131 thoughts on “Options”

  1. Yeah, that about sums up the mindset. I can’t remember how many times I heard “Every Christian young person should spend at least one year at a good Bible college.” Great way to screw up the lives of a bunch of impressionable, well-meaning kids.

    1. “Give your first year to God”

      As if wasting a year gaining no transferable credits and maybe even losing out on a scholarship to a secular U, is some sacrifice all graduating high school seniors are supposed to make. It is as if people are being guilted into attempting to pay God back…

    1. I don’t regret my first year of Bible college (Fairhaven). It taught me how to stand up for my beliefs against all odds (Standing up to RV as a 17 yo girl just might’ve been one of the scariest things I’ve ever done).

      The other years of Bible college were absolutely, utterly wasted, however.

    2. Me too. After going to a community college and then a state university, I felt I had missed out on a lot of social activity as well as a decent education I could have been using all this time.

    1. I agree. I remember interviewing about 100 people for 40 jobs many years ago. One guy came in and he seemed nice enough, but his resume was filled with 3 schools that were all “XXX Independent Bible Baptist College” and similar names. I was a new Christian, and we were told to watch for people with degrees from Schools we recognized. And if we were interested in someone, we looked the school up. If they became a candidate, we asked for a transcript. He never made it past the initial scan of his resume.

  2. So, which Bible College has welding or HVAC? Why does everyone have to go to college, when many people would benefit from using their God-given talents in a technical field?

    1. Yep. DH never went to college at all, Bible or otherwise. But he learned many useful skills from his father (HVAC included). He blows any of the guys I knew at FU out of the water. When I met DH he already was supporting himself, had a steady job for 5 years (we were young), and could support me. Most of the guys I knew from FU didn’t even have very many practical job skills.

      1. Yes. I took Aircraft Maintenance in their now defunct School of Applied Studies. I have also never had a problem getting a job with my education, but that could partly be because of the Federal guidelines that have to be followed to prepare students for their Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) license tests.

        Most of the trade students (diesel mechanic, auto mechanic, carpentry, aviation) I knew were not as Fundy weird as the “real” students. At that time, we were looked at as being trade students because we probably couldn’t hack “real” college. That myth was fun to bust, which I did on a few occasions.

        And the trade students I still know are all doing rather well in their real life jobs.

      2. And, I’m not sure any Fundy U or Christian colleges of any ilk have any technical degrees any more. That would be good to know.

        The gist of my comment was that many kids aren’t college material, public, private, or Christian. There are a lot of studies that show wage disparities of college vs. non college workers, but many of them are like a lot of other studies. The researcher went in with preconceived ideas and got what they were looking for. Also, if everyone “deserves” a college degree, who will repair our plumbing, build our houses, and do other things many people cannot do themselves?

        Type something like not all students are college material into a search engine and follow the articles. Even though theses are college in general, it makes sense for all kids, Fundy and otherwise. Why amass a lot of debt for no return?

        1. I forgot all about LeTourneau. I visited the campus a few years ago, but picked Spring break week, and the only person I met was from the accounting department. I was impressed with what I saw, though. If I had known it existed back in the early-mid eighties, I might have gone there.

          To digress, I strongly recommend R. G. LeTourneau’s biography. He had a true heart for God, not for works or legalism, but pleasing his Savior.

      1. International Bible College of Zambia.

        http://www.gospelink.org/content/international-bible-college

        EDUCATION–
        Though still under development, the college was opened with the first twelve Zambian students in January, 2009. The professors, both Africans and foreigners, offer a full, four-year course of study with 120 credits. Though theology is the primary course of study, every student is also trained in the fundamentals of building, agriculture, livestock, and other practicals.

      2. Piedmont sold all of their flight and maintenance training to Liberty a few years ago. I helped dismantle their Ham Radio tower when they got out of aviation.

    2. The Technical School would be a great choice for many in college, not just Christian colleges. Too much stock is put into a college degree when someone may thrive developing their skills in what interests them most. Societal and parental pressure is brought to bear, not doubt.

    3. When I taught at FundyU, I had many students who were not cut out for college. They failed miserably. I found it a travesty that no one had helped them discover what they were gifted in: there is no shame in becoming a hairdresser, mechanic, plumber, etc. Of course the other great shame is that they were accepted to FundyU in the first place. (One year at registration, I found a memo a student had dropped. Something to the effect of, “We still need two references, including one from your pastor, and a record of you ACT scores. What! The kid registered for classes but hadn’t even completed the application process. I hadn’t been under any delusions that there were standards determining who was accepted, but I had thought those references counted for something.)

