Sam Horn The Master's University and Seminary
Dr. Sam Horn who just resigned as president of The Master's University and Seminary

Sam Horn Resigns as President of The Master’s University and Seminary, Capping Three Years of Tumult

By Julie Roys

Dr. Sam Horn has resigned as president of The Master’s University and Seminary (TMUS), the school and university associated with John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church.

According to the school’s website, Horn submitted his resignation on Friday, but the change was not announced until Monday.

Horn’s resignation caps three years of tumult and transition at TMUS, after the school was placed on probation in 2018 by its accrediting body, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

As part of the effort to comply with WSCUC, MacArthur stepped down as TMUS president—a position he had held for four decades—and moved into the role of chancellor emeritus. Taking MacArthur’s place on an interim basis was Dr. John Stead, who was replaced less than a year ago by Horn.

Sometime over the past year, WSCUC lifted its probation on TMUS.

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TMUS did not give a reason for Horn’s resignation, but merely stated that the “board is grateful for several important institutional milestones that were reached this past year.” These milestones include the school’s reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic and reaffirmation of accreditation by WSCUC.

“This past year has been one of the most challenging years in higher education and we are grateful for our entire leadership team during this unprecedented time,” TMUS stated. “In the coming days, the Board of Directors will appoint an interim president and begin the process of looking for the next president.”

In 2020, TMUS received $4.35 million in federal Paycheck Protection Program loan funds.

This past January, a student at The Master’s Seminary died after contracting COVID-19. According to a former student at TMUS, the school flagrantly violated COVID-19 guidelines and mocked students who complied with them.

TMUS has not responded to numerous requests for comment concerning its handling of COVID.

Of the five reasons cited by WSCUC in 2018 for placing TMUS on probation, four related to MacArthur’s former role as president of TMUS.

In its report, WSCUC stated that the TMUS board lacked independence because many of the board members were employed by TMUS or another organization MacArthur heads.

WSCUC also found the management of TMUS was characterized by “a climate of fear, intimidation, bullying, and uncertainty.” And it found conflicts of interest with MacArthur’s son-in-law “supervising a contract from which he benefits, as well as institutional aid that exceeds typical aid awards being awarded to friends and relatives.”

Additionally, WSCUC found that MacArthur operating as CEO of the school was not in compliance with accrediting standards and required that the school name a full-time administrator as CEO for reaccreditation.

Horn formerly was the executive vice president for enrollment and ministerial advancement at Bob Jones University. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Bible and a PhD in New Testament Interpretation from Bob Jones. He also has a DMin in expository preaching from The Master’s Seminary.

When Horn was hired, the board of directors at TMUS, which unanimously approved Horn’s hiring, described Horn as “a Master’s man” and said it was “convinced that God has brought us the right leader to guide these schools into the future.”

The board added it was grateful “Dr. MacArthur will remain Chancellor Emeritus, providing the extraordinary spiritual wisdom that has served us so well for nearly four decades.”

UPDATE: 

The Roys Report has just received audio of the announcement of Dr. Horn’s resignation given in the chapel at The Master’s University (TMU) today. In the announcement, Abner Chou, John F. MacArthur endowed fellow, implies that Horn resigned because of complaints that Horn was “quick tempered or pugnacious,” and therefore, disqualified from service as an elder. Chou states:

You might remember 1 Peter 5, it says we don’t Lord it over others. And we don’t exercise authority in a way that’s quick tempered or pugnacious. You might remember that from Titus chapter one, verse seven. That is God’s Word. Those qualifications are non-negotiable. We understand that. You can’t bend on those things. We can’t accept when people do. Those qualifications—TMU takes them very seriously, because we recognize that they lie at the core of our credibility as spiritual leaders.

Sadly, in recent weeks, significant concerns from multiple sources—faculty, staff, and students—were raised about the nature of Dr. Horn’s leadership along the lines that I just mentioned, and strictly along those lines. Does this make sense to everybody? Do not read anything beyond it—just the things that I just listed.

These concerns were brought to the attention of senior administration of both TMU and TMS. They were shared with human resources, as well as the board of directors. Having been notified that these concerns have been raised, Dr. Horn determined that the best course of action was to submit his resignation, which he did last week.

Below is audio of Chou’s announcement to TMU students:

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94 thoughts on “Sam Horn Resigns as President of The Master’s University and Seminary, Capping Three Years of Tumult”

  1. Has any else noticed that there are less board members now? There’s something wrong when the president and a chunk of the board of directors resigns.

