The History and Philosophy of Biblical Life College & Seminary
“This website is going to be different from any other college & seminary site you have ever seen.” This statement will be true whether you are just being introduced to the educational ministry of Biblical Life College & Seminary or you have been a long time friend, student or graduate. This will be the 28th year in educational ministry. As I began to prepare for it, the Holy Spirit began speaking to my heart. He said “Write it directly to the prospective student and teach him how to make a wise decision regarding his training.” So in the site, I will be breaking away from standard protocols one would use in creating a seminary site.
Here are some things you will need to know to get the most out of this site:
1. I will be writing information on this site as if we were sitting down and discussing your education over a cup of coffee. I will try to be as honest and frank as possible. My heart’s desire is that you understand what ministry preparation is all about and that you make an informed, Holy Spirit led decision regarding where you study.
2. In the past, I have written our information for the academic professional. This has allowed those in the academic community to ascertain the validity of the educational process at Biblical Life College & Seminary. In this edition, I am concentrating on you, the prospective student.
For those within academia, you will find that we fully understand what is required for a true semester credit hour of work at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Over the years, our curriculum has been carefully compared to that of regional and ATS accredited schools. The comprehension requirements, workload and testing are comparable. We have striven to maintain the traditional formulation for our degree programs. The only difference you will find in Biblical Life College & Seminary is that we do not follow the traditional Greco-Roman Liberal Arts schedule of studies. We follow a more Hebraic-centered concept of using only subjects that will reinforce the specific field of study. A variant of this concept is also being used throughout Europe today. The sole purpose of Biblical Life College & Seminary is to train aspirants of ministry, therefore only subjects that empower the students within their fields of ministry are provided in the course of study. We feel this does not diminish the educational experience of the student, but rather gives his studies a laser focus that will more aptly prepare him for service within the Body of Christ.
3. To make this site flow better in the first person, you will find that I will refer to you as masculine. I do believe in females in ministry and that they need the proper education. My wife is an ordained minister of the Gospel and stands with me in ministry. Currently about 48% of all BLCS students are female. So if I use the terms “he” or “him” anywhere in this catalog, I am referring to both male and female. I have dedicated my life to theology and education, therefore I do not possess the literary skills to write in the first person and maintain the current politically correct, gender-neutral babble being prescribed today. To be honest, I have striven to be biblically correct instead.
4. I am an educator by nature, not just by profession. I will pause from time to time in this site to explain in more detail what I am presenting and the concepts behind it. My purpose in this is to inform you about what is a legitimate education and what is not. The end result will be that, whether you study with Biblical Life College & Seminary or not, you will be able to make an informed choice about the school you attend.
The History of Biblical Life College & Seminary
I have been preaching the Word since my thirteenth birthday. I guess you could say it was a spiritual bar-mitzvah of sorts. From the age of thirteen, the local pastors in our fellowship taught me the basics of biblical research, sermon preparation and ministry practices. As I entered Bible College, I was fortunate enough to have a veteran educator as a Mentor. Dr. MacLacklan (or Dr. Mac) was a retired Navy Chaplain, had completed his M.Div. and Th.D. at Princeton, and had spent the last twenty years in Christian education and administration. Dr. Mac saw in me the aptitude and anointing both as an educator and as an administrator. Throughout Bible College, I found myself learning as much about educational concepts as I did about theology. It just seemed to be a natural fit for me.
While serving in the military and stationed in Germany, I found myself in the throws of the Charismatic Movement. Many young men and women were being saved, filled with the Holy Spirit and then being called to ministry. At that time (around 1979), there were not a lot of nontraditional schools available for those called to the ministry. The few that were available either provided poorly developed curriculum or were simply not affordable for the average “Joe.” I saw many unbiblical things being presented and many lives that ended in shipwreck.
In 1982, God began to touch my heart about helping men and women called to ministry. I began gathering around me individuals that had the call of God on their lives. To be honest, ever since then, they seem to be attracted to me by the Holy Spirit. This small group gave birth to “Faith Institute of Christian Development.” My passion was to enable those called to ministry with the basic training they needed to be successful. The school began to grow as men and women around the world began preparing for the ministry. My vision of making ministerial preparation available through nontraditional studies and keeping it affordable came to pass. These two things have remained the foundational stones of BLCS.
