Surviving SWBTS- Life As A Female Employee and Student In A Pattersonian Culture

My purpose in writing this is not because I have any ill-will towards the Patterson’s but because this situation has much larger implications for the future of my alma mater, SWBTS, and the Southern Baptist Convention. I desire better for SWBTS and better for the SBC. My hope is that the situation involving the Pattersons encourages each member of the SBC to seek greater purity and accountability in our personal lives and our churches, along with a deeper desire to protect and respect women as co-image-bearers, co-heirs, and co-laborers in Christ.

*The following is my interpretation based upon my experiences. This is my story and my experiences alone. Many others have their own stories to be shared and listened to.

 

Coming into seminary, I naively believed that we would all be unified spiritually and everyone would be kind and godly since we were all called to ministry. But, I was desperately wrong, and my first year at SWBTS was difficult to say the least. The leadership and administration reminded me of all the characteristics of “church people” that turned me off of the gospel in my younger years. Arrogance, hypocrisy, narcissism, and the “Good Ol’ Boys” club mentality permeated most every part of the SWBTS culture to which I was exposed. It was then that bitterness, hurt, and anger began to take root in my heart towards the leadership at Southwestern which embodied all of these distasteful characteristics.

Thankfully, God rescued me from that bitterness and introduced me to wonderful and godly students and staff who helped shape and mold me into the person I am today. Nevertheless, the environment continued to be filled with toxic air stemming from its toxic leadership. The Patterson’s were to be feared and obeyed – or risk suffering the consequences. You were either in line with Patterson’s 100% or you were the enemy. It was an environment of fear and intimidation.

The Patterson’s & Money

During my 4 years there, we experienced many budget cuts, layoffs, and the shutdown of important programs. Enrollments continued to wane and money became tighter and tighter. Meanwhile, students continued to see the Patterson’s driving Escalades, hosting fancy dinner parties and luncheons, enjoying private chefs, traveling the world at the seminary’s expense and living comfortable lives while the students were suffering, losing jobs, and some employees were barely able to put food on the table for their families.

I was invited to many luncheons, dinners, and teas hosted at Pecan Manor and other locations on campus. During these events, the First Lady would raise millions and millions of dollars for their pet projects. Meanwhile, the seminary couldn’t afford its current staff. I never witnessed her raising money to help the school meet its budget. I only witnessed her raising funds for multi-million dollar buildings and ancient scrolls.

Admissions Office & Dr. Patterson*

From 2007-2011, I worked in the Admissions Office. My main role there was overseeing applicants’ files and documents and making sure they met all SWBTS and International admission requirements. When I heard about the admission of the Mormon and Muslim students in 2014, I cannot say I was surprised.  During my time in the Admissions office, I was asked repeatedly to break SWBTS admission policies and even the International requirements. I was ordered numerous times to waive church endorsements, testimonies, transcripts, TOEFLs, WES credentials, and INS financial verifications.

Orders were sent down from the President’s office to break these policies for “exceptions,” which were usually made after Dr. Patterson traveled abroad and met someone who wanted an education at our school but could not meet the requirements, including the government’s requirements for international students; these requests were made knowing the consequences and risks to our school. For example, when the counseling program was replaced with the Biblical Counseling track, there were many applicants who did not meet the admission policies, including a personal testimony of faith, but I was told I had to accept as many applicants as possible to bump up the numbers for the new track so that it looked better for the trustees, even if that meant making more “exceptions.”

These orders from Dr. Patterson put our school in jeopardy with accreditation and the government over and over again. Each time I questioned these “exceptions” with my director and supervisor, I was told, “What the President wants, the President gets.”

*The is my interpretation based on my experience.

Misogyny and Discrimination in the SWBTS Workplace

Whenever my immediate supervisor left his position, I asked if I might be considered for the job since I had been doing much of his duties at the time. I was told by my immediate supervisor, however, that I would never be considered because I was woman. There was no mention of my lack of maturity or experience needed for the position, but it was solely because of my God-ordained sex. I was told that women were never considered for managerial positions on campus because Dr. Patterson would never allow it. I was also told that women would never be taken seriously as managers in the SWBTS workplace; that was just the way it was and I needed to accept that.

By the end of my time working on campus, I was assigned the responsibilities of several other staff members who no longer worked there. I asked the director for a raise considering that I was taking on many more tasks; my previous male coworker made more than me (“Because he had a family to take care of” I was told) and I thought it would be fair to be given the same salary considering I was working far more and had taken on his tasks. I was immediately rebuked and accused of “manipulating” him into giving me a raise. I was told I needed to adopt a more “smiles and sunshine” personality like the other girls in the office and just be grateful that I had a job instead of asking for a raise.

The SWBTS Modesty Culture

During my time working and studying on campus, I was singled out many times for my  body type and clothing. One winter, Dr. Patterson’s executive secretary came down from the President’s office to my office and pulled me aside to tell me that I needed to go home and change. I was wearing a loose, long sleeve dress and knee-high boots that met the strict dress code requirements for female school employees (knee-length skirts and dresses only). The only parts of my body showing were my neck and my knees. She criticized me for dressing so immodestly and told me words I would never forget, “I don’t know what it is about men and knees, but they have a thing for knees. You need to leave and go home and change now.” I left that conversation feeling ashamed, demoralized, and like a hussy.

I was on campus in 2010 when Dr. Patterson said in his chapel sermon, “It shouldn’t be any wonder why some of you don’t get a second look.” I witnessed the aftermath of those comments and saw the hurt caused for so many women on campus. The disrespect he showed to his sisters in Christ that day offended many of us deeply, but we never saw any repentance for his hurtful and careless speech. This was a running theme throughout my years and interaction with Dr. Paige Patterson.

My last year at the seminary, I was exercising at the campus’ recreation center in yoga pants and a loose t-shirt. During my workout, a friend who worked there told me that I would have to leave because the Director of the RAC (Recreation and Aerobic Center) said I was in violation of the dress code. I asked my friend why I had to leave and what was wrong with the way I was dressed. There were several women exercising in running shorts and I asked why they were able to wear shorts but I wasn’t allowed to wear yoga pants and a t-shirt. My friend was kind to me but said that’s what he was told to do and maybe I should consider getting some men’s basketball shorts. The next day at my office, the Director of the RAC asked to have a private conversation with me in the Vice President of Student Service’s office. I felt uncomfortable being alone with him but he made it clear I had no choice. He then aggressively accused and rebuked me for being confrontational and questioning the RAC staff about his decision. I told him that my husband had no problems with what I was wearing and he replied, “Well then you need to up your standards of modesty.”

When I asked why other women were allowed to wear shorts and yoga pants, the RAC Director told me that women with a different, less curvy body type could break the dress code at the RAC because they wouldn’t be a stumbling block to men, but my curvier body was a stumbling block, so I wouldn’t be allowed to enter the facility unless I wore baggy men’s clothes to exercise. Afterward, I received an email from the Director apologizing for the discord the conversation put between us and that I got hurt, but that he felt he had made the right decision.

After each of these interactions, I felt ashamed, demoralized, enraged, and broken. I cried many tears over the comments about my lack of modesty, as though I were purposefully trying to cause men to lust when I felt like I had been trying my best to honor God through my dress. There was rarely grace, understanding, or love in the rebukes from the Pattersonian leadership on campus and even rarer was repentance or humility.

 

 

My Experiences as a Female MDIV Student

My experience took a turn for the better whenever I felt God lead me to begin studying an MDIV in Women’s Studies. I was surrounded by professors, both male and female, who encouraged me, pushed me to deeper thinking, and helped me develop a side that I never knew was there before. Personally, I never experienced any disrespect or discrimination in the classroom from professors because of my sex, though I know many women who had quite the opposite experience, and I witnessed other female students treated with disrespect. It was for this reason that I purposefully chose professors, when I could, that weren’t too close to leadership and were known for their academic capabilities, rather than their connection to the President.

Mrs. Patterson and the Women’s Program staff always pushed us to know that we could be capable theologians too. I was spurred on to want to delve deeper into theology, grapple more with Scripture, and discover more about women in Scripture. However, this was only ‘OK’ as long as we played the part of a non-Calvinist, Pattersonian ideal female; differing from that ideal resulted in negative consequences.

