Bob Jones University: Epicenter of Fundamentalism's Future?

"a controversy over the future of both Bob Jones University and fundamentalism is raging. That fight centers on the presidency of Steve Pettit. Will he stay or will he go? Part of the fight centers on this basic question: what, exactly, is fundamentalism?" - Joshua Valdez

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Don Johnson's picture

G. N. Barkman wrote:

Criticizing sports seems like nit-picking.  Where were all the champions for the "old" BJU when it was going down the tubes?  Were they rallying behind it, recruiting students for it, and raising money for it?  Or were they voicing their criticism and concerns.  That's a weakness within the culture of fundamentalism. 

Greg, please note that I did not say "get rid of sports." I said, someone needs to hold it on a tighter leash, especially on this tendency to invite allegedly Christian athletes in to speak "as Christians in sports" when their lifestyle is widely divergent from the BJU lifestyle. If a sports figure is speaking about sports, that would be different in my view (even though I'm not impressed by it in the least).

Where were the champions for the old BJU "when it was going down the tubes"? Sending our kids there, sending in the complaints (getting the brush off), being concerned with what was happening even then. 

The fact is, I want BJU to succeed. However, if success means just a mirror image of some evangelical school, what's the point?

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

G. N. Barkman's picture

Don, I didn't accuse you of saying to get rid of sports, did I?  From your comment, there is obviously an event with a guest speaker of which you disapprove.  I am unaware of this event, unless you are talking about Tim Tibauld (sp?)?  If so, I was present for that occasion.  I even bought tickets for my son-in-law and grandson to attend with me. I must admit that I was disappointed, but probably not for the reasons that would likely trouble you.  But I'm not tasked with leading BJU, so I am willing to give Steve Pettit some leeway on matters like this.  I don't expect Pettit to agree with me about everything, and I don't expect anyone to run a Christian university the same way we operate our church. 

I sent three of my own daughters to BJU in the "old" days (the last one graduated about sixteen years ago), and I have encouraged umteen students from our church to attend over the years, with four there now.  I can't say I have been disappointed with any of them throughout all these decades, but I also note a greater level of enthusiasm than before.  I haven't seen anything, so far, that would lead me to discourage students from attending.  I like what I'm seeing in my students when they come home.  I'm not sure what you consider to be a mirror image of some evangelical school, but it seems to me that BJU retains a clear distinctiveness from other schools, and maintains a high standard of excellence academically and spiritually that sets it apart.

G. N. Barkman

Don Johnson's picture

G. N. Barkman wrote:

Don, I didn't accuse you of saying to get rid of sports, did I?  From your comment, there is obviously an event with a guest speaker of which you disapprove.

ok, but you said "criticizing sports" was nit-picking. Maybe it is.

Here is the event I was referring to:

BJU Bruins Host 10th Anniversary Gala with Trevor Lawrence - EIN Presswire (einnews.com)

The athletic director (whose brothers are among my closest friends), said, "It is a privilege to welcome Trevor to campus. His championship pedigree has made him a well-known figure in South Carolina and led to him being a starting quarterback in the NFL. Beyond the playing field, Trevor has gained a wealth of experience handling immense pressure and the expectations of others. I look forward to hearing how his faith allows him to balance his priorities and stay positive."

Emphasis added.

Also note this:

Trevor Lawrence's wife celebrates birthday with champagne bash (nypost.com)

there was an uproar that ensued, the university name was removed from the event (someone else took over sponsorship), and that was that.

It just should never have been considered. It seems like it is consistent with other events like this which don't promote the school's mission, in my opinion. The Tim Tebow event would be another, though less egregious I guess.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

dgszweda's picture

Don Johnson wrote:

 

G. N. Barkman wrote:

 

Don, I didn't accuse you of saying to get rid of sports, did I?  From your comment, there is obviously an event with a guest speaker of which you disapprove.

 

 

ok, but you said "criticizing sports" was nit-picking. Maybe it is.

Here is the event I was referring to:

BJU Bruins Host 10th Anniversary Gala with Trevor Lawrence - EIN Presswire (einnews.com)

The athletic director (whose brothers are among my closest friends), said, "It is a privilege to welcome Trevor to campus. His championship pedigree has made him a well-known figure in South Carolina and led to him being a starting quarterback in the NFL. Beyond the playing field, Trevor has gained a wealth of experience handling immense pressure and the expectations of others. I look forward to hearing how his faith allows him to balance his priorities and stay positive."

