Scandal-plagued home schooling institute loses key accreditation

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Bill Gothard founded the Institute in Basic Life Principles.

Photo courtesy of Institute in Basic Life Principles via Wikimedia

Bill Gothard founded the Institute in Basic Life Principles.

CHICAGO (RNS) Bill Gothard’s Institute in Basic Life Principles has lost its membership in the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, which gives accreditation to leading Christian nonprofit organizations.

Its membership was terminated last Friday (March 11) for failure to comply with its standards for governance, according to the ECFA website.

The loss of accreditation is yet another setback for the Institute in Basic Life Principles. Eighteen people are suing the Oak Brook, Ill.-based institute, and Bill Gothard, its 81-year-old founder, for sexual harassment.

RELATED: More women sue home-schooling guru for sexual harassment

Christianity Today noted ECFA’s explanation of its governance standards on its website:

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

Those standards require organizations to be governed by a majority-independent board that must include at least five people and meet at least semiannually to establish policies and review accomplishments.

Thousands of conservative Christian families have used the Institute in Basic Life Principles’ home schooling curriculum. Others may be most familiar with the Christian ministry from its association with the Duggar family from TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting.”

The institute has distanced itself from Gothard, who resigned in 2014 amid allegations of sexual abuse.

(Emily McFarlan Miller is a national reporter for RNS)

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  • Mary Beth Murella

    It’s great that you’re writing about this but the IBLP has not distanced itself from Bill at all. He is still the figure head on all of the webpages and the entire organisation is founded on his teachings. It’s very damaging and not at all true that they’ve distanced themselves from Gothard. He’s staying at the Big Sandy complex.

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  • Everett

    That’s too bad about the association, however, there’s probably nothing wrong with the curriculum.I think that home schooling is one of the best alternatives to public schools and beyond private and charter schools. There are good local associations parents can join where they can share tips and ideas.

  • Everett

    I think that Paul said in 2 Cor 13:5 that we are to examine ourselves as to wether we are in the faith. The implication is that this is a continuous process, not that the elect are not able to persevere, but to see if we have indeed been within the faith from the start. Do not discount the work of the Holy Spirit for sanctification and that it is never anything you do but what the spirit does through you that is counted as good, but it is indeed always our doing when we fail.

  • Lauren Perrine

    Nothing wrong with it other than only three of the Duggar kids barely have a ged due to it

  • Quickness

    Funny those that are most religious are the ones you described.

  • Kris

    There are several homeschool curriculum choices. Even the public schools vary in which products are used. Honestly not all public school students in the US use the same textbook for any subject. Some of the “information” in the materials by this group is thought to be why the sexual abuse within families and the organization was handled so inappropriately.

  • yoh

    There is also a plethora of nonsense in several homeschool curriculum choices. Such as Creationism and David Barton historical fibbery. The homeschool system in some states is rife with abuse.

  • Isabella Gray

    The Curriculum lacks academic skills. It doesn’t even offer a normal GED. IBLP is destroying the children in it.

    Their biggest bigots are the Duggars