Master’s University president to transition roles following series of controversiesMai Nguyen Do October 24, 2018 0 COMMENTS
John MacArthur announced Monday, Oct. 22 that he would transition from serving as president of The Master’s University and Seminary to the position of chancellor of the university and president of the seminary within the next 18 months.
“I originally signed up for five years, thinking I would be able — along with my pastoral ministry at Grace Community Church — to help strengthen the university and seminary,” MacArthur said in his statement released Monday. “However, with the growth of the university and seminary, demanding more leadership now and in the future, the time has come for me to transition to the position of chancellor of the university and president of the seminary.”
Although the office of the chancellor is typically a more ceremonial position at many educational institutions, the statement did not define the responsibilities MacArthur would assume as chancellor.
“I am confident of the continuing influence of these schools for the kingdom of our Lord and I look forward to continuing to serve The Master’s University and Seminary in the years ahead,” MacArthur said in his statement.
MacArthur’s announcement follows the university’s accreditation recently being placed on probation. The probation resulted from a Western Association of Schools and Colleges report which revealed concerns about the school’s board independence and potential conflicts of interest.
After the university was placed on probation, The Proclaimer reported that according to the WASC accreditation report and the U.S. Department of Education, the school repeatedly failed to adhere to sexual assault reporting requirements mandated by the Clery Act and the Violence Against Women Act. The school was fined $29,000 in 2017 by the Department of Education for these violations.
In addition, KHTS reported that MacArthur’s son-in-law, Kory Welch, was being paid hundreds of thousands by the university through nonprofits.
The school was also sued in 2013 for the death of Paul Sang, a student of The Master’s College – The Master’s University’s previous title. Sang was smothered to death in 2012 while participating in an off-campus shoot for one of the school’s promotional videos. According to the filed complaint, Sang had been directed to stand in a hole and then film other students from within the hole, which then collapsed under the other students’ weight. Although The Master’s College denied negligence and responsibility for Sang’s death, the lawsuit resulted in a $1 million payment to Sang’s parents in 2015, according to Los Angeles County Superior Court documents.
Despite the controversies that have occurred over recent years, Master’s alumni took to social media to thank MacArthur for his service to the school and to discuss the future of the university and seminary.
“At age 79 with 33 years of continuous service, I’m grateful for his leadership and legacy, and agree this is the right time,” Master’s alum Stephen Jones, class of 2006, said in a tweet.
Mai Nguyen Do is a Vietnamese American poet and researcher. She is a lifelong Santa Clarita resident and a College of the Canyons graduate. She is also the author of Ghosts Still Walking (2016) and Battlefield Blooming (2019). Find her on Twitter @DoNguyenMai.