Moody Bible Institute

MBI Dean Accused of Mishandling Sex Abuse Cases Takes Early Retirement

By Julie Roys

The dean recently accused of mishandling sex abuse cases at Moody Bible Institute (MBI) is taking an early retirement, according to an email sent last night by MBI President Mark Jobe and Provost Dwight Perry.

The Title IX administrator similarly accused is taking an administrative leave, effective immediately, pending the results of a third-party investigation.

The personnel changes follow an Open Letter posted last month by former and current MBI students who allege that MBI Dean of Student Life Tim Arens and Title IX Coordinator Rachel Puente dismissed, covered up, and even took disciplinary action against them when they reported sex abuse and harassment. 

Dean Tim Arens
Dean Tim Arens

The Open Letter currently has more than 3,100 signatures and scores of comments supporting and/or corroborating the abuse survivors statements, which were posted in a separate Google document.

Within days of the Open Letter publishing, Moody announced that the institute would hire an independent firm to investigate the allegations. Moody added that Arens would be removed from disciplinary responsibilities and Puente would be removed from her part-time role as Title IX coordinator. President Jobe stressed at the time that he had “always known Tim (Arens) to be a man of character” and urged people not to “cast judgment before we have all the facts.”

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Arens had announced in June that he would retire at the end of of the 2020—2021 school year. However, Jobe said that “after much prayer and contemplation,” Arens decided to begin his retirement early, effective November 1.

Roy Patterson, who currently serves as director of community relations at Moody, will serve as interim vice president of student life, Jobe and Perry said. They added that a search committee for Aren’s replacement has been formed, chaired by Dr. Heather Shalley, Moody’s vice president of enrollment.

MBI President Mark Jobe stated about two weeks ago that the institute would reveal the third party investigating the allegations when the firm is hired. In last night’s letter, Jobe and Perry said the institute is finalizing the “consultant/investigator” this week.

Email from President Mark Jobe & Provost Dwight Perry:

 

Mark Jobe and Dwight Perry
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2 thoughts on “MBI Dean Accused of Mishandling Sex Abuse Cases Takes Early Retirement”

  1. It is heartbreaking. While there are many very good people working and teaching at Moody Bible Institute (yes, I cannot get away from its real name). I trusted and was guided by godly men who counseled me and helped me reach my goal of graduation. There has been a long slide happening. It is not the Moody Bible Institute I attended and graduated with a BA Theology in Dec. 1974. But even while still a student 1970-1974 the shift from foundation principles had begun. These latest crisis events are simply the symptom of the school’s primary departure from it’s original mission.

    Go Big and Get Attention became the guiding principles of the school. These goals and purposes clouded the vision of the leadership which followed the loved Dr. Culberson. Can the vision of founder D.L. Moody be revived? Will we ever see the dedication to training and teaching replace the dedication to the pursuit of being great in the eyes of others? Reaching for the sky, the leadership allowed the floor to rot and fall away under them. So much has now come out in the last 4-5 years that some of us saw as inevitable. Some of us saw the erosion happening but were pushed aside as “troublemakers.” We weren’t. We cared and grieved the direction new leadership had taken to become more influential among donors and appealing to them.

    I loved every moment, every class, every teacher that I had Whaley, Dickerson, Foos, Gundry just to name a few. But the school is far distant from its founding purposes has separated from its statements of faith in way that are sad and it is heartbreaking.

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