A Luxury Suite, Questionable Loan to Officer, & Gambling: The Disturbing Truth About Leadership at MBI

By Julie Roys

As a Christian non-profit ministry supported by donors and dedicated to equipping believers to make disciples around the world, the Moody Bible Institute (MBI) should maintain the highest ethical standards among its leadership. Sadly, this has not been the case in recent years.

From maintaining a luxury suite for a famous board member to questionable loans to officers and targeting whistleblowers, MBI leadership has overseen a system of perks, privileges, and punishment that’s an affront to the gospel.  And sadly, this web of influence and corruption has not only hampered the board’s ability to deal with the current crisis facing the institute, but contributed to it.  

Board Engages in “Self-dealing”

Though IRS rules prohibit non-profits from loaning officers and board members money, or providing them with facilities and services, the MBI board apparently has been engaging in this practice, called “self-dealing,” for years.

In 2009, the institute gave President Paul Nyquist a $500,000 interest-only loan to buy a $1.08 million condo “adjacent to the institute.”  This was at a time when the institute was experiencing significant financial stress, which has only exacerbated over subsequent years.  Recently, the institute announced it is closing its Spokane campus and cutting one-third of its faculty due to financial troubles. 

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“I’m always against loans to corporate officers and directors. . . . If it’s not paid back, then that certainly puts it into the category of self-dealing. I’d be very uncomfortable in an audit in a situation like that.”

When asked generally about the practice of loaning to officers (not MBI in particular), Attorney Rich Baker, a partner with Mauck and Baker, a Chicago law firm known nationally for representing religious institutions, said: “I’m always against loans to corporate officers and directors. . . . If it’s not paid back, then that certainly puts it into the category of self-dealing. I’d be very uncomfortable in an audit in a situation like that.” According to the latest 990 Tax Form, over the past nine years Nyquist has repaid none of his $500,000 loan. 

When I confronted Randy Fairfax, current chairman of MBI’s Board of Trustees, about Nyquist’s loan, he said he’s talked to lawyers and accountants who would dispute Baker’s opinion. He also said that he had been involved in the decision to give Nyquist the loan, and that the institute did so only after consulting with legal and accounting professionals who assured MBI that the loan was legally permissible. He added that the institute has reported the loan every year on its 990 tax forms.

The IRS allows for an exception to certain types of compensation to so-called “disqualified persons,” provided the compensation is “reasonable and necessary to carrying out the exempt purpose” of a non-profit.  However, Nyquist’s home is worth more than double the median sale price of homes around the institute.  And, his total compensation in 2010 was $309,630, and increased 9.4% to $338,735 in 2016.

I emailed MBI CFO Ken Heulitt for clarification concerning Nyquist’s loan, but did not receive an answer. I also have asked Paul Nyquist for an interview, but he has not responded. 

From 2000 to 2008, the institute again reportedly engaged in self-dealing by providing Jerry Jenkins, author of the popular Left Behind books and then-chairman of Moody’s Board of Trustees, with a luxury suite on the top floor of Jenkins Hall.  In 1999, Jenkins donated an undisclosed amount of money to Moody, enabling the institute to purchase the building that bears his name.  And according to a 2006 article in the Chicago Tribune, MBI then converted two former senior units on the top floor of the building into a suite for Jenkins and his wife’s use, something state officials reportedly found “troubling.” 

“According to Konrad Finck, former facilities manager at MBI, Jenkins and his family members used this ‘glitzy’ suite as a ‘second home.'”

According to Konrad Finck, former facilities manager at MBI, Jenkins and his family members used this “glitzy” suite as a “second home.”  Finck said that other than those who cleaned the apartment and maintained it, only Jenkins and his family members had access to it.

Had MBI allowed other people to use the suite, and had Jenkins used the apartment only when he was in town on trustee business, it would not be considered self-dealing.  However, Finck said the family left their clothes in the closet and furnished it with their own furniture.  In addition, Jenkins’ wife would stay at the suite when in town, and a child of Jenkins used it as well. 

The suite had top-of-line finishes, and a “big walk-in shower,” which became a “bone of contention” to Finck.  “(Jenkins) kept complaining that it leaked,” Finck said. “It was at that point that I started to have some very negative feelings about the whole thing because he was very demanding.”

Finck said others at the institute started expressing concern about the apartment as well.  “It looked to some of us like it wasn’t really quite according to Hoyle.  I mean was he paying rent? . . . It didn’t look to us like he was.”

Sometime around 2008, Finck said someone at the institute submitted an anonymous “whistleblower report” internally at MBI.  As a result, senior management reportedly put an end to Jenkins’ exclusive use of the suite. 

Finck said he dropped the matter after that, and assumed Jenkins’ use of the suite had changed.  However, Finck knew the identity of the whistleblower.  And at one point, he said a senior manager at Moody called him into his office and asked him to divulge the name of the whistleblower, but Finck refused.

“I know Jerry was very upset about (the whistleblower),” Finck said. “I know that he was trying to find out who had – he wanted to talk to the person that had done the report. . . . To me, even asking for that was totally unacceptable because the whole agreement with the (whistleblower) website was that you would not be asked to identify yourself.  He should have known that as the chairman of the board.”

Jenkins declined my request for an interview, but offered the following statement: “This unfortunate misunderstanding was thoroughly investigated years ago by the board of trustees and the administration, and I received an apology for any implication that I had ever maintained for my exclusive use or considered my own the guest apartment in Jenkins Hall.”

