Rumors and rumblings have turned to a groundswell of reckoning at Moody Bible Institute (MBI) amid the investigative reports of whistleblower and recently-fired Moody employee Julie Roys. The historic Christian school announced on Wednesday that President J. Paul Nyquist and Chief Operating Officer Steve Mogck have resigned and that Provost Junias Venugopal has retired.
“Let there be no mistake that the Board of Trustees holds these three men in high regard for their ethical, moral, and spiritual leadership,” said Randy Fairfax, chair of the board of trustees, in the announcement. “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," Fairfax said in an email sent to the Moody community Wednesday evening.
Nyquist became MBI's president in 2009, after serving as president and CEO of Avant Ministries, a church planting missions agency based in Kansas City. Nyquist also pastored churches in Iowa and Nebraska.
Mogck became COO and executive vice president in 2012. Prior to working for MBI, he was an executive and attorney for Carlson Hotels.
The board has appointed Greg Thornton, MBI's senior vice president of media, as interim president. Board member and former president of Walgreens Mark Wagner was appointed interim COO. John Jelinek, MBI's vice president and seminary dean, is now interim provost.
“Understandably, there are many questions at this time,” Fairax continued. “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.”
The investigation, findings, and termination of former Moody Radio host Julie Roys were not mentioned in the email. Roys reported allegations against the school’s administration for incidents from self-dealing to financial mismanagement to silencing theologically conservative staff on her blog after repeatedly failing to get results when following "protocol" and reporting to school officials.
"I received an email from Greg Thornton, MBI senior vice president of media, informing me that 'after consulting with the Executive Committee of the Moody Board, leadership is terminating your employment,'" Roys said of her termination. "No reason was given and I was informed that my boss, Program Manager Dan Craig would be at my house in two-and-a-half hours to pick up my laptop."
An MBI spokesman confirmed that Roys was no longer employed with Moody Radio, where she'd served as host for over a decade.
Last Thursday, Roys broke the news on her blog that MBI was in “unprecedented crisis” due to ongoing tensions between administration and staff, as well as theological concerns she raised over certain faculty members.
In a separate statement, Moody stated that Roys' allegations were misleading, though the issues in question were still under review by its leadership.
“While the blog post presents a limited perspective on the assertions raised, Moody is engaged in a comprehensive review of these matters to confirm that past events have been properly cared for and that any other matters are handled in an appropriate manner,” the school replied in a statement.