By Bob Shapiro
Covenant Theological Seminary, the denominational seminary of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), has snubbed the church press in its efforts to report on the school. Officials at the institution have refused to supply photographs for the story on Dr. David C. Jones and his opposition to anti-sodomy laws.
According to the Editor of Presbyterian & Reformed News, an official of CTS twice indicated via telephone that the school would send the requested pictures. In one conversation, that person said that "we will be happy to cooperate."
However, in a letter dated December 8, 1999, the official wrote: "Having reviewed some of the material you have prepared for publication, we remain of the position that we have no desire to be featured in the Presbyterian and Reformed News. Therefore, I will not be forwarding to you the photographs you have requested."
In a December 16, 1999, phone call, the Editor asked Mr. Ben Homan, who is in charge of the Development Office, if it was official Seminary policy "not to cooperate with the press and not to supply what would normally be regarded as a professional courtesy." He stated: "Our position really is that we would rather not be featured in your publication." He declined to reveal why.
He also said that the President of the Seminary, Bryan Chapell, had discussed the matter with him that very morning. Mr. Homan stated: "I think we are of mutual agreement. We are of one mind in terms of not supplying the photographs you have requested. . . . Our opinion is that this would not be the best thing to supply the photographs."
By way of contrast, Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia gladly cooperated with regard to a request for pictures on a different story.
Covenant Seminary prides itself on developing "servant leadership." Its official envelopes carry the motto, "Embracing the message and manner of Jesus."