Moody Bible Institute

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Moody Bible Institute (MBI) is a private evangelical Christian[2][3] Bible college in Chicago, Illinois. It was founded by evangelist and businessman Dwight Lyman Moody in 1886. Historically, MBI has maintained positions that have identified it as non-charismatic, dispensational, and generally Calvinistic.[4] Today, MBI operates undergraduate programs and Moody Theological Seminary at the Chicago campus. The Seminary also operates a satellite campus in Plymouth, Michigan. Moody Aviation operates a flight school in Spokane, Washington.

Moody Bible Institute
Moody Bible Institute logo.png
Motto"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15
TypePrivate bible college
Religious affiliation
Evangelical Christian
PresidentMark Jobe
ProvostDwight Perry
Academic staff
88 full-time[1]
Students3,442 (2018)[1]
41°53′50″N 87°37′59″W / 41.8973°N 87.6330°W / 41.8973; -87.6330Coordinates: 41°53′50″N 87°37′59″W / 41.8973°N 87.6330°W / 41.8973; -87.6330
ColorsBlue and White
Sporting affiliations


Early yearsEdit

The historic Moody Bible Institute arch as viewed from the central plaza.

Emma Dryer organized the "May Institute", a weekly meeting for prayer and fellowship, with Moody's permission in 1883. Participants in the May Institute encouraged Moody to found a school to train young people for evangelism to carry on the Christian revival tradition.

On January 22, 1886, Moody addressed church members: "I tell you what, and what I have on my heart, I believe we have got to have gap-men: men to stand between the laity and the ministers; men who are trained to do city mission work. Take men that have the gifts and train them for the work of reaching the people."[5][6] As a result of this meeting, held at Farwell Hall, the group founded the Chicago Evangelization Society for the "education and training of Christian workers, including teachers, ministers, missionaries, and musicians who may completely and effectively proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ." The society was renamed "Moody Bible Institute" after Moody died in 1899.

Before 1900, Moody played a significant role in fund-raising to support MBI. After Moody died, however, the institute struggled financially. James M. Gray, the president of the school, invited Henry Parsons Crowell to financially restructure the institute. Crowell established the school on business principles of productivity and performance. The MBI Executive Committee met nearly every Tuesday for the next 40 years. An administration building took years to complete, but when the building was dedicated there was no mortgage and only $50,000 left to pay.[7][when?]

21st centuryEdit

Since 2012, MBI has received federal financial assistance, which means the religious institution is subject to federal rules, including Title IX, which prohibits sex-based discrimination. After several female students complained of being denied access to the then-male-only pastoral ministry program, the institute changed its policy in 2016.[8] However, professor Janay Garrick, who helped the students file Title IX complaints, found that her employment contract would not be renewed at the end of 2017. MBI engaged Grand River Solutions to review its Title IX compliance and make recommendations for change.[9]

In November 2017, the institution announced the closure of its campus in Spokane, Washington, and reductions in other programs and services in response to continued drops in enrollment.[10] Faculty were distressed by impending job losses, and penned an anonymous letter to the administration in the student newspaper expressing concerns about faculty layoffs when the administration had just committed $22 million for a new campus building.[11] Two months later the president and Chief Operating Officer both resigned and the provost retired. In its announcement of these changes, the institution cited "widespread concerns over the direction" of the institution.[12]

Mark Jobe, founder of the multisite New Life Community Church, became the new president in January 2019.[13] In July 2019, Jobe announced a long-range plan to redevelop portions of Moody's campus.[14] Proceeds from the sale of 8.1 acres would be earmarked for campus improvements, scholarships, endowment, and financial reserves.[15] The "North Union" project was approved by Chicago Plan Commission in July 2021[16][17] and by Chicago City Council in October 2022.[18]


MBI's stated mission is to train students for full-time ministry in churches and parachurch organizations.[19] Since 1989 it has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission or its predecessor.[20] It is also accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education and the National Association of Schools of Music.[21][22][23]


In addition to a Bachelor of Arts degree, which is available in over two dozen fields including theology, the Bible, and ministries of various emphases,[24] MBI offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Biblical Studies, a Bachelor of Science degree in Missionary Aviation Technology, a two-year Associates of Biblical Studies degree (ABS), and a five-year Bachelor of Music degree (BMus) in Sacred Music. Furthermore, non-degree TESOL and Biblical Studies one-year certificates are offered.


The Moody Theological Seminary offers a Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Biblical Studies, and a Master of Counseling/Psychology.[25] A one-year graduate certificate is also offered.

