Southwestern Seminary cuts budget

FORT WORTH—Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has announced plans to cut its budget by about 10 percent—a reduction between $3.5 million and $4 million—to “protect the institution from future financial crisis.”

Casualties of the budget cuts include the seminary’s childcare center, its study program in England and most overseas travel. More cutbacks are anticipated.

A Dec. 16 news release quoted seminary President Paige Patterson as saying, “The administration is doing the best it can to find ways to cut spending that do not involve the release of existing faculty or the students employed by the school.”

Southwestern is suspending for at least 18 months the work of its Naylor Children’s Center, a laboratory school under the direction of the school of educational ministries that provides care and instruction for preschool age children from six weeks to age 5. The center posts a deficit annually, according to the seminary's new release.

Parents reportedly received about two weeks notice that the childcare center would be closing.

The seminary has also suspended its Oxford study program and all traveling scholar overseas on-site study trips, except for travel directly related to a missionary training program in the Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions.

“We anticipate that other cutbacks in the budget will be necessary to ensure that Southwestern maintains its debt-free operational position and to be certain that revenues cover expenditures,” Patterson said.

“This is a most regrettable circumstance and not of our own making, but as stewards before God, we are all responsible for handling matters with as much compassion and justice as we possibly can. The goal in the end is to have a strong seminary when the present financial crisis eases.”

The news release noted that the cutbacks were being made in accord with recommendations by the seminary’s board of trustees.

The seminary’s operating budget draws on four streams of income—endowment, tuition and fees, charitable gifts and funds from the Cooperative Program unified budget.

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