Bill Gothard’s Former Institute Loses ECFA Accreditation over Governance

Bill Gothard’s former ministry has lost its seal of approval from the leading group that sets the standards for evangelical ministries.

The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) terminated the membership of the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) last Friday, citing “failure to comply” with its governance standard. ECFA requires member organizations to have a board of at least five people (mostly independents) that pray, chart long-range strategy, and identify potential conflicts of interest, among examples of other duties.

 

Bill Gothard’s former ministry has lost its seal of approval from the leading group that sets the standards for evangelical ministries.

The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) terminated the membership of the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) last Friday, citing “failure to comply” with its governance standard.

ECFA requires member organizations to have a board of at least five people (mostly independents) that pray, chart long-range strategy, and identify potential conflicts of interest, among examples of other duties.

“When a ministry encounters failure—or even worse, scandal—its difficulties can almost always be traced to a breakdown in governance,” states ECFA’s explanationof Standard 2. “For this reason, ECFA places much emphasis on strong, effective governance.”

ECFA declined to specify to CT how IBLP failed to meet its governance standard. IBLP did not respond to CT’s request for comment by press time.

CT previously reported how both IBLP and its founder, Bill Gothard, face a lawsuitfrom women alleging sexual abuse and harrassment. Gothard resigned in 2014 andapologized after IBLP investigated similar allegations. IBLP has said it welcomes the current court process.

Last month, the current lawsuit (a previous version was dismissed) was amended a second time, gaining 8 more plaintiffs for a final total of 18. Two of the additions were men. One accuses another IBLP staff member of sexual molestation, while the other said he experienced abuse in one of IBLP’s programs.

“Our clients are telling the same story that happened over and over again,” said David Gibbs III, the attorney representing the plaintiffs.

Read More