I sent an email to Ken Heulitt, MBI chief financial officer, and Brian Regnerus MBI director of strategic communications, asking for details of this investigation and clarification about Jenkins’ use of the suite, but received no response. I also asked Trustee Emeritus Paul Johnson, who reportedly knew about the MBI investigation, if he would be willing to talk to me about it, but he did not respond. 

Then yesterday at noon, I received an email from Greg Thornton, MBI senior vice president of media, informing me that “after consulting with the Executive Committee of the Moody Board, leadership is terminating your employment.” No reason was given and I was informed that my boss, Program Manager Dan Craig would be at my house in two-and-a-half hours to pick up my laptop..

MBI Dropped Gambling Prohibition With Knowledge Its Chairman Was Gambling

For several years, I have been deeply concerned about apparent unethical behavior and collusion between MBI management and its board.  In 2013, I served on the employee committee that reviewed MBI’s employee standards and suggested changes to leadership. After numerous meetings, our committee recommended dropping prohibitions against alcohol and tobacco use, but insisted that a prohibition against participating in “institutionalized gambling” be retained based on Eph. 5:3-7

Several weeks after making these recommendations, Greg Thornton, who had facilitated the employee committee discussions, called me into his office for a private meeting.  Because I had expressed the most opposition to dropping the gambling prohibition, Thornton said he wanted to meet with me personally to let me know that senior management had removed the gambling prohibition, contrary to the committee’s recommendation.

In September 2013, Moody announced its new employee standards.  And a month later, WORLD Magazine reported that Jerry Jenkins had admitted to gambling both in his home and at casino poker tournaments.

“I asked him if MBI officers were aware that Jenkins was gambling when they decided to remove the gambling prohibition.  Thornton admitted that they knew.”

After this revelation, I met privately with Thornton again.  I asked him if MBI officers were aware that Jenkins was gambling when they had decided to remove the gambling prohibition.  Thornton admitted that they had.

Jenkins has since apologized to the board, faculty and staff of MBI for the trouble his gambling caused.  He’s also pledged to “never patronize a casino again,” but has not pledged to stop gambling. Jenkins also retained his position as board chairman, but in 2015, after a transition year training Randy Fairfax to succeed him, he stepped down and now serves as a trustee.

Foxes Guarding the Henhouse?

Given Jenkins’ history, and the suspect loan between the board and Nyquist, it’s not surprising that Jenkins and his successor, Fairfax, initially ignored evidence of wrongdoing by Nyquist’s administration, which surfaced this fall.

In October, prior to an on-campus meeting of the board of trustees, a recent MBI graduate sent an email to Fairfax and board member Juli Slattery, charging that MBI had “begun trading the sure foundation of God’s Word . . .  for the fragile foundation of the cultural tides of the day.” The letter documented numerous examples of this, including several disturbing accounts from the classes of Professor and Chair of the Urban Ministries Program, Clive Craigen.  The email was reportedly forwarded to Jenkins, but not some of the other board members, and resulted in no action.

Then on October 25, I sent an email to Slattery informing her of potential wrongdoing at the institute and urging her to share the information with other trustees and commission a full investigation.  My email told about a meeting on April 5 between administration and the Faculty Concerns Committee “after a substantial number of faculty members (perhaps 30 or more) sent letters to the Faculty Concerns Committee in early 2017 expressing serious concerns.” 

These concerns included “charges against (Provost Junias) Venugopal of his changing his expectations, mishandling individuals and groups, unfair hiring practices, mandates without discussion, dismissing concerns about theological drift at the institute, violations of shared governance, and lack of respect for faculty.” 

As evidence, I attached a letter from a Moody professor to Associate Provost Larry Davidhizer, referencing the April 5 meeting and also expressing dismay about the way the administration had handled the meeting. Reportedly, Venogupal shut down discussion, he and the deans treated faculty in an antagonistic manner, and Nyquist ended the meeting with a divisive comment thanking those loyal to the administration. The letter also referenced an incident when Venugopal reportedly reprimanded 18 faculty who had come to him with an issue involving theology and asked why those who were seeking to protect the doctrinal statement would be treated in that manner.

“Fairfax later told me that he responded by calling and talking to Nyquist, but then dropped the matter without forwarding any of the information I had sent to the rest of the trustee board or talking to even one faculty member . . . ”

Slattery told me that she forwarded the contents of my email including the professor’s letter to Jenkins and Fairfax.  Fairfax later told me that he responded by calling and talking to Nyquist, but then dropped the matter without forwarding any of the information I had sent to the rest of the trustee board or talking to even one faculty member.  He also admitted that he had not requested any of the 30 or more faculty letters submitted to the Faculty Concerns Committee. To my knowledge, neither had Jenkins or Slattery.

On December 15, I flew to Detroit to meet with Trustee Emeritus Paul Johnson and Vice-Chairman of the Board Rick Warren (a businessman from Michigan, not the famous pastor) so I could share the contents of my investigation with them. At that time, Warren had heard nothing of the April 5 meeting with the Faculty Concerns Committee, nor the issues that had led up to it. Johnson had heard of it days earlier, but only because he had a phone conversation with Theology Professor Rich Weber and then had received a 65-page document from Weber detailing many of the issues. 

Jenkins recently claimed in a comment on an article published by the Christian Post, “By the time Ms. Roys went to Warren and Johnson, several of us trustees were discussing the serious issues she and many others had raised.” I don’t know who these trustees were who were having these discussions with Jenkins, but apparently it didn’t involve Johnson or even the vice-chairman of the board.

