This is an old news story that has just recently came up again. I thought I had posted about it the first time around, but apparently not.
The original news story goes something like this: Sheri Klouda was a tenure-track professor of Hebrew at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary since 2002. When the time came up, she was denied tenure (essentially fired). Was she failing to perform her duties as a professor? Did she show herself as unqualified? No, neither of those reasons are why she was denied tenure. "While Klouda was initially allowed to teach men, [Seminary president Paige] Patterson and Southwestern now interpret the Timothy passage to mean that only men can instruct future pastors, according to a seminary official." (MSNBC also has good coverage of this) Another article points out that there still is a woman teaching in the school of theology- Patterson's wife, Dorothy. Of course, that's acceptable because she teaches women's studies classes attended only by women.
Bloggers have weighed in on the issue. Blogger Wade Burleson broke the story on his blog and complained to a newspaper:
"Sheri Klouda is not a pastor, she has not been ordained or licensed, she does not perform ministerial duties,... The same institution that conferred her degree and hired her has now removed her for gender. To me, that is a very serious, ethical, moral breach." Burleson is pastor of Emmanual Baptist Church in Enid, Okla., and a trustee of the International Mission Board.One of Klouda's classmates when they were in school wrote:
Her husband has chronic illnesses that require her to generate income for the family, so she "pulled and scraped and fought to get her education so that she could provide for her family," wrote [Ben] Cole, pastor of Parkview Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas.
"I suppose she could have tried to get a job as a secretary or a librarian, but this woman has gifts of intellect and scholarship that God intends her to use to their fullest potential," Cole wrote. "So she got two degrees from Criswell, both with honors. She received top honors at Southwestern Seminary, and she was able to buy a home and teach her students to love the biblical languages she spent years studying. But Paige Patterson thinks it’s Sheri Klouda’s job to be a homemaker…."
We've had the conversation between friends before on whether women should work on stay home, and this is an interesting case study. Should these beautiful gifts and intelligences given to serve God be ignored because 'women should not work outside the home'?
The new news is that she is suing the seminary & school president for gender discrimination.
And, do you recognize that doorway, that office number she's leaning up against? If you guessed Reade, you're right! After being dismissed, she's now teaching Old Testament at Taylor University! Hooray for Taylor!