One particular female professor, who was very close to the Patterson’s, required me to write a paper on contraception for a class. I received a failing grade because my viewpoint differed from her and the Pattersons’ beliefs on contraception. The professor gave me a second chance to rewrite the paper, and once I rewrote it to reflect their viewpoints on contraception, I was given a passing grade.

Through my association with new friends and my new field of study in Women’s Studies, I began a relationship with Mrs. Patterson. When my friends and I began to write a blog, she encouraged us, promoted us, and gave us a voice that we wouldn’t otherwise have had without her influence. She even helped connect us with a publisher with whom we eventually published a book. I was able to meet, shadow, and learn from so many strong, intelligent women in the SBC, and I will forever be grateful for those opportunities and for the part Mrs. Patterson played in that. I received an education in the Women’s Studies Program that I am still proud of and thankful for today.

My last year at SWBTS, I was awarded the Priscilla scholarship. Part of the scholarship entailed one-on-one mentorship meetings with Mrs. Patterson. The meetings turned into me becoming wait staff, serving hors d’oeuvres in the dining room corner at parties where Mrs. Patterson barely offered me a nod. Many noted the lack of kindness and sincerity shown by the Patterson’s hospitality; rather it was seen as a chance for the Patterson’s to entertain and impress. When you entered their door, you were given the perfect smile, the perfect greeting, but behind closed doors you heard the snaps at staff, the criticism, and the lack of grace and love shown towards those deemed less important than the big names and big pockets invited to the events.

 

While I had many wonderful experiences during my time at SWBTS, the hurt caused by the words and actions of Dr. and Mrs. Patterson will forever be in my and many others’ memories. The culture they created on that campus has damaged the gospel to a watching world and hurt many brothers and sisters in Christ.

Dr. & Mrs. Patterson, the SWBTS Trustees, and many of my former professors have let it be known that the pain and offense that Dr. Patterson caused does not matter. Our stories, our hurts mean nothing to them. They have shown that the only offense they are concerned with is that which the Pattersons are feeling. They are willing to defend him no matter what, even when his sins go against the women, the innocent, and the abused whom they claim to want to defend. Their silence or defense of his words and actions have spoken volumes to thousands of women around the world.

The SWBTS Trustees’ decision to exalt Dr. Patterson with an honorary title and make the SBC pay for him to retire in an on-campus mansion, along with maids and chefs all paid for by the SBC, only enables Dr. Patterson’s behavior to continue without any repentance or change and encourages this type of behavior to continue in SBC churches and seminaries.

 

 

51 thoughts on “Surviving SWBTS- Life As A Female Employee and Student In A Pattersonian Culture

  1. PP has established this type of culture all across the SBC. Some think with Patterson retiring the culture will change. IMO it will not. I am very afraid that many of the male messengers will go to the upcoming SBC Convention and do there best to keep the status quo regardless of the techniques necessary to do this.

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  2. I can’t thank you enough for sharing this. I was a student at swbts from 2008-2015 and I felt many if not all of the things you’re describing. Praying for change.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I’m sorry you had to experience similar feelings but I’m glad the body of Christ is uniting in prayer for the Church.

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  3. Thank you for sharing this. I appreciate the courage of women coming forward to share their stories and I hope it changes the culture of SWBTS for the better. I received a great education there and I want to see the seminary thrive and be a place where both men and women can grow in their faith.

    I was at SWBTS from 2007 to 2010 and experienced a bit of Dr. Patterson’s vindictive side when I wrote a blog post critical of the media used to promote the “Taking The Hill” evangelism initiative. I got called into his office where he took me to task for having the gall to say something critical about the seminary. He asked me to remove the blog post. I respectfully declined his request. https://prodeoetpatria.wordpress.com/2009/10/28/a-good-idea-gone-awry-taking-the-hill-evangelism-initiative-at-southwestern-baptist-theological-seminary/

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  4. So … there were Mormons on campus? When I as a 2-time alumnus emailed him about this issue, I was accused of making a false accusation. Hmm…

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    1. I cannot confirm that Mormons became full-time students but an employee told me that Mormons had been accepted to the seminary and read a similar statement by Wade Burleson.

