In May of this year, hundreds of women who belong to congregations affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention signed a petition demanding “decisive action” against Dr. Paige Patterson, the then-president of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.
“The world is watching us all, brothers. They wonder how we could possibly be part of a denomination that counts Dr. Patterson as a leader,” the letter read. “The Southern Baptist Convention cannot allow the biblical view of leadership to be misused in such a way that a leader with an unbiblical view of authority, womanhood, and sexuality be allowed to continue in leadership.”
The letter was referring to comments Patterson made back in 2000 that resurfaced last summer where he advised women suffering from physical abuse from their spouses to stay in their marriages and to be “submissive in every way.”
In May, Patterson was fired from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary due to the resulting backlash over his comments, and from new information the seminary said it received regarding how Patterson handled an allegation of sexual abuse during his time as president of another seminary. There were no other details released about the matter.
In May, The Washington Post published an account by a woman who said she was raped while a student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2003. The woman, who later identified herself as Megan Lively, said that that when she reported the rape to the seminary, Patterson advised her not to go to the police and to forgive her assailant.
Now, Religion News Service is reporting that Patterson has found a new job. He’ll co-teach a one-week course called “Christian Ethics: The Bible and Moral Issues” at North Carolina’s Southern Evangelical Seminary this month. The course aims to teach seminary students how to apply the “timeless truths of God’s Word to the moral issues of our day,” according to the school’s president, Richard Land, who is Patterson’s co-teacher.
“I am more than honored to team-teach the class with my friend and colleague Dr. Paige Patterson,” Land said in a statement. “SES is delighted to be able to offer Christians both here and overseas this unique opportunity to be taught by one of the most significant Evangelical leaders of the past half-century.”
Since being ousted from the Texas seminary, Patterson has had no shortage of speaking gigs in the evangelical community.
In September, he was invited to speak at a revival meeting in Alabama, where The Washington Post reported he spent time at the pulpit body shaming an unnamed woman for being overweight and denouncing women who falsely accuse men of sexual misconduct. Studies have shown that the rate of false allegations of sexual assault is as low as 2 percent.
Patterson’s Christian ethics course will begin on October 15 on Southern Evangelical Seminary’s Charlotte campus.
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