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SWBTS accreditation ‘notation’ reported by Fort Worth newspaper

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)–Amid various affirmations accompanying the extension of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s accreditation for the next 10 years, a “notation” has been issued by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

The SACS notation, or criticism, was reported Feb. 5 by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The newspaper reported that the notation stated that the seminary “lacks policies or resources necessary [for the faculty] to fulfill their teaching or research responsibilities.”

The article then made reference to increased teaching loads at the seminary in light of various retirements and several faculty members who have left after declining to affirm the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message beliefs statement of the Southern Baptist Convention. The article also noted that faculty members have invested significant amounts of time in committee work related to the accreditation process involving both SACS and the Association of Theological Schools.

The full article can be viewed on the Internet at www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/news/local/2606755.htm.

Ken Hemphill, Southwestern’s president, told Baptist Press Feb. 5, “We are proud to let Southern Baptists know we had a very productive reaccredidation visit. We received one notation related to faculty load and committee assignments, but that was in light of four commendations. This compares positively with four notations the seminary received in our last reaccredidation process 10 years ago.

“Notations are not designed to be punitive,” Hemphill said. “They are in no way to be seen as a negative but are part of the way of improving an institution.”

The Star-Telegram article noted that a two-year time frame is provided for correcting a notation, according to one accreditation official.

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