Moody Theological Seminary-Michigan

In November 2009, Moody Bible Institute and Michigan Theological Seminary jointly announced plans for Michigan Theological Seminary to merge with Moody Bible Institute's Moody Theological Seminary and Graduate School.[26] In January 2010, Michigan Theological Seminary became Moody Theological Seminary–Michigan located in Plymouth, Michigan.

Media ministriesEdit

In addition to its educational programs, Moody runs two Christian media ministries: Moody Radio and Moody Publishers. In 1894, Moody Publishers was founded under the name Bible Institute Colportage Association. In 1926 the Institute expanded its reach beyond education and publishing by sponsoring the first non-commercial Christian radio station in America, WMBI.[27] Over time, MBI's radio outreach grew to the Moody Broadcasting Network, which now owns and operates 36 commercial-free stations and provides programming via satellite to more than 700 outlets.

The former Moody magazine ceased publication in 2003.[28]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "College Navigator - Moody Bible Institute".
  2. ^ Gloege, Timothy (2015). Guaranteed Pure: The Moody Bible Institute, Business, and the Making of Modern Evangelicalism. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 978-1-4696-3343-5.
  3. ^ Laats, Adam (2018). Fundamentalist U: Keeping the Faith in American Higher Education. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-066562-3.
  4. ^ "Doctrinal Statement | Moody Bible Institute".
  5. ^ George Thomas Kurian, Mark A. Lamport, Encyclopedia of Christian Education, Volume 3, Rowman & Littlefield, USA, 2015, p. 133
  6. ^ Moody, William Revell (1900). D. L. Moody. Fleming H. Revell. p. 339. ISBN 9780665135835.
  7. ^ Musser, Joe (1997). The Cereal Tycoon. Moody Press. ISBN 0-8024-1616-0, p.130-132.
  8. ^ "MBI Administrators Fail to Uphold Doctrine: Hire, Then Fire Female Pastor/Oppose Profs Who Report Drift". Julie Roys. 2018-02-06. Retrieved 2019-04-10.
  9. ^ "Grand River Solutions Title IX Review | Title IX | Moody Bible Institute". Retrieved 2022-10-19.
  10. ^ Shellnutt, Kate (November 9, 2017). "Moody Bible to Close Spokane Campus, Cut Chicago Faculty". News & Reporting. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  11. ^ Anonymous (November 29, 2017). "An Open Letter". Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  12. ^ Shellnutt, Kate (January 10, 2018). "Moody Bible President and COO Both Resign, Provost Retires". Christianity Today. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  13. ^ Shellnutt, Kate (October 9, 2018). "Moody Bible Picks Multisite Pastor as Its New President". News & Reporting. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  14. ^ "Stewarding Real Estate Assets | 2030 Growth | Moody Bible Institute". Retrieved 2022-10-20.
  15. ^ "Campus Redevelopment". Retrieved 2022-10-20.
  16. ^ "Chicago Plan Commission backs development of Moody Bible sites". Chicago Sun-Times. 2021-05-20. Retrieved 2022-10-20.
  17. ^ "North Union". Retrieved 2022-10-20.
  18. ^ Lamelza, Judy. "JDL Development gets approval for Massive North Union Project". Retrieved 2022-10-20.
  19. ^ "404 - error". Archived from the original on May 4, 2011. {{cite web}}: Cite uses generic title (help)
  20. ^ "Moody Bible Institute". Currently or Previously Affiliated Institutions. The Higher Learning Commission. Retrieved 2013-11-30.
  21. ^ "Member Colleges - Association for Biblical Higher Education". Archived from the original on 2016-05-05. Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  22. ^ "Accredited Institutions Search". National Association of Schools of Music. Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  23. ^ "U.S. Department of Education Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs". Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  24. ^ "Moody Bible Institute Undergraduate School 2006-2008 Catalog" (PDF). p. 67. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-09-03. Retrieved 2015-04-23.
  25. ^ "Moody Graduate School Catalog 2005–2007" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-09-01. Retrieved 2015-04-23.
  26. ^ "Merger Receives HLC Approval". Moody Bible Institute. Retrieved 2009-11-17.
  27. ^ Vincent, James. The MBI Story: The Vision and Worldwide Impact of Moody Bible Institute. Moody Publishers, Chicago, 2011. page 20
  28. ^ "Moody Closes Magazine, Restructures Aviation Program". 2003-02-01. Retrieved 2015-04-23.

Further readingEdit

  • Gloege, Timothy E. W. Guaranteed Pure: The Moody Bible Institute, Business, and the Making of Modern Evangelicalism. (Chapel Hill, North Carolina: University of North Carolina Press, 2015).

External linksEdit