Amid “widespread concerns over the direction” of Moody Bible Institute (MBI), the historic Chicago school announced today that President J. Paul Nyquist and Chief Operating Officer Steve Mogck have resigned, while 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,” stated Randy Fairfax, chair of the board of trustees. “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.”
Nyquist took the helm of Moody in 2009, after serving as president and CEO of Avant Ministries, a church planting missions agency based in Kansas City, and pastoring churches in Iowa and Nebraska.
Mogck had served as COO and executive vice president since 2012. In recent years, he was involved in efforts to lease certain Moody properties and adjust zoning for campus buildings. Prior to Moody, he was an executive and attorney for Carlson Hotels.
The board has appointed Greg Thornton, senior vice president of media, as interim president, and board member Mark Wagner, former president of Walgreens, as interim COO. John Jelinek, vice president and seminary dean, is now interim provost.
The news was announced in an email sent to the Moody community Wednesday evening, following a special meeting of the board of trustees.
“Understandably, there are many questions at this time,” stated Fairfax. “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.”
Yesterday, Moody Radio host Julie Roys—who recently detailed allegations against the school’s administration on her blog—revealed that she had been fired.
After hosting Moody’s weekly program Up for Debate for more than a decade, Roys postedthat:
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.” 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.
Last Thursday, the Christian speaker and author wrote 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.
Moody responded by calling the allegations misleading, though the issues in question were still being reviewed 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.
The executive committee of Moody’s board of trustees discussed the issues “at length” during a meeting last week, and the full board had gathered today for further consideration.
Much of the current tension at Moody stems from the Bible college’s announcement back in November that it would be shuttering its campus in Spokane, Washington; reducing programs like distance learning; and terminating faculty, including 10 percent of its Chicago campus professors, following recent drops in enrollment.
The school reported a total enrollment of 3,500 in fall 2017. Over the past seven years, numbers have dropped, including full-time freshmen at its main location in Chicago declining by nearly a quarter.
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Source: Christianity Today