Moody Bible Institute
Moody Bible Institute - Comments and Student Experiences|
While in attendance at Moody, my awkward personality and blunt, overly direct nature complicated life was my constant source of trouble. Trying to ascertain who Mrs. Right was in a 30 minute conversation with a girl over coffee led to me getting put on probation. It also led to my falling out with the Jewish Studies professor on campus and resulted in me switching majors to Evangelism/Discipleship. I got put on probation a second time due to insensitive comments I made that didn't seem (at the time) to be serious, after all, I was just joking. After leaving the Jewish Studies major, however, I got involved with Jews for Jesus as a PCM, and it was at J4J, not Moody, that I met my wife. After a miserable summer internship with a former family friend's ministry that ended early with another falling out, I got married just prior to beginning my senior year.
After graduation, we moved in with my mother in law with my wife and I both working retail jobs. Not being able to get into a ministry position, I honed my skills with Microsoft Office and started working for a temp agency. I started working in progressively more advanced manufacturing support roles, and I am still a temp, making around $50,000 a year now as the head gopher (the guy who does everything) for the plant manager for the company I now work for.
Moody was not the reason for my career instability; I was. Because I do believe in the Bible, which forbids pre-marital sex, getting married was so important to me that I only looked forward to the altar, not to the future after it. Here are the three main contributors to my not landing a ministry job after Moody:
1) My lack of experience. I failed to network with people and volunteer at churches. I thought that a Bachelor's degree with a Moody name behind it would be the key to getting any job. Well, it wasn't. You need to build your resume before you get out of college.
2) My awkward personality. I only found out in early 2014 that I have Asperger's Syndrome, which is really just high functioning autism. It means that I am very intelligent in rote learning, but have no sense of empathy, and do poorly in social exchanges. I also am only able to live life modelling after other people and have no innovation skills or new ideas whatsoever. I draw from the best of everyone and sort through it in my mind. However, now that I know what Asperger tendencies look like, I have much more control over them. Due to my wife's patience and willingness to change, you probably couldn't tell the difference anymore. I used to blame other people and Moody as a whole for not accepting me the way I was, but I now take more ownership over those characteristics.
3) My distaste for asking for money. If you are a missionary, you will have to ask people for money to support you and your family. I would rather give than receive and I don't like living off of donations. I worked with several missionaries over at Jews for Jesus while volunteering there. When I saw what they had to do to raise support, I knew it wasn't for me.
For those considering vocational ministry, strongly consider Moody, but consider these things:
1) Build your resume starting in your freshman year. I was content to stay in my dorm room playing computer games all day. Don't be like me! Call up churches and get involved with one. Get a head start on your post junior year summer internship and know full well where you will work a year in advance, and build up a rapport with the people there. This step is very difficult for extroverts.
2) Moody is a VERY Biblical school when it comes to moral code. If you are in favor of the filth that pervades society today, don't go here. The Bible does not condone drunkenness or sex in any context other than the heterosexual marriage bed, so don't be surprised that they are against it. If you are a leftist "Christian", this school is not for you. I do like my beer, just not in excess. If you do too, just abide by their code while in attendance). DVD viewing in the dorm room was against the rules when I was in attendance but is permitted now. At the time, I thought the rule was stupid. As I get older and now have to guide two young boys of my own in this wicked society, however, I am realizing that most media is garbage, and I have rooted out plenty of junk in my own life that I used to enjoy but now refuse to set before my eyes and ears.
3) That being said, Moody can be too politically correct for my taste. There are a few left leaning professors that are young professors, or foreign professors, or hail from the south side of Chicago who worship Obama (ironic, considering he is the antithesis of everything the Bible teaches). My preaching professor (the prof from the south side), gave me a C in his class due to my opposition to Obama in the 2008 election cycle. White guilt and racism against Caucasians is also alive and well on this campus as well, especially when the America bashing foreign missionaries come during Missions Conference.
4) Theological liberalism and not taking the Bible literally is also a problem here. My Apologetics professor was astonished that I believed in a literal six day creation. I was equally astonished that an apologetics teacher was only interested in philosophical nonsense arguments for the truth of the Bible and paid no attention to the great Creation scientists there are out there (Kent & Eric Hovind, Ken Ham, the Institute for Creation Research, etc.). My Old and New Testament Survey professor didn't believe in a literal Lake of Fire. Theological discussions of lesser importance are debated here ad nauseum. A lot of professors (I won't name names here) love to hear the sound of their own voices.
5) This may or may not be a good place to find a godly spouse. Most girls (and guys) who go here have been sheltered all their lives in private/home schools. Many are obsessed with studies, and most girls have standards so high they would only be happy if they married Jesus Christ himself. Most people I interacted with were on a high school level in their maturity. The favorite word the girls love to say is "awkward!" It is very difficult to associate with women outside you brother/sister floor assignment that year. If you try to sit at a table assigned to another bro/sis, people will look at you funny. I only got married while attending Moody because I met an amazing young woman outside the bubble who looked at my potential, what God would eventually make me into, rather than merely who I was at the time.
6) Watch out for Christian celebrity kids! A lot of megachurch pastors and other noteworthy Christian professionals send their kids to this school. On my dorm floor alone, I had Steve Green's (Christian music artist) son and two sons of James Macdonald (Chicago megachurch Harvest Bible Chapel pastor). These tend to be the most popular students on campus (kind of like high school!).
If you can stomach these things and walk on eggshells around profs that you don't agree with, you'll do fine here. I was too loud with my opinion, and it cost me. Overall, there's not a Christian undergrad school out there with Moody's reputation. It's truly the top of the Ivy League of Christian Undergraduate education.I don't regret getting my degree there even though my current job has nothing to do with my degree. But the entire world is a missions field. People I work with who I tell about Jesus will likely never hear the Gospel from a vocational missionary or darken the door of a church. Knowledgeable lay people in the secular work world perform an important role in fulfilling the Great Commission, and it is unfortunate there are not more of us in society that are well equipped for the work.