  3. 6) Find a SO your freshman year.
    7) Get engaged senior year.
    8) Get married a week after you graduate. No job or other common-sense plans to support yourselves since you were just dying to get married, so:
    9) Move in with one of your guys’ parents.
    10) Have a baby within the next year. Still looking for a job.

    Can’t tell you how many of my friends from Fundy U lived this exact scenario.

    1. Let’s see…
      6: The goal at my “FundieU” among the freshman guys was to find a SO. It was all they talked about and I was ridiculed very much when I decided to allow God to bring me my wife, instead of seeking one.
      7: My wife and I got engaged during her senior year.
      8: We got married in June (not quite a month after she graduated).
      9: Praise the Lord that we never had to do this!
      10: We did have our first child within a year, but God blessed our faith and had provided a good job (long story)!

      Pretty accurate, and I know other stories like this too!

        1. Hmmmm…. I would say it’s a mix for me. I am doing OK. But I would never say that going to Fundy U was good career planning on my my part.

        2. A couple weeks ago I saw a bunch of fb pages for young adults who had grown up at my former fundy church (and Bible College). After paying roughly $50k for an unaccredited degree with a Bible Major/Minor (Cause everyone should have a degree in Bible, Amen?!), most are working at jobs that require no degree at all (Sandwich artisan, Target, Best Buy, door-to-door sales, etc.)

          The kids of the high level staff and other preferred members have fared a bit better, being placed in church jobs. Lower level member kids – forgetaboutit.

        3. I believe UTBF went to West Coast (which isn’t too far from me). My brother went there for a little while. I too was shocked at the expense.

        4. IIRC most 4 year colleges offer a medical plan for students who do not have other coverage.

          Current college students: Am I right about this?

          Per WCBC’s site:
          “INSURANCE
          West Coast Baptist College strongly urges every student to be covered by some type of health insurance. Those who do not have health insurance may sign a waiver which releases the college of any liability.

          All students with cars are required to provide proof of automobile insurance along with the proof of automobile registration and a valid driver’s license.”

        5. Even what I mentioned was understated when you consider the lost opportunity cost of wasting 4 years getting an unaccredited degree, and then having to spend another 4 years getting a real one.

    2. 6) Yes
      7) Yep
      8) More like three weeks
      9) Living there now. After having left the ministry I have not found that experience + unaccredited Bible college degree to be worth much. Hoping my experience + 2013 accredited degree will get me somewhere.
      10) Check

    3. Why are fundamentalists in such a hurry to breed? Is it that they consciously choose to have children early, with no means of support, or that they fail to use family planning?

      1. It’s because they have dated for two, three, maybe more years, without holding hands or being alone in the same car at the same time. The sexual tension gets to be unbearable, and it doesn’t matter that they can’t support themselves, they have to get married. Then, they probably have to figure out birth control for themselves. My parents never brought it up to me, and the stories my wife tells about how things were handled in her Christian high school biology class are pathetic.

      2. Another reason why they often have oodles of little blessings is that they are afraid of whatever doom du jour is out there and they want to make sure there are lots of little xian robots to take up the cause.

  4. I must say they do have a young looking pastoral staff, and their website looks professional, not cheesy like other church websites.

    However, on their beliefs page, the use of supernatural is over used. I wonder how many other supernatural crucifixions there were?

    1. I noticed the young pastoral staff, too. It actually made me sad, knowing they are likely devoting more time to ministry than to family. And they’re quite possibly young enough to still think they have all the answers.

      I hope I’m wrong.

    2. My reactions were the same.

      1. From the photos of the church staff, I’d say here is a church in need of some adult supervision.

      2. It’s a nicely designed web site. However, I had to click in about six different places before I found out where in the world this curch is. It turns out its in West Virginia– apparently in both MacArthur, WV and Crab Orchard, WV, with both locations being on Robert C. Byrd Drive (that’s not as much of a coincidence as it might seem, because almost everything in West Virginia is named for Robert C. Byrd). If the church’s web master happens to read this comment, you might want to fix this by putting the church’s address on the home page.

      1. One of our posters is from that town. As far as I know there’s only one Robert C Byrd drive in the state, but probably over 100 public facilities that bear his name.

        Fundamentalism is the default worldview of a person who lives in West Virginia. Maybe not the Independent Baptist variety, but a belief in Young Earth Creationism, etc., is typical of most people.

        1. You rang?

          I attended the local fundy Bible college. I don’t remember if this church was on the ‘approved to attend’ list. Probably. That would have been before this pastor’s time. But from all the KJV mentions I wouldn’t be surprised if they considered ABC a bit too lib’ral.

