by Johannah Hensler correspondent
With a Juris Doctor degree, Janet Stiven doesn’t seem like a likely addition to Moody’s staff, but on Jan. 2, she walked into her office on Crowell 6 as Moody’s new vice president and general counsel. Stiven steps into this role following Elizabeth Brown’s retirement, who spent over 30 years at Moody.
Stiven plans on using her previous law skills to focus on legal issues related to education, real estate, intellectual property, commercial contract issues and
Knowing she wanted to be a lawyer since grade school, Stiven attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for undergraduate studies and DePaul University for her Juris Doctor degree, where she focused on litigation and the courtroom.
After completing her education, she started her career with litigation in commercial business matters business disputes and contract drafting but then was attracted to the collaborative “win-win” side of business law, in which she worked extensively.
Stiven said God used her 28 years at a great firm to prepare her for her new executive position at Moody. When she saw that Moody was looking for a new general counsel, she said she felt like the Lord called her to apply for the job. “It was a pretty big step forward in faith,” she explained. “God was taking me from something secure and known that I could have stayed in for the rest of my career, but I would have missed the opportunity to get to do what I love for an organization I love.”
According to Stiven, Moody Radio has contributed a lot to her and her husband’s personal spiritual development. They are faithfully involved in their local church ministries, leading Bible studies and serving in the refugee community. Her new position gives her the opportunity to combine vocation with ministry as she gets to use her legal abilities for the Lord’s work at Moody.
“Janet’s extensive experience in a wide range of legal activities and her strong character are an excellent fit for Moody’s ministries,” said Dr. Paul Nyquist, president of Moody Bible Institute. “I am thrilled she will be joining Moody as our new general counsel.”
Stiven said she is excited for the current generation of MBI students because of their desire to “do life in community.” She said her time in a secular workplace offered multiple opportunities to live as a light while working with excellence in her vocation. “I think there is this temptation to stay within a Christian circle,” she said, “but if we are going to reach other people with Jesus, we need to figure out how to create broader circles. How will you serve in places that will give you the chance to be a light for Him?”
Janet and her husband of 27 years live in the western suburbs of Chicago, near their two adult children.