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  5. Quite frankly… that sure sucked. hurtful is too tidy a word. devastating and demoralizing begin to approach it. much more than you could ever convey in words. Thank you for your honesty.

    It is appreciated because the misogyny of SWBTS, the SBC, and their ideological friends has far-reaching influence. The AOG church i attended changed. Women lost more and more of their humanity, their personhood, agency and respect the more they implemented SBC study material.

    SWBTS seems to be one of the misogyny factories — you bore the brunt of it. We feel their influence, too, in the denominational extremities. Time’s most definitely up.

    Thank you again for the time, energy, and courage it took to speak so candidly. The more women who speak out, i have to think the impact will be exponentially greater. I hope your friends will join you in this effort.

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  6. “Meanwhile, the seminary couldn’t afford its current staff. I never witnessed her raising money to help the school meet its budget. I only witnessed her raising funds for multi-million dollar buildings and ancient scrolls.”

    To flesh this out further, this is from last year:

    http://www.bpnews.net/49862/swbts-cuts-staff-due-to-health-care-utility-costs

    “After making “low-hanging fruit adjustments” that included reductions in dining services, copy center hours and the fleet of vehicles at the 200-acre campus, Patrick said the administration decided not to fill positions from natural attrition, including student employees who are graduating and staff and faculty set to retire. In order to continue providing health care benefits to employees and their dependents, a third round of cuts involved laying off 30 fulltime staff “in selected areas where functions can be covered in other ways or by organizational change,” Patrick said.”

    (But some areas were well taken care of:)

    “Patrick indicated the seminary had fielded questions about “the perceived dichotomy of making budget adjustments that affect staff positions while concomitantly embarking on campus building projects” such as the recently opened Mathena Hall and renovations to Reynolds Auditorium and Barnard Hall. Donor funds designated specifically for those projects cannot be used for operating the seminary, Patrick said. Furthermore, “all newly constructed buildings possess a maintenance and operating endowment to defray the impact on Southwestern’s operating budget,” he clarified.”

    Priorities on display, perhaps? Quite possibly, given that issues and shortfalls were discussed by Patterson back in 2008, we see Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary “making difficult decisions in an effort to protect the institution from future financial crisis” (which we know from the 2017 article didn’t forestall more cuts, pain, and risk):

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    1. http://www.bpnews.net/29530/southwestern-announces-budget-cutbacks

      “The seminary is working to cut its budget by approximately 10 percent, or $3.5 million to $4 million. Among reductions being made to the budget are “temporary suspension of many overseas travel programs and adjustments to campus facilities.””

      Some cuts — and perhaps subsequent fundraising by some for dedicated projects to shield them from future cuts — may have been more equal than others.

      “SWBTS President Paige Patterson was quoted in the news release as saying, “The administration is doing the best it can to find ways to cut spending that do not involve the release of existing faculty or the students employed by the school.” The news release then stated that Patterson “went on to say that current economic trends would make this goal difficult to achieve.”

      (And nine years later, they were letting positions go unfilled due to ‘natural attrition’, all while building projects with dedicated funds continue?)

      “We anticipate that other cutbacks in the budget will be necessary to ensure that Southwestern maintains its debt-free operational position and to be certain that revenues cover expenditures,” Patterson said.”

      (And of course, the continuation of the multiple campus building projects noted in the 2017 article is telling.)

      “This is a most regrettable circumstance and not of our own making,” he said, “but as stewards before God, we are all responsible for handling matters with as much compassion and justice as we possibly can. The goal in the end is to have a strong seminary when the present financial crisis eases.”

      (Looks like a bit of a skate, no? Claiming it’s not of their own making, then blaming the economy? Then what about the “perceived dichotomy” of 2017? Realities like the SBC declines in measurables such as baptisms and memberships as well as the start of the retirement of the biggest generation funding the SBC are unacknowledged, just like at fbca. Is this what passes for leadership and stewardship of cooperative program funded entities these days?)