Emphasis added.

Also note this:

Trevor Lawrence's wife celebrates birthday with champagne bash (nypost.com)

there was an uproar that ensued, the university name was removed from the event (someone else took over sponsorship), and that was that.

It just should never have been considered. It seems like it is consistent with other events like this which don't promote the school's mission, in my opinion. The Tim Tebow event would be another, though less egregious I guess.

what was the issue with Trevor Lawrence?  What was the uproar about?

Don Johnson's picture

dgszweda wrote:

what was the issue with Trevor Lawrence?  What was the uproar about?

David, if you need it spelled out....

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Bert Perry's picture

Beyond the fact that Lawrence's hair is decidedly non-regulation at BJU, he and his wife wear clothing that doesn't match the BJU standards, and evidently his wife celebrated her 22nd birthday with champagne.  They probably had dancing, too.

Really, if this is the worst that can be said about Lawrence, he's doing really, really well.  What I've read about the lives of many Division 1 football players, and the cultures that arise around top teams, involves a tremendous amount of fornication (even rape), drunkenness, drugs, and general carousing.  So the fact that he stayed together with his high school girlfriend through the temptations of D1 football in college and married her afer college says a LOT about his character.  

One might say that it's worth celebrating with champagne and a dance, really, and this is one of those places where conservative evangelicals like myself scratch our heads and say "we're fighting over this why?".  It's a strong illustration, in my view, of the struggle that lies before BJU, because BJU's future is going to be answered in whether or not they attract conservative evangelicals to their brand.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dgszweda's picture

Don Johnson wrote:

 

dgszweda wrote:

 

what was the issue with Trevor Lawrence?  What was the uproar about?

 

 

David, if you need it spelled out....

Probably.  I was not aware he spoke or that there was some controversy around it.  We are acquaintances and I help him out as well as some of his team mates with one of the businesses that I own here in Jacksonville.

W. T. O'Harver's picture

Does anyone know who the trustees are that want President Pettit removed from office? Their detractors have called them "hardliners," but I cannot imagine any of the current trustees being "hardline" by the classical BJU standard (i.e., Monroe Parker, Tom Malone, Arlin Horton, L. Duane Brown). Joe Helm is the Executive Pastor of the Brookside Baptist Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin, which is a solidly fundamental ministry. Mike Harding in Troy, Michigan, has a rather conservative ministry that has begun to distance itself from BJU over the past five or more years. John Lewis, the chairman of the board, pastored a church in Michigan until recently that seems to still be categorically fundamental.

These observations are meant to convey a single point: as an outsider to the BJU community, the trustees do not seem like radicals who are willing to march on the warpath and liquidate the institution that they oversee. Even the most conservative trustees do not seem like the sort of men who would attempt to remove a successful president.

T Howard's picture

https://ministrywatch.com/bob-jones-university-alumni-rally-around-embat...

Quote:

The opposition to Pettit has nothing to do with morality or doctrine, but with “preferences of Christian practice,” according to one alumnus.

The alumnus, who talked to board members, said Pettit had been criticized for the style of worship music played at student chapel services, “immodest clothing” worn by female athletes, questionable performances and musical selections from the fine arts program, and even Pettit’s participation in a bluegrass music band.

If this statement is true, these are sad reasons not to renew Pettit's contract. Cultural fundamentalism at its finest.

Don Johnson's picture

The writer is parroting Chris Anderson's letter mostly. There is no doubt concern about dress code and such, but those are ancillary to the bigger concerns. If the quoted board member suggests that is all that the fuss is about, he is either obtuse or disingenuous 

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

dgszweda's picture

In my opinion, the board doesn't appear "healthy" in its operational model.  It is fine to have disagreements.  The issue is split up as follows amongst the board.  You have a small minority @5 who want to see the contract not renewed based on concerns.  There is another larger portion (number unknown - but contains some heavyweights in fundamentalism) that recognize all the good that Pettit has done, but would like some guardrails set in place.  And there is another portion (number unknown) that are fine with what Pettit is doing.  The FBFI sent a letter in (that I have seen pieces of), that was sent by a small number of people.  Not everyone on their boards agree with the letter or even saw it before it got sent out.  BJ III has been pulled into it.  Some people have stated he was asked to join, some have stated that he injected himself into it and some have stated that he is one of the key drivers of ousting Pettit.  Different board members have said different things.

