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Southeastern Baptist seminary mandates sexual abuse training

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Southeastern Seminary
/
via Flickr
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in December 2018.

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest will require students take sexual abuse training.

The move is in response to multiple allegations of abuse in Southern Baptist churches.

In a statement, seminary president Danny Akin called sexual abuse “a sinful act.”

“Southeastern is committed to preventing sexual abuse and training students to respond well to survivors with proper care and advocacy,” Akin said.

Students will learn strategies to prevent and respond to sexual abuse through a mandatory course.

“Students in the course will receive a biblical and theological foundation for protecting the vulnerable as well as instruction on how to recognize vulnerabilities in ministry. The course is not only designed to inform students about proper responses — how to care well — but also about prevention, creating a culture of prevention and open communication,” the seminary said.

An independent investigation released earlier this year found the Southern Baptist Convention mishandled abuse claims and mistreated victims for decades. A list of sex abuse cases published by the church included 30 names with connections to North Carolina congregations.

Leaders of the nation's largest protestant denomination have also promised to track pastors and church employees with credible accusations of abuse. The denomination's new president has promised to expose sexual predators. Bart Barber told the convention's annual gathering last month “the hunters are now the hunted.”

Bradley George is WUNC's AM reporter. A North Carolina native, his public radio career has taken him to Atlanta, Birmingham, Nashville and most recently WUSF in Tampa. While there, he reported on the COVID-19 pandemic and was part of the station's Murrow award winning coverage of the 2020 election. Along the way, he has reported for NPR, Marketplace, The Takeaway, and the BBC World Service. Bradley is a graduate of Guilford College, where he majored in Theatre and German.
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