More than 1,700* parents, students, and alumni of the Moody Bible Institute (MBI) have signed an open letter and petition, urging MBI President Mark Jobe to address an alleged pattern of “dismissal, cover up, and even disciplinary action being taken against survivors of abuse.”
“While many of us have found God and His calling on our lives within the walls of Moody, some of us have also faced harm,” the letter at change.org stated. “Harm that includes instances of stalking, discrimination, sexual assault, and rape. These harms were made worse when members of our community in positions of authority, specifically Dean (Tim) Arens, seem to have an inability or unwillingness to act to address them.”
The letter was posted Friday night and quickly garnered dozens of comments and more than a thousand signatures.
Anna Schutte (MBI Class of 2020) wrote: “I’m signing this because I have seen too many of my friends traumatized, raped, assaulted, silenced, and dismissed. I’ve had meetings with Resident Life and (Title IX Coordinator) Rachel Puente to address the unsafe nature of campus but with no resolution.”
Similarly, Christine Bowers (MBI Class of 2020) wrote that she had a Title IX case mishandled. “I also had numerous friends who had issues with the Title IX and had to drop out of Moody because they felt unsafe.”
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The letter specifically called on President Jobe to include students and alumni in the selection of a replacement for MBI Dean of Student Life Tim Arens, who will retire June 30, 2021. The letter also called on Jobe to replace Rachel Puente as Title IX Coordinator; to remove any Title IX “decision makers who also have disciplinary powers”; and to publish Title IX complaints annually.
Also linked in the letter is a Google Document containing the stories of four former MBI students, who claim Moody mishandled their abuse cases.
Anna Heyward (MBI Class of 2017)
Anna Heyward, who identified as one of the organizers of the petition on Facebook, wrote that she was sexually and physically assaulted in 2016 by her ex-boyfriend—an MBI employee and graduate student. According to Heyward, when she told Dean Arens about the abuse, Arens urged her not to report it and threatened to place her on probation.
Heyward wrote that her ex-boyfriend got her drunk on her 21st birthday and then forced her to give him oral sex. Her ex-boyfriend then reportedly told Heyward that if she told anyone, he would report her to the school for drinking alcohol, which is forbidden by Moody’s Student Life Guide.
Heyward wrote that her ex-boyfriend continued to sexually abuse her for several months and raped her. She added that he also physically attacked her, hitting her in the face.
Heyward wrote that a few months later, she told Dean Arens her entire story of abuse and he responded, “But you drank the alcohol, right?” Heyward wrote that Arens also asked her what she did “to deserve to be hit.”
According to Heyward, Arens urged her not to pursue a Title IX case or press charges, and threatened to place her on probation for “drinking and my involvement in sexual activities.”
Heyward wrote that she then told Title IX Coordinator Rachel Puente about her ex-boyfriend hitting her in the face. According to Heyward, Puente responded that she was sorry but didn’t do anything else.
Heyward added that she did not tell Puente about the sexual abuse but asked Puente to get the full story from Dean Arens.
Heyward wrote that she returned to classes soon afterwards but was not given “any psychological or academic help.” She also wrote that MBI leaders urged her to give a speech at a banquet that her ex-boyfriend attended. When she told the leaders that she wasn’t comfortable being in the same room with her abuser, the leaders allegedly said Heyward would “get through it.”
I emailed Dean Arens for comment around midnight on Friday and again this morning, but he did not respond. I also emailed Rachel Puente and sent a message via Facebook messenger, but she did not respond either.
I repeatedly emailed MBI President Mark Jobe as well, but did not hear back.
Other Accounts of Mishandled Cases
Three other former MBI students tell their stories in the Google document. They are identified as Megan Wohlers (MBI Class of 2019), Bethany Timm (MBI student from fall 2014—spring 2016), and an anonymous student from the Class of 2020.
Wohlers wrote that she was repeatedly harassed and stalked by an MBI student that she dated briefly her freshman year, so she filed a Title IX report.
Wohlers alleged that in response, “Dean Arens and Title IX” told her that she would have to “drop all charges against my abuser in exchange for him agreeing to leave campus.” She added that the agreement also included a “gag order,” barring her from speaking about the case for the remainder of her time at Moody.
