Bill Gothard Bio, Age, Height, Family, Wife, Cult, Books, Net Worth

Bill Gothard Biography

Bill Gothard is an American Christian minister, speaker, and the founder of the Institute in Basic Life Principles Christian organization. He is also an author known for books such as The World’s Greatest Question: Do You Really Know That You Know God?

How old is Bill Gothard? – Age

The author is 89 years old as of 2023. He was born on November 2, 1934, in Hinsdale, Illinois, United States where he also grew up.

How tall is Bill Gothard? – Height

Bill is 5 feet 6 inches (1.68 m) tall.

Bill Gothard Mother, Father – Family

Gothard was born to William Whitmore Gothard and Sr., Carmen Gothard in Hinsdale, Illinois, United States. He was brought up along with his five siblings; older sisters and three younger siblings. 

Bill Gothard Education

Bill enrolled at Wheaton College where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in biblical studies in 1957. He also holds an M.A. degree in Christian education as well as a Ph.D. in biblical studies from Louisiana Baptist University.

Is Bill Gothard Married? – Wife

Gothard disclosed that he has never been married. It is also not known whether he has had past relationships. However, he has had controversies that he had sexually harassed several female employees and volunteers in his ministry.

Minister and Author Bill Gothard Photo
Minister and Author Bill Gothard Photo

Bill Gothard Ministry

Gothard is a vastly recognized minister and speaker whose teachings revolve around Bible memorization, emphasis on large families and homeschooling, aversion to debt, promotion of male superiority and female obedience, and conservative dressing.

He is also known for his seven “Basic Life Principles” known as Design, Authority, Responsibility, Suffering, Ownership, Freedom, and Success. During the 1970s, his Basic Youth Conflicts seminar predominantly reached the Baby Boomer generation within the evangelical community. Additional seminars catered to various audiences, including pastors, physicians, and legislators.


Bill’s ministry was speculated to be a cult following allegations of sexual harassment and molestation by 34 women in 2014. It is known that some of the victims were reportedly minors at the time of the incidents.

Subsequently, in 2016, a group of alleged victims filed a lawsuit against Gothard and IBLP, which was later dismissed in 2018 due to the expiration of the statute of limitations. Despite denying the allegations and refuting any wrongdoing, he announced his resignation from the Institute.

Following an investigation by external legal counsel, IBLP confirmed that no criminal activity was uncovered, yet acknowledged that Gothard had engaged in inappropriate conduct, resulting in his removal from counseling, leadership, and Board roles within the ministry.

In 2016, a group of alleged victims filed a lawsuit against Gothard and IBLP, alleging sexual harassment and assault. However, the complainants voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit in 2018.

Bill Gothard Umbrella

Bill invented an idea that is widely known as The “umbrella of authority”. Here, he teaches that one must have absolute obedience to those above them in order to be protected from the devil. He further emphasizes the potential moral risks associated with dating than that of courtship.

He advocates for parental involvement in their children’s courtship, particularly encouraging fathers to play an active role in their daughter’s relationships, including the right to decline a potential suitor’s proposal.

Additionally, he advocates for conservative attire and discourages the practice of dating and the consumption of syncopated music, including Christian rock. Notably, he has expressed concerns about the perceived idolatrous nature of Cabbage Patch dolls.


  • Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts
  • The Power of Crying Out: When Prayer Becomes Mighty
  • The Power of Spoken Blessings
  • Rebuilder’s Guide
  • The Amazing Way
  • Our Jealous God
  • The Sevenfold Power of First-Century Churches and Homes
  • Commands of Christ, Series 6
  • Commands of Christ, Series 4
  • Commands of Christ, Series 5

Bill Gothard Net Worth

Bill sits at an estimated net worth of $3 Million.

Bill Gothard Instagram

You can find and follow Gothard on Instagram using the account name: @bill_gothard1

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