On Facebook yesterday, Dickerson posted:
"I am very thankful for the valuable life lessons I learned while attending Brewton-Parker College. However, I am saddened and embarrassed by the new administration and by the direction in which the school is moving. Accordingly, I today tendered my resignation from the National Alumni Board." Jeff Dickerson, on FB, 3/10/14You can see Dickerson's name listed here on the Brewton-Parker website as a member of the board. I'm sure it will be removed very quickly. I have captured a portion of the NAB member list showing Dickerson's name before it is removed today.
Further down in the Facebook thread, in response to friends wanting more information on his reasons for the resignation, Dickerson provided the following links:
Ergun Caner, Ex-Muslim Evangelical Leader, Exposed As Fake (by Walid Zafar)
Ergun Caner and the Integrity of Baptist Institutions (by Associated Baptist Press).
Bravo for Dickerson. Dickerson is no Muslim, he is no blogger in his mother's basement, nor is he a Calvinist. No, he is a defense attorney for a prominent law firm in Atlanta that is sorely disappointed that his college has gone off the deep end and hired Ergun Caner.
Meanwhile, to make things worse for Brewton Parker grads, students, and Georgia Baptists, Ergun Caner provided his "vision" for Brewton Parker in an interview he gave to Gerald Harris. This "vision" has to leave all those associated with Christian education scratching their heads - including the members of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) who will be visiting Brewton Parker any day now to re-evaluate Brewton Parker's probationary status.
Ergun Caner seems to be confusing the function of an accredited college with that of a church or seminary. It seems he is more interested in BP being a center of indoctrination and not education. These quotes of his "vision" for Brewton Parker cannot possibly help their standing with SACS:
"Brewton-Parker has had some financial issues and athletic issues, but there is not one thing that can’t be solved by an altar call, by a revival."Really? An "altar call" will solve the issues of a college dealing with accreditation issues? So what are these "financial issues" to which Caner refers? Let's read them right from the SACS disclosure statement after their last assessment, which extended their probation. SACS says Brewton Parker:
"..had failed to demonstrate compliance with Core Requirement 2.11.1 (Financial resources), Comprehensive Standard 3.10.1 (Financial stability), Comprehensive Standard 3.10.3 (Control of Finances), and Federal Requirement 4.7 (Title IV program responsibilities) of the Principles of Accreditation. To continue as an accredited institution, despite failing to comply with the standards, the institution was able to meet the provisions of good cause.Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm not sure what "altars" and "revivals" have to do with any of these problems cited by SACS that, if they are not corrected by now, could result in Brewton Parker losing their SACS-accreditation this June.
Unfortunately, Caner's remarks get worse:
"We’ve got to invert the order of our priorities....The most important thing is not the degrees we give or the classroom; it is the altar. The classroom will take care of itself if you’ve got an altar, if you get the students back. "What does that even mean? What is SACS supposed to think when they read the president of Brewton Parker uttering such unclear "vision", claiming the classroom will "take care of itself" if you get the students to "an altar"?
Sorry, but it gets even worse, as Caner shows he is much less interested in education than he is in religious indoctrination:
"I had rather cancel class and have chapel go on all day. I had rather have an all night cottage prayer meeting than have a symposium. We are going to have education that is focused on wisdom more than knowledge. Anybody can give you knowledge, but only God can give you wisdom."Of course. Chapel over class. "Cottage prayer meetings" over symposiums. I doubt SACS is familiar with "cottage prayer meetings". If they aren't, here is how to conduct a "cottage prayer meeting" according to the Tennessee Baptists.
And for good measure, here is Ergun Caner's vision for Brewton Parker: :
"I want to see Brewton-Parker brought back to its glory days – to a invitation-giving, soul winning, sinners’ prayer leading, hope-to-a-local-church, inerrantist, general atonement, mission obsessed ministry."But Caner knows this is all just religious-speak red-meat to the Georgia Baptists. Caner knows that retaining accreditation is not about altars or chapels or "cottage prayer meetings" or revivals. It is dedicated educators implementing systems in the college that will meet SACS standards - which I'm sure has been going on by dedicated staff and educators at BP way before Ergun Caner was dumped in their laps.
But if BP does retain their accreditation, Caner will likely claim victory, that God did it because Ergun Caner came on the scene to save the day and lead them "back to the altar". If BP does retain their accreditation - which they probably will - it is because of the leadership of the school before Caner and those on staff working hard to correct the deficiencies. Not because of altars or revivals or a miracle of God.
I would say this: Georgia Baptists ought to get to an altar and have a cottage prayer meeting - so they can pray for Brewton Parker's future under the leadership of Ergun Caner.