“Every denomination would have gone along with that statement 50 to 75 years ago,” said Battles, who has been on the board for 20 years. “But they’ve gone away from the Bible.”
The university commits to hiring only “Bible-believing Christians, who are dedicated to integrating biblical faith in their classes and who are in agreement with the University Statement of Faith.”
Employees must find premarital sex, adultery and homosexuality “unacceptable.” Employees of the university are also forbidden to drink alcohol in public.
Nelson Price, chairman of the board, said he has talked with the other trustees and feels they would all be willing to sign the statement.
“If you are going to say you are Southern Baptist, you should be Southern Baptist. I am a little surprised this is creating such a stir,” said Summerville’s David Parker, who is also on the board.
Battles also said concerns raised about the university possibly losing its accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools because of the faith statement is groundless.
She said the university is in good hands with Shorter President Donald Dowless. “This has nothing to do with SACS reviews,” Battles added.
SACS officials have declined to conjecture about what might happen.
What hurts Battles the most, she said, is that the students’ classes are being disrupted because of the controversy.
“This has nothing to do with the students,” Battles said. “They don’t have to sign a statement of faith. They don’t have to sign the lifestyle statement.”
About a dozen or so protesters lined Shorter Avenue in opposition to the statements Thursday, and more protests are expected today.
Price noted that the protests are particularly timely since today is Veterans Day, and it is “wonderful nation that allows such protests.”