        2. Good point. I haven’t sensed the same level of crazy out of ABC that I do other IFB schools. A lot of ABC (as in American Baptist) pastors in WV go to ABC. I really don’t know much about it. During the early 1990’s it still had a good reputation among the IFBers that I knew in WV. But the KJBO issue hadn’t blown up then.

        3. I think there’s always been a little bit of disconnect between them and the locals. The college was started by Bible church fundamentalists from the Midwest. It’s also accredited, and has been for quite a long time.It seemed evident while I was there and shortly after that they were trying to build bridges – they started using the KJV at all official functions, for instance. But some things I’ve seen lately make me wonder if they’ve realized that’s a lost cause and started trying to realign as super-conservative evangelicals.

        4. I think it’d be stupid for them to do anything to give up the American Baptist market in order to satisfy the KJBOs. The WV American Baptists are a much, much larger group and Appalachian Bible College is a natural place for them to train ministers.

          Alderson-Broaddus is the offical ABC school and they do offer a Christian studies degree. But AB is getting pricey ($30k/yr tuition and R&B) and I don’t think it’s a good option for many.

  5. 6) Meet other people at FU who believe differently than you have your entire life.
    7) Start to evaluate what you’ve been taught your whole life.
    8) Realize most of it is preferences and opinions that you’ve blindly accepted and obeyed as truth.
    9) Go back to your church and home, outwardly the same but inwardly starting to question everything you’ve ever known.
    10) Eventually leave fundamentalism thanks to the very college that tried to make you a better fundamentalist with their rules, teaching, and preaching.

    This really happened to me. For some reason FU opened my eyes to the errors of fundamentalism the way my church and home could not.

    1. This is exactly what happened to our eldest. Fortunately, our pastor was going through the same thing, and our family and our church left fundamentalism and we have never looked back! Well, except in regret that we were there in the first place. 🙁

    2. Wow. FU never got me that far, but I guess it did put me on the path. When I saw the way people were treated, I first began to be willing to question authority.

    3. BJU opened my eyes in several different ways . . .

      1. I met people who weren’t KJV-only (including the man who became my husband)
      2. I met people who were from different denominations (not a lot, but some)
      3. I heard Dr. Bob Jr. say it wouldn’t be wrong to drink wine at dinner biblically, but he chose not to do so because he didn’t want to hurt a weaker brother (this was new to me who’d always heard “drinking is EEEEEEvil.”)
      4. I learned the paucity of pushing standards on people or caring more about rules than you do about people. I also, though I tended to be a rule-following person, got REALLY tired of that atmosphere.

      So admittedly while I was still fundy-lite for many years, I definitely was a lot less fundy than when I started BJU!

      1. Re: #2, several of my peers at church went to BJU and relayed how their classmates were horrified to find they went to a Bible church because they were “so liberal,” especially in our region of the country. Although I *think* you and I may originally be from the same state, in general, the most conservative churches that I knew of were non-denominational. Anyway, I heard the stories they brought back from BJU, PCC, etc.,— and those were nothing compared to what I have since learned at SFL— and knew that if I had gone there and experienced those things (everyone at church knew I was bound elsewhere and never even suggested Bible college), I would likely have lost my faith, thinking that if that was Christianity, I wanted no part of it. Even now, 20 yrs later, with my eyes opened wider, it is still difficult to understand how God allows some people to abuse and deceive and oppress in his name.

    1. It’s a study-at-home program, and “Bethany’s Virtual Library” contains no books or other materials of any kind. I guess that’s the required reading list for a degree from Bethany? 😉

  6. I’ve thought about this a lot; I used to think that the “attend Bible college for a year” was a great idea, and I often wished that I had done so.

    But…

    If the “Bible college” is going to belittle me and try to humiliate me into not leaving after the first year, it is no benefit. (I don’t know how common this is among ‘Bible colleges; I’ve heard that at least HAC did this, and I suspect many others).

    As (I think) was pointed out here; if a young person isn’t grounded in the Scripture after going through 12 years of Christian school and youth groups, there is something wrong… what is one more year going to give him?

    I can see from my experience at secular college that some teens were immature and were not ready to live apart from their parents… they came into school, were thrilled to have no one to tell them what to do, and partied and enjoyed themselves all year long. These people flunked out and did not come back. The vast majority indulged in behavior their parents would disapprove of, but had enough self-discipline to do the work that was required of them. I don’t believe that a year of Bible college would have benefited either one of these groups.

    1. The “one year at Bible college” deal is a myth. Once a kid gets there, the pressure to “stay the course” and “not quit on God” is so intense, it is indescribable.

      1. Pressure to stay in is intolerable… I kind of expect that in WCBC, HAC, Golden State, Oklahoma Baptist College, and the others of that ilk. I am not familiar enough with Pensacola and BJU; I never had the impression that they pressured students to come back – do they?

