06/30/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Bible College President In Hot Water For Anti-Immigrant Slur

Criswell College President Lamar Cooper angered many for referring to illegal immigrants as "wetbacks" on air before a radio-broadcasted class last Sunday.

Church officials say the remark was "off-hand" and "unfortunate."

The Dallas Morning News reports that Cooper was talking about the Arizona immigration law with a parishioner when he uttered the term.

Criswell board Chairman Michael Deahl told the Morning News that Cooper was "contrite." Church officials emphasized that the president's language was not part of his lesson that day.

The broadcast has been taken off-air indefinitely and the church is apologizing individually to each person who has complained about Cooper's language.

Criswell is a small Christian college in Dallas that serves to develop "God-called men and women in the Word (intellectually and academically) and by the Word (professionally and spiritually) for authentic ministry leadership -- all in obedience to Christ, all for the sake of the gospel, all for the glory of God."

UPDATE: Cooper issued an apology Thursday for his remark, according to Fox 4 News Dallas.

"I deeply regret having made the inappropriate, off-the-cuff statement," Cooper said. "I apologize to any and all who were offended by my comments, and ask for their forgiveness."