From my vantage point, it wasn’t until after Weber sent the document and I met with Warren and Johnson that the board began to take any action.  But instead of driving the process, both Fairfax and Jenkins sidetracked it by criticizing me for allegedly violating “protocol” and going directly to trustees.  Fairfax confronted me for violating protocol during a phone conversation the day after I met with Warren and Johnson.  Similarly, Jenkins sent a letter soon after my meeting with Warren and Johnson to the entire board likewise complaining that I had violated protocol.

“Trustee boards are supposed to hold administrations accountable and protect whistleblowers.”

Trustee boards are supposed to hold administrations accountable and protect whistleblowers.  Fairfax and Jenkins did just the opposite. And disappointingly, when I sent a document to the trustees informing them of Fairfax’s and Jenkins’ actions and inaction, nothing happened.  But then again, some of those on the current board probably approved Nyquist’s loan. Certainly all must know about it.  In addition, some more veteran members probably are aware of Jenkins’ alleged improper use of the MBI suite.

These sad facts are what finally drove me to go public with this information. I am glad board members are finally willing to investigate and address the very serious issues with the current administration. But what about the extremely serious issues with the board? I have followed the “protocol” of Matthew 18. I have talked to administrators and numerous trustees. I have confronted them with evidence of wrongdoing and urged them to own their sins and step down.  But they have not. And now is the time for reckoning.

The words God spoke to the church in Sardis two-thousand years ago seem especially apropos to Moody today:  

I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent.

The full MBI board is scheduled to meet tomorrow on the Chicago campus of the Moody Bible Institute.  I pray for the sake of Moody, but more importantly for the sake of God’s Kingdom and glory, that these leaders confess, lament, and own all they have done and allowed.  I believe God can and will rebuild Moody, but only if its leaders respond with humility and contrition at this crucial hour.

Please continue to pray for Moody and its leaders. Pray too for the faculty, staff and students, who certainly are hurting and struggling as a result of the current state of affairs.   

Correction: An earlier version of this post noted that Paul Nyquist made $233,252 in 2009, which would mean his salary increased 45% between 2009 and 2016. However, Nyquist’s employment began in April 2009, so his 2009 salary was for a partial year.  

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109 thoughts on “A Luxury Suite, Questionable Loan to Officer, & Gambling: The Disturbing Truth About Leadership at MBI”

  1. I’m not an investigative journalist. But from this article there are a number of questions? Are we building up MBI or tearing down walls.
    The artical states that Jerry Jenkins built Jenkins hall, so what’s the big deal on him having an apartment in it.
    Nyquist gets a 500k loan for an apartment. It was not given to him MBI still owns it. Does this mean that all pastors with pastor housing have to justify the cost of the parcinige house ?
    Nyquist gets paid 338k. Look at corporate America. This is chump change for someone running a 100 million dollar organization. Maybe we should get a Walmart greater instead.Not.
    Finally if you bought a lottery ticket this year you need to resign from MBI according to this artical.Legalisms are what is killing Christianity today. MBI is lucky to have Both Dr Nyquist and Jerry Jenkins keep up the good Work.

    1. I think you missed the point Doug. Whether or not one thinks the president of a non-profit that survives on other people’s donations should get a $500K loan and live in a million-dollar condo is a matter of opinion. The greater point is that loaning money to officers is considered “self-dealing”; it’s illegal. Likewise, giving an officer or director facilities or services is illegal.

      And certainly MBI can give Nyquist $300+ salary. However, it seems a bit odd to increase a salary 45% while an institute is experiencing a financial crisis and slashing jobs. And of course, that then begs the question: What has Nyquist done to earn that raise, given that fundraising is a key part of the president’s job?

      And for the record, Jenkins didn’t build Jenkins Hall. He donated an undisclosed amount of money, which helped MBI purchase Jenkins Hall.

      1. I think there are more sides to this story. I also agree with a previous comment that we don’t want to throw out the baby with the bath water.
        What has Nyquist done to earn more money.. he has helped MBI get through some of the toughest years in economic history and more challenges are to come.

        1. Doug, really? Can you really not see what’s going on here? How are you even attempting to defend Nyquist and his indefensible record? Are you that blind?

          1. Yes. Julie. Doug is blind. I am a former graduate and employee. MBI started going wayward during the days of Ed Cannon under his leadership. Nothing has been the same since Stowell left. I and many others can attest to seeing when MBI decided to stop being a ministry and going corporate.

      2. I fail to see any Biblical prohibition on gambling, drinking, smoking, dancing … etc. These are 19th Century social mores that got embraced by the Evangelical movement and then somehow got canonized as doctrine. It’s not some “leftwing” thing … it’s purely historical and cultural.

        I get that all of these can be abused. But pray tell, where is the Evangelical outrage over the rampant obesity in the Church? How many vastly overweight and out of shape “shepherds” waddle up to the pulpit during Founders Week without a trace of comment. How many more people suffer from this excess than the responsible drinker or gambler. I am reminded of the famous anecdote in which D.L. Moody was castigating Spurgeon for smoking cigars. Spurgeon is said to have replied, “When you stop eating like a pig, I’ll stop smoking.”

        No, these issues are distractions. The real problem here is the shift to the cultural left in supporting race hustling, abortion, and so forth. Make no mistake about it. Evil never shows up with a pitchfork. It shows in a nice suit and a Th.D.

      3. Just one point of clarification. The lending of money to officers is illegal for private foundations but is permitted within publicly supported charities such as MBI. Such loans are disclosed on schedule L of the 990.

