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Gateway Seminary - California

Discussion in 'Other Discussions' started by Samuel Choi, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. Samuel Choi

    Samuel Choi New Member

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    Because I was excited about studying at a Southern Baptist seminary, I applied for admission to Gateway Seminary.

    It was not until
    AFTER I submitted my admissions application that an "enrollment specialist" emailed me and informed me that Gateway Seminary denies admission to applicants who have recently been divorced or who have recently been separated from their spouses.

    No where in the admissions application does it state that Gateway Seminary denies admission to applicants who have recently been divorced or who have recently been separated from their spouses.

    In their very brazen response to my complaint, Gateway Seminary informed me that the online student handbook states their discriminatory admissions policy in writing. This is an
    inane response.

    Before submitting an admissions application, potential applicants
    do not read the online student handbook.

    The administrative staff of Gateway Seminary
    should be ashamed of themselves for neglecting to inform potential applicants about admissions policies that will result in automatic denial of admission to Gateway Seminary
     
  2. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    You would think they could briefly explain that on the application where they ask about marital status.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer Well-Known Member
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    I believe this is fairly standard at the Southern Baptist seminaries. Back in the old days when I went to Southwestern (1989-1995), there was a question about marital status on the application, with a note that those who had experienced a divorce within the last few years or was going through a separation would not be admitted without a consultation with a member of the admissions staff. There were also questions about the state of the applicant's marriage. If one's spouse was not supportive of the commitment to prepare for ministry, an admissions representative would want to talk with the couple. There was also a place where we had to check a box to indicate that we had read the student handbook and were willing to live within the standards described -- notably, at least to me, I was not allowed to consume an alcoholic beverage or publicly appear with a companion who was consuming an alcoholic beverage, which I considered rather strange.

    I am surprised that they did not have such a statement on the current application, but they may have tightened things up over the past 25 years. Also, they seem to have the application process online instead of shuffling all of that paper we used to handle.

    I think the cautious policy regarding separation and divorce is a good one, unless there is no means for appeal to an admissions officer or committee. When going through severe marital troubles, it is difficult to study. Moreover, there is a moral concern regarding incoming students.

    If you are called to ministry, I'm sure you can wait to get your life in order and get past the difficult circumstances of a damaged marriage or divorce before entering into the academic portion of following your calling.
     
  4. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer Well-Known Member
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    From the Student Manual:

    (Page 11, third paragraph of the section entitled, "Home and Family")

    At times, the nature and scope of marital difficulties may impact enrollment status. A student who become separated or divorced is almost always required to withdraw from his/her active degree program for at least one full academic year. This policy exists not as a punitive measure, but to assist the student through a period of emotional/spiritual healing. Resident students impacted by a separation or divorce must consult with the Director of Student Services to evaluate housing eligibility in conjunction with the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services. Students desiring to return to active enrollment following the withdrawal period are required to resubmit standard admissions documents. The Seminary does not prohibit divorced persons from consideration for enrollment. Exceptions to the above policies may be appealed through the President.

    Have you tried appealing to the President of the seminary? If there is a sound biblical reason for you to be divorced or separated and you are in a positive enough spiritual, emotional, and mental state that can be vouched for by others who are intimately involved in your life, then I suspect you may be successful with an appeal to the President.
     
  5. john1

    john1 New Member

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    Makes sense. Divorce is forbidden in the bible unless it is for the cause of infidelity, in which case an exception is made.

    If your spouse was unfaithful, and that was the reason for divorce, then you should tell them this and implore an exception be made based on the grounds of Biblical allowance in this case. The Bible says that for the case of adultery, you are released from your marital vow (if you so choose, but not required).

    But if you divorced for a petty reason or a reason like you did not get along, then in God's eyes you are still married, and if you are with anyone else then you are living in adultery. The Bible says that anyone who is with a divorced woman commits adultery. Of course, the same goes for a divorced man.

    Therefore if you are divorced for any reason other than your spouse committed adultery, then you are not worthy to be a servant of God while living in blatant sin and in defiance to the Word of God.
     
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