Historical theologian Jeffrey Bingham has accepted the interim presidency of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. The position was offered to him May 23 in a 3 a.m. phone call from trustee chairman Kevin Ueckert after trustees named former president Paige Patterson as president emeritus.
Meanwhile, reaction to trustees’ decision about Patterson has come from a range of Southern Baptists, including Southern Baptist Convention President Steve Gaines and both announced candidates for next month’s SBC presidential election in Dallas.
Patterson’s shift to president emeritus occurred amid controversy surrounding statements he has made about domestic violence and the physical appearance of women.
Bingham, dean of Southwestern’s School of Theology since 2016, said he is “humbled and honored to be asked to serve Southwestern Seminary in the capacity of interim president,” according to a May 23 seminary news release.
“May I please request that the Southwestern Seminary family and the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention faithfully pray for Dr. and Mrs. Patterson, Southwestern’s administration, the trustee transition committee and me in the months ahead as we collectively work together in unity and love during this transition period,” Bingham said. “Jesus remains on His throne, and Southwestern Seminary remains faithful to its commitment to Preach the Word and Reach the World.”
Bingham has served in a variety of academic roles at Wheaton College, Dallas Theological Seminary, Criswell College and Southwestern.
Patristics — the study of the first several centuries of church history following the New Testament era — is among Bingham’s academic specialties; his 2017-2018 term as president of the North American Patristics Society concludes at the society’s May 24-26 meeting in Chicago. Bingham’s presidential address Friday will address second-century Christianity.
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Source: Baptist Press