Below is an open letter to Louisiana College Board of Trustees Chairman Gene Lee. It is my hope that this letter will be a useful testimony for the Board of Trustees and the community at large.
Please continue to pray for Louisiana College and the business that will take place in the coming days.
My name is Joshua Breland. I am a graduate of Louisiana College (B.A. Christian Studies, Minor: Biblical Languages) and current student at Louisiana College’s Caskey School of Divinity (Caskey). I attended Louisiana College for six semesters from the Spring of 2010 to the Fall of 2012.
I have been blessed and privileged to sit under the teaching of eight Christian Studies professors. Some of these professors are no longer teaching in the Christian Studies department as they have moved to Caskey. Others still remain in the Christian Studies department teaching the same courses I took for degree requirements. These professors include Drs: Quarles, Hiles, Shepherd, McFadden, Lister, Hardy, Cowan, and Whatley.
Throughout my three years at the undergraduate level I have not personally experienced a professor insist upon a Calvinistic understanding of Scripture, nor mention the word Calvinism, in class. I have also not heard of any complaints from students regarding an insistence upon belief in a Calvinistic understanding of Scripture. I have earned 48 hours of course credit inside the Christian Studies department over three years and have never experienced a professor nor student engage in any debate or discussion of Calvinism.
It is my experience that professors would not discuss matters of doctrine related to Calvinism. On more than one occasion, a professor refused to discuss certain doctrines associated with Calvinism. I suspect this aversion to speaking openly about certain Calvinistic doctrines was due to the climate of fear that has come over Louisiana College in the past two years. This climate of fear is hurting Louisiana College, academically, as students are not being taught a rounded curriculum of Christian doctrine which should include an understanding of historic Southern Baptist Calvinism. Without being exposed to this doctrine, students are not prepared for graduate level work. It is my hope that tolerance and unity can prevail at Louisiana College under the framework of the Baptist Faith Message 2000.
It is worth noting, the Louisiana College administration receives surveys from students each semester whereby students are asked if their professors are teaching each respected course in accordance with and not contrary to the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. I have never answered the question on the survey negatively. I also have never heard of any student voicing concerns about a professor’s teaching in regards to being contrary to the doctrines found in the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. If the record does show that Drs. Hiles, McFadden, and Lister have all taught in accordance with and not contrary to the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, why are these professors being terminated via contractual non-renewals?
In closing, it is my hope that this letter will serve you and the Louisiana College Board of Trustees as you all move forward in the business of our Baptist college. I also hope and request that answers be provided as to why beloved faculty of Louisiana College are being terminated via contractual non-renewals. The faculty, student body, and Louisiana College family deserves answers which the Louisiana College administration has thus far refused to provide. As the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, I ask you to lead in this matter and represent Louisiana Baptists and their common interest.
Thank you for your time and leadership in the days ahead.
Click here for an index of sites covering the L.C. debacle.