“I was so exhausted and terrified that my abuser would retaliate against my friends, family, witnesses, and me, so I agreed to these terms in order to receive immediate physical and emotional safety,” Wohlers wrote.
Similarly, Bethany Timm wrote that she was stalked by another MBI student for months. But she wrote that when she reported the stalking to Dean Arens, he “lacked empathy” and laughed when Timm said she didn’t want the student to be kicked out of school. Timm wrote that Arens said the student would “definitely not get kicked out.”
According to Timm, Arens never informed Timm that she could file a Title IX report. She also alleged that Arens laughed when Timm suggested that the student stalking her may have an “undiagnosed mental health issue,” stating: “Women tend to get over emotional about things like this.”
The anonymous student wrote that she also went to Arens about an ex-boyfriend’s stalking behavior, which included coming to her hometown and workplace without her consent.
Arens reportedly told the student that he would tell her ex-boyfriend to leave her alone. However, she wrote that when that didn’t work, she went back to Arens. But instead of helping her, Arens reportedly got frustrated and questioned whether she should be pursuing a career in counseling.
“I left the conversation in tears . . . ” she wrote. “I wanted to drop out of Moody that day for fear of being too crazy or unqualified to become a counselor.”
She added that today, she is working full time at a psychiatric clinic and has “a passion for people with mental health issues.”
I reached out to several of the people who commented on the petition, requesting more information about what happened to them. Some did not respond. Others did not want to speak with me in more detail about their experiences.
I reached out to the Moody survivors email address listed on the Open Letter for additional comment. They responded that they are forming their “media strategy” and would contact me if they are interested in “moving forward.”
*UPDATE: MBI President Mark Jobe issued the following statement today: “As President of Moody Bible Institute, and an alum, I am committed to ensuring that all of our campuses are not only safe for all students, but also a place that takes seriously the voice of victims and follows through on dealing with abuse of any kind. If our community has failed to uphold that commitment in the past, I am profoundly sorry for the pain and wounds this may have caused students and their loved ones.”
Jobe added that Provost Dwight Perry and his leadership team have developed an action plan with recommendations that will be shared Tuesday during Moody’s chapel and subsequently released to Moody alumni.
As of 5:30 p.m. Monday, the number of signatures on the petition exceeded 2,400.
*UPDATE: On Monday, MBI announced it is hiring a firm to conduct an independent investigation of the allegations.
74 thoughts on “Petition Alleging Cover-Up of Sexual Abuse at Moody Bible Institute Garners 1,700 Signatures”
This is infuriating. These are crimes, not infractions of some disciplinary or honor code.
“Anna Schutte (MBI Class of 2020) wrote: “I’m signing this because I have seen too many of my friends traumatized, raped, assaulted,…”
Anna has seen too many of her friends raped and assaulted, where does she live in a war-torned environment? Sounds suspicious to me, or hyperbole.
Excuse you, but you have no idea what it’s like. Also, the school is in Chicago, which is a gang-infested warzone. It goes on a LOT more because of covers like these. That’s why people are speaking out so that people like you don’t get to write the narrative and disbelieve us.
What’s interesting is that not one person in the story above claims to have been raped by someone from “Chicago’s gang-infested warzone.”
Yet you made sure to make an inference to Chicago’s gangs because you believe (rightfully so, I’m sure) that doing so will justify your shouting down of the very appropriate questioning of the statements made by some students in the article.
The latest statistics I found (I didn’t look very hard) seem to indicate MBI has about 3,000 students, give or take. That is an extremely small student population. People are correct in questioning statements that indicate rape and sexual assaults are rampant in a population that small.
Instead of asking the obvious question of why are students at a small Christian college sexually assaulting, raping, and stalking one another at such a high rate (according to you and others) you choose to go for the cheap shot that you know will inflame people’s sentiments by maligning people who have nothing to do with MBI’s alleged rape culture.
I absolutely believe that MBI, like most college campuses have a problem with Title IX coverups and sexual misconduct, assault, and rape. However, as a woman, sexual abuse survivor, and Christian you have lost any credibility with me, Meg.
Also it would be useful to ask the student who claims she knows about “far too many” of her friends being assaulted to quantify “far too many?”