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  7. Well said. It us so sad this became the new norm on campus.
    Let me just say when Patterson became president of #SWBTS, this proud alumni and former employee, had his name and contact information removed from receiving anything from the school. Of my 4 degrees from Baptist schools, I am only ashamed of SWBTS. I feared the time would come … and it has.
    Over the years, professors have been gracious and kind inviting to to speak in classes and even dine together.

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  8. Diane,

    You say you don’t have any ill-will towards the Pattersons, but your lack of dispassion all throughout your post suggests otherwise. I too wish everyone at seminary would be kind and godly, but people are sinful, as sadly you seemed to experience the worst of human nature throughout your seminary experience.

    You say “most every part of the SWBTS culture” was permeated with arrogance, hypocrisy, narcissism, etc., but then you say that SWBTS had wonderful and godly students and staff, and since a good part of any campus’ culture is made up of students and staff, it’s hard to know how balanced you are in the expression of your sentiments.

    You say one is either totally in line with the Pattersons or else their enemy. Yet you say you questioned presidential exceptions when working in Admissions, were chastised by Dr. Patterson’s executive secretary for dressing immodestly, and yet you were awarded (in your last year) the Priscilla scholarship which entailed 1-on-1 mentorship meetings with Mrs. Patterson. So even though you weren’t with them 100%, it doesn’t seem like they counted you an enemy. Again, your own experience argues against your charge.

    You say you’re forever grateful for Mrs. Patterson’s encouragement, promotion of you, support, connection with a publisher to help you get published, your ability through her connections to meet, shadow, learn from many strong, intelligent women in the SBC, yet when being called on to serve some of these apparently important SBC people you would barely get a nod from Mrs. Patterson, and you say staff were habitually criticized and ungraciously treated by her. What did Mrs. Patterson say when you all approached her with her sin against you and gave her a chance to listen to your heart and repent? (Matt 18:15-16)

    You say many of you ladies on campus were offended deeply by Dr. Patterson’s words in a chapel sermon, and that you never “saw any repentance for his hurtful and careless speech.” What did he say when you all approached him with his sin against you and gave him a chance to listen to your heart and repent? (Matt 18:15-16)

    You admit that in the RAC center you were breaking the dress code (apparently a common issue with you) by wearing yoga pants, and when confronted for the infraction you were ticked. Maybe it was entirely the way in which you were confronted (which seemed very unprofessional), but maybe it was also because others apparently could “break the dress code” and get away with it. Both give reason to be offended. However, do you know how it sounds to a police officer when one pulled over for speeding says: “But everyone else is speeding!”? If you had been dressed according to code, probably the exchange never would have happened. You could have tattled on all the others breaking dress code without punishment, but that’s about it.

    Now, since you have “a passion for making theology practical for the everyday woman,” do you think there is anything in the Scripture that might require you to go to the Pattersons and converse with them about some of the things you have written about them in front the entire digital world?

    Diane, please don’t take my comment as an attack against your person but rather as an attempted dispassionate response to your blogpost.

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    1. Hi Shannon,

      I understand that when reading text it is very difficult to correctly interpret tone, so when you say that this was not meant as an attack, I will give you the benefit of the doubt and not take the comment with the harsh and unkind tone that comes off when reading it.

      My habit was not to break dress code, as you commented I was in the habit of doing. When I was approached by the President’s secretary, my clothing met all dress code requirements. In response to the RAC dress code, at that time, yoga pants were not explicitly against the dress code which is why I was surprised and hurt that I was being singled out when several others were breaking the code by wearing short shorts. I complied with the wishes of the RAC director regarding my clothing from there on out.

      When applicable, I followed the chain-of-command with my concerns, (i.e. talking with my supervisor about the Presidential orders he received and then gave to me) but since the other offenses were not private, personal offenses I chose to take the Galatians 2:11 example- Peter was sinning publicly and Paul rebuked him publicly. Paul did not take the Matthew 18 route because it was public sin. There are different ways to handle sin according to the Bible and we can quibble about my methods or someone else’s methods, but the Patterson issue remains.

