"The Abstract of Principles is the first official confession of Faith which Southern Baptists endorsed. As Southern Baptist Theological Seminary opened its doors in 1859 in Greenville, S. C. (later to be moved to its present location in Louisville, Ky), the principal founder and first President, James P. Boyce, was greatly concerned that the professors of the new school believe and teach within acceptable boundaries of recognized Southern Baptist orthodoxy. To insure this (so he thought) Boyce commissioned Basil Manly, Jr., to draw up an "abstract of doctrinal principles" which would be included in the official foundation documents of the seminary.

"The "Fundamental Laws" of the Southern Seminary, which were written into its charter on April 30, 1858, contain the follow section: "9. Every Professor of the Institution shall be a member of a regular Baptist Church; and all persons accepting Professorships in this Seminary, shall be considered by such acceptance, as engaging to teach in accordance with, and not contrary to, the Abstract of Principles hereinafter laid down." (Mueller, History of Southern Seminary, p. 238). This 20-point document remains today the doctrinal foundation of Southern Seminary, and its professors are still required to sign it before assuming their duties in the classroom." [1]

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