Another one that doesn’t get it. Amazing. Truly amazing.
Even 1 is “far too many.”
MH, drank the “kool aid” much? “Code language” in your response to Meg? I am laughing so hard.
Carla and G7, what do you feel is an acceptable number of people getting raped at a college campus?
Carla, 1 out of 5 women in the United States has been raped. 1 out of 5. And this doesn’t account for other cases of sexual assault, abuse, domestic violence, attempted rape, other assaults, or stalking.
Being a woman can be awful. And then we have to put up with people like you who don’t want to believe what we’ve been through.
The article says nothing about gangs. It’s all internal. This isn’t about campus security from outside people; it’s students not being protected by the people within!
Totally agree with your answer. Too much talk and not enough action.
Given the fact that the article never mentions anyone from the “gang-infested warzone” (read: Black) as a rapist, I find your comments offensive. Chicago has enough issues without inner city being blamed for the rape crisis at Moody.
Calvin, why on earth are you bringing race into this? And I brought it up, because G7 said, “What do they live in a war zone?” Yes, we kinda do.
Meg, you brought race into this with how you responded to G7. Where Moody is located is not a warzone and I doubt any of Chicago’s crime spills over onto campus so bringing up the crime in the city is completely irrelevant to this story.
Calvin, name one comment I made about race. I didn’t bring race into it–you did. This makes you a racist if you seriously have to bring race into every subject.
Bringing up race does not make Calvin a racist. That is NOT ANYWHERE CLOSE to the definition of racist.
And your post did have code language. You were alluding to a certain profile and then playing innocent because you didn’t explicitly mention race. That’s a game. You know what imagery that expressions like “gang-infested war zone” bring up. Don’t act like you don’t.
Up until recently, I lived up in the street from Moody (in between Old Town and Gold Coast) for nearly a decade. That is NOT a war zone. Gang infested? I guess if a bunch of women walking dogs while wearing lululemon and carrying Starbucks cups is a gang, then ok. LOL It is a nice area that is walking distance from Magnificent Mike, luxury shopping and dining on Oak Street, and is adjacent to some of the priciest real estate in the city.
You’re being dramatic, which will do nothing but unnecessarily exacerbate an already tragic situation.
Who am I a racist against? I’m Black. My wife is White and my children are biracial. This of course doesn’t mean that I’m not racist by default but I would like to understand how my calling out your coded language is racist? M H put it excellently, especially as a person who lived near the campus.
When you bring up “gang infested warzone” what comes to mind? Seriously, think about it. Who comes to mind? Not the residents of where Moody is but Black and Hispanic youths. Google “The Southern Strategy” and “Racial Dog Whistles” and you’ll see how your comments injected racial elements into the conversation. If you don’t see how your comments were racist then there’s point in going any further.
But I would love for you to further explain how I am racist.
Eagerly awaiting your assessment of my racial issues.
If I may repost the comment I made when endorsing the petition:
Though nothing I experienced at Moody was sexual or violent or as severe as the stories shared in this petition, as a student I experienced first hand that Moody leadership does not take harassment of its students seriously.
These victim experiences seem completely credible and their reports of administration response seem very much in line with the response I received when I approached Mr. Arens with my complaint.
I stand with the victims in calling for change.
Class of 2005
MEG, what in the world do you mean by what you said about Chicago?
JS, I was referring to G7’s comment about “What, do you live in a war zone?”
Then again, one would really be too many, wouldn’t it?
That comment was directed at G7, by the way, not Julie.
If these accusations are true than Dean Arens needs to be terminated from his job and so do all of the folks who did nothing to address these horrible experiences that theses women were put through. I’m hoping that Mr Jobe would work swiftly to resolve this matter otherwise I will have to stop my support for MBI.
This is appalling and I agree that Tim Arens and anyone else involved should be fired if this is found to be true.
Julie, why do you speak of an “independent investigation'” when your past writings say that no investigation can be truly independent when an organization pays to investigate itself?
I have written in the past that no law firm hired to conduct an investigation is truly independent. All law firms have fiduciary responsibility to their clients. There are other organizations Moody could hire to conduct their investigation, like G.R.A.C.E., which states in its agreement with organizations that it is not an agent of the group it is investigating and will act “independent with complete autonomy.”
