Institute in Basic Life Principles

The Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) is a non-denominational, Christian organization in Oak Brook, Illinois that serves as an umbrella organization for several ministries. IBLP was established by Bill Gothard for the purpose of resolving youth and family conflicts. IBLP's stated purpose is to provide instruction on how to find success in life by following biblical principles. It is a non-profit tax-exempt religious or charitable organization as defined by the IRS, [IRS, [ Search for Charities, Online Version of Publication 78] (last accessed 8/30/06)] and the Institute claimed assets of $63-million on its year 2000 federal tax forms.Silja J.A. Talvi [ "Cult of Character"] "In These Times" January 9, 2006] [ [ Culture Wars Follow this leader and your kids will obey their masters and join lockstep with God or else] by Bob Norman. "New Times Broward-Palm Beach" September 12, 2002] [ [ DCF head warms to faith groups] LEONORA LaPETER and CURTIS KRUEGER "St. Petersburg Times" August 22, 2002]


IBLP was founded by Gothard in 1964. The organization was originally named Campus Teams, then changed to Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts in 1974, and to its current name in 1989. IBLP started promoting Basic Youth Conflicts seminars in areas around the United States and other nations, which according to the ILBP, during the 1970s had attendances of up to 20,000 persons [ [ IBLP | History ] ] .

IBLP's programs have keys services, which include seminars, public services, training for ministry, community outreach, troubled youth mentoring, and an international ministry. They all deal with education and contributing to the community. According to the IBLP, many of the ministry's workers have received (and continue to receive) Presidential medals for their work in helping the community in various ways [ [ IBLP | What We Do ] ] .

Bill Gothard serves on the Board of Directors as President of IBLP. The Chairman of the Board of Directors is United States Congressman Sam Johnson. [ [ IBLP | Board of Directors ] ]

Controversies and criticism

An organization called Personal Freedom Outreach (PFO) has published criticism about Gothard in three basic areas: a view that Gothard's views are legalistic teachings and interpretations of Scripture, a belief that IBLP and its adherents exhibit a "cult-like" mentality, and concern about Gothard's application of authoritarianism within his own organization. [G. Richard Fisher, "A Study in Evolving Fadism: The Cultic Leanings of Bill Gothard's Teachings", "Personal Freedom Outreach" Quarterly Journal, April-June 1996.] Gothard was also accused by some of being hyprocritical for not practicing what he preaches about conflict resolution. [Ron Henzel [ "Bill Gothard and Institute in Basic Life Principles"] "Midwest Christian Outreach" 2006]


After 15 years of working with inner-city gangs, church youth groups, high school clubs, youth camps, and families in crisis, Bill Gothard wrote his master’s thesis at Wheaton Graduate School on a youth program that eventually led to the formulation of seven biblical, non-optional principles of life.


External links

* [ Official website]
* [ Christianity Today: "Exegeting Bill Gothard"] , a book review and discussion of theological issues related to the Institute, critical of the Institute.

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