R. Fowler White, administrator, faculty dean, and professor of New Testament at Knox Theological Seminary speaks with Gender-News regarding the school’s commitments on gender issues.
Editor’s note: The following is an interview with R. Fowler White, administrator, faculty dean, and professor of New Testament at Knox Theological Seminary in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. White spoke with Gender-News on behalf of the seminary regarding the school’s commitments on gender issues.
Gender-News: Does your school/organization have an official confessional article regarding gender roles in the home and church?
R. Fowler White: The Seminary is a division of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church (Presbyterian Church in America) and is governed by a Board of Directors that answers to the Session of CRPC. Therefore, Knox Seminary is committed to operate according to the Holy Scriptures and the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church in America, namely, the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Catechisms, and the Book of Church Order. The Constitution of the PCA affirms only the ordination of men to the church offices of elder and deacon.
GN: Would you describe your school/organization as committed to the egalitarian view of gender roles, the complementarian view, or neither?
White: We are decidedly complementarian.
GN: What are you personal convictions on this issue?
White: I am a complementarian.
GN: How does the issue of gender roles affect various practices at your school in making decisions such as hiring, selecting chapel speakers, assigning teaching responsibilities, assigning leadership responsibilities and the like?
White: It definitely affects numerous areas. Only men are eligible to be hired as faculty members, to speak in chapel, and to be given or accept teaching assignments at the Seminary. We do have a women’s student fellowship and an auxiliary led by women. All other positions at the seminary are not affected by gender considerations.
GN: Do gender issues seem to be a matter of concern among your students, faculty, and constituents?
White: Yes. There would be concern among all the groups mentioned that the seminary uphold the ordination of only men. Generally, there would be eagerness to see the gifts and graces of women exercised outside of the ordained offices, as long as it does not result in a woman teaching a man (men) or exercising authority over a man (men).
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