      4. Thank you Julie, for your being true to our Lord and Savior- The Way, The Truth, and The Life.
        Sorry to hear that you were let go.
        Also have been so sad hearing Moody allowing garbage to be broadcast, and other issues totally ignored. I have listened so many times to Moody, reluctantly, but in obedience to Jesus wanting me to- so that I would hear some of the so-called Christian teachings proclaimed by certain hosts and guests alike, and hearing those things, then I would pray for HIS Church, and those Moody hosts and program producers, who know better.

        So very sad to hear the news today at the beginning of Chris Fabry’s show, followed by a very poor choice of programming by whomever, pushing the “everybody makes mistakes” insulting message to the listeners and D.L.Moody himself. Shame.

        If I had my druthers Julie, I would have let Janet Parshall go a long time ago, when she started her false “open phones Friday” program. I emailed her about it, her not keeping her vow, and challenged her to be accountable to her Lord, but acknowledged that it was her show, not mine, which she agreed with.

        For all those sisters and brothers who offer up that we shouldn’t be calling each other out….. Uh, sorry. Wrong is wrong, and Paul is not Jesus. If and when there is the slightest bit of doubt or lack of clarity with Paul’s words, always defer to Jesus’ Words.

        Jesus told us to love one another. Seeing a brother or sister doing wrong and remaining silent or offering distracting or misleading information, is NOT loving them.

        The gates of Hell will not prevail against Christ’s Church, but Moody or anyone else who does not adhere to Christ’s Word, do so at their own peril.

    2. If Moody still owns Nyquist’s apartment, why did they give him a $500K loan to buy it? And why hasn’t he paid any of the money back?

  2. I have no idea as to what the truth is in the matters addressed. However, I am saddened that the charges and conflicts between professing brethren are being aired before the world.

    1 Corinthians 6:5-6 5 I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren? 6 But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers!

    Love and unity in the Body of Christ are the primary evidences of grace convincing the world that Jesus is the ONE sent by the Father:

    John 13:35 “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

    John 17:20-21 20 ¶ ” I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 “that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.

    No grace or love are required in treating one another with contempt and hurling scurrilous accusations. Grace and love are required in receiving one another and hearing one another patiently and pleading humbly with God that the truth will become known.

    It sounds as if serious wrongs have occurred. If so, they should be severely rebuked and they should receive due punishment. But this process should not play out before the world!

    1. @Gary Hendrix
      Completely agree, it looks like the world and just wait til they start up. I have to wonder if a calling out needed to happen, it would have been maybe speaking to authories for an in investigation of crime. I believe there’s just more to this. I stopped listening to UFD because she stopped doing live shows. Maybe this is a time for JR to write. I hope his doesn’t follow her, but then again the experience could be another book.

    2. Gary Hendrix – The 3rd thing one is supposed to do according to Matthew 18 when the other 2 fail is to “bring it before the church”. That means publicly. The 3 scripture verse you posted do not apply in this scenario. When leadership fails and maintains it’s power positions what steps can be taken other than what Julie has done?

      1. Yes, but I’m not sure that “before the church” envisions a public lashing on the internet. I am conflicted about this because there sure seems like a strong basis for demanding change. On the other hand, the internet has a bad habit of becoming Villagers With Torches particularly when only one side is heard. More importantly, the internet is not “the church”. I feel like this whole public outcry is sort of like calling out a fellow believer in the middle of the town square for all to see.

        I’ve been around long enough to know that one side is never the whole story. When I see fulmination about executive compensation (that isn’t even hardly remarkable) I get the sense that there is some agenda at play. I thus wonder how just all the accusations are. It feels like some have merit and others are vacuous.

        I therefore refuse to pass judgement insofar as I don’t know the whole story. Hopefully, the Board will take the necessary steps to re-establish trust in their leadership, integrity, and fiduciary responsibilities.

  3. It is clear from the article that the writer did all that was required regarding addressing sin. She did Matthew 18:15-16 and clearly they did not listen. So, this article is evidently Matt. 18:17. Keeping everything in house is what allows these things to keep happening. I say, thank you sister for helping bring light to sin given that those in power have chosen to ignore it.

  4. There is always a broader perspective that people need to consider. So it’s quite possible that this is just a case where Julie has the symptoms of a disgruntled employee and simply lashes out because she has determined what the truth is without the full picture. When you gain your so called facts from hearsay (like from a facilities manager) or gossip and not the sources what do you expect? There is a good way to be a Whistle blower and a bad way. A good one is willing to lay down their job for the good of the organization. Julie obviously has a beef with the president. If you don’t have all the facts about a fancy room on the property then you start down a dangerous path to JUDGE what a property should and should not have as far as rooms, showers and furniture. And then make silly remarks about how Jesus would have never owned such a fancy shower. A loan for a condo near the Institute is a crime now without knowing the nature of the loan or who actually owns the condo. I don’t know, the board would know. Would a district attorney know? Was it a crime?
    What about asking a third party to get involved such as ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability if the board doesn’t respond appropriately?
    Julie went public and guess what, you were fired as you deserved. How did you expect them to react?
    Now if there is any merit of wrong doing, the board that governs the institution has the responsibility to form a complete investigation. There is something to be learned here Julie is that God is bigger than your perceived issues. Other institutions in the last 20 years have been exposed in their fraudulent behavior and forever damaged and rightly so. And if you are right about Gambling (bad stewardship and i don’t see anywhere in your article that the organization did, just a board member, did you also ask if each board member had a glass of wine? Why stop at gambling?) then it will come out eventually. Note: board members are not employees.
    A good board will work through this and make things right and fix the issues. If they do not, then the institution will go the direction of other institutions and become something very different then what the founder envisioned and relegated to being irrelevant in the time to come.

