An Outline and Brief Summary of the GRACE report on Bob Jones University

This outline is designed to help you know where to jump in if the report in its entirety seems daunting.   (What’s in parentheses is our synopsis of the section or sometimes a synopsizing quotation of the section.) When you’re ready to read the report, it’s here.

And apologies that outlining doesn’t seem to be a strength of WordPress.

INTRODUCTION (Basic background info about why the report happened) pages 3-9

  1. Child abuse, sexual assault, and the Church (Biblical and societal background)       3
  2. A Brief History of Bob Jones University (basic information for those coming to the report with no background)    6
  3. The hiring of GRACE  (basic info about GRACE and BJU’s decision to hire of them, most of which is available in earlier reports)   8


  1. Pre-Investigation  (Two critical conditions GRACE required: true independence, and a public report)                   10
  2. Investigation   11
    1. Initial Team Meetings (describes the team and how they prepared)        11
    2. Investigation Announcements and Updates (GRACE tried to inform people about the investigation and sent out regular updates)   12
    3. Survey Development, Response, and Review (provides statistics about those who took the survey)     14
    4. Investigation Documents (GRACE requested certain documents during the investigation and went through all proper procedures to obtain them)      16
    5. Interview Phase (a description of the interview process and timetable)  16
    6. Witness Interview Location (describes where they met interviewees)     17
    7. Communication Acknowledgement Forms (describes another aspect of the procedure)            18
    8. Support Person (interviewees were allowed to have a support person with them)          19
    9. Interview Notes (GRACE wrote out the interview and sent it back to the interviewee to make sure it was completely accurate)         19
    10. The Termination and Subsequent Reinstatement (a brief description)     19
  3. Post Investigation       20
    1. Report Content, Standards, and Drafting            (how they decided what to include, etc.) 20
    2. Document Blinding (protection of identities of interviewees)     21
    3. Names Appearing in the Final Report (how they decided whose names to include—the BJU employees who had the greatest impact on the handling of abuse disclosures)         21
    4. Report Organization         23
    5. The Final Review and Recommendations Process (how they decided on the final recommendations) 23

CH 2 THE SURVEY            pages  25-42

  1. Investigative Sample Selection (numbers of survey takers)   26
    1. Abuse Survivor Subgroup (numbers) 26
    2. Survey Limitations (BJU has made changes since the experiences of some of these survivors; also, the survey was confidential but not anonymous)
  2. Summary of Findings (long section with data regarding percentages of answers to various questions) 27
  3. Observations.
    1. The survey findings support a possible conclusion that complaints and concerns about BJU’s response to sexual abuse may extend beyond a small cohort of known critics. (Several quotations from the survey here.)         30
    2. The survey findings support a possible conclusion that many students with histories of childhood sexual abuse or who were sexually assaulted during their student years may not consider BJU a safe place to disclose abuse or to seek help as a result of the abuse. (More quotations)           32
    3. The survey findings support a possible conclusion that BJU representatives may have sometimes discouraged the reporting of sexual crimes to the proper authorities. (more quotations) 33
    4. Approximately one third of both the Investigative Sample and the Abuse Survivor Subgroup declined to have further communication with GRACE concerning the issues addressed in the survey.       33

Nine tables on pages 34-42 tabulate the findings from the Survey.

CHAPTER 3 INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSES TO VICTIMS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE   (This chapter is very footnote-heavy, with many quotations from abuse survivors) pages 43-81

