ...
- Erskine Trustees tell ARP Synod "No" to request to allow Synod to remove Trustees for cause Section 1 is titled “Response Summary” and it states that the requested changes would not be ‘in the Institution’s best interest, nor in the best interest of the General Synod’ Four reasons are highlighted: impact on accreditation, legal liability, impact on academic freedom, and impact on Trustees independence. http://theaquilareport.com
- Minority Report of Erskine Trustees Regarding the Erskine Board’s Response to the General Synod
- ETS on Facebook You can follow news and information from Erskine Seminary on Facebook. The official profile is here. A group created by a graduate is here. http://seminary.erskine.edu
- Erskine’s Columbia Campus is Accredited Erskine Theological Seminary is pleased to announce that our Columbia campus is fully accredited. The Association of Theological Schools Board of Commissioners has voted to grant approval for Erskine to offer the complete Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Practical Ministry, and Doctor of Ministry degree programs in Columbia. For Erskine’s students, this means it is ...
- Erskine Theological Seminary Fall 2012 Conference
- Erskine Seminary Student in Christianity Today David Howell, a student in the Master of Divinity degree program at Erskine, appears in a special section of the current Christianity Today. The “Rediscovering the Book” section includes an article on distance learning, in which David and his family are featured in a sidebar. David is a candidate for the ministry in Foothills Presbytery of ...
- Dr. Hering examines litigation in 1 Corinthians 6 In response to questions about appropriate Christian uses of the secular courts, Professor James Hering of Erskine Theological Seminary has written an exegetical study of 1 Corinthians 6. http://seminary.erskine.edu