The issue seems to stem from 1) woman's dress in the sports program, 2) speakers that are invited, and 3) music slippage in stuff like artist series.  The funny thing is that each one of these concerns were present in the 90's when I was going there.  I would also add a 4) inconsistent application of standards across broad range of elements that led to things like the fashion show debacle late last year.  This is a bit grey because some of the things have been addressed and would be considered slip ups, more than actual issues, but you could also argue that #4 is what is driving #1,2,3.  A small portion are upset about 1) Pettit bluegrass bands and 2) sports teams.  But to be honest the sports teams were started under Stephen Jones and has been approved by the board for a decade, and to be honest Pettit and bluegrass shouldn't be an issue today.  He has been playing bluegrass for more than 20 years, it is played in the school and it is played at other FBFI stalwarts like the Wilds.

I think those that are pushing for his ouster are not thinking in the best interest of the school.  If Pettit leaves, the school is dead.  Now some would prefer a slow and noble death over anything that is remotely viewed as compromise.  I think the more pragmatic approach (and one being pushed by some of the big names in fundamentalism), is that 1) Steve has been good for the school, but 2) we need to have a consistent framework and guardrails on application.

Don Johnson's picture

dgszweda wrote:

I think those that are pushing for his ouster are not thinking in the best interest of the school.  If Pettit leaves, the school is dead.  Now some would prefer a slow and noble death over anything that is remotely viewed as compromise.  I think the more pragmatic approach (and one being pushed by some of the big names in fundamentalism), is that 1) Steve has been good for the school, but 2) we need to have a consistent framework and guardrails on application.

David, I think you are mischaracterizing some of the complaints (not entirely your fault as you can't know what you don't know). I also think you are mischaracterizing the division both inside and outside of the board. This is due, I think, to all the rhetoric swirling about.

This second point is why I am against the open letters and the public campaigning of partially informed individuals. That is just playing politics, raising emotional rhetoric, and attempting to divide and conquer, portraying Christian brothers as demons, out for blood! (See how easily the rhetoric can be amped up?)

As for your pragmatic solution, I'm basically fine with that, if Steve would agree to it. As previously stated, I count Steve as a friend and think he has done much good at BJU. But there are some glaring problems that need to be addressed, somehow.

I don't think it is our job to be setting Christians against each other, demonizing opponents, playing politics and spreading misinformation. Leave that to the real politicians, they are much better at it.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

dgszweda's picture

Don Johnson wrote:

 

dgszweda wrote:

 

I think those that are pushing for his ouster are not thinking in the best interest of the school.  If Pettit leaves, the school is dead.  Now some would prefer a slow and noble death over anything that is remotely viewed as compromise.  I think the more pragmatic approach (and one being pushed by some of the big names in fundamentalism), is that 1) Steve has been good for the school, but 2) we need to have a consistent framework and guardrails on application.

 

 

David, I think you are mischaracterizing some of the complaints (not entirely your fault as you can't know what you don't know). I also think you are mischaracterizing the division both inside and outside of the board. This is due, I think, to all the rhetoric swirling about.

This second point is why I am against the open letters and the public campaigning of partially informed individuals. That is just playing politics, raising emotional rhetoric, and attempting to divide and conquer, portraying Christian brothers as demons, out for blood! (See how easily the rhetoric can be amped up?)

As for your pragmatic solution, I'm basically fine with that, if Steve would agree to it. As previously stated, I count Steve as a friend and think he has done much good at BJU. But there are some glaring problems that need to be addressed, somehow.

I don't think it is our job to be setting Christians against each other, demonizing opponents, playing politics and spreading misinformation. Leave that to the real politicians, they are much better at it.

I am only posting stuff that I have heard from board members currently or recently.  I can tell you that some board members have contradictory perspectives of another.  So no doubt that mine is not perfect.  There are definitely some people lambasting individuals, but I think most fall into what Chris Anderson characterized in a response to Matt Herbster's posting on Facebook.  For me personally, I was thankful for what I received at the school, and I never had issues with the rules that I was under when I was there.  I think many of the people that are posting about the past (me included) is making sure that we frame today a bit more realistically.  There was huge uproar when I was there when we played a current Hollywood movie in the FMA.  People both inside and outside were complaining that we have now turned FMA basically into a worldly movie theater and it was just the continued slippage of the university.  We look back today and see it as harmless.  Most of those who have written letters to the board are doing so under the direction that they received upon graduation, which was to help guide and steer the school during challenging times.  We were encouraged to do this.

