Moody Bible Institute, Chicago


Jan 10, 2018 by Alyssa Duvall

Update: Moody Bible Institute Fires Julie Roys, Tensions And Allegations Mount

Amid mounting tension, allegations, and controversy, whistleblower and radio host Julie Roys has been fired by Moody Bible Institute. This update follows our previous story on Roys' investigation into the college's questionable dealings, including deep cuts to staff, a shift toward liberal theology, and the creation of a "culture of fear".

Roys, host of Moody Radio's "Up for Debate" broadcast, found out by email on Saturday afternoon that she had been fired. She was given no official reason for her termination and was told that her boss would soon visit her house to retrieve her laptop.

The termination came shortly after her January 4 blog post which outlined a "crisis" of leadership at MBI, falling student enrollment rates, and a climate of fear and intimidation in which campus whistleblowers were silenced. In a follow-up post on Saturday, Roys further detailed instances of "self-dealing" among top MBI leaders in the last ten years.

Roys is currently on vacation, but commented on Tuesday that she has "sources on the record" and "documented support for the allegations against the administration cited in [her] prior piece" that corroborate her claims. She said she intentds to release more documentation in the next few days.

Among the questionable acts of the school most recently brought to light, the Christian Post reported that MBI allegedly gave its president, Paul Nyquist a $500,000 loan to acquire a $1.08 million condominium near the campus. According to Moody's latest 990 tax forms, this loan has not yet been repaid. The loan was given during a time of financial strain for the school.

The condo in question is reportedly worth more than double the median sale price of homes in the same neighborhood as MBI, Roys reported. In addition, Nyquist's compensation package rose from $233,252 in 2009 to $338,735 in 2016, according to school records.

In another instance of self-dealing, Roys reported that from 2000 to 2008, MBI provided a luxury apartment atop Jenkins Hall for trustee and former Moody board chairman Jerry B. Jenkins, co-author of the Left Behind fiction series. Jenkins gave the school an undisclosed amount of money in 1999, enabling them to purchase the building that now bears his name.

"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," Roys explained. However, a former facilities manager told her that Jenkins and his family were the only ones with access to the apartment, other than cleaning and maintenance staff. The family would routinely leave their belongings, including clothes and furniture, in the apartment. An anonymous whistleblower wrote a report around 2008 which ended Jenkins' exclusive use of the suite which appeared suspicious.

Jenkins made a statement to Roys that the incident was an "unfortunate misunderstanding" which 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."

Anonymous sources at the school's Chicago campus shared with the Christian Post on Tuesday that the atmosphere has "been tense for a while," especially following faculty cuts in November.

Students report that no official reason has been given for the termination of many of their favorite professors and that the administration has been mostly silent.

Ahead of an on-campus board and trustees meeting in October, a Moody graduate emailed two board members expressing disappointment in MBI's "begun trading the sure foundation of God's Word...for the fragile foundation of the cultural tides of the day," as documented by The Broken Twig.

The email highlighted an apparent lack of professionalism shown by the chair of the Urban Ministries Program, Clive Craigen. The alumnus also chronicled several instances of conservative voices being silenced and marginalized in favor of theological liberalism "devoid of any Gospel substance and grounding." Roys reported that this was one of several concerns about the school's drift toward liberalism that have been met with inaction.

Roys presently insists that, despite Moody officials claiming her lack of following "protocol" in reporting these problems, she was given no choice but to go public after her extensive efforts to follow "protocol" yielded no results.

"I have followed the 'protocol' of Matthew 18," Roys wrote. "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."

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