  1. Introduction    (victim blaming quotations)    44
  2. Introductory Analysis (abuse victims are more aware of victim-blaming attitudes than others) 46
  3. Investigation Findings: Messages of Blame or Shame           (in chapel, classes, meetings, etc.)      48
    1. Triggering Abuse (a man’s assault on a woman is blamed on the woman)          48
    2. Blaming or Shaming As “Damaged Goods” (description of a woman after she has been abused)         51
  4. Analysis: Messages of Blame and Shame       54
    1. Triggering Abuse  (though appropriate clothing dignifies humanity, rules should not fixate on dress as the solution to lust)     54
    2. Damaged Goods (Victims are worthy of love, protection, and rescue.)              58
  • Investigation Findings: Counseling Sessions and the Issue of Blame (many quotations)      59
    1. BJU’s Influential Counselors (Walter Fremont, Bob Wood, Jim Berg, Greg Mazak)     60
    2. General Counseling Principles (man is sinful, find root problems, sexual abuse is a “trial” to which the victim may choose to respond righteously or sinfully)     60
    3. Counseling Methodologies (asking questions to determine the root cause of the problem, helping the victim find any sin of her own in the abuse or because of the abuse that she needs to confess) 65
    4. Blame Felt in Counseling Sessions           69
      1. Counseling Pace and Root Issues (too fast, probes too deeply too quickly)  69
      2. The Issue of “Pleasure” (telling them that a biological response was sin and they needed to repent of it)         72
  • Analysis: Blame Felt in Counseling
    1. General Counseling Principles (“Abuse victims will be underserved to the degree that the impact of sexual abuse is misconstrued to be an issue of sinful heart attitudes that requires detection and repentance, rather than recognized as evidence of possible psychological trauma requiring skilled assessment . . . trauma expertise . . . [and] appropriate medical evaluation.”)      76
    2. Counseling Methodologies (emphasis on assessment over concerns about building safety)        78
    3. Blame Felt in Counseling Sessions           78
      1. Counseling Pace and “Root Issues” (no feeling of a place of safety, looking for the victim’s sin in the abuse) 79
      2. The Issue of “Pleasure” (asking about this implies blame and strips away the sense of safety)         81

CHAPTER 4 TRAUMA AND VULNERABILITY  (begins with a list of trauma responses to sexual abuse among BJU-related victims; also a very footnote-heavy chapter)      82

  1. Investigation Findings: The Psychological Effects of Sexual Trauma (quotations)   83
    1. Trauma Symptoms and “Sin” (quotations from Berg and Mazak)           84
    2. Trauma Symptoms and the Will (Berg, Mazak teach that victims have a responsibility for their thought patterns (confession, conforming); Wood and Fremont taught that a soul injury is under direct control of the victim) 86
  2. Analysis: Psychological Effects (“The epitome of victim blaming is to tell rape victims that their severe symptoms of PTSD are their own fault.”)      89
  3. Investigation Findings: Forgiveness   91
    1. Premature Forgiveness (BJU teaches that not forgiving quickly is sinful. A description of “horizontal” and “vertical” forgiveness. Completely bypasses the need for lament. Mentions the Rand Hummel sermon of 2009.)   91
    2. Sorrow and Lament (“The pressure some victims feel to forgive quickly has caused them to conclude that BJU authorities do not appreciate a victim’s need to grieve their losses and feel deep sorrow for the abuse they suffered.”)     95
    3. Cries for Justice (a victim’s cries for justice are minimized, as well as condemnation of the abuser. A story of a victim whose rapist was readmitted to school.)        98
    4. Premature Forgiveness and Trauma (the insistence in quick forgiveness increased their trauma)            100
  4. Analysis: Forgiveness (compassion for the afflicted) 102
    1. Premature Forgiveness (shows lack of understanding and compassion)  103
    2. Sorrow and Lament (much description of the lament psalms and the need for lament. Describes how to do that.)    104
    3. Cries for Justice    (“When forgiveness is emphasized to a degree that it overshadows calls for perpetrators to repent, there is a tremendous imbalance that harms victims.”) 106
    4. Premature Forgiveness and Trauma (“Christians must be ready to sit with and listen to and care for those who have suffered deeply.”)        110
  • Investigation Findings: Matthew 18 and Confrontation (quotes from Mazak, Wood saying that Matt 18 is applicable in cases of sexual abuse)    111
  • Analysis: Matthew 18 (“Misapplying the steps of Matthew 18 to cases of abuse is just what an abuser would want. Following Matthew 18 in cases of abuse ignores the power differential and the Bible’s call to intervene on behalf of the vulnerable. Abusers are master manipulators. Having a victim confront the abuser plays right into the perpetrator’s hands.”)            114

