Jimmy Swaggart Bible College May Shed Evangelist’s Name
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) _ A college founded by Jimmy Swaggart plans to rid itself of the fallen evangelist’s name.
Jimmy Swaggart Bible College and Seminary may have a new name in place by the spring semester, college President Bernard Rossier said Thursday.
″We hope to have something done by then. Nothing is final though,″ he said.
School officals announced a new name - World Evangelism Bible College and Seminary - at a meeting last week to discuss college accreditation, said James Rogers of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Rossier wouldn’t say why the change was being considered. He referred all questions to Swaggart’s son, Donnie, at the Jimmy Swaggart Ministries Office.
Donnie Swaggart did not return calls Thursday.
The college is a subsidiary of Jimmy Swaggart Ministries and has its campus on the grounds of the ministries’ Baton Rouge headquarters.
It flourished during the 1980s, reaching an enrollment of 1,450 students in the fall of 1987. Enrollment plummeted after Swaggart left the Assemblies of God in 1988 after being photographed with a New Orleans prostitute.
The college enrolled 370 students this fall semester.
The college shut down programs in music, physical education, secretarial science, and communications in October after a woman who said she was a prostitute was found in Swaggart’s car in Indio, Calif., laid-off instructors said. It also disbanded its basketball team.
Last month, the college laid off three Bible professors and an English professor, effective at the end of the fall semester.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which accredits colleges in 11 Southeastern states, has granted the college a one-year extension in its attempt to gain accreditation, Rogers said.
Swaggart has taken a leave from the pulpit.