Many religious colleges strive to have presidents who reflect the faith of the college, but many others — especially from denominations that are small — have grown more flexible on the issue.
It appeared last month that Erskine College — the only college affiliated with the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, a branch of the Presbyterian faith that is closer in beliefs to the many evangelical Christian denominations than are other strands of the Presbyterian faith — was on the verge last month of accepting its first non-Presbyterian president.
But the candidate, who is not known but sources said was the vice president of a Christian college, withdrew because of objections to his Baptist faith. While the college has had presidents who are not ARP members (as the Associate Reform Presbyterian branch is known), it has not had a non-Presbyterian.
Further complicating matters, the Erskine board chair resigned on Thursday, making it unclear who will decide how to proceed on a new search. A spokesman for the college said that no search plans had been announced, but that it was his understanding that the search would start fresh.