Bible Colleges?

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Rhetorician, May 20, 2005.

  1. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
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    Hey gang;

    New questions!

    First:

    Are Bible colleges of days-gone-by gone away altogether and should they?

    Second:

    Is there still a need or place for Bible colleges in the academic world? Or, are they still the "step-children" of that world?

    Third:

    Was there ever a niche or need for them in the beginning?

    Note:

    I am not talking about "in house" or "church related" Bible colleges like those that are diploma mills and offer doctors degrees.

    There were and still are a few BCs who are RA, rigorous, and serious about academic education. Many times they have some particular theological or political "axe to grind" such as dispensationalism, "holiness," "separation," and such. But they are still good schools academically nonetheless. I suppose I am talking about schools which have made the transition like Philadelphia, John Brown, or even Bob Jones. (Although I do not want to open that "can of worms" again!).

    Looking forward to the responses.

    sdg!

    "dr"
     
  2. Humblesmith

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    I'm not sure what bible colleges were in days gone by, so I can't comment on that exactly.

    However, I do think there is a need for college level bible and theology courses. For example, there are many low-income pastors that need training, or christian school teachers that need more bible education. They can take a few classes at a reasonable price and get immediate benefit, but they are not in a position to go to seminary.

    One of the greatest needs today is for more people that know more about the scriptures and the historic doctrines of the faith.
     
  3. Debby in Philly

    Debby in Philly
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    Philadelphia Biblical University (formerly Philadelphia College of Bible, with roots in Philadelphia School of the Bible) is turning out quality professionals in many non-ministry fields who have the added benefit of high level Biblical knowledge and training as well. What better preparation is there for a graduate who enters the business world, becomes a teacher in a public school, or goes on to law school?
    Of course, the university still prepares graduates for seminary, the mission field, and other ministry related jobs as well.
     
  4. gb93433

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    If a man is called of God and wants to go to seminary there is no excuse for him not to go. Some of those in seminary have four and five children. If one wonders how they will pay for it they will never go. Looking back I still wonder how we made it. But we did. Someone wanted to give me a very nice car, I turned them down and told them I could not pay for the insurance and license on it. Later we were given an even better car by the same person and we had money to cover the insurance.

    A friend of mine told me he was going to have to quit seminary because he did not have enough money for the tuition. I told him to go to the financial aid office and tell them his problem. When he went there to his surprise they told him his tuition was paid. To this day he still does not know who it was who paid his tuition.

    When I was in seminary I became seriously sick and ended up in the hospital. While I was in the hospital our car broke down. My neighbor who worked as a car mechanic fixed it for free. Many of the students, friends and the seminary gave us money. I was able to finish.

    A friend of mine in Sunday School needed money to move because the house they were living in was sold and they had no money. A very small church of about 30 people in northern Michigan gave $1,000 to that family in Texas.

    There were times when I was in seminary we had to take a calculator when we shopped but we made it.
     
  5. StefanM

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    Christian liberal arts schools are the best bet, I think. One can have exposure to a variety of disciplines, getting a well-rounded education while also becoming grounded in biblical studies.
     
  6. Brandon C. Jones

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    I have been to both a bible college and a seminary. They both have their strengths and weaknesses. My critique of bible colleges is that they are usually, with the exception of a few like Moody, the last step of a future-minister's formal education before the ministry. Four years with a little theology here or there, some original languages (if you're ambitious), and off you go.

    This is often seen as the advantage of the bible college because there is so much need for ministry and "no need" to delay one's transition from student to minister. In my old fellowship, a three or four year bachelor's from the flagship school was all a church wanted, and that is what most of the ministers have and will ever have regarding their education. I have seen many less-than-ideal pastors within this fellowship and wonder how a little more training could have helped them and the fellowship at large.

