New Chapel at SWBTS

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Jimmy C, Apr 7, 2006.

  1. Jimmy C

    Jimmy C
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    This does make me crazy!

    Why in the world would SWBTS at a cost of 5 million or so need to build a new 3500 seat chapel. They dont fill up the one they have now, enrollment is declining - and the albatross of the Leadership Development Center is not paid for yet!

    I know its not sexy or easy to raise money for things like scholarships or student housing - but it seems to me that the money would be much better spent on those areas! If PP really needs his name on something a wonderful section of student housing sure would be nice!

    The BP report said that no CP money would be spent on the new chapel - but the money going to the chapel comes from somewhere - one can only offer conjecture as to where it would go if not to build the chapel - perhaps to the CP??
     
  2. Convicted by the Spirit

    Convicted by the Spirit
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    Jimmy, Where did you read about the new Chapel ... I am interested to read about this.
     
  3. mcdirector

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    I haven't read about it, but my son who attends SWTBS has mentioned it several times.
     
  4. swaimj

    swaimj
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    Haven't you heard the saying "Build it and they will come."?

    :D
     
  5. El_Guero

    El_Guero
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    Jimmy,

    Did they say when they would build it? Or, where they would build it.
     
  6. El_Guero

    El_Guero
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    Jimmy

    I keep hearing that enrollment at SWBTS is declining, but I haven't seen any support. Do you have a source? Do you know a reason for the decline?

    Thanks

    Wayne
     
  7. Jimmy C

    Jimmy C
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    I am out till monday - but the report of the new chapel was in the BP artilce summing up the trustee conference

    The follwoing is from Art Rogers blog - you can get to it from sbcoutpost.blogspot.com

    Tuesday, April 04, 2006
    The Once Proud Flagship
    My alma mater, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, was once the flagship of Southern Baptist Theological Education. When I arrived, in 1990, we were the largest Seminary in the entire World, and even among Southern Baptist Seminaries, there was not a close second.

    Recently, we have seen a decline in FTE enrollment. FTE stands for Full Time Equivalent. It represents full time, Masters Degree students. Curiously, Dr. Patterson, current president, seems to indicate that the Seminary is growing, and has regularly reported so to the Trustees in their meetings.

    In 2003, upon his arrival, Patterson declared that the end to decline in the student population had come with him. You can read about this meeting in the BP article, Patterson declares end to downturn in Southwestern Seminary enrollment. In this article, he declares that the enrollment of SWBTS has been in gradual decline for twenty years.

    Now, I happen to have been there for some of that time, and I just don't remember it that way. As of this moment, I have asked for the FTE numbers from 1983-2003, the time in question. I will get them to you as soon as I can.

    In 2004, at the annual Trustee meeting, Patterson said that the Seminary had grown 4% and set 6.000 students as his goal. Presumably, he was referring to FTE students. You can read the BP article, Enrollment up, missions heightened, Patterson tells trustees.

    Now, I remember hearing about Dr. Patterson quoting a few numbers before at his previous post, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. In fact, the numbers Patterson regularly claims are at the bottom of the same article. The claim is often made that the student population of SEBTS was less than 600, but under Patterson's leadership, it grew to over 2,300.

    The problem with those numbers is that the first one is FTE, but the second one is all students at all levels. It's just a bit misleading isn't it?

    So I am wondering what is up with Southwestern's numbers. Patterson claimed that there was a decline even in Dr. Hemphill's term of leadership, but this is not the case. In fact, despite being rocked by being put on probation after the Trustees dismissed Dr. Dilday, Dr. Hemphill won the respect of the faculty and got the school off of academic probation in record time, restoring trust.

    Dr. Patterson is consistently saying that before he came everything was falling apart, but evidence of God's blessing through him is the continued growth of Southwestern under his leadership.

    For those who have an eye for it, look for the report to the Trustees of SWBTS coming out tomorrow. Several of us think that Dr. Patterson will say that the school has grown yet again.

    In light of that, I give you the FTE numbers for the last ten years, obtained from the Executive Committee in Nashville:

    1995-1996 3,024 Dr. Hemphill + 2 years
    1996-1997 3,052
    1997-1998 3,099
    1998-1999 2,784
    1999-2000 2,441
    2000-2001 2,371
    2001-2002 2,381
    2002-2003 2,209 Dr. Hemphill leaves, Dr. Patterson installed w/in 4 months.
    2003-2004 2,202
    2004-2005 1,991
    The records for the Seminary before 1976 do not calculate students the way we do now, but since that time, the FTE population has not dropped below 2,000.

    I wonder if the IMB were losing missionaries at the rate the former flagship of SBC theological education is losing full time Master's degree students, if anyone would still be on staff.
     
  8. El_Guero

    El_Guero
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    Jimmy

    That was painful to read. So painful I really did not want to believe the numbers. So, I went and checked the ATS website.

    Ouch. They say that SWBTS is still above 2000. But, not by enough to be comfortable. Those numbers hurt.
     
  9. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    I've been opposed to the chapel since the idea was floated before Pdiddy got there. Money can be spent better on Kingdom building projects...not legacy building

    Anyhoo they really should put more money into developing their faculty and allowing gifted profs who are the best in their particular area stay instead of firing them...

    the numbers of seminary students are indeed dropping. They were while I was there. SWBTS isn't attractive right now, even though they have a fine faculty, when DTS is right down the road and a more dynamic institution. I don't even think Texas is attractive b/c of all the politics and infighting. While more students have been brought into the DMin (clergy advancement degree) studies and PhD studies they and all the other SBC seminaries have put into place those undergrad colleges to supplement their numbers.
     
  10. Joseph_Botwinick

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    They want a new Chapel? What is wrong with the one they have? It is beautiful...I remember from all the times I went. Sounds like a waste of money.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  11. RandR

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    preachin,

    Actually, I think you will find that the D.Min program is pretty much gutted of its numbers. Once all of the students who were already in it finish under their "old" catalog, the program will be half as big at best.

    As for the Ph.D. program, I can only offer what one prof told me behind his closed door when I explained to him the changes to the D.Min. Making reference to an administrator who is not the president, he exclaimed, "He's already killed the Ph.D. program; I guess now he's going to ruin the D.Min."
     

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