Ergun Caner’s Successor – Surprise, Surprise…

BREAKING NEWS:  Ergun Caner's successor has been named.  Here's the announcement hot off the press…


"Liberty University co-founder Elmer Towns has been named dean of the school’s Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, officials announced at opening convocation Wednesday."


Towns, 77, replaces Ergun Caner, whose contract as seminary dean was not renewed for this year following an LU investigation into claims Caner made about his upbringing and background as a Muslim.


The committee concluded the Caner “has made factual statements that are self-contradictory.”


Is anyone surprised? 


According to the linked article, Towns was responsible for hiring Ergun Caner in the school of religion, which took place in 2003.  In just two short years, Caner was promoted to dean of the seminary. 


Towns continues to be one of Caner's staunchest supporters.  Here's what he had to say regarding Caner:  “The punishment was commensurate with the problem, so we’re ready to move on. I really don’t want to talk about him. I want to look toward the future.”


In an interview yesterday, Jerry Falwell, Jr., President of Liberty University, stated that while Caner will remain on the teaching faculty, he will not be in the classroom this semester.  Instead, he will be teaching online classes.  However, he could begin teaching on-campus classes beginning next semester, according to Falwell.


“We think the seminary is going to have a great year this year, which shows it wasn’t built on one man, it was built on a whole team,” stated Towns.


Towns, who co-founded Liberty University with Rev. Jerry Falwell, Sr., in 1971, served as dean of the seminary from 1979 to 1992.  During his first tenure as dean, the seminary became nationally accredited and began its first doctoral program.


During his second tenure, Towns has three lofty goals, as stated in they linked article.  They include:


"Increasing online and on-campus enrollment to 10,000 students by 2013, which coincides with the seminary’s 40th anniversary. Last semester, the seminary enrolled approximately 500 on-campus students and 6,800 students online."

Raising "$4 million to $5 million for a standalone building to house the seminary. Currently, classes meet on the second floor of the old Ericsson building, a facility Falwell called “not ideal by any stretch.”

Sharpening Liberty’s focus as a “ministry-oriented seminary,” and bringing it into the digital age by adding state-of-the-art technology to the classroom setting.


Towns is fully committed to the long-term success of the seminary at Liberty University.  The article ends with this remark by Towns:  “I don’t plan to retire. I don’t see retirement in the Bible, I see that you’re supposed to do all you can do."


Ergun Caner’s Successor – Surprise, Surprise… — 13 Comments

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    No wonder he stated that he doesn’t want to talk about Caner. His handling of this affair, especially his asinine comments that Caner had not done anything wrong, should have disqualified him for this position. He doesn’t seem to understand the bedrock Christian virtue of truth and honesty. He is just another ho-hum sycophant of an old way of doing things.

    To me, this does not represent Christianity; just good old boy politics that do not resemble anything that I read in the NT. Liberty has put its best foot forward and it has been found wanting. I would never recommend that school to anyone who has a desire to know and follow the truth. This whole thing is, and was, disgraceful. By the way, I do not intend to forget about it. Anyone who does not learn from history will continue to be broadsided.

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    In many ways they are attempting to rewrite history. How can one move on when one never learned anything from their sin nor repented of it?

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    I am so disappointed. It is the same old, same old. And so many will promptly forget the events that led up to this, including Towns’ ridiculous statements. And, then, we wait, for the next problem. I predict that there will be more nonsense because they have not dealt appropriately with this one. I would rather my kids go to a secular school where the hypocrisy is at least understood and front and center. I hate when supposed Christians masquerade as God’s representatives and do this number.

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    “I would rather my kids go to a secular school where the hypocrisy is at least understood and front and center. I hate when supposed Christians masquerade as God’s representatives and do this number”

    You are singing my tune. I figured out early on it was easier to explain heathen behavior to my daughter than that of our supposed fellow Christians. In most cases, the heathens are more honest!

    So, next time our fellow believers twist truth or explanations of bad behavior, think about how to explain it all to an 8 year old, first.

    I saw this type of response to scandal quite a few times. They make a show of dealing with the problem but the real problem is much deeper and let’s face it, Caner would not have gotten by with all these lies for 9 years without Liberty going along with it. They were riding the gravy train of supposed success because Caner was their show piece.

    Elmer is part of the problem. NOT the solution so we can see that Liberty learned nothing.

    Yes, many will forget or never know about all this because of the focus on repairing image. It is all about the institutions and their leaders. It has NOTHING TO DO WITH CHRIST except they USE HIS NAME for their own benefit.

    I am hoping more parents will decide not to fund this phony institution with it’s ‘honor codes’ for students but not leaders. But it is hard to admit that one has believed in a fake. Most folks want to save face and will argue the entire institution is not bad so they will continue to support it.

    Really? If “leadership” is so important, how could they think otherwise?

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    Thy Peace, Thanks for the link! EXCELLENT. I hope everyone will listen to this podcast!!!

    It might surprise folks to know that Karen Campbell has been known as a comp for many years. I used to read her TW site.

    I am wondering if she is more aware that… what is known now as comp doctrine….. is really patriarchy with Christian make up on? I am wondering if she now considers mutual submission as biblical?

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    What a mess. WHAT A MESS!!

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    I am a faculty member at LU and am so embarassed by this situation. In the School Of Religion faculty meeting Elmer Towns read a prepared statement about “How we love Calvinists” (but then said “off the record we would never hire one”) and that our “story” to the public is that “Ergun is on the Faculty, and can come back if he wants to” whatever that means…Either he is there or he isn’t…and Ergun was not on campus in any of the SOR meetings or required for Faculty orientation events…These guys just keep making it worse and are hoping he can hide till it all just goes away..And it is not going to go away…The students and the school deserve an apology from this guy, and he has refused to do that and remain as arrogant as ever. LU should have just recognized publicly that they were duped as well as the many that he told his tall tales to and dumped him rather than let this develop into a soap opera of deceit and cover ups…

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    Have to stay anon

    Perhaps you can be the Calvin or the Luther and stand uncompromising in the face of compromisers. Please be a light to your students. Teach them to live for the One who is the Truth. Teach them to live a life of radical love and truth and to reject weak willed men who seem more like Pharisees than Christ followers. Thank you for having the courage to say something here. You are in my prayers.

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    have to stay anon,

    I am humbled that you would take time out of your busy schedule to read our faith watch blog and that you would comment.

    Thank you for being so candid in your remarks. This is what your students need – honesty and not cowardice.

    May God bless your ministry at Liberty. I’m praying for you, too!

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    Thanks Deb, There are actually quite a few of us here that feel the same way, and unfortunately cannot express openly a lot of things that would cost us our jobs. I personally feel I am better off to remain here to help those that I can rather than lose my position and not be available to do what I can from the inside.

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    Thank you for sharing your presence with us. We shall pray for all of you.

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    My daughters graduated from a Christian school that has strong ties to Liberty, and each of them has friends who are attending there now.

    For their sakes and for the sake of the university and seminary, I do pray that Liberty will address these issues honestly. Dee and I are praying for transparency.