    I, of course, must qualify this by saying that there are exceptions to everything including the notion of equating good education with good spiritual leadership and the negative corollary. I've seen great ministers with minimal education and poor ministers with extensive education (I'm sure we all have seen examples like this). However, I soon realized that I was not ready for the ministry after my bible college degree and I decided to go back to school: a decision I have not regretted one bit. Some feel they are ready with a bible college degree, and I pray the Lord blesses their ministry, but I felt unprepared.

    Regarding the future of bible colleges, they will always be around and will always serve by providing new ministers for whatever denomination or fellowship with which they are affiliated.
     
  7. Rhetorician

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    Hey gang,

    This is really an outstanding discussion. It generated "heat & light" much more than I thought it would.

    Keep them coming!

    sdg!

    rd
     
  8. Squire Robertsson

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    First, let us not confuse Bible Institutes like Moody or Prairie BI with Bible Colleges. I agree in 2005 there is little room for a three year "all Bible" education. On the other hand, I do think there is a place for four year Bible Colleges. I learned the basics of outlineing not from Dr. Weeks in upper class homiletics. I learned the basics in Miss Laughlin's freshman English Grammar and Composition class.

    Yes, Bible Colleges are narrow in focus. They are after all schools of leadership. I look at the best as service academies. Ahh, those lazy hazy days at West Point on the Rock River (aka Maranatha BBC).
     
  9. PatsFan

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    I agree. A Christian liberal arts education gives a minister much better preparation than a Bible college degree. IMO one's sermons can suffer from a lack of depth if all you ever studied was Bible and theology courses. Illustrations and applications can flow from a well-rounded education. Bible colleges seem to me to be for those ministers who don't plan to go to seminary.
     
  10. Ben W

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    I am getting a Bachelor at two different Bible Colleges, and I think that it is worthwhile to go and do that study if you want to become a pastor, yet I think that churches should be interning there Pastors at the same time.
     
  11. Martin

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    Many of the major Seminaries (such as Southeastern, Southern, etc) have under-graduate schools. I don't know if you could call them "Bible colleges" per say, but it is close. They allow a person to get a BA in Bible/Divinity/etc.

    Are Bible colleges of days-gone-by gone away altogether and should they? Is there still a need or place for Bible colleges in the academic world? Or, are they still the "step-children" of that world?

    No and no. Bible colleges offer a wonderful service to ministers (etc) who cannot attend seminary (some just are not cut out for graduate work). Also some of the small Bible colleges have low tuition rates and are very good places to learn the Bible. I attended, for one year, a small Bible college. It is a small, unaccredited (ACI), school. However it is solid Biblically (and w/ the languages, Greek I, II, III are required for graduation) and academically. It has produce many fine ministers, some of whom have gone on to Liberty, Southeastern, Dallas, etc. In fact, a few years ago, it got a direct mention in a DTS publication (magazine of some sort). I wonder if I still have that in my files? Probably not. Anyway the tuition is low, and it was a real positive experience.


    I am not talking about "in house" or "church related" Bible colleges like those that are diploma mills and offer doctors degrees.

    While it is true that some churches have "colleges" that are nothing but degree mills, I would never write a Bible college off just because it is "in house" or "church related". I know of several that are good schools. Not accredited, and not meant to prepare one for an academic career (only ministry). However they are good schools for what they do. They don't offer MAs or PhDs, in fact many they only offer associate degrees.
     
  12. Martin

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    You said:
    A Christian liberal arts education gives a minister much better preparation than a Bible college degree.

    ==Most of the "christian" liberal arts schools I am aware of personally are hardly even Christian. They have liberal profs in their religion departments (not something a pastor needs to sit under), and the students are just as bad as the students at state universities.

    I think Liberty University (and a few others) is a liberal-arts school? So what I said above is not an accross the board condemnation of liberal-arts schools. There are many good ones out there. I am just saying that just because a school has a christian name or symbol does not mean it is christian in practice.
     
  13. StefanM

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    Like with seminary, you have to know what you're getting into.
     
