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President of John MacArthur-linked Christian liberal arts university resigns

The Master's University
Rutherford Hall on the campus of The Master's University, located in Santa Clarita, California. |

The president of a Christian liberal arts university where California Pastor John MacArthur serves as chancellor has offered his resignation.

The Master’s University announced on Monday that President Sam Horn had sent a letter of resignation to the board of directors last Friday, after serving as president since 2020.

“This past year has been one of the most challenging years in higher education and we are grateful for our entire leadership team during this unprecedented time,” stated the university.

“In the coming days, the Board of Directors will appoint an interim president and begin the process of looking for the next president. Pray for us as we seek what is best for the future of both TMU and [The Master’s Seminary].”

The statement also said the university had experienced “several important institutional milestones,” among them “the school’s reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the reaffirmation of accreditation by [the Western Association of Schools and Colleges’ Senior College and University Commission].”

University spokesperson Corey Williams told The Christian Post that the board of directors will select an interim president and "then they will begin the process of looking for the next president."

"The Master's University and Seminary received a six-year affirmation of accreditation last year and a change in leadership will have no bearing on that," said Williams, who noted that MacArthur had no part in Horn's decision to resign. 

In August 2018, the university was put on probation by the WSCUC, a leading educational accrediting agency in the region, following a report detailing multiple leadership concerns.

Stated concerns included the lack of qualifications for staff members in leadership positions, questionable independence of the board of trustees, and a "climate of fear, intimidation, bullying" among employees.

According to the terms of the probation, the school continued to maintain its accreditation status but had fewer than two years to remedy the concerns listed by the commission.

In October 2018, MacArthur announced that he was stepping down as university president, a position he had held since 1985, and later became chancellor in 2019.

“I have had the rare and enriching privilege of serving The Master's University and Seminary as president," said MacArthur in a statement released at the time.

"I originally signed up for five years, thinking I would be able — along with my pastoral ministry at Grace Community Church — to help strengthen the university and seminary. I underestimated the hold that educating young Christians for Gospel influence on the world would have on me."

The Master’s University was originally founded in 1927 and known as the Los Angeles Baptist Theological Seminary, becoming nondenominational under MacArthur in the 1980s.   

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