Southwestern Seminary fires women’s studies professor

  |  Source: Baptist Press

B.H. Carroll Memorial Building at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas (Photo: Michael-David Bradford / Wikimedia Commons)

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FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)—Candi Finch, a former professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, confirmed via Twitter she was terminated by the seminary’s trustees Oct. 17.

Candi Finch

“Yesterday the @swbts trustees voted to fire me,” Finch tweeted Oct. 18. “Tough day but I trust in God. It has been a great privilege to serve at swbts for over 15 years & receive my MDIV & PHD degrees there. Would you pray for swbts as they continue training students & for me as I seek God’s next step?”

In their public general session, trustees adopted a motion from their academic affairs committee “to sustain the action of the administration” on a “faculty disciplinary matter.” The faculty member in question was not named, nor was the cause of the disciplinary matter. On a voice vote, there seemed to be three or four votes against sustaining the administration from among the 34 trustees present.

Finch also was present, and moments before the meeting she still was listed on the Southwestern website as assistant professor of theology in women’s studies. Her faculty page had been removed by the following morning.

A supporter of former Southwestern President Paige Patterson, who was terminated May 30, Finch held the Dorothy Kelley Patterson Chair of Women’s Studies, named for Patterson’s wife.

In a May 9 email to the seminary’s board of visitors, Finch claimed an open letter opposing Patterson’s continued leadership at Southwestern did “not reflect the majority of Southern Baptists.”

During their Oct. 17 general session, trustees voted—by approximately the same margin as they voted on the disciplinary matter—to uphold the trustee executive committee’s decision to fire Patterson.

Within the Southern Baptist Convention, Finch served on the 2018 SBC Resolutions Committee and the SBC Executive Committee’s Women’s Ministry Advisory Council.

When asked for a comment, Charles Patrick, vice president for strategic initiatives and communications at Southwestern Seminary, responded by email: “Dr. Finch 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 and her future ministry opportunities.”

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Finch did not respond to a request for further comment.

With additional reporting by Managing Editor Ken Camp.


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