    1. Three weeks ago the board voted to reaffirm Dr Horn. Then suddenly anonymous letters came in from people. Then four board members resigned in the past 1 1/2 weeks and then Dr Horn last Friday.

      It’s pretty obvious what happened.

  2. I met Sam Horn on the campus of BJU and identified myself as being in the GRACE report. He acted like he had no time for me and that I didn’t matter. I had been assaulted on the campus on Bob Jones University. He then went on to buddy up with GRACE censored counselors Jim Berg and Greg Mazak. His friend Steve Pettit is running BJU into the ground.

  3. A board that is bound by NDA’s is a contradiction in a religious institution that can only thrive on transparency and integrity. Since Macarthur wrote 2 books: Integrity and Truth Matters which Ive read and loved and keep beside my fireplace reading chair, I’d like to see it demonstrated here. Integrity defined as what you do when no one is watching, and as the title states truth matters which is confine to theological truth but in real life. John, please walk the talk.

        1. The church would not disclose the information. Turned the cameras off when they told the church he was in sin. But wouldn’t say what. But I have heard from several ppl he was sleeping with seminary students. Has been for years. It makes me so upset that they won’t tell about Michael Mahoney but say Sam Horn is disqualification for being an elder bc he is pugnacious.

          1. Long time GCC member

            I knew for years, and many other people I know at GCC, that he was fishy, but to hear that he is a homosexual is actually shocking. He definitely came across as totally fake, two faced, but never thought he was a homo. I highly doubt that he was hooking up with seminary students; it would be more likely he was meeting up with people he meet on an app, or something like that.

  4. The best way for John to cover his trail of deceit is to fire people around him and cover it with a comprehensive NDA. The only one John can’t touch is Phil, who knows too much. Since they are no longer on campus or office grounds its harder to investigate them. Check out the firing of Kevin Edwards former head of TMAI… Dig deeper Julie….

    1. Zach, honestly it is pathetic how everyone is quick to judge and slow to think. However shaming them will only have them attack more. I am about to get off this page. Julie doesn’t discourage the slander. Especially if the slanderers agree with her. Just have to pray.

      1. I honestly want to know who is getting slandered? I just told my experience in my post. I was abused at and by BJU people. Nobody, including Sam Horn cared to do the right thing. I don’t personally know any great men of God. I see Christian men who support survivors of abuse on twitter and I think that must be a man of God.

        1. Fundamentalism is stifling. I was on probation my 1st year at Northland, (which was just like BJU).Because I was honest and said I had been to school dances in high school. If you didn’t grow up in one of their churches or a son of a Fundamentalist. You would be blackballed. However, by God’s providencial grace, I actually learned how to think for myself and not be spoon fed the ancillary stuff. I appreciated it. It was a profound springboard to true Biblical Doctrine and not the obedience brings blessings. Taking Old Testament Scriptures out of context to give people “to do list”. At the same time, they are my brothers in Christ.

          I am sorry for your BJU experience. I remember the Berg stuff. We had his book for, “Changed Into His Image”. Wow had not thought of that book for 25 years. Prayers for you.

        2. Just curious, was your abuse documented as any kind of formal complaint with BJU? I’d be interested to see it if it exists on file somewhere.

      1. Idk. Taking the longview. The truth will come out in time. I am sure it isn’t as bad as speculation but not squeaky clean. Needs Prayers and less critical judgement.

  5. Survivor, I went to BJU north (Northland Baptist Bible College). Dr. Horn was a VP at Northland. He was the was the easiest teacher. But he was never very personable. Years later, I pastored near him got to know him a bit. His pulpit presence is stronger than his 1-1 presence. I am not surprised if he and John MacArthur would clash. It was know at Northland that he did clash with Dr. Ollila. The President at Northland at the time. It is not a judgement on character. But personality. Personalities will clash. By God’s Grace he will rescue us from ourselves.

  6. Facts:
    – Dr Horn has decades of ministry and thousands of people who attest to his character. They think he’s qualified to be an Elder and have not seen a pugnacious Dr/pastor Horn.
    – Three weeks ago the board voted to reaffirm Dr Horn.
    – Suddenly anonymous letters came in from people that questioned his authority. No one was allowed to see them accept “certain people”
    – Four board members resigned last and then Dr Horn last Friday.
    – They all signed NDAs.
    – TMU broken that with slanderous allegations.

    It’s pretty obvious what happened.