  14. Dr. Bob

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    Sorry I overlooked this a few days ago - I think a old-fashioned Bible College is not for today. Word of Life has an all-bible 1 year program. Others have 2-3 year programs with some other subjects added, but still a core of Bible.

    A good MODERN style Baptist Bible College will superimpose a solid liberal education grid over a strong Bible core. Then add professional major and you have quality.

    Example:
    60 credits of liberal arts
    36 credits of Bible
    36 credits in Major

    Now THAT would be a solid education
     
  15. Squire Robertsson

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    Again, I would refer y'all to my allusion to the service academies. The Military Academy at West Point has a narrow focus for its educational program. For most of its history, West Point grads came out U.S. Army 2LTs with B.S.Eng's. For me, a BBC should have the same kind of focus, training leadership in support of local churchs.
     
  16. Paul33

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    Bible colleges have their place. Many students attend, find their mate, and then go on to seminary.

    Others enter the ministry and do a credible job.

    Why should Bible colleges be looked down upon simply because they do a specific task of training pastors, missionaries, and Christian school teachers?

    How they do that (in some cases) is another thread altogether!

    Many of the Bible colleges I'm familiar with are now seeking TRACS accrediation.
     
  17. Victory in Jesus

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    I'm double-posting , but I hope y'all'll forgive me. I discovered this thread after posting in an older abandoned thread.

    I went 3.5 semesters until I discovered it wasn't accredited (a piece of information they refuse to share with you until you ask). When a good friend of mine discoverd in her senior year (a month or two before graduation) that she couldn't even get a teaching job in her Gorgia church school because of the lack of accreditation (the college is in a different state), I felt the school's lack of information. I felt betrayed.

    I understand that Bible colleges (this one, particularly) feel that the main focus is the Lord. But, the teachers (professors?) were poorly paid and at least one in particular didn't know what she was teaching. She insisted that the word "carpet" was a compound word. There are too many other inconsistancies to go into (and I only wanted to point out an example or two).

    Remember typewriters...entire pages tossed out due to one error? Students today have it easy!! One of my biggest dissappointments was when we spent a lot of time composing our perfectly typed 25-page thesis papers with bibliography and footnotes. They were never returned. We only received a random grade with no corrected paper to show where we went wrong. Remember, this was back when we had to photocopy our work (which was expensive for a college student) if we wanted a second copy (but we trusted our teacher to return the corrected originals). We believe the teacher was too lazy to grade them properly and tossed them in the trash. She was later fired after too many complaints, but we never received a refund for the classes she "taught".

    There were some disappointments, but I left with a Master and Bachelor:

    I accepted Christ as my Savior at that college and I managed to marry what turned out to be the best husband and father in the world (I may be a bit biased, but...nah!...these are facts, I'm sure). [Big Grin]

    So, I managed to get more out of this college than what I paid for.

    I have to admit that I also learned a LOT from other professors that were Bible based: the Life of Christ, Baptist History, etc.

    So simply put (too late, I know), it's a good idea if you want to learn more about Bible-based subjects, but if you're trying to work toward a well-paid job, try a different college.
     
  18. Dr. Bob

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    For years, the ANTI-accreditation emphasis from Bob Jones University kept good schools from seeking such. I remember 15+ years ago when Maranatha BBC in Wisconsin sought full accreditation from North Central (not TRACS) and the flak they got!!

    But my degrees from Maranatha have full accreditation and worth a great deal. I am GLAD some (including BJU) are finally seeking and qualifying for accreditation.
     
  19. Paul33

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    I'm glad that MBBC had the fortitude to reject the pope in Greenville and do what was right for them! [​IMG]
     
  20. Dr. Bob

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    Paul, back in the 50-60's, MANY Bible College profs came from BJU. Not many "bible", but lots of speech, English, history types - I have no problem with that.

    Now, with accreditation, the BJU degrees are not as valued as those from accredited schools or even secular universities.
     

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