Wheaton College Details Allegations Against Ousted Chaplain After He Threatens Lawsuit

By Julie Roys
The Rev. Timothy Blackmon at Wheaton College

Wheaton College has just released details about the alleged sexual misconduct and racial comments that led to the recent dismissal of its chaplain, Timothy Blackmon. This comes after Blackmon reportedly threatened legal action against the school on Wednesday.

According to a report in the Daily Herald, Blackmon said in a statement that it “pains” him to think of taking legal action against Wheaton, but it might be necessary. Blackmon added that he was “completely blindsided” by Wheaton’s Title IX investigation, which he said stemmed from public comments Blackmon made in 2015 and 2016.

Tim Blackmon, left, and Philip Ryken

“Moreover, there were no allegations of flirtation, inappropriate relationships, sexual misconduct or any sexual action towards anyone,” Blackmon added. “At no time did anyone, either the complainant or any witness, communicate offense or discomfort.”

Yet in an email to faculty and staff today, Wheaton President Philip Ryken disputed Blackmon’s account.

Ryken said that in the Fall of 2019, college administrators received numerous allegations concerning Blackmon. These included allegations that Blackmon:

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    • Repeatedly used an ethnic slur in reference to a person of color
    • Suggested in a staff meeting that a female employee sit on his lap and complete a sexual harassment online training for him as a way of mocking the training
    • Made comments to a recently married female employee about her sex life
    • Circulated an email to employees with a meme about masturbation
    • Arranged to have a graphically illustrated manual of sexual positions called The Idiot’s Guide to Kama Sutra placed on a female staff member’s desk

Ryken said that when confronted, Blackmon “did not dispute that he said or did any of these things. In fact, he admitted that his ‘foolish’ conduct was ‘beneath the dignity of (his) position and not up to the highest standards of wisdom.’”

Prior to Ryken’s statement, Blackmon also alleged that part of the complaint against him dealt with theological articles he shared that “the complainant deemed ideologically problematic.”

However, Ryken said in his email that “the investigation into (Blackmon’s) behavior had nothing to do with the theological content of any articles (Blackmon) shared with his staff.”

Ryken added that the college is “grieved by the events that led to Rev. Blackmon’s dismissal as well as the public nature of the dispute.” Ryken said the college had “sincerely hoped” not to share details of Blackmon’s dismissal. But given Blackmon’s “attempts to exonerate his behavior,” the college felt it must provide further information.

Blackmon, a native of the Netherlands, was hired by Wheaton in 2015. His dismissal became public on July 3. Prior to coming to Wheaton, Blackmon served as senior pastor and head of staff at American Protestant Church in the Netherlands.



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22 thoughts on “Wheaton College Details Allegations Against Ousted Chaplain After He Threatens Lawsuit”

  1. Ryken tried to keep the details from the public, but if Chaplain Blackmon is going to threaten legal action, I’m glad the facts are fully out in the open.

  2. WHAAAAAAT.???

    “the investigation into (Blackmon’s) behavior had nothing to do with the theological content of any articles (Blackmon) shared with his staff.”

    The LIFESTYLE of a “presenter” says EVERYTHING about the presentation.!!!

    1. Sigh. Here we go. I don’t even have the energy to keep explaining why black lives (should) matter as much as everyone else’s. It says a lot that daring to say so leads to such hateful labels…..on a Christian site.

      But anyway, this back and forth of “I’m gonna sue!” then “well, then I’m gonna tell!” reeks of a culture of hypocrisy and dishonesty. So unbecoming of a Christian college.

      1. I don’t understand where race is a part of this particular matter. Of course black lives matter, but even if the person who allegedly did all these repeated inappropriate things was purple, what difference would it make? They are still serious charges and if proven true there has to be consequences.

        In the case of hypocrisy and dishonesty I don’t doubt there are politics at any university or large operation. In fact, I was force to resign from a university job after I raised a complaint about being sexually harassed by an older female employee and also reported inappropriate sexual material publicly displayed in the office. The irony was I was working in an office dedicated to preventing sexual assault and harassment! So I understand “politics.”

        If the college just dismissed him and kept it quiet they run two serious risks

        1. Being accused of letting him go without merit or it being racially motivated or prejudiced in some way. He is already claiming it was over theological differences. Who knows, could have played a part, but repeated, documented, confronted sexual behaviors, yeah, that will get you fired.
        2. Allowing a someone with a potenital problem with sexual misconduct to go to other ministries and continue to do that behavior.

        #2 in particular has been a HUGE problem mentioned in Julie’s other articles where a church keeps it quiet and does not warn other ministries. The goal isn’t to malign or harm the person involved, but to make sure those ministries are aware to protect others.

        Hopefully an offender repents and be carefully restored with solid accountability. We are to be a forgiving restorative people if a person repents and decides not to harm others. Hopefully then God opens a door for them to serve in a way that is not a threat to others. Could be an amazing testimony that glorifies God.

        I just don’t see where race plays a role here.

        1. Sorry if my reply was unclear, it was directed at FreeAtLast’s rant against Black Lives Matter. (And thank you for saying, ‘Of course black lives matter.’ I’d like to think it’s that obvious for everyone.

          In this case, I agree with just about everything else you wrote. I know there’s the argument of how bias inherently plays a role in all we do, but in this case, it’s really not the point.

      2. Really, you think you have to explain that black lives matter? You must have just come to that realization yourself. That is not in dispute.

  3. Wheaton’s College hypocrisy is what I am reading. Would prefer the context of the misconduct accusations. If I had child of age would never send my child to Wheaton College. The biblical drift of Wheaton College is much worse than Moody Bible Institute. At least in the case of MBI they seem to at least attempting to reverse the trend of Biblical Drift. Not so at Wheaton

  4. Dirk,
    What kind of “biblical drift” is Wheaton College experiencing? How is it much worse than MBI? I have not heard that term before. Do you have specific examples or articles?

      1. She made a statement equating the God of Christianity with the god of Islam. Of course they fired her after she said that. Why would they fire her before she said that? That wouldn’t be right.

  5. Matthew Anthony

    I’m not quite sure what Dr. Ryken means or is implying when he says that Blackmon was trying to exonerate himself. Is it a bad thing for someone to try to defer himself against allegations of bad behavior?

  6. President Ryken is a surprise. I thought he would be more fair and balanced. But reading his quote and characterisation of Blackmon shows that he is framing the alleged behavior in an unfair and unbalanced way.
    Did someone get to President Ryken? Has he been compromised? Is someone forcing his hand to deal with someone with more conservative views? That is someone who is not quite on board with the spirit of the age, with insufficiently ‘progressive’ views? It does not seem like it started as a personal vendetta. Strange case.

  7. Now I have followed this a bit, I would not advise my children to attend Wheaton College! It looks like a board full of hypocrites. Ryken should have tried to find the right balance, and made sure Blackmon stayed at Wheaton as he was great inspiration for the students. Blackmon knows how to bring a great sermon. For this reason the school should have kept him on board. Christian school should learn to forgive where possible, and restore – this is what Jesus teaches us. But the school acted like the Pharisees in the Bible acted!

    1. Who cares if he brings a great sermon? No one NEEDS a great sermon—we have the Bible for truth and what we need. What we NEED are for Christians to live up to the Word of God and their own sermons.

      Be gone Mr. Blackmon we wish you forgiveness, grace from God and growth to acknowledge that you don’t belong, at least until you mature, in a community where you are influencing young minds.

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