Sam Hodges of the Dallas Morning News
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth has filed a motion in federal court, asking for dismissal of the suit recently filed former professor Sheri Klouda. She sued the school and president Paige Patterson, claiming she was dismissed from her tenure-track slot as a biblical Hebrew professor solely because she’s a woman.
The motion to dismiss argues in part that, “The seminary’s relationship with its professors has been held by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to be the same relationship as a church has with its ministers. Any decision the seminary may make regarding the employment of one of its professors is an ecclesiastical decision, which this court is bound to accept out of deference for the free exercise of religion, protected by the First Amendment.”