1982 - 2014 © Biblical Life College and Seminary.
Offering Spirit-Filled Theological Degrees through Distance Learning Since 1982.
Office Phone: 417-859-0881 (By Appointment Only)
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“Where the Remnant Comes to Train”
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 throes 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 concepts 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!