        What about Liberty?

        1. I remember at PCC that they would have a sermon around the end of the year that would encourage students to return. And they also have a “deal” where if you pay for 3 years you get the 4th free. I’m sure they keep your money if you get kicked out. And reasons for getting kicked out are so subjective sometimes that you’re never sure what exactly will get you kicked out. So I’d rather go payment-by-payment. I personally paid semester by semester.

        2. Yeah, I remember at PCC there was one year in particular they must have had a special floor leader meeting because right near the end of the semester the floor leaders gave an uncharacteristically long and serious lecture during hall meeting on how wrong it would be to quit after God called you here. I was sufficiently fundy and dense at the time that I normally believed whatever they talked about was “what God laid on my heart today in my devotions” but that time even I could figure out that someone had been foolish enough to announce she wasn’t coming back, thus prompting this emergency lecture.

        3. While Liberty is conservative it really shouldn’t be in the same conversation as these other schools. Liberty has had to cap on-campus enrollment for the last few years to better manage growth. They are also in a huge building and campus beautification program. They aren’t begging for students nor do they think Liberty is God’s will for every student.

        4. Differences like Liberty being accredited, they do not try to control their students’ lives, and they have distance learning programs. Liberty is not IFB; Falwell started it, and the IFB distanced itself from all things Falwell once he got into the “sin” of associating himself with the SBC.

        5. I agree that Libery is not IFB, nor was Falwell.

          That said, Liberty has a lot of the sins of IFBism, and carries the added offense of being very well connected politically, and having a political agenda that was well thought out.

          So while Liberty has not itself been IFB, its political emissaries (its graduates placed in influential places) have helped undermine civil liberties.

          I am not saying I like abortion, but I would rather it be a woman’s right to choose than the government’s right to deny. Liberty grads have catered to the extreme positions of fundamentalism to gain their political support in curtailing a woman’s right to choose, and even the right to access contraception (through employer insurance, etc). They are also key players in trying to reduce unemployment insurance coverage, in cutting food stamps, and other assistance to poor and lower-middle-class families.

          So, while I do acknowledge Liberty as not IFB, I still consider them in much the same category.

        6. I pondered attending Liberty, briefly. I went there for the ACE International Student Convention (and was on a Bible Bowl team that won, aw yeah 😎 😛 ). It seemed exciting, and like it was possibly the right thing to do, and maybe I’d find a boyfriend (ah, the Church’s insane emphasis on finding The One), and my teachers were so proud of me for being ‘spiritual’ and ‘an example’ to the other students when I went up to altar calls – how much more spiritual and awesome would I be for attending this place?

          Fortunately, I quickly decided against it. For one thing, it’s Virginia. Virginia was wet, and hot, and muddy, and just unbearable. Most importantly, the rules said that girls had to wear modestly-cut dresses or skirts and formal shoes to all classes. Well forget that noise! I was not going to spend my every waking moment in a hot, uncomfortable, ugly, inconvenient, activity-restricting dress!
          Thankyou, dear God, for giving me a love of jeans, and thus preventing me from making a terrible decision.

  7. I’m all for going to a good Bible college, but I’m even MORE for one-on-one discipleship and mentorship (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 20:20; II Timothy 2:2), which provides the foundation a Christian needs, WITHOUT a Bible college. I got my biblical foundation at the college I went to, but could have gotten it at home, had someone taken me under their wing and taught me the Bible (which did not happen).

    Many of you are right, not everyone needs to go to college, but are forced to (in a way), because of lazy preachers, parents, and church leaders who will not teach their children, but push them off on the Bible colleges!

    1. Still, you have to look out for those willing to churn out a disciple that is twice the son of hell that they are!

      I got a lot of “Scriptural knowledge” from the church where I got saved, taken under the wing of the person who started the home church.

      But I got a lot of nonsense as well. The problem is that a lot of what is taught as “doctrine” isn’t doctrine in any coherent form in the Bible. We have doctrines constructed by stringing a verse here with a phrase there, plus an inferred connection to another verse over here because they all have the same word in the English KJV (even if they are not the same in the Greek or Hebrew!), and all taken out of context combined, pureed, with supposition added.

      I once told a deacon at my IFB church that I had decided to “prove” my beliefs from the Scripture. If we had a doctrine, the Scripture should be able to support it. He responded with concern, saying that was a good way to lose one’s faith! He cautioned me to be very careful. I laughed and said, well if we are believing something that isn’t Scriptural, is it worth keeping? He didn’t answer.