      Not all experiences are 100% good or 100% bad. Which is why I stated that the culture permeated “most every part,” but I did not say every part. There were many joys during my years at SWBTS, but also many hurts. Neither one erases the other. My intent was to be honest with my experience; to exclude the hurts would have been dishonest and to exclude the good would have been dishonest, as well.

      Thank you for taking the time to read my experiences.
      Diane

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Diane, you do NOT have to defend yourself here. Yet another example of people using Scripture to guilt and defame people! If this man understood the power, oppression, fear, and intrepidation that come from abuse, he would not be making these comments!

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  9. I am so sorry for the hurt you suffered while attending and employed at SWBTS. I hope your account, combined with others, provided a body of evidence supporting a re-examination of Patteron’s retirement rewards and a larger, deeper examination of the shameful and harmful attitudes displayed toward women at SWBTS and within the Evangelical church in general.

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  10. I read this and know this was hard for you to write, but also glad that you did. I too am so sorry that you and so many other women had to endure this . I know this will help to shine the light on so many horrible and wrong deeds done in places that were to be a source of safety and a source of learning, not shaming or abuse.

    My heart aches when I read these stories and others I have read over the years, only to have those who could have changed this, not believe the stories or turn their backs on them. I pray this is now changing.

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  11. Thank you for your story. I knew SWBTS had gotten awful after I was there in the early/mid 1980s. Why the trustees, and donors have allowed it to get this bad can only be explained in one way….Power…and hatred of women.
    Why women keep attending SBC churches is beyond me? To them, women are second-class people, here on earth, and in their minds, in the hereafter.

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  12. I want to take the time here and not just on Twitter to let you know how grateful I am that you are sharing this story. There were definitely some mixed messages. At the award ceremony I wrote about in my own piece on Southwestern, I remember being taken aback that we were given rice and beans and bread pudding for the meal (and a pretty small portion of rice and beans at that) while Paige Patterson was given different food–I distinctly recall him being given a fresh fruit salad, for example, which is far more expensive food than what we were being served. They were supposedly honoring us, and we were treated as less than even when “honored.” Matthew 20:16 comes to mind.

    And no, you are not being fairly criticized by one commenter here.

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  13. I attended SWBTS 1994-1998. It was such a different environment for women during that time. It was a different environment for both males and females. There was no spoon feeding beliefs. Professors would present several different viewpoints, explain their own, but then leave it up to God and our own decision making to decide which we believed. Upon my graduation, I stayed in Fort Worth and continued working in a Christian business. I had the opportunity to work with many Seminary students throughout the years. When it was announced that PP was to be the new president, I knew in my gut that it was not a good idea. I don’t have the gift of discernment and I have never had an encounter with PP, but over the years, I could see the fallout of his presidency. I was never impressed with his pride or arrogance. I knew several female students who left after PP became president due to the unfair treatment of women and the oppression they felt. I knew several students who left after the counseling program was shut down. I know students who struggled after the child care center was shut down.Both of these programs were vital outreaches to the community, not just the seminary students. I am sorry you had to endure this, but I am thankful you are speaking out. Light shines in the darkness and it’s the only way the truth can be exposed.

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    1. I graduate the year before Patterson took over and can also attest it was a completely different campus. I have felt very similar to Stephanie in the years since Patterson took over. I am praying for God to heal the campus. Thank you for Sharing Diane.

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  14. Paul actually spoke his rebuke to Peter’s face. Have you taken your concerns before Dr. and Mrs. Patterson themselves? You repeat how badly you’ve been hurt personally by them, and so I wonder why you wouldn’t personally go to them with your grievace. That’s what Paul did with Peter, and certainly that’s what Jesus taught. I don’t see how you justify it, but that’s between you and God, and now also the digital universe. I do empathize with you, and the jerky interactions you had with people on campus. Again, I would rather see someone handle most if not all those personal grievances individually with each person. But certainly every hateful, sinful, racist, bigoted action of any sinner on campus, whether employed by SWBTS or not, cannot be imputed to the Pattersons. Therefore I also empathize with them when it seems people fuel the misanthropic appetites of very fleshly people. Just read the comments here or at other blogs like Wade Burleson’s…they seethe and ooze bitterness and hate and glee at the malignment of others. More later.