CHAPTER  5 SAFE DISCLOSURES                      119

  1. Investigation Findings: Counseling Ethics     119
    1. Conflicts of Interest: Discipline and Counseling  (When a victim was being counseled, rule infractions that were exposed during the counseling would result in punitive measures. Examples given.) 119
    2. Confidentiality      124
      1. Communications Outside the University (for example, pastors and/or parents being called without victim’s permission or even knowledge. Examples.)  124
      2. Communications within the University (Each counseling session was shared with others in the chain of command.)              127
        1. Information sharing. (Explanation of how the system works.)          128
        2. Records conflation (Combination of discipline and counseling records compromises confidentiality.)                      130

3. Training on Sexual Abuse Counseling      132

  1. Resident Counselor Training (lacking in training)      133
  2. Outside Training (some going on in recent days)       135
  3. Reported Experiences with Dorm Counselors (often unhelpful)       136

Analysis: Counseling Ethics   137

  1. Conflicts of Interest (Roles of counseling and disciplining must be separated. “Equipping Student Life leaders with a thorough understanding of their role, the limits of their role, and when they are to refer someone they are discipling to formal counseling will be necessary to move forward.”)      13
  2. Breaches of Confidentiality (“Dr. Berg indicated that confidentiality was a standard that the university must improve.”)          139
  3. Training (Highlights the desperate need for excellent training in treating trauma survivors. Calls BJU to change in this area.)    140

C. Investigation Findings: Zone of Safety     144

  1. Residence Hall Evaluations (students evaluate each other for potential leadership positions)      144
  2. Code of Conduct (The University outlines that following rules helps develop “Christ-like character.”)  146
    1. Informing (Students are told to “tattle” on others.)           147
    2. Sanctions (An explanation of spiritual probation, aka character probation, and how it has applied to sexual abuse survivors. Examples.)     150
  3. Fear of Being Judged or Blamed (several quotations in the footnotes)     155

D. Analysis: Zone of Safety   157

  1. Residence Hall Evaluations (the dorm has not been a safe place to ask questions freely.)  157
  2. Code of Conduct 158
    1. Informing (The sense that students informed on each other reduced the sense of safety on campus.)            159
    2.  Sanctions (Love and compassion should be shown in cases of abuse rather than  punishments for rule violations.)                       160
  3. Fear of Being Judged or Blamed (Residence Hall Evaluations and the pressure that went with them were often a reason victims did not disclose abuse.)          161

CH 6 THE REPORTING OF SEXUAL OFFENSES                      163

  1. Investigation Findings: Legal Standards   163
    1. Mandated Reporting Laws (a brief history of the law)      163
    2. BJU’s Mandatory Reporters (lists who they are)   168
    3. Authorities, Powers, and Duties of Security Officers (SC laws)   169
    4. BJU’s Public Safety Officers (description of how it operates)      170
  2. Analysis: Legal Standards             171
    1. Mandatory Reporters (explains and describes the laws)    171
    2. Security Officers (describes their responsibilities) 173
  3. Moral Applications
    1. Civic Obligation (the necessity of reporting because it’s the law) 174
    2. Sacred Obligations (the necessity of reporting because it’s right)              176
  4.  Investigation Findings: Reporting Process Prior to 2010              178
    1.  Awareness and Understanding of Mandatory Reporting (awareness of 1974 laws came in 1992; cases were mishandled)                    17
    2. Identifying Sexual Crimes (lack of understanding of what constitutes a sex crime)         185
    3. Training (no written policies or training before 2010)        186
    4. Department of Public Safety’s Reporting Process (they always notified administration) 18
  5. Analysis: Instances of Non-Reporting       190
    1. Understanding of Mandatory Reporting (ignorance of the law’s existence for 20 years after it passed; ignorance if its appropriate application after that)      190
    2. Misidentifying Sexual Crimes (believing that “forcible rape” was the only reportable crime)       191
    3. Department of Public Safety’s Reporting Process (to the administration) 192
    4. Inadequate Training (no written policy for responding to abuse disclosures pre-2010. Call lawyers.)      192
  6. Legal and Moral Obligations (the importance of reporting)                       193
  7.  Investigation Findings: Reporting Protocol Since 2010    197
    1. Reporting Policies (a “Sexual Abuse and Molestation Prevention Policy” was written in 2010; problematic because it told employees to report to supervisors instead of the police)       197
    2. Policy Implementation (The policy has been improved upon in the last four years.)                     198
    3. Identifying Crime (some ignorance, especially identifying same-gender assault as crime)            199
    4. Reporting Crimes (There has been significant improvement since 2010.)              200
    5.  Training (training by outside services has begun; many employees would like more)       202
  8. Analysis: Reporting Protocol Since 2010              203
  9. Legal Reporting Obligations (Policies have continued to be refined since 2010 and is now excellent.)                203
  10. Moral Reporting Obligations (The 2014-2015 improvements are “highly commendable.” Reasons reporting is important.)                  205
  11. Policy Implementation (The hire of the new Chief of Public Safety, a former police officer, was one of the good things done recently.)                         207
    1.  Identifying and Reporting a Crime (Cautions the University to clearly communicate the importance of reporting to all mandated reporters and others.)                     208
    2. Training (The desire for continued training is commendable.)       209

