Dear Friends of Westminster,
I am writing today to speak on behalf of the leadership of Westminster Seminary. This is in response to the recent public announcement by Dr. Lane Tipton regarding the circumstances surrounding the ending of his tenure as a professor. Dr. Tipton has characterized our statement regarding the reason for the termination of his employment as not true. Suffice it to say that there was nothing untrue about our statement concerning the reasons for the termination of Dr. Tipton’s employment. We are confident that he is fully aware of the reasons for his dismissal. They were communicated to him at length prior to the Board of Trustees’ unanimous decision to end his employment, as was the seminary’s intention to report the reasons to Dr. Tipton’s presbytery. That communication to the Presbytery of Philadelphia has now been sent.
In reaching these difficult decisions, we are aware that there will be honest and difficult questions from our students, alumni, and friends. The seminary leadership laments the disappointment and confusion that the absence of desired information may cause amongst those who love Dr. Tipton and love the seminary. We are also aware that numerous opinions have been voiced about this matter in various forms of media. We know that some of those opinions assume knowledge of causes and impute motives that are inaccurate. The fact remains the unanimous action of the seminary’s board, composed of both OPC and PCA elders, was reached for just reasons all of which were fully communicated to Dr. Tipton.
Accordingly, we remain convinced that engaging in an online dispute about these matters will not produce the kind of clarity or resolution that is good for the church, the seminary, or anyone involved. Rather, we are persuaded that the patterns of speech prescribed for us in the Scriptures lead us, at this time, to say no more publicly than we have.
I conclude by humbly asking for your patience with the seminary’s processes, your trust where we are unable to provide you with the information you desire, and, especially, for your prayers as we seek to remain faithful to our King, and to the teaching and mission entrusted to us 90 years ago.
In Christ’s service,
Peter A. Lillback
President, Westminster Theological Seminary