Paige Failing?

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Jimmy C, Aug 15, 2005.

  1. Jimmy C

    Jimmy C
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    Word from the registrars office is that 19% of those enrolled at SWBTS last year (not including graduation) chose not to come back this year. Good thing they enrolled 60 into the college.

    19% is a huge number of non returning students!

    I think that the adminsitration has forgotton that in addition to a good faculty, that they need to actually cater to the students, and make them feel wanted for more than just chapel attendance. the cult of Paige is not enough in Texas to attract and retain students - they have other choices. DTS, Logsden, Truett, BH Carroll and for that matter New Orleans are not far away. If students can go to one of those places and feel appreciated they will go in a heartbeat.

    I was frankly supprised that the number was so high, since this is Patterson's third year. I suspect that there was not a big drop last year especially by those who were close to graduation because of timing issues, but those that came in last year saw how they were valued and decided not to continue
     
  2. Karen

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    I'm just wondering. I hear that more and more seminary students are older. Not just immediately going for 3 years of seminary after 4 years of college.
    And sometimes people just go for enrichment, taking a few classes on a sabbatical from work. Or they want to go straight through seminary but have to take time off to earn more money to go.
    Would any of that make this 19% figure more explainable?

    Karen
     
  3. preachinjesus

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    my experience at SWBTS was the student population is becoming younger and younger. When I first went to SWBTS (right out of college) I was the youngest in most of my classes. The average age of the SWBTS student was 29. When I graduated it had dropped to about 27 or so. Just a thought.

    Also I do remember that Dr P is fairly opposed to online and distance learning (i.e. some extension centers) and this might contribute to is. Of course I will also mention that people are just plain gettin tired of the hard core fundy stuff going on in Texas. Nuff said there [​IMG]
     
  4. Jimmy C

    Jimmy C
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    Karen

    I think that one of the problems that those students have is that they are required to attend a certain number of chapel services per semester in order to pass their Spiritual formations class (required to graduate). The problem many of the off campus students face is that they have to make a special trip to campus in order to attend chapel. I dont think that these students enjoy attending chapel when it is convenient for them to do so, but to be required to make a special trip so that the president can show his visitors a full chapel can be a real hardship.
     
  5. Squire Robertsson

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    Once more, I look in askance at the Convention centric view of many on this board. "hard core fundy" is not a discription I would use in describing any within the SBC above a certain level of leadership. But then, I'm a Northern Baptist.
     
  6. Pronto

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    I don't know if Southwestern is losing people or not, the numbers are in dispute from all sides. But I know that Southwestern does not hold the same high level regard and respect that it used to when I was growing up.

    Truett is seemingly taking that place among Texas baptists, Dr. Paul Powell really seems to be in touch with the average Texas baptist pastor. Probably has something to do with Dr. Powell serving as a pastor for so long. Whereas Paige has spent his life chasing the next denominational promotion. Does anyone know if he has ever pastored a church for any amount of time?
     
  7. RandR

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    Jimmy and I have discussed some of these issues before. I tend to think that Patterson's political persona is really only one small part of the equation. Enrollment had begun to decline a decade ago. Personally, I think the decline in enrollment has much to do with the growth at some of the other schools, particularly SEBTS, SBTS, and NOBTS.

    SBTS and SEBTS have both grown noticably in the years since their "turnovers" in leadership. NOBTS continues to reach more and more students through their extensive extension system.

    How many of those who now opt for SBTS, SEBTS, or NOBTS would have been Southwesterners in a previous era is only conjecture, but I think there is a pretty decent number of students staying closer to home who would have made the trek to Texas in the late 70s and 80s especially, but even into the early 90s.

    I do respectfully disagree with Pronto, though, in that I don't think Truett has attracted any more students away from Southwestern than it would have under any different SWBTS president. What I mean is, I don't imagine very many kids who grew up at Park Cities or South Main or Tallowood or First Tyler or Wilshire, etc. would choose SWBTS whether Patterson, Hemphill, or Pronto or I were president.

    I do agree with Pronto that P.Powell's reputation has certainly helped Truett in certain Texas Baptist ciricles. But I do think its a bit early to speak of Truett "taking Southwestern's place among Texas Baptists" unles by "Texas Baptists" one means "Baptists in Texas fully supportive of BGCT politics and policies."
    It isn't likely that very many of the 19% Jimmy mentions ended up in Waco. (Or they would have been there already.)

