On Feb. 7, 2020, I learned Logsdon Seminary, the place I received my most advanced theological education and was cared for by so many, will be closing at the end of the 2020-21 academic year. The news was such a shock to me that I missed it until my wife pointed it out to me and I read the email again. I was hurt at the loss of such a great institution.
In the following days, I read many accounts of “what actually happened” and the attacks many have made against President Eric Bruntmeyer and the board of trustees.
So many people have written about how many negative events are going to happen as the result of Logsdon being closed, and they are not wrong. The training ground of many great ministers is being transformed into something else, and I have been torn between defending my friends and defending the leaders of Hardin-Simmons University.
I have withheld writing anything or posting anything to social media because I waited to hear the voice of God speaking to me.
Last night, I was awoken by the Spirit and was given two words, “What if?”
I laid there and pondered those words for a little while before going back to sleep. When I did get up the next morning, I remembered those words and found them to be the key to another train of thought—a train of thought I believe is Spirit-filled and loving.
What if God …
What if it truly is God’s will that Logsdon is closing? What does that mean? Why would he do such a thing? There are so many great things that have come about because of the work being done at Logsdon Seminary.
What if the reason for closing Logsdon Seminary truly is just a financial decision?
What if God has something better in store for HSU?
What if God is closing Logsdon Seminary, not to silence those who advocate for women in ministry, but to spread them out so even more women can be confirmed and mentored?
What if God only intended Logsdon to be open for a brief but significant period of time?
What if everything communicated about the cuts being made at HSU is true and there was no malicious intent?
I do not know what happened or why, but I have learned—specifically through my time at Logsdon Seminary—to reflect on what is going on in my heart and ask myself the question, “What if I am the one who is wrong?”
I do not know the exact reason Logsdon Seminary is closing. I am making the choice not to be angry but to trust God is in control, and he will do what is best for those of us who serve him.
Grace and peace to all with the love of Christ.
Ben James graduated from Logsdon Seminary’s dual-degree program with a Master of Arts in Family Ministry and a Master of Arts in Clinical Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy in 2018. He currently ministers to youth involved with the juvenile justice system in Abilene, Texas.