Faith Family Praises God for Fall ’23 Enrollment Increase
September 8, 2023
ANKENY, Iowa–Two years ago, Faith turned 100. It was a remarkable occasion that was duly celebrated with fireworks and food trucks. The Celebration of the Century provided reason to reflect on all that God has done over ten decades. That celebration, however, was more than a culmination of our 100-year history; it was a springboard that launched the school into its next century. At the start of its 102nd academic year, Faith Baptist Bible College is experiencing the blessings of God in unprecedented ways.
Faith is celebrating one of the largest incoming classes in decades. Enrollment at Faith at the start of the 2023-2024 academic year is up 37% overall, 25% in the dorms, and 13% in new students—the second consecutive year of double-digit growth in new students, something few colleges and universities have experienced lately. “We are thankful that students want to be a part of what God is doing on campus,” said Vice President of Enrollment Mark Davis. One has to go back to the 1970s to find similar enrollment growth.
When asked what makes Faith a desirable option for prospective students, Davis was quick to mention the atmosphere on campus: “The culture at Faith is what most people comment on after visiting. The ‘feel’ of campus is warm, relational, and intentional. Most colleges have a similar look in the materials they send out, but each campus is very different in what it actually looks and feels like on a daily basis. For us, the friendly and relational campus culture starts at the top with our president, Dr. Jim. God has used him over the last eight years in the lives of our students, faculty and staff.” President Tillotson regularly reminds students that he wants them to love each other, to have “each other’s back,” yet he also acknowledges that he cannot force them to do so. But anyone who visits campus quickly notices that the students truly have caught his vision of a campus culture characterized by love, service, and discipleship.
This rapid increase in enrollment has caused Faith to seek creative ways to solve the good problems of growth. In August, Mark Felderman, Alumni Coordinator, appealed to alumni, current students, and friends of the college to help complete a number of tasks to get campus ready for all the incoming and returning students. Because the demand to live in the dorms has increased rapidly, the college needed to flip 15 apartments and one duplex back into student housing. On August 18 and 19, current students, faculty and staff, and alumni and their kids showed up on campus and flipped apartments back into student housing as well as completed a number of other necessary projects.
Davis is praying for another year of growth next year. “The Lord has allowed us to get off to a great start for 2024,” he explained. “We actually have three times the number of applications in when compared to last year on this date, so adding more campus housing is a challenge we will continue to face—but it’s a great problem to have.”
Faith students often hear that the world needs them. Churches need pastors. Christian schools need teachers. Mission fields need missionaries. Businesses need Christian leaders. The needs are always more numerous than our students can meet, but God is using Faith students and alumni to meet those needs to a greater extent. The noteworthy growth of our student body gives our faculty and staff increased opportunities to equip and inspire the next generation of vocational Christian workers and servant leaders to take the Word of God to the world.
Come and see for yourself the exciting things God is doing on campus.
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