Proposal from the Academic Council and Members of the Faculty
We, as faculty members of Asbury Theological Seminary, in the spirit of our Wesleyan tradition, request of the Board of Trustees and President Greenway a course of action that will bring healing and resumption of normalcy to the Seminary at the present time. Such a process needs to be conducted in ways which show full congruence with the standards and bylaws by which the Seminary functions. It needs to uphold the integrity of the Seminary in its life and practice, according to our mutual commitment to the Wesleyan standard of holiness. What is at stake are the Seminary’s programs of education and its Christian witness and integrity in the eyes of its constituency and the larger world. Indeed, we have here been given a unique opportunity to model what it means to live out the possibility of reconciliation and restoration in Jesus Christ.
We, as faculty members of Asbury Theological Seminary, acknowledge our full regard for the Board of Trustees and its authority to act in matters of governance, and recognize that we have no authority to direct or pressure the Board in matters of policy, nor to undermine its authority in conducting its duties. We also acknowledge our obligation, by virtue of collegial governance, to share our concerns with the Board and to communicate our best thinking on the matter at hand.
Consequently, the following course of action is proposed, as an appropriate way to initiate such reconciliation:
1. Mediation: Recognizing the damaged relationships, a third-party mediator will be introduced, who has connections with none who are involved in the present dispute but who is acceptable to all persons therein involved, and who will be charged with helping to identify a course for reconciliation. This mediator will have responsibility for addressing all substantive issues that bear upon a just and redemptive resolution of the matter at hand. It is acknowledged that this will be a complicated and uncomfortable task, involving hard work and sacrifices for all parties to the discussion. In no sense should this mediation be seen as a perfunctory exercise, nor one whose outcome may be presupposed. Rather, we perceive that the traversing together of this difficult path can best serve to reconcile what may otherwise remain as irreconcilable differences.
2. Stability & Process: We respectfully request that while this mediation process is taking place that President Jeffrey Greenway be reinstated with the understanding that a new review task force will be formed, selected by the Board of Trustees as a whole.
In view of the high spiritual and moral standards expected from Asbury Theological Seminary, and as mandated by its ethos statement, a path like the one here proposed would be a remarkable embodiment and witness to Jesus Christ, and our lives in mutual covenant with Him, for the sake of the larger Seminary community and its witness to the world. This course of action could offer an extraordinary model of conflict resolution for the entire community, consistent with the Wesleyan affirmations concerning sin and grace. This pathway would demonstrate that we conduct ourselves in ways that exceed the "business as usual" standards which seem to prevail both in the religious and secular spheres of our culture. It would offer us the finest opportunity to demonstrate our love for one another, as those whose lives are rooted in Jesus Christ, where reconciliation is always an achievable outcome.
Addendum: This document is developed at this time as an official statement of the Academic Council, adopted at its regularly scheduled meeting of 9 October 2006, and presented via email to the faculty to enable their response, prior to the forthcoming special meeting of the Board of Trustees.
The regular scheduling of the Academic Council meeting explains the timing of the presentation of this proposal.
Respectfully submitted, The Academic Council, 9 October 2006
Christina T. Accornero, Registrar
Leslie A. Andrews, Associate Provost and Dean of the Doctor of Ministry Program
Bill T. Arnold, Vice President of Academic Affairs & Provost
David R. Bauer, Dean of the School of Biblical Interpretation and Proclamation
Kenneth A. Boyd, Dean of Information Services
Ronald K. Crandall, Dean of the ESJ School of World Mission and Evangelism
R. Dale Hale, Director of Distributed Learning
Randall W. Jessen, Dean of the Beeson International Center for Biblical Preaching & Church Leadership
C. Reginald Johnson, Dean of the School of Theology and Formation
Hugo Magallanes, Assistant Provost, FL Campus
Michael A. Rynkiewich, Director of Postgraduate Studies
Catherine Stonehouse, Dean of the School of Practical Theology
The following faculty members also endorse this proposal:
Garwood P. Anderson, Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies
Jack Connell, Associate Dean of the Beeson International Center for Biblical Preaching & Church Leadership
Allan Coppedge, Ralph Waldo Beeson Professor of Christian Theology
Joel B. Green, Professor of New Testament Interpretation
Charles E. Gutenson, Associate Professor of Philosophical Theology
James K. Hampton, Assistant Professor of Youth Ministry
Anthony J. Headley, Professor of Counseling
Virginia Todd Holeman, Professor of Counseling
Barbara Holsinger, Associate Director of Mentored Ministries, Wilmore Campus
George G. Hunter III, Distinguished Professor of Communication & Evangelism
Eunice L. Irwin, Associate Professor of Mission and Contextual Theology
Beverly C. Johnson-Miller, Associate Professor of Christian Discipleship
Kevin Kinghorn, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religion
Ellen L. Marmon, Diaconal Minister and Instructor in Christian Discipleship
Joy J. Moore, Assistant Professor of Preaching
Tapiwa N. Mucherera, Associate Professor of Pastoral Counseling
Terry C. Muck, Professor of World Religions
M. Robert Mulholland, Jr., Professor of New Testament, Chair of NT Department
J. Steven O’Malley, John T. Seamands Professor of Methodist Holiness History [signed as an individual faculty member and not in role as faculty representative to the Board of Trustees]
Christine Pohl, Professor of Church in Society
Lester Ruth, Lily May Jarvis Professor of Christian Worship
Stephen A. Seamands, Professor of Christian Doctrine
Stephen P. Stratton, Associate Professor of Counseling and Pastoral Care
David L. Thompson, F.M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies
Thomas F. Tumblin, Associate Professor of Leadership
Jerry L. Walls, Professor of Philosophy of Religion
Ben Witherington III, Professor of New Testament
Laurence W. Wood, Frank Paul Morris Professor of Systematic Theology