What is Going on at Fresno Pacific University?


Fresno Pacific University is a Christian school sponsored by the Mennonite Brethren.  It also has a seminary.  As Tim Huber reports at Mennonite World Review, the seminary president and three faculty members have been removed from their positions after the school received pressure from some of its conservative constituents.   Apparently some of the concern centered on Greg Boyd’s view that the United States is not a Christian nation.

Here is a taste:

In response to concerns from Mennonite Brethren constituents, Fresno (Calif.) Pacific University has removed its seminary’s president and severed ties with three high-profile pastors.

FPU announced Aug. 15 that Terry Bren­singer, president of Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary since 2013, will leave his administrative role and become professor of pastoral education in January after a semester-long sabbatical.

The university also announced that Greg Boyd, Bruxy Cavey and Brian Zahnd — Anabaptist-oriented pastors who served as visiting lecturers — are no longer connected with the seminary’s Master of Arts in Ministry, Leadership and Culture program.

Formerly known as Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary, FPBS changed its name when it merged with FPU in 2010.

In an interview, Brensinger said his removal and the release of Boyd, Cavey and Zahnd were changes involving the university president and denominational leaders.

“These weren’t my choices or decisions,” he said. “The seminary president reports to the university president since the merger.”

A university press release attributed the changes to concerns by “a growing number of pastors and congregations” about the direction of the seminary and “some teaching positions of visiting lecturers.”

Read the rest here.

2 thoughts on “What is Going on at Fresno Pacific University?

  1. Hi Jason: I don’t think I jumped the gun. I was just commenting on the Mennonite World article that suggested Boyd’s view of Christian America may have rankled some constituents. There are Christian nationalist constituencies at EVERY Christian college in the country, even the one where I teach. I imagine that the Open Theism is issue is also a problem, but I focused on Christian nationalism because my blog covers that subject. We do not do many (if any) posts on Open Theism. I have always heard good things about Fresno Pacific so I was surprised that folks like
    Boyd and Cavey (who is very popular among Messiah College students) would be welcome.


  2. John, I think you jumped the gun on this one. Those that have observed these discussions for the past few months as they’ve transpired will tell you this is the first reference they’ve heard about any view on America. Most of the campus leadership would agree with you, that the America as a “Christian” nation narrative is overplayed in our circles. The primary issues at hand are Biblical authority, open theism, views on the resurrection, to name a few. We’re talking about a university that is 40% Hispanic, 10% international and publickly backs it DACA students. Hardly Liberty/Trump U.


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