KANSAS CITY — Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (MBTS) continues to look to the future even as it addresses lingering questions generated by the Feb. 10 resignation of its fourth president, R. Philip Roberts.
MBTS Acting Interim President Robin Hadaway agreed to be interviewed by The Pathway on April 11 while explaining that he would be answering the set of pre-submitted questions in a manner that would satisfy the seminary’s attorney. By speaking with The Pathway he also demonstrated respect for the public’s right to know.
“I came into this position from a professor right to the acting president, so I wasn’t involved in the administration prior to that, other than I was the faculty representative to the trustees,” Hadaway said. “Dr. Roberts resigned and was not terminated for malfeasance. This relates to confidential matters within the board. Any reports about this I would say would be hearsay.”
Hadaway was asked to comment on any alleged financial impropriety that the seminary may now be struggling to overcome. His simple response was that “the seminary’s doing fine, and we are building on the progress of the past.” He said that anything beyond that would be characterized as rumors.
Evidence of fiscal health, he said, would be MBTS presenting an audit report to the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Executive Committee on Feb. 20, and having that audit report received.
The statement that Roberts made in the Kansas City Star, Hadaway said, is both sufficient and accurate. The newspaper quoted Roberts as saying he resigned because “he wanted to leave the seminary united in spirit and purpose.” Due to an agreement entered into by both the seminary and Roberts, “we cannot say anything derogatory or disparaging, nor would we want to,” Hadaway said.
And for those who may still have questions about the fiscal soundness of Midwestern, Hadaway offered evidence to the contrary.
“Our October Cooperative Program allotment will increase significantly because of our growth in the last three years,” he said.