In 1986, I was asked to take over a school started by the Evangelical Churches and Ministries Association. The name of the school was “Evangelical Theological Seminary.” I simply merged in the concepts I had established with FICD and began developing full degree programs for ETS. From 1986 to the summer of 1995, our school bore that name. ETS had earned the respect of many within the academic community and had developed many standards that are now common place within theological education by extension (TEE) or directed study. I have been told by researchers in nontraditional education that sections of our catalog are plagiarized more than any other school in the world. This was just another confirmation that God was leading and blessing what we were doing. We had become “pace-setters” within God’s Kingdom for nontraditional education.
The summer of 1995 was a major turning point in our academic journey. Several things came together that could have only been orchestrated by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit began prophetically speaking to me and others associated with our school. We had become so academically minded that we were losing our spiritual edge. True ministerial training must be a balance of solid academics, research skills and true biblical spirituality. The early reformers in the Protestant movement understood this. One of their rally cries was “Testimonium Spiritus Sancti.” This phrase calls for a balance of the leading of the Holy Spirit and the Word. All Word and no Spirit leads to legalism. All Spirit and no Word leads to mysticism. It is only through the proper balance of the two that dynamic ministry (and living for that matter) is found. Our graduates could debate systematic theology with the best of them and research any topic and reach a logical conclusion, but they were not being taught, in depth, on being led by the Holy Spirit as they should have been.
Changes had to be made. At the same time, we had several smaller school systems wanting to merge with us. It proved to be the perfect time to adjust our mission and concepts of education. We accomplished this by doing two things: (1) We balanced out our programs with 50% academic/research skills and 50% cutting edge, “where the rubber meets the road” biblical teaching and (2) changed our name to reflect this mission: we became “Biblical Life College & Seminary.” The very name of the school reflected what we were about - making life and ministry “biblical” once again.
Over the years the liberal academic community has made inroads within our Bible Colleges and Seminaries. The end result is that the spiritual swords of our ministers have become dull through intellectualism. Our purpose, our passion is to restore to ministry its biblical edge for life abundant. This flies in the face of modern education, but it is the only way to return ministry (and the Body of Christ) to where it needs to be. It is time that the Sword of the Spirit has a biblical edge to it again!
The Vision and Purpose of Biblical Life College & Seminary
Our vision and purpose are very simple, they are to make the proper preparation for ministry accessible and affordable. The education must be: thorough and academically sound, biblically based, providing solid research skills and providing the student with the “present day” truths that God is imparting to the Body of Christ.
We accomplish this mission in several ways:
1. We specialize in nontraditional training. Large campuses require large staffing and large budgets. The traditional way of running Bible Colleges or Seminaries results in tuition costing between $350.00 to $600.00 per semester credit hour. We can reduce this cost greatly by implementing the following:
a. We operate an effective and modest administrative and production facility.
b. Only the administrative staff members are salaried employees. All of our professors must be actively doing in ministry what they are teaching. This overcomes the axiom: “Those that cannot do, teach.” Our professors are doing; that is why they can teach. This does two things for the student: (1) the teachings are fresh and applicable to their lives and ministries and (2) it keeps the tuition affordable. Our professors receive royalties from books and tapes sold to students rather than being on salary. They make their living actually doing the ministry they are teaching about.
These two factors enable us to offer a high quality ministerial education at the affordable tuition we presently do.
2. We strive to be on the cutting edge of “present day” truths that God is restoring to His people. Many Bible Colleges and Seminaries reject what God has revealed since the movements were established that brought them into existence. They tend to be stuck in the past and reject any further revelation given by God.
We believe God has been systematically restoring truth to His people since coming out of the Dark Ages. It started with the knowledge that one must be “born again” and that the “just shall live by faith.” Each subsequent move of God has taken us another step along the pathway to biblicity.
Some of the “present day” truths that you will find in Biblical Life curriculum:
Living by Faith
Being Filled with the Holy Spirit
Keeping a Biblical Balance
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
The Fruit of the Holy Spirit
The Five-Fold Ministry
A Balanced Approach to Our Hebraic Heritage (Jewish Roots)
Kingdom Authority & Warfare 1 - 3
The Purpose of the Prophetic
Just to name a few
As a student of Biblical Life, you will be presented with these and many other truths, but we do not stop there. We give you the hermeneutical and research skills to become faithful Bereans to what we present. Truth always becomes established in the light of honest research and examination.
You will find that the training provided at Biblical Life will be solid academically and will prepare you for “real world” ministry. We are so committed to this task that we are constantly developing newer, more relevant courses. What is in this catalog is not set in stone. We will most likely contact you while you are in a program to see if a newly completed module may better meet your needs than ones you were previously scheduled to take. Preparing and strengthening you is the goal of all we do.