I don’t blame Tim Arens. I think he has done good job during his almost 40 year tenure at Moody. I’m sure he is relieved to be leaving at this difficult time. The blame goes to an over sexualized society where anything goes. Boys are coming into college, even Christian boys not understanding how to act like men. Girls don’t realize how they are supposed to be treated. Parents allow to much freedom. I remember as a freshman I really looked up to the seniors, the majority were truly mature men ready to go into ministry. When I graduated I didn’t quite feel that I attained their level of godliness. But I saw the maturity level of new students degrade every year. The last freshman class I saw, I could not believe the level of idiocy the boys displayed. That was over 20 years ago how much worse must it be now. Maybe Moody should return to the kind of rules they had in the 40s and 50s.
Sure. But then no one would go there, would they?
Moodys enrollment has plummeted year over year since 2010.
Sure. But then no one would go there, would they?
Then so be it. It’s better than dragging the name of Moody through the mud and allowing men who don’t know how to act like men, young men like that think that going to Moody is a joke and that they can bring a culture of sex abuse into the school and get away with it. If men and women are not sold out for Christ, and if they can’t prove they are, then they should not be allowed into a Christian school, period. And if school has to close its doors for low enrollment, so be it.
It sounds like Tim Arens hasn’t left the ideology of the 40‘s & 50’s.
Given that you support going back to those eras, I’m not surprised by your inconsiderate and calloused statement.
Honestly, who openly condones the act of hiding illegal crimes?! 🧐🤢🤮
I didn’t mean to sound like I support brushing things under the rug. I meant returning to holding students to high to high standards and not allowing them opportunities for alone time and getting into trouble.
But then of course like Steve said they’re not going to go for that.
So how about Moody ends the whole residential campus thing which is probably holding the school back anyway.
They can do school from home and have small discussion classes in churches around the country. Then the students won’t have all the problems of living on their own and dealing all that new found freedom which they clearly are not ready for.
How can you not blame Dean Arens? When his actions towards a victim creat even more pain towards the victim when he acted the way he did towards the victim. He’s clearly over his skis in his job if he’s unable to have compassion towards the victim and unable to have an idea on how to deal with such a situation instead of trying to push it under the rug. This to me sounds like something that a child would do not an adult in a position of leadership. Guess what things are going to happen that are not very wholesome. We live in a fallen world. But to think that trying to hide a criminal activity by pushing it under the rug isn’t a very Christlike response in my opinion.
J – you don’t blame Time Aren’s for not holding the accountable and blaming the women instead?
You don’t see any connection between men feeling entitled to abuse and assault women and the dean of student laughing these things off, giving the men a pass, actively discouraging accountabilty, and punishing the women instead?
The thing that always amazes me about these cases is that people in authority with advanced degrees in places of higher learning ALWAYS make STUPID decisions in erring on the side of ignorance against insight. Come on people! ALWAYS believe the victim UNTIL you can prove otherwise! The punch in the gut to the institution that pursues TRUTH is a lot easier to get over than the permanent black eye it will suffer for looking the other way.
I pray these women will find solace in knowing there are many who are supporting them.
Chuck it is truly amazing. Many men in many Christian Churches and Colleges doing things a Circus 🎪 Chimp could figure out to do the right thing ie call the cops. Maybe they should get a circus chimp. The chimp will work for bananas.
Would someone explain to me the thought process behind not reporting? If a woman is assaulted or raped why not call the police first and then notify the school, especially if the school had a reputation of not being helpful to the students? Thanks
I was assaulted by a family friend. When I told my mom what happened, she said, it must have been my fault, he had too much alcohol to drink, he didn’t really mean to do it, etc. She was not supportive so if she wasn’t why would a police officer help the situation? This was over ten years ago and I would stand up for myself now if it happened again. I’m sure the victims dont tell other women, “hey the university isnt supportive of rape/assault situations so be sure to call the police first and then tell the Dean’s office.” Nobody talks about this stuff to each other.
how horrible what happened to you. I am so sorry that you did not receive the support at the time.
I pray that The Lord will redeem even this pain in your life.
