Seminary Dispute Could be Resolved Privately

The former president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Adam Greenway, is suing the seminary, as reported in The Christian Post and the Baptist Press last week.

Mr. Greenway became president of the seminary in February 2019, and resigned in September 2022. After he left, the Board of Trustees authorized a task force to investigate presidential expenditures; its “summary of findings,” issued last June, alleged several improper and excessive expenditures, including $1.5 million on the seminary’s presidential manor. Mr. Greenway alleges that the findings are defamatory.

The federal court is not the place to resolve these differences among Christians. There are several national biblical peacemaking organizations ready and able to address a dispute such as this, including Peacemaker Ministries, the Institute for Christian Conciliation and the Crossroads Resolution Group. It is sad that Mr. Greenway chose instead to file a lawsuit, and that the seminary, according to a statement, plans to “defend vigorously the institution.” In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul says, “To have lawsuits among you means you are defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded?” (I Corinthians 6:7)

It may well be both that Mr. Greenway spent money improperly, and that the board was lax in its oversight, allowing misspending to occur. These kinds of wrongs by and against Christians should be resolved within the church – no need to air the church’s internal disputes in the public court. And a biblical process could even restore some of the broken relationships here. I hope these parties dismiss this lawsuit and contact a peacemaking organization right away.