University of the Cumberlands & Kentucky Baptist Convention Take Steps to End Covenant Agreement

The University of the Cumberlands is working with Kentucky Baptist Convention leaders to take steps to dissolve their voluntary covenant agreement.

The proposal, which is subject to the approval of messengers at the 2018 KBC annual meeting, provides for UC to elect its own trustees.

During the summer, the university approached Paul Chitwood, executive director of the KBC, and the KBC Mission Board’s administrative committee to request a modification to the 1986 agreement. A key change requested by UC leaders is sole responsibility for the appointment of trustees. At present, all UC trustees are elected by the KBC.

“Cumberlands has many distinguished alumni and friends who could provide expertise and resources for the university,” said Larry L. Cockrum, the university’s president. “At present, the university is unable to include some of these outstanding alumni on our board of trustees because they are Methodist, Presbyterian or members of other Christian denominations.”

The KBC’s administrative committee, meeting in August, decided it wasn’t in the best interest to maintain a formal agreement with UC if the convention had no voice in the selection of its trustees. After continued discussions, the university’s trustees voted unanimously to approve a request to dissolve the covenant agreement.

“University of the Cumberlands is grateful to the KBC for our many years of shared ministry and for the generous support of Kentucky Baptists,” Cockrum said. “Cumberlands remains committed to fulfilling its mission as a Baptist institution encouraging intellectual and spiritual growth, leadership and service through educational programs enriched with Christian values.”

While asking the KBC to approve the termination of the covenant agreement, Cumberlands’ board expressed its hope that the university and the convention will find new ways to cooperate in future ministries.

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Source: Baptist Press