CHUCK…the number one reason of a delay or a “non” or delayed report is this…rarely are the women believed, and/or are almost always accused of being irresponsible…so they regularly accused of being the “reason” for the sexual attack.
But the “suffering in silence” can bring a woman who has been abused…to a point that they must tell SOMEONE.
This may take 15 minutes…or 15 years.
I’ll withhold judgement until I hear Moody’s side of the story, especially after scrolling through Anna’s Facebook timeline. “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.” (Proverbs 18:17)
i’m really curious what your judgement will look like when even just one of these stories is credible.
I have no words to describe how I’m feeling right now. I can’t even begin to imagine what these women are thinking and feeling, after being so horribly victimized. I will say one thing, however. Regardless of whatever Christian institution I was involved with or employed with or even as a student, I would immediately bypass any protocol in the Christian institution and go directly to the police. I understand that going to the authorities within the school is something that Christian women would naturally do, believing that the people they go to would be able to help them somehow. However, even if the authorities within the institution were to act in accordance with their rules or bylaws concerning sexual misconduct, they still have no authority over this particular type of behavior because it is not just an infraction of the rules or bylaws. This is a criminal act and the police need to be immediately and directly involved. I would encourage any women who have experienced this evil, perverted behavior to go to the police. I really am quite tired of hearing about the culture of secrecy and deception within the Christian church. Financial misconduct. Sexual misconduct. When and where will it all end? My prayers for consolation and healing are with the women of this post.
Why is Moody subject to Title IX? They’re a private school.
They accept federally insured student loans and federal student grants.
Since when? That’s problematic.
Jerome, are you implying that you do not approve of Title IX? Why?
I’m asking why is Moody subject to it, as a private school. Apparently they’re taking government money. Which historically they did not. You can’t serve two masters I’ve heard it said.
Almost all private colleges accept government loans and grants. The only ones I’m aware of that don’t are Hillsdale and Grove City.
Historically Moody had not. As an Alum I know this all too well.
And just because “everyone else does it” doesn’t make it a good idea.
That federal money provides financial aid to students. Without it, many students wouldn’t be able to afford to go to Moody, or they’d be racked with private loans with less forgiving terms….all while preparing to go into ministry jobs that do not pay them enough to get out from underneath the loans. So if there’s a problem with receiving federal aid, the conversation needs to be about increasing fundraising or decreasing costs so MBI is more affordable.
That is, unless you want Moody to just become more and more out of reach for lower class students.
MANY universities need to look at this. The costs of higher ed have gotten absurd.
I’m a graduate of Moody. I know. I also know the tuition is paid by donors. You have no argument.
What’s there to argue? I was replying about why schools tend to take government funds. Unfortunately, higher ed costs have gotten out of control (for a lot of reasons, including the debatable concept of tenure), even outpacing wage growth, which is actually forcing a lot more schools – and students – to take federal aid in addition to donations. This leads to the government having a larger influence and right to have a say in what goes on in higher ed, even when it’s a private institution.
Also, if students receive any federal grants or loans (e.g., Pell Grant), the funds will often go directly to the school versus the student, which is “technically” the school receiving aid. This even happens if the money is for room and board (in that case, the money just “flows through” the school, as the school issues a check to the student).
Not sure why you felt the need to be rude. I was clarifying what’s likely led to Moody making this decision.
If these women are telling the truth, Mr Arens and Ms Puente appearantly broke the law. But it begs the question: why or how could people in such high level positions not be aware of “minimum”legal requirements for sex-related complaints.
110 ILCS 155/15)
Sec. 15. Student notification of rights and options.
(a) On or before August 1, 2016, upon being notified of an alleged violation of the comprehensive policy by or on behalf of a student, each higher education institution shall, at a minimum, provide the survivor, when identified, with a concise notification, written in plain language, of the survivor’s rights and options, including without limitation:
(1) the survivor’s right to report or not report the alleged incident to the higher education institution, law enforcement, or both, including information about the survivor’s right to privacy and which reporting methods are confidential;
“why or how could people in such high level positions not be aware of “minimum”legal requirements for sex-related complaints?”
in christian culture such things are too worldly, & how dare the government have the audacity to meddle in our affairs. after all, the daughters of eve as lesser beings are always suspect and deserve what they get. Says christian culture.
this is the practice at ground zero, despite what any vague and flowery theory engineered in rarified circles may say
So sad. Seems to me that Moody needs to have a class on this very subject since we live in such an evil world and Satan is attacking all Christian churches and organizations more now than ever before. Christians need to be better prepared for such attacks and education on how to handle these situations when they occur is one of the keys. We need to pray more for ourselves and each other as we are out there in this crazy world and only God knows what we need in these situations.