CH 7 SPIRITUAL IMPACT             210

Showcase Christianity (emphasis on looking perfect)            210

  1. Harm to Victims (no room to be less than having your act all together, internalization of wounds, description of Jesus’ way)      211
  2.  Enabling Perpetrators (hiding abuse because it tarnishes it image of perfection; looking good gives them freedom to reoffend)     213
  3. Views about God (A God who demands flawlessness instead of stooping to the weak and lowly is a God that abuse survivors will walk away from because they can’t meet His standard. Many quotations from survivors in this section.)                       215

CONCLUSION (thanks)                   221

FINAL RECOMMENDATIONS                 223

“When confronted with evidence of harm done to others, mature Christians (and institutions) display godly sorrow, which leads to active, self-sacrificial attempts to make restitution.”

“Repentance, when founded on truth and humility, is best illustrated by: (1) empathy for those who have been wronged and damaged by sin and failures, (2) an awareness that the offense is against the goodness and holiness of God, not merely a behavior that hur others, and (3) a desire to make restitution. Words of apology, though good and necessary, are not sufficient evidence of a true turning away from prior wrongdoing. Authentic repentance will be demonstrated by an equally authentic transformation where individuals and institutions work to ensure future behaviors no longer harm others.”

“It is important to note that reconciliation may not always be the result of repentance.”

  1.  Godward Sorrow for Past Offenses                      224
    1. Public Apology
    2. Recovery Assistance
    3. Degree Completion / Tuition Assistance
    4. A Time to Listen
      1. Make personal contact with every known survivor of sexual abuse who was hurt by the university’s response to his or her disclosures. Listen . . acknowledge . . . repent. “GRACE will communicate this offer directly to the former students on BJU’s behalf.”
      2. Send letters to other grads and former students who may not have had an opportunity to participate in the investigation.
      3. c. Within 90 days, being working with victims [survivors] to develop the specifics and parameters of the above-referenced process and letter.
      4. d. Allow the individual victims to set the time frame, understanding that this process may take several years.
    5. File Review (Review files of all former students who committed criminal sexual offenses in order to report them to law enforcement.)
    6. On-Campus Memorial
    7. Update on Progress (within five years reconvene and prepare a written update)
  2.  Repentance: Institutional Transformation              226
    1. Policies and Training                       226
      1. Updating Policies (review from outside experts)
      2.  Annual Education and Training (even board members)
      3.  Outside Organizations (encourage and assist other organizations associated with the university to do the same)
      4.   Reporting and Cooperation Requirements (BJU publicly encourage all faith-based organization to report and cooperate with law enforcement)
    2. Sexual Abuse Awareness and Resources               227
      1.  Outsource All Seual Abuse Counseling (e.g., Julie Valentine Center)
      2.  Redirect Resident Mentors [formerly Dorm Counselors and Resident Counselors] (no more counseling in sexual abuse)
      3.  Adopt Strict Confidentiality Standards
      4.  Relocate Women’s Counselor’s Office (to a private place not in the admin building)
      5. Discontinue Resident Hall Evaluations
      6. Receive Annual Training
      7.  Hire a Victim Advocate
      8.  Host a Sexual Abuse Awareness Week (each year)
    3. Hurtful Teachings, Organizations, and Individuals                        229
      1.  Remove Certain Sermons (remove from the internet sermons that are insensitive to abuse survivors)                  230
      2.  Remove Hurtful Materials (all counseling materials associated with Wood, Fremont, and Berg; all endorsements or recommendations by BJU of these materials)
      3. Review Curriculum/Teaching  (remove shaming and blaming counseling material; develop curriculum to equip students to understand the dynamics of sexual abuse)
      4.  Disassociate from Certain Individuals (bar sexual offenders from campus)
      5.  Personnel Recommendations
        1.  Meet with GRACE within 90 days to review employees who have hurt survivors through their teachings, conduct, or overall disposition.
        2.  Robert Jones III has “repeatedly demonstrated a significant lack of understanding regarding the many painful dynamics associated with sexual abuse.” Personnel action is recommended (termination, suspension, probation, transfer, remedial education and training, or other corrective action)
        3.  Jim Berg “bears a responsibility for much of the pain caused by BJU’s failre to understand and respond adequately to matters related to sexual abuse.” He should “no longer teach on any issue related to sexual abuse or victimization.” It is also recommended that he no longer counsel.