 

Bert Perry's picture

Now it can be that people are playing the right, politically and theologically, for suckers, and from time to time, that is certainly the case.  That noted, there are other times when movement occurs in one direction simply because the original position wasn't that strong.  To take a "less theological" position as an example, marijuana is on the same schedule as opioids for drug enforcement despite the fact that dope doesn't suppress breathing like heroin does--it smells skunky and makes people high, but it really doesn't kill or become physically addictive like heroin or fentanyl.

So to argue that we ought to handle it differently is the rhetorical equivalent of hitting a pinata without the blindfold, not difficult at all.  

Applied to some of the things Wally mentions, music and attire, the question ought to be asked "is our previous position defensible, or should we be retreating from that position even without anyone confronting us?".  No doubt that I'd be highly surprised if Wally and I came to a consensus on this thread, as would Wally, but sometimes it seems that a lot of us (myself sometimes included) hold to the positions we grew up with simply out of habit.  We need to remember that a key part of the first fundamental is that we can fix our mistakes--we're not bound to them to the degree our Catholic friends are.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Jay's picture

Just stepping in here to remind everyone that I called an internecine war between the old-guard 'Fundamentalists' and everyone else that would split BJU.

  • The year before Northland closed.
  • Then the same year Northland closed.
  • Back in 2018 when the Foundations Bible Conference International took swings at BJU over something else.

Josh Valdez is right to ask what the Fundamentals are.  It's a question that should already be understood, because the BJU Creed covers a significant hunk of it:

We believe in the inspiration of the Bible (both the Old and the New Testaments); the creation of man by the direct act of God; the incarnation and virgin birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ; His identification as the Son of God; His vicarious atonement for the sins of mankind by the shedding of His blood on the cross; the resurrection of His body from the tomb; His power to save men from sin; the new birth through the regeneration by the Holy Spirit; and the gift of eternal life by the grace of God.

So if your problems with BJU are that a guest speaker's wife had a champagne bash to celebrate her husband's birthday, the fact that BJU has had musicians in that (shockingly) don't affirm the Creed or are married to men, or this fashion show that seemed to have been nothing more than a cudgel to use as 'proof' of BJU's 'decline', then you aren't worried about Fundamentalism...you're mad that your flavor of Christianity is changing.  If you're on the Board and you're mad enough to withhold your funding or refuse to consider giving Steve Pettit a new contract over these issues delineated on this thread, then that's your right, but there is no way that BJU will survive.

The legacy of so many of these hardline fauxomentalist leaders isn't Christ or Fundamentalism, it's death.

Phil Johnson shone a light on this years ago, and most people chose to ignore it:

You can survey the landscape of the twentieth-century fundamentalist movement and look for important and influential doctrinal material produced by the movement—works where the fundamental doctrines of Scripture are clearly taught and defended—and you’re going to come up mostly dry. It’s hard to think of a single truly significant, lasting, definitive doctrinal work or biblical commentary written by anyone in the fundamentalist movement since the time of J. Gresham Machen. I suppose there are some exceptions to that rule somewhere, but I can’t think of any. Why is that?

Why is it that so many who call themselves fundamentalists seem to care so little about the actual fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith? Why is it that the sermons and literature of the fundamentalist movement have always favored secondary issues—like women’s clothing, men’s hair length, Bible versions, music styles, and ridiculous matters of preference?

Why hasn’t fundamentalism ever put that kind of energy into teaching and defending the doctrines that are truly fundamental? Have you ever wondered about that?

There is a decidedly anti-intellectual strain in American fundamentalism that has dominated the movement for the past fifty years or more. Many fundamentalists are openly wary of scholarship, suspicious of anything too academic. They dislike historical theology; they have no taste for doctrinal teaching; they prefer preachers who specialize in emotional rants against the evils of rock music or movies or some other aspect of popular culture.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

G. N. Barkman's picture

Thinking all of this over, I believe I agree with Don Johnson that Steve Pettit should be retained, but some "guardrails"  put into place.  (I can imagine the fighting that could ensue deciding what, exactly, those guardrails should be.)  It does seem to me that Pettit has allowed some things that were unwise, and have done little to enhance the welfare of BJU.  However, given his huge and almost miraculous accomplishments, I am strongly opposed to removing him.

