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Hyles-Anderson College is an unaccredited fundamentalist independent Baptist school in Lake County, Indiana. The school, founded by evangelist Jack Hyles, promotes creationist, sexist, biblical literalist, and homophobic viewpoints. The school functions as a ministry of the First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana. The megachurch and school have been the subject of multiple instances of child sexual abuse and other sexual scandals spanning multiple decades.
Academics and accreditation
The school's sexist philosophy is reflected in separate academic requirements for men and women. Only men are allowed to apply for pastoral programs. Women get wonderful classes such as "Introduction to Cooking", "Preparation for Marriage", "Understanding Your Husband" and "Home Decorating". Degrees and diplomas are offered in Elementary Education, Secondary Education, Pastoral Theology, Assistant Pastoral Studies, and Counseling. There are "Science" minors and education concentrations in biology, physics and mathematics. Legitimate courses of study are heavily biased towards the school's fundamentalist beliefs.
All faculty, staff, and students are required to participate weekly in the evangelical ministry of the First Baptist Church. The church extensively promotes the practice of so-called "soul winning" and claimed in 2008 that it had performed over 10,000 baptisms.
The school is opposed to academic accreditation of any kind. The school's views on accreditation are detailed in a screed by founder Jack Hyles, who cites "a grave danger in total conformity" and likens accreditation to communism and societal decay. In addition, he distrusts and is paranoid about government "control". The school claims "that the best measurement of the effectiveness of the institution is the ministerial success of its graduates."
School founder Jack Hyles was the subject of investigations in 1993 into multiple occurrences of child molesting, abuse, and sex scandals all tracing back to the school and the First Baptist Church of Hammond, with people claiming that Hyles was "running a cult without a compound."
In 2012, Jack Schaap, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Hammond and head of Hyles-Anderson College, was fired after admitting that he had sex with a member of the church when she was sixteen years old. Schaap was busted following an investigation by the United Stated Federal Bureau of Investigation into reports that he had multiple sexual encounters with the teen across state lines. Schaap was previously known for smarmy behavior such as simulating masturbation in front of thousands of children during church services and comparing the Lord’s Supper to having sex with Jesus Christ.
In 2020, a former member of the church sued the estate of Jack Hyles, alleging that she was raped by David Hyles in the 1970s. David Hyles is a former youth director at the church and son of founder Jack Hyles. Another woman sued the church and school in 2020, alleging child sex abuse by David Hyles.
- What We Believe. Hyles-Anderson College.
- Who We Are, Hyles-Anderson College.
- Bryan Smith, Let Us Prey: Big Trouble at First Baptist Church. Chicago Magazine, 11 December 2012.
- Maybe you wouldn't like... Archived from the original at Hyles-Anderson College, 2008.
- Jack Hyles, Accreditation. Archived from the original at jackhyles.com, 2013.
- Accreditation, Hyles-Anderson College.
- Debra Gruszecki, Detroit station probes abuse, church link. Archived from the original at nwitimes.com, 17 May 1993.
- Jack Schaap Confesses To Sexual Relationship With Teen After Firing From Megachurch. Huffington Post, 2 August 2012.
- Alexandra Kukulka, Highland woman alleges youth pastor at First Baptist Church of Hammond raped her in 1970s: ‘He knew exactly what he was doing’. Chicago Tribune, 27 March 2020.
- Forester Haynie Files Class Action Lawsuit Against First Baptist Church of Hammond for Pervasive Child Sex Abuse. businesswire.com, 4 December 2020.
- David Hyles' Newest Scandal: A Secret Year-Long Affair. preacherboysdoc.com, 12 October 2020.