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    1. Shannon: I guess you did not attack her enough and had to attack her again. You must be one of PP’s supporters IMO.

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    2. Peter was not Paul’s “superior” in authority and we all know Paul was never intimidated, no matter what he faced. It would be very difficult for a student/employee to confront a powerful authority figure, especially when that authority figure has a reputation for being vindictive rather than being humble and full of grace and fairness. While it would have been advisable, in hind sight, I think perhaps you expect much more of this student than you expect from those who should have been nurturing her in the faith. Her story is only one piece of a puzzle coming together that paints a very disturbing picture of Patterson’s character and leadership style. Let’s not allow any small failure on this lady’s part to distract from the fact that we have discovered much larger problems (with greater consequences) concerning Paige that need to be addressed.

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  15. I have read your article and many others. The one thing They all have in common is “me” “I”. Ok your feelings were hurt. You didn’t get a job you wanted or a raise. You were reprimanded for your dress. You could have left the job. I am soooo tired of women claiming they were the victim!!! You don’t like you’re authority, leave. As far as the Patterson’s living and entertaining status. I guess you think The POTUS should move into a duplex, really?? The stress physically, mentally and emotionally of being the President of the seminary is unimaginable. Of ALL of these complaints. Are any of these complaints based on scripture? No they are all “feelings”. Never no never will the faculty of our seminaries be perfect. You set yourself up for disappointment thinking everyone would be one happy family.

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    1. The difference in POTUS and a seminary president is one is An earthly king…the other Is a servant to all. No believer is called to be served-we are all called to be a servant to all. Maybe that’s the root problem in all of these current situations. The truth of servant hood has been lost.

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  16. Diane:

    Your story and other women’s stories about PP helped bring down the great PP–that is a huge accomplishment!

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  17. One of the most insidious things I see in your story is the replacement of the previous counseling system with so-called “Biblical counseling,” which is very destructive of those who have been oppressed, so that when they try to get help for recovery from the trauma they’ve experienced, they’re labeled as bitter, unforgiving, unrepentant, and all kinds of other nasty things, instead of truly getting the help they need. That’s one of the primary things I blog about.

    Thank you for telling your story.

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  18. Really? If things were so bad for so many years – why speak out now? Why wait until the man is down to kick him and his wife? You SURVIVED? Sounds more like you THRIVED and ACCEPTED things.

    If you had so much information about things being illegal or immoral or unethical – why didn’t you write this blog then? If it wasn’t that important then, and you stayed to keep a job or get your education – you are part of the problem, not a part of the solution you are espousing to be now.

    Sorry … just not buying it.

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    1. Said the male who clearly does not get how such an imbalance of power affects those on the lower side of the power balance scale.

      I am a Male. I don’t know what it is like being on the otherside of the male / female balance. But I can certainly gain some level of mental ascent to what some elements of it might be like – which I am sure is several orders of magnitude less than what real experience with it is like.

      It sounds as if you would benefit from being in an equally imbalanced position in order to gain a better perspective on what that is like.

      I am sure, since you “don’t buy it”, that you will not have a problem asking God to put you in a similar such position where you also have opportunity to so “thrive”.

      Let us know if you would like us to pray for and agree with you in asking that you too can have such an enriching experience.

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  19. Diane,

    You’ve written an articulate and level-headed appraisal of your time at SWBTS. I appreciate your acumen, writing abilities, and most of all, your moral courage. Contrary to Shannon, as I read what you wrote, I thought, “Here’s a woman here doesn’t see herself as a victim, but has enough courage to write as a leader desiring transformational change.” Amazing how perspectives are so different.

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  20. Diane,

    Misogyny and discrimination against women in both church life and at SWBTS is a horrible sin. I appreciate so very much your courage in telling of your experiences. Our prayer is that we can all learn from the sins and the mistakes of the past and avoid falling into those traps again. Also, that you will not allow these events to cloud your love to Christ and your fervency in serving Him in and through His church. Thank God for compassion, grace, forgiveness, and the wisdom that comes from the Spirit of God. Keep your heart right and your head up! Stay full of the fire and love of God! Blessings

    Like

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