  5. Paul H. Johnson

    It is not true to say I did not respond to your request for a comment. I did respond by telling you I would get back to you in two days (because I was traveling and meeting with the board). Evidently you couldn’t wait to get the truth and went ahead with a totally false story. That spurious complaint from one person was thoroughly investigated by both the administration and the board of trustees in 2010 and was proven entirely false. The guest apartment was provided for guest speakers and visitors to the Institute and the Jenkinses were offered the use of it when it was available and they were in Chicago on Moody business, because their gift allowed us to pay off the building. While they were allowed to leave some personal belongings there, the apartment was never exclusively used by them, even though they fully furnished it for others’ comfort and convenience and generously bequeathed all the contents to the Institute.

    Thousands of dollars were spent in legal fees investigating the matter for several weeks before Jerry was even informed of the one complaint. In the end he was totally exonerated and apologized to. One board member was so upset about the unecessary legal expense, generated by an investigation that could have been avoided with an open disccusion, that he personally covered the cost so that God’s money entrusted to Moody would not be spent in such a wasteful way.

    1. Paul, Thank you for your comment. I published this article before I received your email saying you would speak to me on Thursday. Even so, I would love to see documentation of this investigation. Why did no one within MBI’s administration respond to my requests for it or even comment?

      1. As our “government” and “trusted” police (when they aren’t murdering us) love to tell us, as they take steps to arrest or silence/control us: “If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear”.

        I think the timeline of events here, shows clearly whose actions are suspect, and whose are honorable. Those with something to hide distanced themselves from someone asking to see it, and they distanced themselves in a way that was not at all honorable.

        For all those finding fault with Julie’s speaking out….. Let’s pretend she didn’t. Do you really, sincerely, honestly, believe that the big Moody peeps would have sent her that email, informing her that she was being let go, post haste, and without any reason? If you do….. Wow.

    2. Given Konrad Finck’s, former facilities manager, position and integrity it is hard to believe that he would have not known about the investigation that you are claiming took place, Mr. Johnson. And as Julie rightly points out, “Why did no one within MBI’s administration respond to my requests for it or even comment?” – You and the Board are bringing this level of criticism on your own head hiding behind your silence. – Show us the documents, respond to request for comments. This is on you.

    3. What a total joke Paul. Your comment here is a complete disgrace. Because spending HALF A MILLION DOLLARS so that paul n can live in an exclusive, posh residence is not a wasteful way to spend God’s money?? You’re blinded by your power and arrogance.
      It’s hilarious that you wrote…”could have been avoided with an open discussion.” That’s truly rich Paul. It’s the board and the administration that actively prevent open discussions on anything. So I guess you’re really upset with yourself and paul n on that point.
      It’s really too bad that the Moody board used to have Godly people and instead today only contains materially rich people. That tells you all you need to know.

    4. Given that Moody is largely donor funded, and in light of the faculty and other cuts to address financial troubles, the spending described (which you did not dispute) is very disturbing to donors. Who would now want to donate money knowing this is happening? Wait until a major news paper picks up this story…

    5. Mr. Johnson, are you saying this article is false in its entirety or just totally false regarding the Jenkins apartment? You said “totally false story,” but there are other aspects to this story such as a loan, etc.. And making such an absolute statement are you really saying the former facility manager Fink is completely lying? Or do you think it could be a story that has some truth but has been exaggerated? He says other things including Mr. Jenkins didn’t have the greatest temperament. What about the other issues? Personally I am most concerned with the allegation of a culture of fear, intimidation and retaliation (along with dismissiveness to expressed concerns) that has been created by MBI leadership. I have to say I have seen some confirmation of these allegations. That the resignations were made shows there is not a complete dismissiveness across the board. I think it’s a good sign and a step in the right direction. I appreciate you gave your perspective on the apartment investigation, but your comment here does seem pretty dismissive to me to the overall big picture of concerns. It is clear that Julie did MBI a service by exposing serious problems that were being neglected and are now being paid attention to. And she was immediately fired. MBI could not have done more to confirm the allegations of a culture of fear, intimidation and retaliation. As long as she remains fired I don’t see how MBI can possibly restore trust.

  6. Every Christian institution should have a plan for seeking resolution in cases such as this. Such plans should bring together respected church leaders who have earned credibility for wisdom and for peacemaking. These leaders should be given free access to all the pertinent information and should interview all the parties involved. They should require accountability from everyone occupying places of authority and responsibility. They should engage in diligent prayer for wisdom and for the unveiling of the truth. The process should aim at the glory of God, the reputation of the Gospel and the righteousness resolution of the conflict and the peaceful reconciliation of divided brethren. At the conclusion of the process, any violations of moral law, civil law or Biblical ethics should be published before interested parties.

    Airing the charges and counter-charges before the public does not serve the glory of God, the reputation of the Gospel and is not likely to result in reconciliation and peace. This is a process for making war and seeking litigation, just like the world.

    If believers in Christ who have the Holy Spirit, cannot resolve their disputes without going to all out war against one another, it is a failure of love and grace. It is a failure to be thoroughly Christian. The stewardship of the testimony of the Gospel must be the highest priority, even above personal loss.

