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Southeastern Seminary to Rename Facilities, Programs After SBC Sexual Abuse Report Names Patterson, Hunt

SEBTS
Ildar Sagdejev (Specious), CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In a letter to students, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) president Danny Akin announced plans to rename some of the school’s facilities and programs in the wake of their namesakes appearing in the recent Guidepost Solutions report of how the SBC Executive Committee handled allegations of sexual abuse from 2000 to 2021. 

“On Monday I let you know that the Southeastern Cabinet and I were discussing the use of Johnny Hunt’s name in association with various parts of the life of the seminary. After these discussions, I made the decision to remove Dr. Hunt’s name from any association with programs, facilities, and other items. Therefore, our staff started and continues to work on that process,” Akin wrote. 

Monday, May 23, was only one day after the Guidepost Solutions report revealed credible allegations against Hunt, who is believed to have sexually assaulted the wife of a younger pastor and mentee in 2010. 

Hunt had been a longtime leader within the SBC, serving as a pastor of First Baptist Woodstock Church in Georgia for 30 years. He also served as SBC president from 2008 to 2010, and as Senior Vice President of Evangelism & Leadership for the SBC’s North American Mission Board (NAMB) from 2019 until he stepped down on May 13, 2022, roughly a week before the Guidepost Solutions report was released. Hunt holds a degree from SEBTS. 

Hunt’s name had been associated with an academic chair at the school, as well as its 5-year BA/MDiv program, among other things.

RELATED: Hiding Behind Issues of Polity, SBC Leaders Ignored, Silenced, Ostracized Sexual Abuse Victims for Years, Report Says

Akin also informed students that he intends to remove the name of Paige Patterson from campus life. 

Patterson, another former SBC icon, was one of the architects of the so-called “Conservative Resurgence” within the denomination. Patterson was the SBC president from 1998 to 2000. He served as president of SEBTS from 1992 to 2003, going on to serve as president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) until 2018.

Patterson was removed from his role at SWBTS for failure to report credible allegations of sexual assault on female students at the school, writing in an email in 2015 that he intended to meet alone with one female survivor so that he could “break her down.” 

RELATED: 40 Years in the Making: A Timeline of the Southern Baptists’ Sexual Abuse Crisis

Patterson was also implicated in covering up the sexual abuse of fellow “Conservative Resurgence” SBC leader, Paul Pressler, in 2018. 

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dchamberlain@outreach.com'
Dale Chamberlain (M.Div) is the Content Manager for ChurchLeaders.com. He is also a blogger and podcaster who is passionate about helping people tackle ancient truths in everyday settings. He lives in Southern California with his wife Tamara and their two sons.