T. Howard's recent post referenced  the <https://ministrywatch.com> article with Chris Anderson's letter, and comments by BJU alumnus David Freeman, a recent graduate of Loyola Law school.  David grew up in our church.  His parents are both BJU grads, and their four children have all gone to BJU, with the last one there now.  They are a solid family in every way.  I think they represent the majority of BJU alumni, who greatly appreciate what Steve Petit has done, and would be extremely unhappy to see him removed.  I pray that the board will see the wisdom of asking him to continue.  (If he's willing, given all that has transpired the past few weeks.) 

G. N. Barkman

Dave White's picture

Fauxomentalists! Thanks Jay! Did you coin this term?

Darrell McCarthy's picture

  • So November 17th is the key date? 
  • And the board has agreed that a 2/3 vote is required to extend Pettit's contract?
  • And if extended it would be another 3 year term?
dgszweda's picture

One thing this has led to, is the upswell of alumni activism at BJU.  For years a bunch of old guys in a dark room under secrecy set the course for Bob Jones.  Typically under behind the scenes direction from various fundmanentalist institutions that had associations with the board.  Some people are upset that the discussions around Steve Pettit got leaked.  I am assuming that is because they are supportive of secrecy and the board taking care of it.  The alumni association at BJU has been "dead" for years and years.  And now we have entered a crossroads.  On the one side you have people upset because a lot of people are doing petitions, writing letters...  That type of activism is unheard of at BJU.  On the other side, you have people wanting to influence the direction of the school more and more.  The reality is that Bob Jone Sr., Bob Jones Jr. and Bob Jones III all reinforced throughout our time at the school that the alumni should help influence the direction of the school.  We were charged with that, and entrusted with that duty.  Depending on the years you went, you were asked to sign a form to that.

It will be interesting to see what happens in the coming months, because I think the upswell has started.  A facebook group BJU United was started and within a few days had 4,500 alumni attached to it, coordinating writing letters and sharing responses.  That group has recently turned into BJU Positive, and it is being restructured as an independent alumni group.  While the flavor of the group has been very supportive of Pettit, it is also supportive of the past (in general).  It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the coming months and the influence it may have on the school.

Don Johnson's picture

You make it sound like the Illuminati. What corporation in the world holds it's board meetings in public? Why would anyone think that is a good idea?

The problem is that some people can't trust the Lord and a board of godly men to make the right decisions, so they leaked some of the story, inflaming people who don't know the whole story, to get their way by political pressure. 
 

I don't know the whole story either, but whatever way this turns out, this furor can't have done the school any good

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

T Howard's picture

Don Johnson wrote:
The problem is that some people can't trust the Lord and a board of godly men to make the right decisions, so they leaked some of the story, inflaming people who don't know the whole story, to get their way by political pressure. 

Unfortunately, trust in "godly men" within IFB-land and evangelicalism has been repeatedly misused and abused and subsequently lost. Hearing that board members are fired up over blue grass music and women's sports attire is just another nail in the coffin of trust, quite frankly. Of all the things to fire a Christian university president over... misplaced priorities for sure.

So, "godly men" need to be questioned and held accountable just like everyone else.

Don Johnson's picture

T Howard wrote:

 

Don Johnson wrote:
The problem is that some people can't trust the Lord and a board of godly men to make the right decisions, so they leaked some of the story, inflaming people who don't know the whole story, to get their way by political pressure. 

 

Unfortunately, trust in "godly men" within IFB-land and evangelicalism has been repeatedly misused and abused and subsequently lost. Hearing that board members are fired up over blue grass music and women's sports attire is just another nail in the coffin of trust, quite frankly. Of all the things to fire a Christian university president over... misplaced priorities for sure.

So, "godly men" need to be questioned and held accountable.

do you think that's all there is to it? Seriously? You think these guys are basically fools who are willing to blow everything up over trivialities?

Don't believe everything you read

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Bert Perry's picture

Don, if indeed there is much beyond the champagne, music, and the like, let us know.  The ugly fact of the matter is that to a lot of us, it does seem to be a lot to do about disputable cultural matters.  I know people in the FBFI think these things are very important, but even in that light, it isn't the same level of significance as the theological fundamentals.

At least I hope.

One side note, since Jay mentioned it; I'm the one who mentioned Cantus as an interesting example of people around BJU not being offended at something.  Take it for what you will.