    1. Adam, I share your great concerns about the abrupt departure of a President with a long reputation of godliness. I’m sure he (like all of us) has been guilty of missteps. But the gravity of the allegations, the overall state of disruption (board resignations etc) and the grossly unblblical manner in which Abner Chou disparaged Dr. Horn cause great heartache.

      That said…among the facts you recite, you mention two alarming matters.

      1. A board reaffirmation 3 weeks prior to Dr. Horn resigning.

      I must wonder…why would a board need to “reaffirm” a standing President? I’m not doubting you, I’m simply asking do you have this on solid authority?

      2. The “anonymous” letters you mention are alarming. An accused person must have an opportunity to respond to his accusations and…a board took action on truly anonymous reports??? Again, please hear me…I am not challenging you but rather I must ask…do you have this on solid authority?

      The legitimacy, if there is any legitimacy, of this radical step taken by the board to accept the resignation of a solid man hangs on such matters as you have stated as facts. If these are facts, then TMU and its board must be held publicly accountable.

      Thank you for hearing my concerns and my respectful questions. I appreciate your comment. And I eagerly await any further light you can bring to bear.

      1. Yes I have it all on solid authority. 100% Dr. Horn was making significant decisions for the school so it is not unheard of to have a board vote to affirm leadership and direction. Everything I wrote is accurate.

        1. Your answer proves nothing and is no evidence whatsoever form any “solid authority”, but just repeating the allegations.

    2. I saw an announcement that Dr. Chou was named interim president yesterday. If it were not for board resignations and the attack on Sam’s character, I would have accepted Master’s change in direction and vision. It’s their choice. Chou is home grown and seems more of a natural fit for what they want. I am surprised they didn’t pick him last year, unless an inside president would have not been acceptable to WASC.

      From what we have read about the MacArthur ministries, getting out of there is a blessing in disguise and shows that the Lord is ultimately watching out for Sam. I still believe a formal public apology to Sam and his family from the Master’s board and Dr. Chou is the honorable thing to do for so brazenly assaulting Sam’s character. They basically said he was unfit for ministry, which is absolutely not true.

  7. Goodness gracious, MacArthurs ministries have been nothing but a dumpster fire the last few years. Probations, cover ups, money scandals, lying……I’m a grad of both the college and Seminary and am removing my affiliation with the schools.

  8. Chris McIntyre

    Why slander Dr Horn? What is the goal in doing that? This will backfire. As an alumnus I’m rather embarrassed by all this.

  9. Deception is despicable, deplorable and deserving of condemnation. In 1 Tim 5:19 we are taught not to entertain accusations against an elder unless it is brought by 2-3 witnesses. Yet Elder/Dr. Horn was declared quick tempered/pugnacious and unfit for service by Abner Chou’s public diatribe, against a standard which he claims to uphold, is non negotiable and unacceptable. But first, they were willing to accept anonymous letters as evidence of these accusations and impugn Elder Horn’s capacity even as an elder. Second, The law of the land grants us the right to face our accusers and is presumed innocent until proven guilty. These two basic rights were denied Dr Horn. By the same standard that Abner and the board so sanctimoniously judged Dr Horn to be unfit for service, they have violated the protection given him from scripture and from the law. Even worst, he has been bound with an NDA and will go down guilty, judged and disqualified. a good man smeared, shamed and silenced. Is anything that the board did here christian, godly, biblical or even legal ? Is anything here true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy that we can put into practice ? Are we to believe that the board acted out of integrity, grace, love for Christ and a brother. All biblical virtues seriously lacking or absent in my personal opinion. Perhaps the heart of the problem is their heart…the love for the truth does not translate to love for their fellowmen let alone a brother in Christ.

    1. James, what happened to Sam Horn is exactly what he and his friends at BJU did to victims of sexual abuse at Bob Jones. Some of them were minors when the abuse occurred. You reap what you sow. I personally don’t see Christ in Sam Horn or John MacArthur.

  10. At the core of spiritual leadership is love. Love for Christ, love for His word and love for His sheep and fellow men. For anyone who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. How was love demonstrated here ?

  11. Horn is certainly not the first to have this happen. I can think of another in the last 10 years. These guys don’t speak up because they ARE people of character who do not want to see harm happen to innocent people. It is time people stop fanboying. I just wish one of these guys who has been wronged would speak up. There are stories, and they would appall you.

  12. The three board members who are gone, according to archive.org are:
    Philip De Courcy
    Rich Riddle
    Mark Shackelford
    But Tom Penningon is also missing from the list – but might have stepped down previously.

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