Marshall Resigns Central Seminary Presidency, Citing "Ethical Lapse" - Word&Way

Marshall Resigns Central Seminary Presidency, Citing “Ethical Lapse”

Molly Marshall
Molly Marshall

On May 16, 2019, Dr. Molly Marshall announced her retirement in 2020 as president of Central Seminary to their board of trustees.

Central Seminary President Dr. Molly T. Marshall announced her resignation effective March 1, citing “an ethical lapse that betrayed my stewardship of office” in a statement released by the seminary today (March 30).

Earlier, Dr. Marshall had announced her retirement in 2019 and was scheduled to step down at the end of this academic year. In February, the Board of Trustees of Central Baptist Theological Seminary elected Dr. Pamela R. Durso  as the seminary’s 11th president, set to begin her her duties on June 1, 2020.

Interim President Rev. Dr. Robert E. Johnson made the following statement in an announcement released by the seminary on Monday, March 30:

It is unfortunate to have to share with you that the Central Seminary board of trustees has accepted the resignation of Rev. Dr. Molly T. Marshall from all duties as president and professor of theology and spiritual formation.  See the following statement from Dr. Marshall dated March 23:

“I offered my resignation effective March 1, 2020 to the Executive Committee because of an ethical lapse that betrayed my stewardship of office, which I voluntarily surfaced to governance because of my desire to protect the seminary.  I humbly apologize to the board and the rest of the Central constituency and seek forgiveness.  My deepest prayer is for the flourishing of the school and her new president.”

As this is a personnel matter, please understand that due to confidentiality, we cannot discuss specifics. As we confront the many challenges presented by this circumstance, we do acknowledge Molly’s leadership of the last sixteen years. However, given recent developments, we have cancelled the retirement celebration.

We are now focused on the Seminary’s future and making immediate adjustments to stop the spread of the coronavirus. As Provost and Dean of the Faculty, I have been asked by the board of trustees to assume the duties of the president’s office on an interim basis. I have accepted and will serve in that capacity until recently named Rev. Dr. Pamela R. Durso arrives to begin her tenure as president on June 1.

We thank the board for demonstrating transparency in this process and upholding the standards Central Baptist Theological Seminary holds dear. Please keep all involved in your prayers.

You remain always in our thoughts as you manage your personal, and in some cases ministry challenges, of our current world pandemic and resulting economic crisis.  Know that each of you remain in our prayers for your health and safety in the days ahead.

Most sincerely,
Rev. Dr. Robert E. Johnson
Interim President, Provost, and Dean of the Faculty had been scheduled to release a six-episode documentary podcast on the life and work of Marshall titled “Brother Molly.” on March 24. The podcast was put on hold in light of the announcement by Central Seminary.

EthicsDaily Executive Director Mitch Randall acknowledged communication with Marshall, stating  “In light of recent developments, we have decided to delay release of the podcast while we determine the next best steps for this production on the life and ministry of Molly.”