Christian School Faulted for Halting Abuse Study


For decades, students at Bob Jones University who sought counseling for sexual abuse were told not to report it because turning in an abuser from a fundamentalist Christian community would damage Jesus Christ. Administrators called victims liars and sinners.

All of this happened until recently inside the confines of this insular university, according to former students and staff members who said they had high hopes that the Bob Jones brand of counseling would be exposed and reformed after the university hired a Christian consulting group in 2012 to investigate its handling of sexual assaults, many of which occurred long before the students arrived at the university.

Last week, Bob Jones dealt a blow to those hopes, acknowledging that with the investigation more than a year old and nearing completion, the university had fired the consulting group, Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment, or Grace, without warning or explanation. The dismissal has drawn intense criticism from some people with ties to Bob Jones, and prompted some victims and their allies — including many who were interviewed by Grace investigators — to tell their stories publicly for the first time, attracting more attention than ever to the university’s methods.

On Friday, Stephen Jones, president of the university and great-grandson of its founder,addressed students and employees, saying, “We grew concerned that in the process, Grace had begun going beyond the originally outlined intentions,” but he would not elaborate. He said the university had not told Grace what its concerns were and wanted to discuss them with the consultant but could do so only face to face and felt compelled to fire the firm first.

Written By: Richard Perez-Pena
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  1. An old joke of George Carlin’s (in a newscaster’s voice): “Today a man accidentally wandered on to the Bob Jones University campus without wearing a tie, and was promptly arrested for streaking.”

  2. Why am I not surprised? Shows how far the religious are prepared to go to look after their own skin.

  3. From the article, quoting a victim:

    “The person who supposedly counseled me told me** if I reported a person like that to the police,** I was damaging the cause of Christ, and** I would be responsible for the abuser going to hell.** He said all of my problems were as a result of my actions in the abuse, which mostly took place before I was 12, and I should just forgive the abuser.”

    So let me get this straight… an omniscient god won’t know about the abuse unless it is reported. Have I got that right?


  4. Seems like the catholic church isn’t the only one covering up cases of sexual abuse to protect its institution. This Bob Jones outfit however adds insult to injury by accusing its victims of lying and trying to shame them into silence. Like Hitchens said, they should thankful there is no hell for them to go to.

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