Sight Magazine – In the United States, Adam Greenway resigns as president of Southwestern Seminary
- BOB SMIETANA
The president of one of the largest seminaries in the Southern Baptist Convention resigned last Friday, less than four years after taking office.
Adam Greenway was elected president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2019, hoping he would help the school recover from the controversial tenure of former president Paige Patterson, who was fired in 2018 for mishandling the allegations of abuse.
Adam Greenway addresses the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex on June 12, 2019, in Birmingham, Alabama. IMAGE: RNS/Butch Dill
Greenway resigned at a meeting of the seminary’s executive committee. He will take on a new role on the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, according to an announcement from the seminar.
“In receiving President Greenway’s resignation, we express our deepest gratitude for his more than three and a half years of service to his alma mater,” said Danny Roberts, chairman of the Southwest Board of Directors. “He came to Southwestern Seminary during a difficult time of transition and worked tirelessly to bring the institution to serve the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention well.”
Longtime SBC leader OS Hawkins, a Southwest alum who recently retired as chairman of GuideStone Financial Services – the insurance and pension arm of the SBC – has been named interim chairman.
In a statement, Greenway said he was unprepared for the enormous “reputational, legal and financial realities” facing the seminary, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Greenway said he and his wife, Carla, are ready to embrace his new role at IMB.
“We have done our best to serve Southern Baptists by helping position our seminary for the future, but there is much, much work to be done,” he said. “Nevertheless, in the Providence of God, we here feel a release from our duties.”
“We will continue to serve Southern Baptists as we have throughout our life and ministry,” Greenway said in a statement. “We believe that our next mission is not a departure but a continuation of the journey that God has always led us on.”
Located in Fort Worth, Texas, southwest reported having 2,331 students in the 2021-2022 academic year, according to the Association of Theological Schools. Many of those students were part-time, as the school reported a full-time equivalent enrollment of 1,105 in 2021-22, compared to 1,414 in 2019-20.
According to SBC’s 2022 reporting book, the school’s projected operating budget for the current fiscal year is US$37,367,884, at a time when its tuition revenue is declining, forcing Southwestern to lean more about its endowment and gifts.
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In 2021, Southwestern and Baylor University for follow-up allies of former Southwestern President Patterson for control of a foundation that had been established to benefit both schools. The directors of this foundation had changed their internal rules in order to send funds to a charity headed by Patterson. The school also accused Patterson of stealing seminary property and confidential donor information in its 2021 report to the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention.
A graduate of Southwestern, Greenway served as dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary before being elected president of Southwestern.
He is one of a series of heads of SBC entities who have left office in recent years, often amid controversy. Others include former SBC executive committee chairs Ronnie Floyd and Paige Patterson; David Platt, former chairman of the SBC’s International Mission Board, who resigned after a troubled tenure that included the loss of nearly 1,000 missionaries due to budget cuts; and Russell Moore, former chairman of the SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, a critic of former President Donald Trump.
“These are incredibly difficult days in the life of our denomination,” Greenway said in his resignation statement.