    1. I believe that plan already exists Gary. It’s called answering a question when asked.
      Too many people are making Paul and his words “doctrine”, when HIS Word should be Doctrine. Before you reply, as Paul says, we are to test the spirit, and I do not believe that Spirit, The Holy Spirit appreciates Moody execs or any other church, “handling” an issue by hiding behind a more favorable procedure- avoiding telling the truth when asked- instead of doing “whatever you(they) do, as unto The Lord”.

      Nah, sorry. They need to publicly confess and ask forgiveness first.
      Their first sin led to many more. They should have owned up to it from the very first questioning of wrongdoing.

  7. Agree with the bottom line of Julie’s post. I’ve no connection to MBI, other than following Rydelnik, Roys, and a few other distal relationships to this famous institituion. So from a complete outsider’s view, but one having the reputation of MBI and Jesus Christ in mind, here’s my humble input: 1) Administrators HATE when those subordinate to them criticize or otherwise provide feedback without following protocol (I found that out as an Associate Professor in Biochem & Mol Biol at SUNY Upstate Medical University). Of course, the reason one doesn’t follow protocol to begin with is because it doesn’t work! 2) Although Julie’s investigation does have some of the characteristics of a “witch hunt” (term used in a tweet by a Twitter commenter, who also wrote a blog post on this situation), as written appears fully justifiable. This is because, apparently, the MBI adminstration is in cahoots with the Board of Directors, the ultimate organizational “no-no”. That can only happen when individuals involved feel justified in assuming a cushy position in their organization, likely because of prior accomplishments, and thereby begin following a different set of rules from everyone else. As an alumnus of Oral Roberts University (well, Freshman year only), I’ve had an inside view on how this happens, and it has happened all to frequently with other successful evangelical Christian leaders over the past half century. No need to provide further examples of this, they are stark to all. But to make a long story short, in my opinion as an outsider, Julie is right and the MBI leadership is wrong, and must repent or resign, for the sake of MBI’S reputation and that of God’s Kingdom on earth.

      1. Karen Huber (@karenohuber): I ageee wholeheartedly with financial transparency and accountability, but her previous post reeked of witch hunt and liberal excommunication, all under the guise of Christian concern. Maybe I’d take her more seriously if her spiritualising wasn’t so over the top.”

        This was in response to Jonathan Merritt’s Jan 9 post referring to Julie’s article.


  8. May God bless and protect you, Julie and those who are holding firm in the righteousness of God; and may the Lord also punish those who are persisting in their sins and destroying what God has put together. It’s time to remove the wolves and let them take up residency in the world of the enemy where they belong. I quit sending donations several years ago because of the Lord’s check in my heart, which included a red flag about Mr. Nyquist. I have also felt the same about Mr. Jenkins. The Lord gives the gift of discernment. It is time to clean house and go before Jesus with repentance and wisdom in how to bring His sheep into protection from the arrows of the enemy.
    May the prayers of your saints be heard, oh Lord. May you bring light and justice quickly and with finality.

    I am not taking sides per se here but I did want to bring up a charge about the Jenkins apartment. I graduated from Moody and worked for them in the Alumni Office when my husband attended himself.

    The apartment was used for special guests, speakers, and board members and not solely for Jenkins. I remember for example hosting George Verwer on behalf of the Moody Alumni Association, founder of Operation Mobilization, twice in one year. Other speakers and visitors were hosted from the Alumni Association there from time to time throughout the year. So this is just from our department. Imagine if you counted the other guests from other departments. Therefore, it was not an exclusively Jenkins apartment. My sister worked in facilities and I will check with her to attest to this. Perhaps Jenkins stayed in the apartment more than others because he was on the board?

    Therefore we are left with:
    1. The fact that it was a nicer apartment and
    2. Jenkins having his clothes left at the apartment or having his family stay there and also.

    In regards to the former, if there are guest speakers using the apartment, then why not make it nicer? I would find it strange if they didn’t.

    In regards to the latter, I would say these may be strange but do not match up to the primary accusation you are making: The apartment belonging to Jenkins. As being a factual witness, I can at least tell you this accusation can be dropped.

      1. Moody Grad attended 2006-16

        I lived near the suit on the top floor of Jenkins for one semester in 2006 before switching floors. I don’t remember bumping into a chapel speaker there, however, I do remember that a musical group (don’t remember who, it was a Christian rapper who put on an evening concert and I had no interest in going) had a bus whose shower stopped working. The whole crew was invited to use the shower and, I had assumed at the time, the room as well. I don’t know for sure where they slept that night. But I ran into at least 5 or 6 crew members in the hallway.

          1. Moody Grad attended 2006-16

            Haha okay. Does that mean it doesn’t matter whether the apartment was for Jenkin’s exclusive use or not? Is this a can’t-get-him-for-murder-so-we’ll-get-him-for-taxes kind of scenario?

      1. Hey! Sorry, I am having computer issues here. I graduated in 2009 (BA in music) and my husband just graduated in 2017 (BA comm). My sister worked there for a period during all this…and I thiiink I worked at moody in 2013 or around there.

          1. Hey there! You’re right, I was close to the situation only after 2008. So I called up an old friend of mine and asked about before that time. This person said that the apartment was used before that time by other individuals but that Jenkins used it more than others. The extent of more, I do not know (a lot more, a little more, percentage speaking etc…). He also said that the apartment was nice but not “luxurious”.

            1. The apartment has always been used by more than Jenkins himself
            2. There was a time frame when he used it more than others.
            3. I was told that he now either never uses it or uses it a lot less.

