Hardin-Simmons trustees vote to close Logsdon Seminary

Robert Ellis, professor of Old Testament and Hebrew and dean of Logsdon School of Theology and Logsdon Seminary, was named Faculty Member of the Year by his peers at Hardin-Simmons University. (HSU File Photo)

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Note: An updated version of this article is available here.

ABILENE—Hardin-Simmons University’s board of trustees voted to close Logsdon Seminary.

President Eric Bruntmyer announced the board’s action in a letter released about 9 p.m. on Feb. 7.

“The board approved new programs, and it closed other programs at the undergraduate and graduate level including Logsdon Seminary and its programs,” Bruntmyer stated. “In the next week, the appropriate deans and vice presidents will be communicating the details of these actions.”

He went on to write the trustees “made these decisions with prayerful consideration and spiritual discernment, emphasizing that Hardin-Simmons will continue to hold to the Christian values on which it was founded.”

Students will continue to participate in chapel services and weekly Bible studies, and they will have “expanded opportunities to participate in ministry events locally and abroad and to take additional Bible courses,” he wrote.

Logsdon300Bruntmyer noted the board had adopted The Way Forward, a strategic financial plan that calls for an annual evaluation of all academic programs and provides “a sustainable framework” that positions the university favorably in “an increasingly competitive marketplace.”

“Under The Way Forward, Hardin-Simmons University will always pursue financial excellence, which will allow us to maintain our academic excellence,” he wrote. “In the coming weeks, months and year, the HSU campus will change. Structural adjustments like these are important as we strive toward achieving financial excellence not only for ourselves, but for those to come.”

In Oct. 2018, HSU trustees voted to close four Logsdon Seminary extension campuses in Coppell, Lubbock, Corpus Christi and McAllen, along with other cuts in programs and personnel.

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At the time, Bruntmyer noted “some external revenue sources are evaporating,” pointing particularly to decreased Cooperative Program support. He also noted the Baptist General Convention of Texas was eliminating pro-rata funding for all its partnering universities.

In a subsequent statement from HSU issued Feb. 8, the university clarified that the Feb. 7 trustee decision affects Logsdon Seminary and its graduate programs, but the Logsdon School of Theology will continue to provide undergraduate Christian education.

“Current seminary students will be provided a teach-out program to finish their degrees,” according to the statement.

HSU’s Logsdon School of Theology began offering seminary programs in 1995, the year after trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary fired Russell H. Dilday as that school’s president for criticizing a political movement within the Southern Baptist Convention. HSU trustees officially established Logsdon Seminary about nine years later.

The article originally was posted at 8 a.m. on Feb. 8. It was updated at 8 a.m. on Feb. 10 to include information in the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs from the end. Further updates will be posted as new information becomes available.  

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