Moody Bible Institute
Megan Steffen lives in Chicago, IL. She grew up in a conservative, Christian household and attended a non-denominational church. She identifies as a lesbian.
She began attending Moody Bible Institute in 2015. MBI has a student handbook detailing rules of behavior for students and includes several specific anti-LGBTQ+ policies, including regulation of romantic and sexual relationships between people of the same sex. “I did not consider MBI’s stance towards LGBTQ+ students at the time I decided to attend as I was not out, even to myself, yet,” Megan said. Eventually though, she did begin coming out to herself and others as lesbian, and she received negative reactions.
MBI administrators eventually met with Megan to discuss her participation in the Women’s March and to discuss her pro-LGBTQ+ social media posts. Over the next year she was pulled into 10 meetings with administrators and one with the head pastor and associate pastor of the church. Eventually Megan received an official warning about a post she made on social media identifying as a lesbian. And one week before graduation, administrators threatened to prevent her from graduating because of a post she made about attending an LGBTQ+ event. In order to receive her diploma Megan needed to say she agreed with MBI’s anti-LGBTQ views.
“I cannot imagine ever finding myself in as abusive and manipulative of an environment
as I did at Moody. I felt so unsafe, unsupported, and unprotected by my peers, MBI staff, and
Administration,” Megan said.
She is raising her voice to protect all LGBTQ+ students at Moody Bible Institute and religiously affiliated colleges across the country.
At many religious schools, colleges, and universities, LGBTQIA+ and other marginalized students suffer discrimination, abuse, isolation, and hardship. If this describes you, you are not alone. We are in this together.
REAP fights for the safety, bodily autonomy, justice, and human rights of LGBTQIA+ and other communities marginalized at many predominantly white, taxpayer-funded religious schools and colleges. Using campus organizing, storytelling through podcasting, documentary film, and speaking and preaching on campuses throughout the country, REAP empowers students, faculty, staff and alumni at these institutions to advocate for human rights, while shining a light on the dangers and abuses of a major educational pipeline of white Christian Supremacy.