To be fair about theological concerns mentioned way above by Wally, here's Greg Stiekes' article where he argues that the very start to the Gospel of Luke tells us that Luke was compiling his Gospel from other sources, hence Redaktionsgeschichte/ Redaction Criticism.   That noted, one distinctive of redaction criticism is that it does not try to argue what the original text was in the same way that the form critics argue for proto-documents of the Law of Moses and such, or the way Spong and his highlighter/post-it club attacked the Gospels.  It merely tells us that Luke was writing for his Gentile audience. 

I don't see what's terribly objectionable about that, or, for that member, in ETS membership--I'd guess Stiekes might be the "guilty party" there as well.   Objecting to ETS membership is more or less enshrining second or third order separation as a requirement for fellowship, and that in academic matters, and to me that seems to narrow the academic field to the point that BJU seminary staff would become dangerously "inbred" academically.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

T Howard's picture

Don Johnson wrote:

do you think that's all there is to it? Seriously? You think these guys are basically fools who are willing to blow everything up over trivialities?

Don't believe everything you read

That's the thing, Don, these things aren't trivialities to some of these "godly men." They are vestiges of cultural fundamentalism that some "godly men" want to perpetuate. Any deviation from these vestiges is seen as downgrade and compromise, and these "godly men" will not be seen as compromisers. If they don't get their way on the board, I wouldn't be surprised if they resigned.

dgszweda's picture

Don Johnson wrote:

The problem is that some people can't trust the Lord and a board of godly men to make the right decisions, so they leaked some of the story, inflaming people who don't know the whole story, to get their way by political pressure. 

First, didn't the apostles listen to the people, hear their cries for the need to support the widows, and create the position of a deacon?

Second, didn't the University, during our schooling and upon our graduation ask the alumni to help guide the school?

Third, aren't there good godly men and women amongst the alumni?

Fourth, should not those who are sending their kids to school and paying over $70K a year out of their own product at least have a right to provide input?

Fifth, board members at BJU have stepped down because of problems or been asked to step down.  To assume that all men are godly solely because they sit on a board of directors is probably not an accurate view.

Sixth, many would argue that the Board of Trustees are probably not representative of the general population impacted by the school.  Many are very old.  In fact, Shawn Kook who has no association with the school is 50 years old and Steve Pettit said he was the youngest by far. 

No one is asking the vote to be a popularity vote.  No one is saying that the board is handling this incorrectly.  We are only providing godly input to the board.  I think that is in our right and definitely in our mandate as alumni to do.  The fact that it has gone public, in my opinion is only a good thing.  By the way, it went public under the direction of the board.  Not everything has to be done behind a closed door.  The University is not a church.

Ron Bean's picture

The BJU student body rapidly declined during the last 3-4 years of BJ III's presidency. Likely contributing factors were the reduction in the number of Christian schools, particularly those of the same cultural mindset of BJU, and the fact that parents who had attended BJU in the 70's and 80's started to choose other schools for their children. BJIII retired, Stephen Jones briefly took the helm and started implementing change and was followed by Steve Pettit, who continued to implement change, while maintaining the school's strong doctrinal stand. The exodus od students stopped, leveled, and started slow growth that was interrupted by COVID.

While BJU started building relationships with groups like the GARBC and the IFCA, the FBFI was critical of the changes. Evidently the criticisms of the FBFI were messaged by SOME members of that group to the BJU board. 

This week the BJU board (described by one of its members as "dysfunctional") will be deciding whether to renew Steve Pettit's contract.

If SP's contract is not renewed, it is likely that there will be a quiet exodus of students as well as some faculty and staff. That would be damaging to BJU as I suspect there aren't a great number of prospective students waiting for BJU's standards to be returned to the pre-Pettit days. That would probably lead to the demise of BJU. Sadly there are some who have said they would rather have BJU close rather than continue its present course. There are some like Lou Martuneac, Camille Lewis, and the devil who will delight if that happens. There will also be some who  will claim the BJU closed because of the changes under SP's leadership when it's his leadership that kept the school alive.

 

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Dave White's picture

Ron Bean wrote:

This week the BJU board (described by one of its members as "dysfunctional") will be deciding whether to renew Steve Pettit's contract.

BJ III will decide!

W. T. O&#039;Harver's picture

Does Dr. Jones still have any legitimate authority at the University? Could he remove a sitting president in his role as chancellor? I was under the impression that his office was largely (if not totally) ceremonial.

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