    But all is not well at dear alma mater, to be sure. But I'd personally look to the board and to the other end of the hall from Patterson if I were looking for real sources of so much of what ails her.
     
  8. TomVols

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    Having worked in admissions in higher education, an 81% retention rate is quite high, especially at the graduate level.
     
  9. Dr. Bob

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    With many pastors in my age range (50-65) leaving the ministry or retiring or shifting to parachurch program, I think there are a number of very attractive pulpits now open to the "seminarian". This entices men from seminary early (like it did me) and into fulltime PAYING ministry!

    Have no knowledge of the SWBTS case, but see this growing trend in MANY seminaries.
     
  10. preachinjesus

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    Dr P pastored a church in east Texas for a time before going on as an associate to WA Criswell at First Baptist Dallas where he stayed for several years.

    interesting side note, ole Joel Gregory is now teaching at Truett Seminary...
     
  11. PatsFan

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    Once more, I look in askance at the Convention centric view of many on this board. "hard core fundy" is not a discription I would use in describing any within the SBC above a certain level of leadership. But then, I'm a Northern Baptist. </font>[/QUOTE]I'm not sure what you're trying to say?
     
  12. PatsFan

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    Is that high for a seminary? I'm asking because I'm not sure if people are less apt to transfer out of a seminary than they are out of a college, since there are more colleges than seminaries.
     
  13. Squire Robertsson

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    I'm not sure what you're trying to say? </font>[/QUOTE]Askance: with a side or oblique glance. A better word in this context might be consternation.

    I was trying to be diplomatic by using the fewest words possible. However, as you ask for an explanation, here goes. Many (and by no means all, I am not falling into that logical fallacy) on this Board use the Southern Baptist Convention and its denominational politics as their measure. Hence, my use of the phrase
    There are many of us here who trace our denominatioanl DNA back to the Northern Baptist Convention and the men who separated from it starting back in the '30s. Though many of these men had begun organizing and identifying themselves as Fundamentalists as early as the 20's. By the late 40's, these men and their churches had withdrawn their support and membership from the NBC. Hence, my soft chuckle when I read
    when applied to anybody in the SBC. They may be "fundy", but in my view "hard core" is a stretch.
     
  14. JGrayhound

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    I know that Truett is being pushed by the GBTC...but that doesn't mean it is growing in favor or that it is even a good school.

    SWBTS may be losing some students....but something tells me it is the students that they don't really need there anyways and would be happier at places like Truett.
     
  15. hvnhlpr

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    "Also I do remember that Dr P is fairly opposed to online and distance learning (i.e. some extension centers) and this might contribute to is."

    It is interesting to note that Dr. Patterson was the Commencement Speaker this past May at the Louisiana Baptist University graduation this past May. LBU is almost entirely a distance program!
     
  16. PatsFan

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    Thanks for the explanation. I wasn't trying to be rude or anything, I didn't want to miss what your were saying. I appreciated you sharing some history.
     
  17. PatsFan

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    </font>[/QUOTE]I had never heard of the NBC. Did it become the ABC in the 50's?
     
  18. Squire Robertsson

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    I had never heard of the NBC. Did it become the ABC in the 50's?</font>[/QUOTE]Yeup.
     
  19. RandR

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    That is way too simplistic. Students pre-disposed towards Truett or any other "CBF" seminary are likely already at their school of preference and wouldn't be particularly relevant to a discussion of shrinking enrollment at SWBTS.

    Further, every SBC seminary "needs" any student it can get to sign up for anything because headcount = CP $$.

    Texas isn't NC, and the "Baptist" undergraduate market is already quite saturated, particularly within a 120 mile radius of the Metroplex. Sure, the College at SW will generate a few students (read CP $$), but likely not enough to cancel out the shrinking graduate and nearly obliterated post-graduate programs in the School of Theology.

    The notion that only liberal or sub-par students are leaving for a healthier environment is little more than nonsense.
     
  20. Barjonah

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    I think RandR is right, the seminary population overall is staying relatively the same, just dispersing in differing %'s. In recent years, SBTS, SEBTS, NOBTS in particular have been having great growth. In the '80s almost every "conservative" leaning Southern Baptist went to SWBTS because they felt it was the best option. Now there are more options and I think both SEBTS and SBTS have bypassed SWBTS in terms of programs, respect, and faculty.
     

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