Dear Outtatown Site Leaders and Alumni,
I write to share difficult news with you, and to express CMU's support for our Outtatown community in this moment.
Nathan Rieger, the former pastor of the Winnipeg Vineyard Church, who was a contract instructor with Outtatown for many years, was arrested on charges of trying to meet a minor for sex, on August 10, 2018. On August 20, CMU became aware of this situation through a meeting with the leaders of the Winnipeg Vineyard Church. We learned that Nathan had voluntarily resigned his position at the church, and, that same day, we communicated with Nathan that his instructor contract with Outtatown would not be renewed. Later on the evening of August 20 the Winnipeg Free Press article, "City Pastor Faces Sex Charges in California" was published.
We then contacted past site leaders to share this difficult news, and on Tuesday, August 28 we posted an open, public letter to Outtatown alumni and site leaders on the Outtatown website, noting this news (including the Free Press story) and indicating our openness to hear from and our commitment to support alumni and site leaders (http://www.outtatown.com/communicating-difficult-news-to-the-outtatown-community/).
We also reviewed all of our policies for Outtatown, strengthened our existing background check policy, and reviewed our CMU sexual violence policy with all Outtatown staff (http://www.cmu.ca/docs/studentlife/CMU_CMU_Sexual_Violence_Policy.pdf).
On December 7, 2018, we learned new information on the court proceedings in Nathan Rieger's case (https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/former-winnipeg-pastor-repeatedly-told-online-girl-was-15-us-cop-testifies-502208291.html).
We are therefore reaching out to the Outtatown community again to share this difficult news concerning Nathan Rieger. We have posted this news to Outtatown's website as well.
Know that CMU deeply values the safety and wellbeing of all of our students and community members. Know that we are here to listen to and support you. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.
Vice President Academic and Academic Dean, CMU