(RNS) Doug Phillips, an outspoken proponent of male “dominion” over women and a leading home-schooling activist, has stepped down as president of his Texas-based Vision Forum Ministries after admitting to an inappropriate relationship with a woman.

After canceling all planned speaking engagements, Phillips, however, on Wednesday (Nov. 6) said he will still maintain ownership of the affiliated Vision Forum Inc., a for-profit company.

Phillips, who has eight children with his wife Beall, wrote on the ministry website on Oct. 30 that he would step down as a ministry leader.

“I engaged in a lengthy, inappropriate relationship with a woman,” he wrote. “While we did not ‘know’ each other in a Biblical sense, it was nevertheless inappropriately romantic and affectionate.”

Calls to Vision Forum Ministries were not returned. In describing its mission, Vision Forum calls the family as “the basic agency of dominion on earth,” one that “is under attack from every side today.”

Phillips is a leader among conservative Christians who reject birth control and believe that large families are a sign of God’s blessings, as seen in his friends Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s family on TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting.” He preaches a message of “biblical patriarchy,” in which a man is called to “rule over his household” and “the God-ordained and proper sphere of dominion for a wife is the household.”

Phillips also takes a dim view of women in the public sphere, saying it is not “the ordinary and fitting role of women to work alongside men as their functional equals” outside the home in business, government and the military.

In 2011, the San Antonio-based ministry reported about $3.3 million in revenue, the most recent available financial records. Phillips received $44,000 in salary from the ministry for a 30-hour workweek, according to the ministry’s financial documents.

The related for-profit company was paid $193,176 in 2011 by the nonprofit for “labor and services,” according to records.

“I retain ownership of Vision Forum, Inc., a distinct and private company, but consistent with my desires to lead a quiet life focusing on my family and serving as a foot soldier, I will not be giving speeches or running conferences at this time of my life under the banner of VFI or VFM,” Phillips wrote.
Dan Busby, president of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability — a certification agency that does not count Phillips’ ministry as a member — said it’s not unusual to see a related for-profit business next to a nonprofit ministry. For-profits are often used for unrelated business income that would not jeopardize the tax-exempt status of a nonprofit, but it can cause perception issues.

“Segregating the nonprofit and for-profit activities and the financial transactions related to the two types of organizations is a critical aspect of these side-by-side organizations,” he said.

Phillips was formerly an attorney for Home School Legal Defense Association. He also founded the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival, which former Sen. Rick Santorum attended this year.

In his resignation letter, Phillips sought forgiveness.
“There are no words to describe the magnitude of shame I feel, or grief from the injury I caused my beloved bride and children, both of whom have responded to my repentance with what seems a supernatural love and forgiveness,” he wrote. “I thought too highly of myself and behaved without proper accountability.”

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Perpetua and Felicity

    Perpetua and Felicity, a married noble and her slave, an expectant mother, who were martyred in the third century for their Christian beliefs. (Photo: Stained-glass window of St Perpetua of Carthage (church of Notre-Dame of Vierzon, France, 19th century): martyrdom of St Perpetua and her fellows in the stadium of Carthage; Saint Felicity on her left.)

  • Lydia

    Lydia, "seller of purple," a businesswoman and homemaker who opened her house to Paul and Silas, and is considered the first recorded European convert to Christianity. (Photo: A modern outdoor chapel on what is said to be the site where Lydia was baptized by Paul.)

  • Joan of Arc

    Joan of Arc, a Roman Catholic saint, who was burned at the stake at age 19.

  • Sojourner Truth

    Sojourner Truth, an African-American abolitionist and women's rights activist who famously asked, "Ain't I a woman?"

  • Dorothy Day

    Dorothy Day, an American journalist and devout Catholic, who co-founded the Catholic worker movement.

  • Janet Edwards

    Janet Edwards, Presbyterian minister from Pittsburgh, Pa., board member of More Light Presbyterians, who was tried and acquitted by her church in 2001 for presiding at the wedding of two women

  • Jane Fonda

    Jane Fonda, feminist, activist, and actress who co-founded the Women's Media Center with Robin Morgan and Gloria Steinem.

  • Leymah Gbowee

    Leymah Gbowee, Liberian peace activist, and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, organized a women's peace movement that helped to end civil war in Liberia in 2003. (Photo: Leymah Gbowee, a 2011 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, speaks during the presentation ceremony of the International Women of Courage Awards at the State Department March 8, 2012 in Washington, DC. Ten women from around the world were presented with the awards during the sixth annual ceremony to recognize their courage and leadership.)

  • Alice Walker

    Alice Walker, whose art birthed one of the most important Christian movements of our time: womanist theology.

  • Melissa Harris-Perry

    Melissa Harris-Perry, American scholar and host of the Melissa Harris-Perry Show on MSNBC. (Photo via <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blX2YHdqUJA" target="_hplink">UCtelevision on YouTube</a>.)

  • Bishop Minerva Carcaño

    Bishop Minerva Carcaño, who broke through the glass ceiling to become the first Latina bishop in the United Methodist Church.

  • Delores Williams

    Delores Williams, one of the founders of black womanist theology.