July 8, 2007

Faith Pulpit
Faith Baptist Theological Seminary
Ankeny, Iowa
July—August 2007

Definition and Direction Statement, Part 1

Adopted by the Board of Directors Sept. 15, 2006

Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary exists as a Fundamentalist Baptist institution of Christian higher education to disciple vocational Christian workers and leaders for local churches throughout the world.

Faith Exists as a Bible College.
In 1893, at the Chicago World’s Fair, William H. Jordan heard Evangelist D. L. Moody speak about the importance of training Christian workers for the ministry. Deeply impressed by Moody’s comments, Jordan developed a burden to establish a school to carry on that vision. Years later, Dr. Jordan started a small, nondenominational Bible school known as the Omaha Bible Institute (OBI) in Omaha, Nebraska. Classes began at OBI in the summer of 1921, and they continued for many years with Dr. Jordan as President of the institute. In the mid-1950s, under the leadership of Dr. John L. Patten, the institute aggressively sought the approval and support of Baptists, and so it changed its name to Omaha Baptist Bible Institute (OBBI). During the late 1950s the curricula expanded, and the institute became a four-year college. In 1960, its name changed to Omaha Baptist Bible College (OBBC). The college soon outgrew its Omaha facilities, and in 1965 the Board of Directors decided to relocate the college’s campus to Ankeny, Iowa. This move was accomplished during the summer of 1967, and Faith Baptist Bible College (FBBC) opened for classes that October. The history of the Ankeny campus evidences faith in God for the supply of funds to build the campus buildings. Over the years, the Lord has blessed Faith with beautiful facilities that enhance its ministry as a Bible college.

Meanwhile, Denver Baptist Bible College had been established in 1952 by Dr. Sam Bradford, pastor of Beth Eden Baptist Church in Denver, Colorado. Denver added a seminary program in 1972. Faith and Denver had much in common, and the Boards of both schools decided that a merger was advisable. This was carried out during the summer of 1986.

The mission of FBBC is to provide an intensive biblical, vocational, and general education on the college level with the goal of preparing students to minister effectively in Christian service through leadership positions in and through fundamental Baptist churches and other organizations of like convictions.

As a Bible college, Faith purposes that its students evidence a comprehensive working knowledge of the Bible and of the great systematic truths of Scripture. We insist that all of our four-year graduates complete a Bible major. At Faith, we firmly believe that this Bible major is at the heart of the college curriculum and that it should be taught by the core of the college faculty. We believe in the sufficiency of Christ and of the Scriptures for Christian living, ministry, and a worldview. We stress the need for a biblical and doctrinal ministry instead of mere personal and relational wholeness. We celebrate the gospel of Christ as the great message of the Bible, and so we desire to share this good news with the lost and invite them to make a personal decision to trust Christ as Savior. We hold to traditional dispensationalism and to a non-charismatic position. We interpret the Bible literally, and we believe that God created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them in six days (Exodus 20:11). We value our daily chapels and annual Bible conferences because they provide additional opportunities to enhance the biblical education of our students. We believe that the Bible is inspired by God and inerrant, and so we seek to indoctrinate our students in its truth because the Bible is divine in its origin and truthful in its content.

Faith Exists as a Theological Seminary.
In 1982, FBBC expanded its five-year Th.B. program into the Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in pastoral studies. Then, in January of 1986, the Board of Directors established Faith Baptist Theological Seminary (FBTS), transferring the graduate program from the College to the Seminary. The school added two more M.A. programs, in biblical studies and in theological studies. During these early days of the Seminary, the Board of Directors began talks with Denver Baptist Bible College and Seminary to merge the two schools. The merger took place during the summer of 1986, and in the fall of that year, the Seminary began with thirty students in its three M.A. programs and in its three-year Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree program.

The mission of FBTS is to provide an advanced biblical, theological, and ministerial education at the graduate level with the goal of preparing Bible expositors to serve effectively in Christian ministry through leadership positions within Baptist fundamentalism.

FBTS recognizes the truths of God as absolute. Therefore, through the educational process, the faculty members recognize it to be their responsibility, as Christian leaders under the ministry of the Holy Spirit, both to impart truth and to train students to discern truth from error. This includes training in the proper principles of hermeneutics, in the study of the languages in which the Scriptures were originally written, and in the major systems of Christian theologies. We delight in compelling, expositional preaching; and we desire our graduates to preach with conviction from the Bible. We believe in the primacy of the ministry of the Word, and we desire our graduates to evidence this same priority. We view the M.Div. degree program as our primary programmatic offering since it is the professional degree program for ministry. We have designed our M.Div. program to train people to lead by personal example and the teaching and preaching of the Bible. Without detracting from our M.Div. program, the faculty and Board of directors reaffirms its inceptive desire to add the Th.M., D.Min., and Th.D. degree programs in the future.

FBBC&TS Exists as an Institution of Higher Education.
As an institution of higher education, we have built a faculty that is composed of highly qualified professors who are actively developing and assessing academic programs and policies. We champion academic freedom on the part of our professors so that they might teach, research, and publish within the parameters of the institution’s doctrinal, professional, and positional standards. We appreciate our library which is suitable for our instructional needs and is growing in its ability to facilitate theological research. As an institution of higher education we insist on the transmission of Western culture and critical thinking skills that are characteristic of broadly educated people. Our curriculum, however, is not one wherein the Bible is taught apart from the liberal arts. Instead, we seek to integrate the Scriptures into every academic pursuit so that we might inculcate a truly biblical world-view. We desire that our graduates should evaluate the changing mores of their cultures in light of the immutable truth of Scripture, and so we teach music, literature, history, science, communication, and mathematics toward this end. We also value the contribution of technology to the teaching and learning process.

As an institution of higher education, we seek compliance with accepted standards of institutional integrity, and we value outside, objective assessments by accrediting agencies at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

We have invested millions of dollars to develop a fine residential campus complete with classrooms for face-to-face instruction, with a library suitable for our purposes, with a cafeteria and bookstore, with residence halls, athletic facilities, and a student center, etc. At the same time, we desire to see strategic planning and resource allocations focus more and more on ways to further enhance the educational experiences of our students.

FBBC&TS Exists as an Institution of Christian Higher Education.
As a Christian institution, we believe in the truth of the Christian gospel, that Jesus Christ died vicariously and that He rose from the dead. We also believe in the exclusivity of this Christian gospel; and so we, together with our graduates, aspire to do the work of evangelism.

As a Christian institution, we not only seek compliance with accepted standards of institutional integrity as revealed in the 66 books of the Bible, we go beyond this, and we desire to display Christian virtue in all personal and institutional dealings. We also hold that Christian faith, rather than mere human reason or experience, leads to understanding because the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.