Discredited BJU counseling director Jim Berg to speak in Colorado Springs

berg
Source: BJU.edu

Recent investigations by the organization GRACE revealed last December that Bob Jones University has been concealing sexual abuse for over 30 years using unprofessional and unethical counseling techniques, overseen by Dr. Jim Berg.

Berg will be the keynote speaker January 23-24 at the “Christian Growth Bible Conference” hosted by Grace Bible Church in Colorado Springs. In fact, he is the only speaker at the conference.

Grace Bible Church does not seem to recognize the report’s findings against Berg.

Pastor Jeff Anderson of Grace Bible Church, said in an email, “Dr. Berg has been training biblical counselors for over thirty years—preparing the BJU resident counselors for their ministry to the student body, holding counselor training conferences for pastors, and teaching biblical counseling online and in the classroom at Bob Jones University Seminary.”

GRACE’s final report, detailing Berg’s unprofessional leadership of the counseling program would seem to disqualify him from speaking on these topics and from continuing to counsel at BJU.

Bob Jones has a reputation for racism (banning interracial dating until the mid-2000s) and homophobia, but CNN iReport reported nine forcible sex offenses occurred on the BJU campus in 2011 after Cleary reports were published in 2012.

Christianity Today reported that BJU invited GRACE to investigate in January 2013.

BJU asked GRACE to suspend their investigation February 2014 before allowing them to continue.

On December 11, 2014, GRACE released the results showing that “Bob Jones University responded poorly to many students who disclosed being sexually victimized,” according to Religion News.

The New York Times published an article titled Bob Jones University Blamed Victims of Sexual Assaults, Not Abusers, Report Says on the same day.

Al Jazeera America also reported on the GRACE investigation of BJU, and a follow up article covering BJU’s official statement that they are still a “very safe” campus.

Blogger Rebecca Davis started BJUGrace.com, which compares Berg’s methods to counseling children after a fatal bus wreck.

GRACE published the final report and a description of the investigation on their website.

Pickets at Grace Bible Church are organizing for 6:30 pm tomorrow.

 

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20 thoughts on “Discredited BJU counseling director Jim Berg to speak in Colorado Springs

  1. I know Jim Berg well. Trust him completely. Appreciate and agree with his written materials. Looking forward to a great conference.

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    1. Mr. Anderson, I’m sure you do know him and trust him. But there are many who were deeply negatively affected by his counseling after sexual assault, many of whom I know personally. His counseling re-traumatized them, as the GRACE report so carefully delineates. Furthermore, there are MANY sexual offenders around this country and the world (Jim Berg said he counseled 200-300 victims, and there may have been even more than that) that have not been properly reported because Jim Berg said he didn’t know that what they did was a criminal offense. This is unconscionable. He has not even offered a public apology to those who were victimized by sexual assault and re-traumatized by him. How can we in good conscience support that?

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    2. Pastor Anderson,

      I see you agree with Dr. Berg’s written materials. Just a few questions regarding this. How do you feel about the report from GRACE regarding his counseling and the counseling given at Bob Jones University? Do you agree with his counseling methods that were practiced at BJU? Did you discuss this with him prior to asking him to speak at your conference?
      Lastly, if you were in the position as a counselor to a victim of sexual assault, would you provide similar advice/counseling?

      Thank you for responding to my questions,

      Jason

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I saw Eleanor and some other young women holding up signs near Grace Bible Church in protest to Jim Berg speaking at meeting I was about to attend. I wanted to hear what was bothering them and why they were trying to get our attention.We spoke and they were kind, and informed. I have read the information they directed me to @ the Grace report. My heart breaks to know so many people have been sinned against by sexual abuse and assault.I am glad to hear actions are being taken to change the universities policies and counseling procedures. May God bring healing on all sides.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Pege~ What a kind comment this was, and very encouraging to those of us who are hoping and praying for change at the University. We know of no actions that are begin taken to change the University’s counseling procedures. The same counseling programs and classes and teachers that are mentioned in the Report are still listed on the University website. We have no assurance, not even a hint, that any of this will change. As one who knows many abuse survivors personally, I’m very disappointed, but still waiting for the full 90 days for the University to make a declaration. In the meantime, we wish that people mentioned in the report such as Jim Berg, would go ahead and make a personal declaration of sorrow for their actions (an din many cases, lack of actions), and a determination to change. You can see more at this website: http://www.bjugrace.com.

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  3. Rebecca, my apologies, I think I misunderstood. I was up until 2 a.m. reading the information the girls directed me to. I thought I read there were changes being made.I will join with you all in prayers for healing and humility, forgiveness and Grace. I honor the courage of you all for speaking the truth and wanting to get the evilness of sexual abuse out into the light. I am sure it has not been easy.I will visit the web sight you mentioned. Be strong and of good courage for the Lord God goes with you where ever you
    go.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rebecca, Eleanor, I have a question. I have read some of the postings on BJU Grace. Do you think the way…hmmmm trying to think of a way to say this…the way they present their teachings on the place, position and expectations of “CHRISTIAN” women and their interpretations of scripture on “WOMEN”, could be the root for their lack of insight into the issue at hand?

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    1. Yes, that would be part of the problem. There are many facets to the problem of the way counseling is done there. One of them is that Christians should believe that they have no rights, which I blogged about here: http://www.heresthejoy.com/2014/09/replying-to-one-who-says-christians-should-have-no-rights/ Another is the approach that the sin in the victim has to be found as the paramount thing, which is addressed here: http://bjugrace.com/2014/12/31/counseling-after-a-fatal-bus-wreck/ There are other aspects too. Many of them will be addressed in the upcoming book “Tear Down This Wall of Silence: Dealing with Sexual Abuse in Our Churches (an introduction for those who will hear).”

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Rebecca, have you seen Berg use the modesty issue / how the woman was dressed for victim-blaming? I heard someone say in college that “a woman should be able to run down the street naked without a man touching her.” I like that example because I realized male streakers don’t have to fear being attacked by women.

      Pege, is this another aspect of the “Christian woman” viewpoint from BJU that you are referring to?

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  5. Eleanor, Rebecca, I must encourage you that there is HOPE. You are brave and courageous addressing these sins and dysfunctions. I admire the honesty and really sense of spirit of humility and grace in the tone of your writings. I am not one to be an ostrich and through my children, I am exposed to many BLOGS and sent many articles and have quite a lot of discussions about topics such as this. Now, by the courage of 3 young women on a cold Colorado street corner,, I am becoming more aware and thinking. I will keep reading and praying for God to be the victor in the lives of his people.

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    1. You’re so kind, Pege. I also encourage my friends that there is great Hope in Jesus Christ. We trust that eventually good will come out of this and our Lord Jesus Christ will be glorified in His love for the weak and oppressed.

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  6. Eleanor, Yes. I have found through life many people who have attended BJU have a myopic view of Christian women. Their roles and positions in the church and in the family. How and what they should wear. It is oppressive in my eyes and makes women less than the thinking, independent, rational humans they were created to be. I have the same salvation. I have the same spirit of God with the same gifts allowed any man. The scripture applies to me the same as it does a man. I am a joint heir with Christ… the ground is level at the cross. Modesty is taught to both men and women. Sin begins in the heart of both men and women. men can lust so can women. So yes Eleanor, I am speaking about the unbalanced teachings of men and women I have found to be prevalent in people who attended BJU.

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  7. They may have shunned him but there’s a middle brother. Ask their mother Violet Berg. Check out Denny Berg on YouTube. He’s an internationally known motor cycle designer and I met Jim and his wife at our Palm Springs home.

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