Two months after Lancaster Bible College’s president called his would-be successor a “crystal clear” choice made by God, the college announced it is parting ways with its recently chosen candidate.

“By mutual agreement, the decision has been made by Dr. Ben Gutierrez and the Board of Trustees not to proceed with the planned presidential transition,” Dr. Philip A. Clemens, chair of the Board of Trustees of Lancaster Bible College, told LNP in a statement. “It is an honorable decision exclusively around incongruent leadership expectations by all involved and not moral failure,” he added.

An identical statement was shared with faculty, staff, students and alumni in an email.

Current Lancaster Bible College President Peter Teague, who was set to retire Aug. 1 after nearly 21 years in the role, agreed to remain in his role for one more year, according to Clemens.

The sudden change preceded what would have been a formal turnover of leadership at the end of the month. Gutierrez, a former co-provost and vice president of academic affairs at Liberty University, would have been LBC’s sixth president in 85 years.

In an April press release announcing Gutierrez’s appointment, Teague said, “We asked many times as a college community that God would make crystal clear His choice for our next president, believing in faith, and God has once again demonstrated His faithfulness in answering that prayer.”