How Can Our Bible Colleges Do Better?
Rev. Dan Rigdon – Plano, Texas – There are three things I would suggest. First, we need to get young ministers more familiar with the Word. Commentaries and Bible dictionaries are fine – but they do little good when you don’t truly know your Bible. When a student graduates, he or she should have read the Bible so much and so often, that when you refer to a common verse of scripture, they should know where to find it and in what context it was written.
Secondly, we must somehow instill into these young men some basic Christian character. A young minister should live, talk and think Godly, and I’m seeing very little of this. They can sermonize, but their lives don’t reflect the fundamental spirit and conduct of a true Man of God. They must learn that a walk with God and a consistent prayer life are more important than singing and preaching.
Finally, a young preacher should know how to practically minister to meet needs and follow the flow of the Spirit in a service. The service isn’t over when the altar call is given. They should know how to minister to the sinner, the backslider and the wounded saint. And to do that they must be taught how to operate within the Spiritual Gifts – and do so with wisdom. Ideally, they should graduate having learned to depend on the Spirit to direct their ministry and lives.
Dr. James Jones – Indianapolis, Indiana – The stature of any college is judged by several considerations, among which are its stated mission, faculty, students, library, facilities, and financial resources. Accrediting agencies study these areas very carefully. Strengths and weaknesses are noted and a general conclusion is reached as to a schools acceptance or rejection.
I am sure all Bible schools are concerned about how they measure up. Their continued existence depends on providing a quality education. In today’s environment, nothing short of excellence will do!
The final measure of a school is how well the graduates perform after leaving and how successful they are in life. One way to improve a school would be to do follow-up studies to ascertain the impact of the student’s education and to utilize this data for constructive changes.
Another concern is the balance of its major courses of study. Most schools will build strong reputations in some area of study – a sort of specialty. Therefore, every Bible school should develop a Mission Statement which includes the purpose of the institution, and identifies its major goals in respect to students, curricula, and future direction. This statement becomes the yardstick by which the school can be measured objectively.
David Abbott – Scottsdale, Arizona – The biggest area of advice that 1 would have for our Bible colleges is to teach things that are more practical for when students get out into the ministry. Bible school students need solid, hands-on experience in areas such as preaching out in local churches and also assisting in all aspects of and church ‘work.
David F. Grey – Sandiego, California – I think in general our Bible schools are doing a commendable job, however, to fulfill the great task before us in this end time, it’s imperative that our schools instill a red-hot love for God and His Word, a knowledge of how to rightly divide the word and a consuming love for this Apostolic truth and souls.
Rev. John P. Godair – Durham, North Carolina – Overall, our schools are doing a good job in teaching Bible. But they need to be taught the everyday aspects of ministry such as hospital visitation, how to baptize someone, and how to relate to the pastor and church.
Rev. Donald Martin – Brownwood, Texas – Bible colleges need to be geared not only to those who are entering the ministry, but also those who will enter secular professions and want a Bible education. Pastors need to promote Bible College to their youth more.
Rev. Robert Sabin – St. Paul, Minnesota – A Bible college must represent itself truthfully when recruiting prospective students. It must relate exactly what is available in terms of education, degree, accreditation and transfer value of credits. A student only has three or four years to gain an education. We are morally obligated to give them the very best.
Rev. David K. Bernard – Hazelwood, Missouri – Primarily, our Bible schools need continued and increased commitment to academic excellence both in the training and qualifying of instructors and on the part of the students. Additionally, we need more integration of practical, every day ministry into our academic program during Bible college.