Does the WASC Commission Letter Address Reports of Sexual Assault at The Master’s University?

The Master’s University, Sexual Assault, Accreditation Probation

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Credit: TMU Facebook Page

-by Kathi

Sandy asked a very good question on the last post regarding John MacArthur’s resignation as President of The Master’s University (TMU):

It doesn’t address their sexual assault cover ups, right?

As a reminder, Julie Anne covered Jane’s account of sexual assault at The Master’s University last year: Jane’s Account of Rape, Response of Master’s University to Her Claims, and a Breaking Development Confirming Details #

While the 2017 WASC Commission letter does not directly speak to specific sexual assault incidents, it does address two important areas that reference sexual assault:

Additionally, as a result of inquiry by the visiting team and panel prompted by Third Party Complaints to the Commission, the Commission is concerned about the institution’s attention to the requirements of the Clery Act and the Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA). The Commission is concerned about the capacity of the institution’s leadership to operate with integrity, high performance, appropriate responsibility, and accountability. (CFRs 3.6, 3.7)

For those who are unaware of the Clery Act and the Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA), here is a brief summary with links for further follow-up:

The Clery Act “is a federal statute requiring colleges and universities participating in federal financial aid programs to maintain and disclose campus crime statistics and security information. The U.S. Department of Education conducts reviews to evaluate an institution’s compliance with the Clery Act requirements.”

VAWA: “The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) amendments to the Clery Act expand the rights afforded to campus survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.”

Crime Awareness Requirements Not Met

This is not the first time the Clery Act and VAWA has been an issue for TMU. In 2015 The Department of Education cited TMU for violating compliance regulations around several areas, including the Clery Act and VAWA for calendar year 2012. TMU was fined $29,000 in 2017 for its non-compliance.

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The 2017 WASC Commission letter addressed this problem of non-compliance.

The Commission is extremely concerned that the institution may be in violation of
required reporting responsibilities under the Clery Act, VAWA, and FERPA and that the COO, who has been assigned to handle these responsibilities, is unaware of the
requirements and processes mandated by these statutes. The institution should take
immediate steps to assure that it understands and is in compliance with the federal
requirements. (CFR 3.6, 3.8)

It is difficult to know if the Commission is raising concern due to the 2017 Department of Education letter or if there are on-going issues with the TMU staff understanding and maintaining compliance. Are the “Third Party Complaints” from the Department of Education? A review of the 2018 Student Handbook shows up-to-date information regarding the Clery Act reporting and VAWA information. Reporting policies are also included in the handbook.

A November 2, 2018 WASC visit update on TMU’s website notes that their accreditation remains in good standing. There is no mention of addressing the Commission’s concerns regarding the Clery Act and VAWA regulation compliance. WASC has yet to publish findings from the fall visit.

Spiritual Abuse: When People Tell You, “No Church is Perfect”

Spiritual Abuse, What Not to Say, Jonathan Hollingsworth

spiritual abuse, ken garrett, cults

 

Being hurt at church is tough, and sometimes it’s a lonely journey. You may have experienced something that other congregants have not experienced. Some people may have good intentions, but say things that are not helpful, and in fact, may be hurtful. This can lead to more isolation as you don’t know who is safe to talk to. This can lead hurt people to stay away from church entirely.

One of the most confusing things about spiritual abuse is that not everyone is able to identify spiritual abuse. I remember dropping hints to people seeing if they would acknowledge my experiences or even add to them. Thankfully, many did, and I didn’t feel alone.

I posted an old article by Jonathan Hollingsworth, What Not to Say to Someone Who’s Been Hurt by the Church, on Twitter and the SSB Facebook page which seems to have resonated with a lot of people. I thought it might be a good idea to discuss these unhelpful statements one by one here, and give people the opportunity to share their experiences.

Remember, one of the best ways for others to learn about spiritual abuse is for them to read the personal stories of others. When people can identify with your story, and you are naming it as spiritual abuse, it opens their eyes to the reality that what they experienced could have been abusive. Some people can sit with that uncertainty for years, but it will be one person’s story that will wake them up to their spiritually abusive reality.

Here is the first bad response that many of us have heard:

“No Church Is Perfect.”

Jonathan Hollingsworth writes:

Instead of empathizing with those who have been hurt by a church, some Christians go right into defense mode.

They might argue that the victim just had a “bad experience.” Or they’ll say the church is full of imperfect people who are “only human” and make mistakes just like the rest of us.

But can we agree that these excuses only distract from the problem? No one wants to be told to “focus on all the good things the church does” when they’ve been hurt by one. It doesn’t matter how many thousands of people have been positively affected by a church or ministry. The good experiences don’t cancel out the bad ones.

When I heard this said to me, it minimized the abuse and said that I need to toughen up and put up with what I was experiencing. It’s kind of like telling a victim of domestic violence that their violent husband is not perfect, just cut him some slack. It also could imply that other churches could be worse.

Did anyone say this to you? How did you react/respond to this unhelpful response?

 

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Lori Alexander: Children Should Visit Their Incarcerated Molesting Fathers

Lori Alexander, Child Sex Abuse, Spiritual Abuse

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-by Kathi

We’ve seen the type of advice Lori Alexander gives to wives experiencing domestic abuse. Just when you think she couldn’t stoop lower, she addresses children visiting their incarcerated fathers who sexually abused them.

It all starts when she defends Michael and Debi Pearl’s teachings which leads to a teachable moment for the child. Continue reading

Biblical Counseling and Domestic Abuse

Biblical Counseling, Domestic Abuse, Victim Safety, Heath Lambert

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-by Kathi

The Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) will be holding their annual meeting this fall addressing Biblical counseling and abuse. Leading up to this event I thought it might be a good idea to look at how Biblical counseling addresses domestic abuse. Continue reading