Moody Bible Institute President Resigns Amidst Scandal

Julie Roys reports:

The Moody Bible Institute today announced the resignations of President Paul Nyquist, Provost Junias Venugopal, and Chief Operating Officer Steve Mogck.  As I first reported Friday, the administration was facing serious allegations including allowing professors who deny the inerrancy of Scripture to teach at the institute and write curriculum; permitting a top education official to violate the institute’s bylaws repeatedly; fostering an atmosphere of fear and intimidation; and refusing to allow shared governance with faculty as stipulated by the Higher Learning Commission.

Julie Roys is the (now former) host of Moody Bible Radio’s Up for Debate, who was fired over the weekend for blowing the whistle on Moody Bible Institute corruption. For full disclosure, Roys hosted me on her program last year, and I found her to be a very articulate and nice person. Warren Throckmorton at Patheos reported yesterday:

Julie Roys, host of the Moody Radio show Up for Debate, was terminated from her radio show yesterday after she alleged the existence of questionable fiscal and employment practices at Moody Bible Institute. Roys’ disclosures include a loan nine years ago from MBI to the school’s president Paul Nyquist for a condo (source). According to Roys, that loan has not been repaid. She also details alleged irregularities with college facilities, gambling by a board trustee, heavy handed tactics with faculty and much more (sourcesource).

Throckmorton cited Roys, claiming that she had been terminated without stated reason by Greg Thornton, Senior VP of media, who had ostensibly handed down the decision from Moody’s Executive Board. Regarding Roys’ claims of financial improprieties and doctrinal deficiencies, Moody Bible Institute was quoted in the Christian Post, saying that Roys’ information was “incomplete” and “inaccurate” and “anonymous.”

The President of Moody Bible Institute, Nyquist, sent a letter saying the following:

Dear Moody Community,

You were all made aware last Friday that a number of accusations have been made against Moody’s leadership including members of our executive team, Board of Trustees, staff, and faculty. As we continue to pray and seek resolution to these allegations, we are committed to keeping you informed about this matter and how we are proceeding.

 First, please know that we are deeply grieved and disappointed over these allegations, have taken them very seriously, and are consistently prayerful before the Lord. We’re reviewing each of the issues raised and determining how it was addressed in the past, what we need to do in the present, and lessons learned for the future. And while interest and concern about specific details regarding personnel-related matters has been voiced, we will not violate the privacy of those involved, nor debate these issues through a third-party outlet. That is not helpful to the process, nor is it honoring to the Lord as His children.

 In addition to last week’s meeting of the Board’s Executive Committee where these issues were discussed at length, the full Board of Trustees will deliberate further on Wednesday, January 10. We covet your prayer for that meeting, and when more information is available, we will inform you, our Moody community, first.

 As we press forward, despite the challenges and hard conversations that are taking place at Moody, our executive team and the Board of Trustees are unified in our love for the Lord and this great institution, the pursuit of truth, and seeking reconciliation where possible. With that, we have also come to recognize the need for, and are committed to, improving our culture and climate at Moody through greater transparency, frequent, concise and timely communication.

 Please continue to be in prayer for Moody, our leadership, and each other that we would reflect the unity of one body joined together by Christ as expressed in Ephesians 2.

 Moody has faced and overcome numerous challenges throughout the course of our 132-year history. We must not forget that ceaseless prayers and God’s guidance are how we’ve been effective in ministry for so many years in a rapidly changing world, and that He continues to bless us with the incredible privilege of equipping people in the Word of God.

 Thank you for your commitment to prayer and seeing God glorified through this. We will continue to be in prayer for you as well.

Roys has now reported that Nyquist has resigned, along with the Chief Operating Officer, Steve Mogck and Provost, Junias Venugopal. She included an email sent to faculty on her website:

Dear Moody Family,

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, let me thank you for your service to Christ, your dedication to Moody Bible Institute, and commitment to be in prayer for the ministry at this time. We often refer to the Moody family, which is how we see all of you. We apologize for coming to you so late in the day, but given the nature of the news we are sharing, we felt it best to communicate with you as soon as possible. As you know, the Board of Trustees has been discussing issues related to widespread concerns over the direction of Moody. Today, we accepted the resignations of President, Dr. Paul Nyquist; Chief Operating Officer, Steve Mogck; and the retirement of Provost, Dr. Junias Venugopal. Let there be no mistake that the Board of Trustees holds these three men in high regard for their ethical, moral, and spiritual leadership. They are godly, honorable men to whom we entrust to the Lord and offer our deep gratitude for their years of faithful service to Christ and to Moody. However, we are unanimous in our decision that it is time for a new season of leadership. I ask that you be in prayer for them and their families. While we begin to develop plans for a nationwide search and prayerfully seek the Lord’s direction for these important positions, we are encouraged that the Lord has provided a strong leadership team to step into these roles in the interim. Greg Thornton, Senior Vice President of Media, will serve as Interim President during our search. Mark Wagner, a member of our Board, who is former president of, and now a consultant to, Walgreen’s, will serve as Interim Chief Operating Officer. In addition, Dr. John Jelinek, Vice President and Dean of Moody Theological Seminary, will serve as Interim Provost. Understandably, there are many questions at this time. Please know that we are working diligently through everything, and will stay in regular contact with you first, our Moody family, and with our many partners and friends as well. I ask for your prayers for the Board, our interim leadership team, and the entire Moody community during this next season. God has been faithful to Moody since 1886, and we continue to seek His favor as we move forward.

Randy Fairfax Chair, Board of Trustees

The emphasis was ours. Given the accusations of Julie Roys, we sure hope that these men aren’t receiving golden parachutes while their misbehavior is swept under the rug (as often happens in ecclesiastical organizations, and Louisiana College most certainly comes to mind). We also pray that the concerns of Moody Bible Institute will be as much doctrinal as financial.

Good for Julie Roys. Courageous. Good stuff.

Also, don’t fire whistle-blowers. That never works out well. FYI.

 

[Contributed by JD Hall, HT Warren Throckmorton, Patheos, Christian Post, Julie Roys]


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