Congratulations. You are to be commended for starting your journey toward a doctorate in archeology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. I was surprised when I read of your matriculation and even more surprised that Southwestern’s President Paige Patterson is supportive. Dr. Patterson is a fair man. Just ask all the professors he fired at Southeastern. Not far down the road from Southwestern is Broadway Baptist Church…a church that he helped usher out of the Southern Baptist Convention. I heard that you signed a moral conduct statement. I want you to know that all of those stipulations are negotiable and forgivable except for the women in ministry, the having sex with men and the mental illness parts. I experienced all of these stipulations while a student at an almost identical institution…Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
I remember one of my classes at Southern berating a woman who opened up about her desire to pastor a church. Everyone called this woman a “strong woman of God” until she expressed a desire to pastor. The calls of “heretic,” “backslider,” being “biblically illiterate” and the worst “egalitarian” were not far behind. I found the woman crying down the hallway a little while after the class concluded, but I was too scared to go up and apologize for the way the class acted. I recommend you stay afraid, follow your fear and you should do well in your doctoral program. From all the reports I have read, you are at the very least able to pass as a man. I recommend you keep the perceived masculinity up and stay away from the home economics courses that Southwestern offers. Dr. Patterson would not approve of any slips of masculinity.
One of my classmates at Southern told me he was gay while I was a student there. I found out after a Southern Baptist pastor on the Board of Trustees hit on him in the gym. It was an awkward moment for my friend and he didn’t know what to do…so he told me. I recommend you keep any attraction you have to guys under wraps. Your penis is often your worst enemy at a Southern Baptist school. Don’t masturbate either…because you never know when a naked dude is going to pop into your head. Dr. Patterson would not approve of any thoughts or masturbating associated with dudes.
I recommend that if you get depressed, struggle with bipolar disorder or any type of mental illness…don’t tell anybody if you want to stay in school. I almost killed my self on multiple occasions while a student at Southern and I was told to read my Bible and pray about it. When you feel like you are losing your mind, just read the Bible and pray so that eventually you will be so psychotic that you will not realize all of the unbelievably harmful things going on all around you. This technique worked for me at Southern. Dr. Patterson would not be happy with any medicated and managed mental illness on campus.
Quick recap…stay perceived as masculine, stay away from dudes real or perceived and don’t medicate or manage any mental illnesses and you will be fine.
Just remember that you are at an institution that makes Brunei look like a utopian paradise.
Rev. Jeff Hood
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2009