            Maybe you could call up someone unbiased who attended Moody at that time. Or better yet, a staff person. That may shed some light onto how much it was seen as his and if what I was just told is true. I would just encourage you to check and double check all facts. Seek the truth and all of it. The truth here and probably with everything being said is that there is some truth in it and some falsities. We should be asking ourselves how Christ would want us to approach this…these..situations.

          2. I lived in Morningside/Jenkins Hall during the early 2000s and rode the elevator with the Jenkins multiple times. This was during the time when the building was renamed so I assume he was probably around more often than normal.

  10. Thank you for speaking out, and speaking the truth. I can’t believe that some here are defending this sort of behavior. I know you’re taking heat for this, and I’m praying for you today: for strength, peace, and provision. We don’t have to please anyone but the Lord God Almighty. And I believe that by shedding light on these dark practices, you have pleased Him well. Well done, Julie, well done.

  11. I have been a share member for over 40years …I always thought Moody was a place that was concerned with bringing people to Christ…
    This is so disheartening to me.
    The past year we have been overwhelmed with the amount of fund raising going on, and now it makes sense to me…Who ever is in charge, they are very bad at it… they have lost a giver ..and I will return my slip this month letting them know that.
    Greed is the down fall always more …never enough.
    Jenkins has also been involve with my pastor he seems to pull people into his den.?
    Thank you Julie I was wondering why your show have all been taped.

  12. Praying for the truth to be revealed and the students and staff who are following the Lord’s will be protected. We all have to stand before the Lord and answer to him for our choices. The decisions we make need to be influenced by the Lord not the world. God has a way of bringing things into the light.

  13. Satan is alive and knowing his time is getting shorter is trying to destroy the work of God and is using His people to do it. Not sure what the motive for Julie to write what she has, but hopefully it will be resolved. The Lords work doesn’t need this mean spirited back and forth. We need to show how Great our God is not paint a bad picture. And need proof for all accusations. Praying for Moody and will continue to support. There is more good here than the bad people are saying.

    1. Read a Bible lately Merv?
      Like where Jesus said that HE did not come to bring peace, but a sword?
      Look it up dude.

      Maybe read Julie’s blog post again too.

  14. Moody Grad attended 2006-16

    What I’m confused about, at this point, is what is the new information? All of these issues were reported on years ago.

    I remember when Nyquist got the condo; I remember him explaining the reasoning to a group of us. It was to be near the school and the students. I realize that sounds hollow and I won’t defend. I will point out that listings for condos as near school as his with the exception of a 2 or 3 are near $1M. During my time he made every visible effort of being near students. Instead of using the gym that undoubtedly is included with his condo, he used the student gym and would stay and chat with us all the time. He also would randomly show up and help students move into their dorms. His wife was especially involved with the student wives. So even though it sounds thin, he did seem to use his proximity to the school to interact with students in less formal situations.

    I understand that if it is illegal, then it’s illegal. Unless it isn’t–which is what their lawyers believe. If it isn’t illegal, is it still a serious breach of trust in some way? I’m ignorant here.

    I wish Nyquist didn’t earn so much, but I’m one of those who is annoyed when seeing pastors drive around in anything other than a very reliable Honda. On the other hand, it seems to me that we need way more numbers to determine whether there was anything strange about his salary. As president it is his job to bring in money. If he was doing very well, then in affect he is being paid to bring in much more than he is being paid and the specific numbers seem to matter less.

    I know that the objection to this is that donations were down–so I want to see numbers on how other nonprofits of similar size in a similar geography and economy. Everyone’s donations are down, is it at all possible Moody’s are down less and so the net value of his fundraising was actually better than average? Without numbers none of us knows.

    It seems that opinion of Jenkin’s poker playing is going to be predetermined by one’s biblical interpretation just like issues of alcohol. This wasn’t clear to me: is the accusation that he played poker at all, or that he was secretly doing it while Moody’s code of conduct for employees forbid it? If the latter, was he bound by the same regulations as employees? I know students and employees have always had different standards.

    What is the concern about the suite? Is it that, if Jenkins was the only user, that he should have owned or rented it and because he had free access to it Moody was in effect giving him something of value each time he stayed there?

    I said in a reply that I know once in the Fall of 2006 a Christian rapper and road crew were allowed to use the shower there when the shower broke down in their bus–it’s possible they stayed there, I have no idea.

    1. Moody Grad attended 2006-16

      I am glad, though, that the focus is a possibly corrupt leadership and not godly professors who love their students and truly want to evangelize the world with the message of Jesus Christ.

    2. There is a good point here regarding the house. Moody reported the owning of the loan every year and the government has not blown the whistle on them as it being illegal even though they knew. (Unless the govt. says otherwise within time)

      Nyquist and Moody were completely transparent about it as well.

      So the problem is we find it (or some people find it) unethical. I find it weird, but I would not say it is wrong or illegal because of the statements above.

  15. Some of what is described here makes sense in a corporate world where skyboxes or penthouse suites are set aside for top execs, celebrity guests & mega-donors, while ‘necessary cuts’ are made much nearer the bottom of the pecking order (and especially among those who ‘rock the boat’.

    Yet I keep thinking of that time when Messiah called the disciples to him and said, ‘You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it must not be so among you…”

  16. For all those here chiding Julie & others for ‘going public’, I think you may have missed the endpoint of the Matthew 18 process. If you go privately with such issues, then jointly with others, and there is only stonewalling.., well, eventually there is the point where you ‘tell it to The Church’, so the issues can’t be swept under the rug any longer.

    As an old guy whose days as a journalist are well in the rear view mirror, I think Julie seems to have done a more than adequate job of pulling the evidence together to give the big picture– investigating the money trail, drawing together firsthand accounts, providing supporting documents from others raising the same red flags.

