(RD) Steve Wiggins–Fired General Theological Seminary Professors Go Back to Work, For Now

ATS, with its accrediting standards, is sometimes seen as an ally to stressed faculty. It is, however, unlikely to use its weight to smooth over bumps in the theological road. A life in ministry isn’t easy, why should a life in the preparation of ministry be any different? In the final analysis you have an emotionally overwrought, often exhausted, highly educated faculty in a state of desperation. By the time the Board steps in Daniel has already finished pronouncing upharsin.

The situation at General is deeply troubling, and it should be for anyone concerned about the academic study of religion. Seminaries are a crucial part of the overall academic mix in the field. I am not privy to the details of what happened at General, and I have little data to assess how it came to this unfortunate climax. I do know that a cast-off seminary professor is no hot commodity in today’s market. And watching the market performance, I’m afraid this commodity is one that is set to be on the increase. The second truism has already settled in: did something happen at some seminary in some large city? Why should we care?

In Post-Christian America it is an stupendous irony that those working for the destruction of church institutions are often those on the inside, and not the dreaded secularists from without.

Read it all.


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One comment on “(RD) Steve Wiggins–Fired General Theological Seminary Professors Go Back to Work, For Now

  1. Sarah says:

    The author of this piece was a professor at Nashotah House from 1992 to 2005, becoming eventually an academic dean.

    I wonder, then, back on an old, not recently updated site, what he meant when he said this: [blockquote]Reasons for Seeking another Position

    After taking my first full-time teaching post at Nashotah House, it became obvious that it was not a “good fit” theologically. Nevertheless, I have committed myself to doing my job well and I have risen through the ranks here to the post of Associate Professor and Academic Dean. I have also gained invaluable teaching experience and have proven myself a talented teacher, as my teaching evaluations clearly demonstrate.

    Instructors at Nashotah House teach mostly the same required courses annually, with an occasional opportunity to offer an elective. In my case this means covering an introduction to the entire Hebrew Bible annually. While this system has consequently enhanced my ability to teach all parts of the Hebrew Bible, it has also inhibited my interests and creativity in classroom offerings. I seek a position which will stretch and challenge me as I move forward in my various interest areas of Hebrew Bible study.

    A larger school with a larger base of colleagues, especially in different fields, would be of great benefit to me at this point in my career. I am a team player and eager to interact with others in scholarly conversation. This would happen more readily, I believe, at an institution larger than Nashotah House (our student body is roughly 40 fte).[/blockquote]
    I don’t quote the above as a pejorative nor does it redound either positively or negatively to the points of his analysis of the GTS situation — it’s just that he mentions he was caught in a similar though more minor situation at Nashotah House and so I went searching.