David Sills, Former Professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Accused of Grooming Student in Decade-Long Inappropriate and ‘Abusive’ Sexual Relationship

David Sills

A former Southern Baptist Theological Seminary student has come forward to detail how former professor David Sills, who resigned last year, engaged in an inappropriate and “abusive” sexual relationship with her that lasted for over a decade.

Jennifer Lyell, who now works as an executive for LifeWay Christian Resources, posted a confession online last week claiming how Sills, who has been married for 30 years and has three grandchildren, sexually abused her and even groomed her from the time she was a master of divinity student until just a few years ago.

In her post, the 41-year-old Lyell said that the tenured professor of missions and cultural anthropology first “sexually acted” against her during a mission trip in 2004. She stated that the pattern “continued and escalated for more than a decade following that trip.”

Sills resigned from the Kentucky-based school last May shortly after Lyell presented her claims to SBTS President Albert Mohler. But at Sills’ request, SBTS, the flagship seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention, did not make the details behind Sills’ resignation public at the time.

Lyell explained that she decided to go public with her story after hearing that Sills was appointed to serve as a missionary with a mission agency not affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.

Individuals who knew her story alerted that particular mission agency to the details behind Sills’ resignation from SBTS and Sills is no longer listed as a missionary for that organization.

“If I were not to come forward with this letter, a church or ministry who receives Dr. Sills’ CV and does an internet search for him would have no way to know the truth behind his resignation,” she wrote. “There are plenty of reasons to stay silent in a situation such as this. But we must not be silent. We must clearly tell the truth so that our churches and ministries are safe and as pure as they can be.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith