Dr. Rodney L. Hammer is the Executive Director of Missions for the Blue River – Kansas City Baptist Association and a former IMB missionary. He has submitted this letter to the Trustees and asked that we post it here.
Dear Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Trustee,
The purpose of my writing is to urge you and the Board of Trustees to seek another candidate/nominee for the next President of Midwestern. I understand from others that Dr. Allen is a fine Christian gentleman, a very sharp and talented brother in the Lord and gifted in many ways. However, he is not qualified to serve as President of Midwestern Seminary at this point in time and should not be elected.
I am a friend and ardent supporter of Midwestern Seminary, and a two time graduate. Dr. Hadaway had me preach in chapel this past spring, I worked closely with Dr. Anthony Allen in raising funds for the new chapel, and I love and endorse the seminary enthusiastically. However, there are questions I believe that need to be answered by the search committee regarding their process.
Why did a promised thorough process result in a search that only lasted approximately four months from beginning to end for such a critical position?
Did the search committee rely only on applications? Did they take referrals?
Most importantly, did they conduct a professional level, nationwide search for qualified candidates (not just looking into those who applied or were referred but an intentional search and discovery process SBC-wide to surface qualified persons who could be recruited for consideration)?
Though bright and gifted and of excellent reported character, Dr. Allen is not qualified because…
……his executive leadership experience is inadequate, and his demonstrated capability or track record of leadership is insufficient to lead an entity such as a SBC Seminary.
…he is only three years removed from being an administrative assistant
…his pastoral leadership record reveals a lack of current ability to move a church or organization forward sufficiently
…the multiple stakeholders and constituencies, leadership and selection of staff and faculty, administrative and organizational demands, communication and change leadership necessary are beyond his current capabilities and experience.
Additionally, there are more qualified candidates nationwide and even on campus. Your excellent faculty, staff, alumni and students and the churches of the Midwest and SBC deserve a more seasoned leader. The challenges of the seminary at this time require someone who has a proven track record of leading an organization or entity in vision, growth, change and administration. Our seminary cannot afford another failure at its most senior level. We cannot afford to have someone learning on the job.
In conclusion, I would like to recommend that the Trustee Board thank the current committee for their time invested, not elect Dr. Allen, and name a new search committee who will conduct a nationwide, professional search for sufficiently qualified candidates and pray it through until a leader is called of God that reflects the executive leadership capabilities needed for one of our six SBC Seminaries.
Again, this is in no way aimed personally at the Search Committee’s nominee and is written from a heart of concern and love for our seminary. Many of your alumni, SBC constituents, faculty, and friends of the seminary are very concerned. We need you to re-examine and redirect this search process.
Thank you for your prayerful consideration.
Dr. Rodney L. Hammer