Moody actually offers a BA in Ministry to Victims of Sexual Exploitation. https://www.moody.edu/undergrad/chicago/programs/ministry-victims/
That is ironic
How can a woman go to a man and expect to be heard in an institution where the hearing violates a core belief that women should not teach or have authority over men, and are to be silent (in the same verse) in the church?
Are women to be silent at MBI? Apparently. In Christ there is no Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female… maybe. What does MBI teach about women in the church vs. in the home? How are churches navigating the roles of women in the church? The genius of some is staggering.
How do we address the greater issue that it’s not safe to report sexual abuse (or any abuses) to the men in the church? Where are the women?
Dear Women, stop allowing men to poorly serve Christ with no women to field these reports and speak into the governing crustiness.
Step up. Get known as a safe haven. Speak up and be the people that women, boys, girls, special needs, and all can come to report abuses so something is done. Something will change.
An MBI prof once said to my class of Moody students (1987), “If the men won’t step up, the women must.” It’s time.
Believe me, around the evangelical world, the women have stepped up, and overstepped. In my experience, we now have woman and children reigning…and this extends around the world.
I am a woman, and I was “emotionally raped” by the organization I grew up in, served, and loved, as I tried to defend my innocent falsely accused husband, and bring truth to light.
A falsely accused man now is supposed to prove he didn’t do something he didn’t do…that is the reality of the country and climate we now live in.
Our mission’s treatment of us could end up as a disaster for the Christian & mission community in the country in which we were serving. TOO quick to expect abuse and believe anyone who reports it, and to prove that they take all reports of abuse seriously…plays right into the hands of our spiritual enemy.
Our codes regarding “abuse” are extremely dangerous now, such that it is easy for a woman or child to make false allegations and be believed and exalted for being brave…while bringing down the men who actually DO cherish. love, and protect woman and children.
I speak from having to deal with women who are in positions of the greatest authority in a well known, long established international mission…These women allowed the destruction of families and ministries based on Title IX standards.
Please be careful what you wish for/urge. It is actually here already. The structure has been laid out over the last 20 years, and I will not be surprised to see wholesale taking out of goldy pastors, missionaries, and any men who actually do love and protect women, based solely on false allegations deemed to be true until proven false. And how does one know in a he said she said situation? In my experience, our culture declares that SHE always tells the truth.
May God have mercy on us all.
Morality goes in and out of fashion. Some pitfalls:
Swinging from one un desirable extreme to the other rather than finding the needed balance. (Whether it is concepts, morality, practical techniques, even products, the watchword is balance in my opinion.)
Compensation: loosening in one area while tightening in another related area or tightening in one area while loosening in another.
Sublimation: ceasing wrong behavior in one area only to have the underlying violation show up in another area(s), possibly in a milder form.
In order to understand how individuals, cultures and subcultures can never get even the theory entirely right, we not only need to take into account our innate bent toward error and evil but such specific influences as these:
Beliefs (putting wrong beliefs into practice),
Sensibilities (what people are taught about right and wrong, including symbolism),
Conditions: various circumstances can make certain right and wrong behaviors easier to both do and justify.
We went from denying child sexual abuse to, depending on time and place, hysteria and witch hunting (eg Martensville Saskatchewan in the Nineties: supposed Satanic ritual abuse). As you have pointed out, ELI, we risk the same excessive backlash re the abovementioned issue.
It might be helpful to read about the wrongfully convicted, eg at Innocence Canada, what can happen when people are lazy/inexperienced/overheated/crusading.
