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Southwestern Theological Seminary Strips Former President Paige Patterson of All Benefits, Rights, & Privileges for Not Reporting a Rape to Law Enforcement in 2003

Paige Patterson was the President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC from 1992-2003.  He was the President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX from 2003-2018.  He was removed as President on May 23 but retained many benefits and privileges until yesterday. 

He has now been stripped of “all…benefits, rights and privileges” because it was discovered he counseled Megan Lively, a victim of rape, to forgive her abuser and not report the crime to law enforcement.  That means Patterson also failed to report the crime.  This occurred in 2003 while he was President at Southeastern.  The story was first reported by The Washington Post on May 22.  Since then Megan has gone public.  

Megan Lively‏ @megannlively
I am the woman you read about, #SEBTS 2003, not afraid, ashamed, or fearful.  I am proud to be #SBC, bc of how many have responded with compassion & love.  Our history isn’t our future.  Ephesians 4:30-32, Romans 8. Please join us in praying tomorrow. #PaigePatterson #sbc18 #matthew5
10:38 PM - 28 May 2018 

The action taken against Patterson is just.  Some day I hope Southern Baptist leaders like Mark Dever and Al Mohler take action against C.J. Mahaney who did far worse than Patterson.  Yet, they continue to bestow upon Mahaney “all benefits, rights and privileges.”  This is a great travesty. 

Here is the statement. 

Statement by the Southwestern Theological Seminary
By SWBTS Board of Trustees Executive Committee on May 30, 2018

During the May 30, 2018, Executive Committee meeting of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) Board of Trustees, new information confirmed this morning was presented regarding the handling of an allegation of sexual abuse against a student during Dr. Paige Patterson’s presidency at another institution [Southeastern Theological Seminary] and resulting issues connected with statements to the Board of Trustees that are inconsistent with SWBTS’s biblically informed core values. 

Deeming the information demanded immediate action and could not be deferred to a regular meeting of the Board, based on the details presented, the Executive Committee unanimously resolved to terminate Dr. Paige Patterson, effective immediately, removing all the benefits, rights and privileges provided by the May 22-23 board meeting, including the title of President Emeritus, the invitation to reside at the Baptist Heritage Center as theologian-in-residence and ongoing compensation. 

Under the leadership of Interim President Dr. Jeffrey Bingham, SWBTS remains committed to its calling to assist the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention by biblically educating God-called men and women for ministries that fulfill the Great Commission and glorify God. 

Further, the Seminary stands against all forms of abuse and grieves for individuals wounded by abuse.  Today, Dr. Bingham made it clear that SWBTS denounces all abusive behavior, any behavior that enables abuse, any failure to protect the abused and any failure to safeguard those who are vulnerable to abuse.  Additionally, Dr. Bingham called for the SWBTS community to join the Body of Christ in praying for healing for all individuals affected by abuse. 

Dr. Charles Patrick, Vice President for Communications, (817) 923-1921, ext. 3025,

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