October 1, 1994

Faith Pulpit
Faith Baptist Theological Seminary
Ankeny, Iowa
October 1994

The Benefits of a Bible College Education

George Houghton, Th.D.

Selecting a college to attend is not always an easy task. For one thing, there are over 3,500 from which to choose. Then there are other factors, such as how far away it is, what it will cost, what kinds of programs it offers, would I get a quality education etc. When people begin looking for a college, they (and often their family and friends) want to know what the college has to offer. This question is an important one, and we believe that Bible colleges have some unique qualities which should be attractive to the college-bound, committed Christian. What are some of the benefits from studying at a Bible college, and particularly a college such as Faith Baptist Bible College?

1. An Understanding of God’s Word
The Bible is at the very center of one’s studies at Faith Baptist Bible College. Along with other emphases, every student in a four-year program has a major in Biblical studies. Courses are structured to help students learn how to study and interpret the Bible, acquire a good overview of Scripture, and receive some detailed exposition of major Bible books. Along with this, students study the Bible topically in doctrine classes where they are taught the great systematic truths of Scripture. And these classes impress upon students the need to apply the principles and truths which they are learning to their own lives. All of this is designed to develop individuals who know what the Bible teaches, understand its implications, know how to handle the Scriptures properly, and exemplify in personal life the reality of Christianity.

2. Doctrinal Discernment
Bible college will also provide courses which help students to understand what they believe and why they believe these things. They will develop their own convictions based upon the Word of God and learn to discern between truth and error. They will be made aware of contemporary issues facing the believer, given an appreciation for their fundamentalist heritage, and supported in their understanding of Baptist beliefs. FBBC unashamedly seeks to instill an allegiance to a system of doctrine designated as fundamental, premillennial, pretribulational, dispensational, Baptistic, and separatist. It reaffirms the traditional view of dispensationalism, the belief that God has a specific will for every believer, rejection of Lordship salvation, affirmation of the importance of believer’s baptism by immersion for every believer, congregational government, the pastor and deacons as New Testament officers for local churches, a non-charismatic position, and an emphasis on God-honoring, conservative music.

3. General Values of Collegiate Higher Education
It is important that Christians know something about the world around them, understand the past, and gain perspective from the literature and philosophies which have influenced generations and civilizations. They should understand human nature, the significance of the great advances in modern science and technology. And they should understand others around them and be able to communicate effectively with them. FBBC equips its students to do this. All of this Points to the importance of that common knowledge which thoughtful and educated people will have as a result of subjects studied and included in a college setting.

4. Personal Character Development
As a result of studying at FBBC there should be personal improvement in character qualities. This is a place to think through one’s values, priorities, and attitudes and see how they measure up to God’s standards. Living on a Bible college campus provides an atmosphere which emphasizes godliness, dependence upon the Holy Spirit, and obedience to the Word of God and its author. Spiritual emphasis is noticed in daily chapel services, classroom instruction, dorm devotions, and special conferences.

College-age young people are asking questions and wanting answers. At this impressionable stage of life, the Bible college provides the guidance and direction needed to have a lasting effect upon their lives and future ministries. Those having studied at Bible college have distinct advantages in their preparation for life.

5. Lasting Friendships
Many people find their life’s partner in Bible college. On the Bible college campus, opportunity is provided for meeting new people who also love the Lord. Lasting friendships are made with those of similar interests and desires. Faculty, administration, and staff at FBBC also show genuine interest in students and their needs. They often seek out students and minister to them in their offices, in the dining hall, in the hallways or in their homes. Students are often working side by side with school personnel in their local churches, and lasting friendships develop. It is not uncommon for former students to write or call college personnel, sometimes for help with a problem, to share a need or news, or just to find out how things are going.

6. Christian Service Opportunities
FBBC provides a wide variety of Christian service opportunities in and through local Bible-believing churches. Preaching, teaching all ages, deaf ministries, Shepherds classes, campus ministries, Sunday school, Awana, Joy clubs, visitation, rest homes, hospitals, jail and inter-city ministries, apprenticeship programs, and musical ministries are examples of experiences coordinated through the Christian Service Department. Required Christian service provides needed experiences and God-given opportunities. Students begin by taking the required course in Personal Evangelism and then follow that up with other ministry classes and various experiences in Christian service. Each semester students are expected to be involved in ministry which is then evaluated to help the student improve and become more effective.

7. Specialized Ministry Training
Our Bible college provides many different programs which help prepare the student for specialized fields of Christian service. Such programs include Christian education for the local church, teacher education for Christian schools, pastoral studies, classes in evangelism, missions, church music, youth ministries, and secretarial ministry. These various ministry programs are taught by people who have both academic credentials and successful ministry experience. And students culminate their college experience with a ministry apprenticeship, working under the guidance of a Christian leader who helps them develop their skills in serving the Lord.

In making the big choice of selecting a college to attend, as other factors are considered, remember the benefits of a Bible college education, especially those found at Faith Baptist Bible College!