    A key contention from some here seems to be that these accounts from faculty, students, alumni, other employees, even Julie’s own accounts of what she was told face to face by those up the corporate command line, don’t ‘prove’ anything.

    I agree. They DON’T prove anything. But at this juncture, that’s not the standard or even the point.

    Where there’s this much smoke there is fire.., or has been, or is about to be.

    And as someone who has also sat on a number of such Boards myself, I can tell you that such investigations are VERY healthy.., certainly not always welcome (at least by those under scrutiny), but definitely a good healthy check AND a mechanism to keep EVERYONE accountable. The biggest danger sign? When there is a move to hush up everything, to call for ‘loyalty’ & ‘unity’ vs transparency and mutual accountability all the way up the ladder, to squelch investigation, and to silence/sideline whistleblowers or others raising concerns.

    Based on just the documents I I have seen, unless a LOT of unsynchronized voices have been outright lying over the course of a decade, we have come to this juncture because numerous and patient entreaties to address these issues have been ignored or sidestepped.

    MBI is past the point where some carefully spun generalized statements will restore confidence and assure that the Institute solidly back on its mission. At the very least, the FULL Board needs to fully sift through all this evidence from all concerned and transparently address each issue.

    1. Ms. Roys appears to have been meticulous in gathering information and is to be commended for endeavoring to confront each of the parties directly, face-to-face. That is hard work! However, Matthew 18 requires more. It requires that the private examination be repeated with witnesses present at which time the evidence is presented and the apparently guilty party is called to repentance. If the guilty, now proven so by a corroborating witness, refuses to hear and repent, Christ commands that the matter be taken before the church!

      I recognize that a Christian college is not a church. It is a para-church organization. It must be assumed that MBI was supported by local churches and sustained some sort of living relationship with churches and pastors. If that is true, the charges and the evidence should have been presented before church leaders and they should have been allowed to investigate and form their own judgment on the matters at hand and should have given counsel to the Board of Trustees or Board of Regents however the governing structure of MBI is designed. All of this should have been handled in private sessions beyond the eyes of the public. The final verdict along with the sins of the guilty should finally have been made public in an orderly way and in a manner that is beyond reasonable doubt as to the fairness, thoroughness and justness of the entire process.

      It is a huge problem when the general public becomes the “church” and the public is presented with accusations and evidence and is called upon to make a judgment without knowing or learning all the facts of the case. The attempt to transform the internet and social media into a church court is patently wrong and unScriptural and unjust and renders irreparable harm to the testimony of Christ as the Head of His Church. The Larger Catechism writing about the 9th Commandment has a great deal to say about the moral duty to uphold and defend the good name of our brethren. God’s method of justice does indeed expose and punish the guilty and yet does so without permitting unsubstantiated private judgments to be aired as facts and unnecessary accusations to scar even the guilty.

      Christians must love the name of Christ and the reputation of the Gospel too much, they must love one another too much to use the worldwide web to conduct ecclesiastical investigations and trials.

  17. Instead of debating we should be praying for current students who are confused and living in this whirlwind.

  18. A sister in the Lord

    abuse of power… it’s rampant in the Church… not limited to Moody… God is revealing what is hidden in the dark, what has been covered up, silenced, kept secret etc… People of God step up, speak up and do what’s right… God is purifying His Bride… God’s way is in the light! The light will reveal the truth and the truth sets us free… there is basically universal resistance from leadership to deal with abuse of power issues because it’s about THEM! I have been exposing this in a different stream of the Church… the resistance is unbelievable! Julie, if you haven’t already read it, read the Subtle power of Spiritual abuse… it will help you process the responses you are getting… I hope and pray you find Godly leaders willing to do what’s right for the Kingdom.. instead of what protects the institution and the leaders… bless your heart Julie! Stay strong in the Lord and in His mighty power…

  19. A sister in the Lord

    ps… abuse of power in a spiritual context IS also spiritual abuse… and these actions and responses destroy that sacred trust given to leaders… abusing power is very damaging… it seems the gov’t gets this better than the Church… they are far more transparent in many ways… because the public demands it!

  20. Those who try to speak truth to power usually get power shouting down truth. When corporate CEOs take over… Well, let’s just say they are no Dwight Moody.

  21. What about a James MacDonald connection? When I learned about “The Elephant Room,” I waited for Moody Radio to drop him. Yet he still has a show today. So does that mean that Moody does not believe the accusations, or is he in collusion with these gentlemen? Any thoughts?

    1. Direct connection or not, one common denominator is that both James MacDonald and MBI (under Dr. Nyquist) undertook building projects without full funding for those projects. I can’t speak to MBI’s finances, but it sounds like many of the financial woes stem from decisions about the Chapman building. As for Harvest Bible Chapel, they are still around $48 million in debt and have myriad leadership issues.

      Perhaps Moody Radio doesn’t cancel Walk in the Word because people in glass houses can’t throw stones?

    2. Agreed. I was sick to my stomach when I learned he was speaking at Founders Week. He is leaving a trail of destruction. God save Moody Bible Institute.

  22. Its a natural progression from futurism to cultural marxism. the entire evangelical church will deal with this one way or another. Matthew 24 “after the tribulation”, Jesus said. we must go back to our FIRST LOVE!(the vision, scripture warns of losing our vision)

  23. Fyi… if you don’t agree with Julie your post will be deleted. No matter how respectful you must agree with Ms. Roys.

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