Moody Bible Institute administration announced on Tuesday that it has implemented a multi-step plan to address the multiple allegations that the school improperly handled Title IX claims and incidents of sexual abuse and harassment.
MBI President Mark Jobe and Provost Dwight Perry said during a Tuesday morning chapel service they had seen the allegations against the school and that the steps the school will take will not undermine the school's stance on marriage and sexuality, adding that their goal is to ensure the safety of every student.
"As I listen to these students my heart aches with their pain and the tears expressed through written ways as they explain their stories," Jobe said. "...I am deeply saddened to hear that there are victims on our own campus who feel like their voices over the years were not heard or that proper safety measures were not taken to ensure their well-being.
...As your president, I want you to know that I am fully committed to ensure that all of our campuses are not only safe for all of our students but also a place that takes seriously the voice of victims, and follows through in dealing with abuse of any kind. And if our community has failed to uphold that commitment in the present or in the past, I am as a father, as a pastor, as a follower of Jesus, I am profoundly sorry for the pain and the wounds this may have caused students and their loved ones."
Jobe asked students to reserve judgement on Dean of Student Life Tim Arens and Title IX Coordinator Rachel Puente, who were both accused of playing a role in covering up sexual abuse at the school.
Moody will be conducting an independent investigation through a third-party firm with specific Title IX experience and will meet with mental health officials to discuss how they can provide support to those who are hurting. Arens and Puente are also both stepping away from the parts of their roles that pertain to Title IX.
Moody will announce an interim Title IX coordinator in one week, the officials said.
"Please know that the welfare of our students is paramount," Perry said. "Our posture in this moment must be marked by a spirit of humility and action. We must be on our knees in prayer, and we must listen and learn in order to come through this experience as a stronger community."