APPENDIX 1-1   Positive Improvements at BJU since 2011                   233

  1. A. Abuse and Neglect Policy (updated)                     233
  2. B. Outside Training and Resources (MinistrySafe, other conferences, etc)               234
  3. C. Counseling Practices (moved the Women’s Counselor’s office, increased training)
  4. D. Personnel (new Chief of Public Safety with law enforcement background; Women’s Counselor who wants to be trained)                        234

APPENDIX 1-2  Original investigation Announcement (January 2013)           236

APPENDIX 2-1  Confidential GRACE Questionnaire (this is the original questionnaire accessible to anyone who was interested in responding)                  239

APPENDIX 3-1  Influential University Counselors                   245

  1. A. Dr. Walter Fremont (description and quotations)              245
  2. B. Dr. Bob Wood (description)                      247
  3. C. Dr. Jim Berg (description)              249
  4. D. Dr. Gregory Mazak (description)               251

APPENDIX 5-1 (there is no 4-1; a little glitch there) Chain of Command and Referred Correspondence (a description of the way each report was passed throughout the administration)               252

APPENDIX 5-2 Student Life Structure and Dorm Counseling System (a description of the hierarchy)               255

APPENDIX 5-3 Residence Hall Evaluations (a description of the way student evaluations are conducted)                  258

APPENDIX 5-4 A Brief History of Counseling at BJU (a helpful timeline with quotations)                 259

APPENDIX 5-5  Recent Counseling Positons (Assistant Dean of Mentoring and Counseling / Women’s Counselor)                 263

APPENDIX 5-6   BJU’s Discipline System (quotations from Student Handbook)               265

  • Character Probation
  • Disciplinary Probation

APPENDIX 6-1  South Carolina’s History of Mandatory Reporting Laws (statement of new laws enacted in 1965, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1993, 1997,, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2008, 2010)                      269

APPENDIX 6-2  Case Examples: On-Campus Sexual Crimes Prior to 2010 (detailed accounts of four abusive situations)                      276

APPENDIX 6-3  Case Examples: Off Campus Sexual Crimes Prior to 2010 (detailed accounts of five cases)                  282

APPENDIX 6-4    Case Examples: On Campus Sexual Crimes Since 2010 (detailed accounts of two cases)                  290

APPENDIX 6-5 Case Examples: Off Campus Sexual Crimes Since 2010 (detailed accounts of four cases)                     293

APPENDIX 6-6   BJU’s Sexual Abuse and Molestation Prevention Policy, Effective  in 2010 (statement of the written policy)                296

APPENDIX 6-7  BJU’s Abuse and Neglect Policy, Effective 2012-2014 (statement of the written policy)               297

APPENDIX 6-8   BJU’s Abuse and Neglect Policy and Procedures, Effective 2014-2015 (statement of the written policy)                299