I have worked at MBI as well as a similar school elsewhere. The person in Dean Arens’ position is always under pressure. Theoretically, they’re supposed to be the one to enforce the often strict disciplinary codes, but to do so would make them very unpopular among the students. So there’s always a tendency to try to be “Mr. Friendly” and ignore some infractions, in order to create the illusion that all is well. (I read some of Arens’ old tweets the other day, and they almost desperately cry out “please like me.”) Unfortunately, that can lead to situations like this in which actual crimes may have been covered up. MBI has a history of sweeping problems under the rug, such as about 30+ years ago when a dean expelled the son of a Moody VP for bad behavior, and was then told that the boy would be reinstated. The employee learned that there were limits to his authority.
“So there’s always a tendency to try to be “Mr. Friendly” and ignore some infractions, in order to create the illusion that all is well. (I read some of Arens’ old tweets the other day, and they almost desperately cry out “please like me.”) Unfortunately, that can lead to situations like this in which actual crimes may have been covered up.”
Why do the female students have to bear the brunt of creating this illusion?
institutionalized patriarchy and misogyny in the christian institution across the board.
The man, the husband, the son, the boy, the brother is favored, recognized, acknowledged.
The woman, the wife, the daughter, the sister gets the short end of the stick. She’s usually invisible. Not even on the radar.
Moody grad here from almost 30 years ago. This is so spot on. There was a group so students who spent their free time sitting on the plaza basically being intimidating bullies. They seemed to be well liked by Dean Arens. I can’t imagine that any student who may have had issues with those students would have felt like they could report to Dean Arens. He was clearly very friendly with them. Sadly, this article does not surprise me.
Former Moodyite. This is so sad but not surprising. I love one of the things Julie says about her ministry, “Calling the church to repent…” At the end of this article there is a quote about how (my paraphrase), “we have to protect the reputation of the institution AND the funds coming in – that must keep coming in, in large quantities.” I would not be surprised if Moody must begin “selling off ” parts of its properties. Sad, but this is a consequence of undealt with sin. Psalm 32 is about David and also about those of us in the body of Christ, but can it not also be applied to these modern day “monster” institutions or para-church groups or churches too? Almost every church or person that Julie covers is trying to protect “their reputation and their funding” so they do not practice Psalm 32.
I hope this does not come off as an insensitive comment. Any institution, including the church can have all the bylaws and regulations they want. They still do not have the authority to go after someone who commits a crime. This type of authority lies with the police alone. I can’t imagine the fear and embarrassment a woman would feel if she was sexually assaulted, as I have never been sexually abused myself. And certainly the good old boys network that is in place in so many of our business communities and church communities, and society at large is not going to go away anytime soon. Coverups and victimizing the victim all seem to be firmly in place. This is why I urge women who have been sexually assaulted, to bypass any rules or regulations in what ever institution they are associated with to go to the police. I really hope this helps. My prayer for consolation in healing is still with the women of this post.
I am completely appalled by this. So different from my (secular) college 50 years ago.
What strikes me in all of this is the sad progression: Young men are abusing, harassing, and raping women in Bible Colleges, Christian universities, and Seminaries, not being held to account for it, and then go on to pastor churches and lead ministries.
There is probably a trail of victims from the more bigger name pastors/ministers/teachers that have fallen that leads back to their educational institutes…
“and be sure your sin will find you out.”
The days of Christian education are numbered – for many reasons but the biggest is the cost issue of course. The job of parents and solid churches is to teach their children, from a young age (see also “Mama Bear Apologetics”), apologetics and all that goes along with it, worldview, etc. A young person will be equipped and will not walk in fear but the Holy Spirit’s truth, love and power while attending a state school. We will be salt and light! God has a way of “dispersing His people to the furthest corners on the world” and right now, spiritually and as far as truth goes, that is the US college campus. Mike Kruger on the TGC, has a great short video called “How to Survive World Religions 101.” Kruger even had Bart Ehrman while a student at UNC Chapel Hill. Kruger shares lessons he learned through that time. It is incredible.
My impression of MBI from former graduates was that they only accepted the “cream of the crop” since they didn’t charge tuition. That certainly doesn’t seem to be the case now, if it ever was. But they have also told me that the school has shaken off it’s commitment to solid Evangelical doctrine and minimized personal holiness in recent years. One former faculty member affirmed that to me. Perhaps it is time to clean house altogether.
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