SAINT LOUIS — The Missouri Baptist University Board of Trustees voted Feb. 28, 2019 to forego further appeals in the ongoing litigation related to the University’s governance.
“After 17 years of litigation, it is time to move forward together and devote all of our efforts to the University’s primary mission of providing a distinctively Christ-centered education,” said Keith Ross, MBU president. “The University is committed to a positive and smooth transition as we welcome the MBC-elected Board of Trustees.”
The Missouri Baptist Convention filed suit against the MBU, Missouri Baptist Foundation, The Baptist Home, Windermere Baptist Conference Center and Word&Way in 2002 following moves by the five boards to shift to self-perpetuating status in 2000 and 2001. Windermere won its portion of the 2002 lawsuit, and the MBC voluntarily dropped the case against Word&Way in 2010. The MBC won its case against the Missouri Baptist Foundation in 2016.
The Missouri Western District Court of Appeals ruled February 19 in favor of the Missouri Baptist Convention and Missouri Baptist University. Earlier this week (Feb. 26), The Baptist Home board of trustees voted to cease further appeals. The board’s decision effectively ends the 17-year-old civil case between MBU and the MBC, replacing MBU’s current board with MBC-elected trustees.
“This is welcomed news for all Missouri Baptists,” said John Yeats, executive director of the MBC. “We are grateful and humbled that this day of renewed cooperation has emerged. We must pray for the duly elected trustees, the administration, faculty and students during the days of transition. We trust the days of transition will demonstrate the great hope we have for the generations to express a distinctive Christian worldview with excellence in whatever field of study they pursue.”
The outgoing board expressed its intent to work closely with the MBC-elected board during this change of governance. The transition will occur over the next several weeks.
Missouri Baptist University is a Christ-centered university located in Saint Louis. MBU offers more than 40 undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees in education, business and religion and its new terminal degree, the Doctor of Education. In addition to its 66-acre West St. Louis County campus, MBU offers degree programs at 10 regional learning centers throughout Saint Louis, in Southern Illinois and online.