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Seminary students voice concerns over reassignment of Truett dean

WACO, Texas (BP)–Students and faculty of Baylor University’s George W. Truett Seminary gathered May 6 to pray and voice their concerns over the sudden reassignment of Brad Creed, the seminary’s dean and one of its founding professors.

Creed, a professor of Christian history, will step down from his administrative post effective June 1, Larry Brumley, associate vice president for communications, told Baptist Press May 8. Creed has served as dean of Truett Seminary since January 1996 and was one of the first professors hired before the seminary opened in the fall of 1994.

Brumley said Creed’s departure as dean was amicable and had been planned for at least a year.

However, a report in the Waco Tribune Herald painted a different picture of Creed’s reassignment, noting that Creed “will be relieved of his duties effective June 1.”

Brumley called the newspaper account a mischaracterization. “People use different terms,” Brumley said. “But if he was fired, he wouldn’t be working at the university.” After he steps down, Creed will take a six-month sabbatical and return to teach Christian history in January 2001, Brumley said.

Approximately 40 students and faculty gathered at the First Baptist Church, Waco, to pray for Creed and the seminary. Many said they were shocked by the announcement of Creed’s reassignment. “We’re in a time of transition. We’re trying to get a building built. We’re trying to increase enrollment. The one thing the students have told me is the timing seems bad,” student Wade Arnold told the Tribune Herald.

Baylor University President Robert Sloan met with about 15 students at his home to answer questions and explain the situation at the seminary. “Obviously there is a feeling on the president’s part that the seminary has reached a point of development where it needs a different point of leadership to take it to the next level,” Brumley said.

Under Creed’s leadership, the seminary’s enrollment increased from 92 students to 194 and the faculty has expanded from four to 12 full-time members.

“Brad Creed has led Truett Seminary through an outstanding period of growth and I am grateful for his tremendous work,” Sloan said in a prepared statement. “Brad has a deep commitment to the Lord and to Truett Seminary, and I am grateful that he will devote his energies full time to exercising his great gift for teaching and nurturing students.”

Prior to coming to Truett Seminary, Creed was pastor of First Baptist Church, Natchitoches, La. He has earned degrees from Baylor University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth. In June 1996, he completed a management development program at Harvard University.

Randall O’Brien, a professor of religion at Baylor and executive assistant to the president, will serve as Truett’s acting dean. Baylor Provost Donald Schmeltekopf will appoint a search committee to find a new dean, Brumley said.

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  • Todd Starnes