      I didn’t lose my faith from that exercise, but I did let go of some very erroneous notions that conservative and fundamentalist Christians like to hold on to.

  8. I met some good friends & had some good profs at PCC, but I think I would’ve been much better served in life with a better education, and better college experience.

  9. One point about asking God. One point about asking your parents. THREE points about ignoring both and just doing what the pastor says. The model is destined to fail.

  10. I think one of the reasons that going to Bible college for 1 year first is because colleges and pastors know that if a kid learns to trust themselves and function on their own by going to real college or working first, that kid will be much more malleable. It also limits the amount of worldliness that the kid will bring to the institution. I know that a lot of what was done to me/us at HAC was tantamount to brainwashing, between the daily indoctrination sessions, the poor quality food, and the utter lack of adequate sleep. The only thing that allowed me to get through it with my sanity mostly intact was my near decade of experience living on my own first and so knowing that I wasn’t crazy, stupid, wicked, or ungodly. I don’t know that I would have fared so well had I not known that I could trust me. A fresh-out-of-highschool type probably would not have that ability to draw on, so would be easier to control.

    1. Colleges with very strict rules, like HAC, are really just transferring dependence from parents to the college authorities. A young person “grows up” at the point where he changes from “my parents won’t let me (or make me)” to “I choose not to (or to do)”. The reason “it’s against the college rules” isn’t any different than “my parents won’t let me”.

  11. No Scripture. No Bible reading. Ask parents and go go go . . . .where? Out of my sight.

    That guy has spiritual depth that no one ever better take a dive into. They will break their neck.

  12. Thats a nice looking website. I went to both fundy u’s for a year and a half total time and that opened my eyes that blind following is not scriptural or correct. Transferred to unaccredited Christian liberal university and have never looked back. People need to find out “who they really are” and at fundy U, you never will as they are telling you “who you are..”

  13. For me, going to Bible College (BJU, actually), was an important and probably vital experience.

    I came from an radical fundamentalist point of view. My family was converted in a “home church.” It was connected in part to radical right-wing political ideology, conspiracy theories, the militia movement (including, I am sure, white supremacists), home schooling (which I still do!), KJV-onlyism, and the John Birch society. Along the way we were introduced to Bill Gothard, Billy James Hargis, and Carl McIntyre.

    Yep, before the times of most of you, I am sure.

    In any case, we were far to the right of BJU, but I went to BJU and learned things that contradicted my family’s cherished beliefs. In fact my sister decided I was a heretic because my wife gave me NASV Bible.

    BJU taught me there was more to know than what I knew, and taught me that a lot of what I knew was wrong. Of course, in some areas they agreed. In other areas, when I went to the instructors about something that bothered me, a conflict between past belief and present teaching, the instructors were kind enough to tell me to pay attention in class, learn the details, then make my own conclusions.

    And what I learned changed me, in subtle ways. It caused enormous family stress. My mother had, from early on, told me, “Value the truth above everything else, no matter what.” I realized later that she meant *her* perception of truth, but I took it at face value. BJU was pulling me to the LEFT of where I had been.

    Yes, you may laugh! It seems ironic and impossible, but there it is!

    After I left BJU, I was experienced in taking what I had learned and comparing it to prior, uh, “knowledge” and making conscious decisions. So I kept doing it. And many years after leaving BJU I am a liberal, politically and religiously.

    BJU helped make me that way!

    What was a side benefit was that the girl I married, whom I met at BJU had (though I didn’t know it) a fairly liberal Episcopalian Private School background. So while she had fundamentalist grandparents, her life in two worldviews allowed her to accompany me on my spiritual journey.

    If I had not gone to BJU, but to a secular school, I imagine I would have either had an allergic reaction to the secularism and recoiled to a more radical faith than I had come from, or else I might have lost my faith altogether. Both would have been bad outcomes.

    And of course, I would not have met my wife!

    Going to a straight Bible College was not an option for me. I wanted to go into education. But if I had, I imagine I would have solidified in my radical state.

    So, the Lord was gracious. I don’t consider my time in fundamentalism a waste. After all, I was born there. I am grateful I made it out.

    1. rtgmath, thanks for sharing. I can understand a lot of that. I also became “liberal” at BJU. It was there I was introduced to other translations as well. My wife was a non-student who worked to help me get through school. She and I realized while I was there that pants (on women) are really a non issue, and much more modest at times than a skirt or dress.

    2. I’m not trying to discount what you’re saying, but why are you so sure you would have gone extreme either way at a secular college? There are plenty of Christians on a secular college environment, and despite what Fundy pastors say, the faculty aren’t all out to make an atheist out of you. There may have been kind brothers and sisters who would have challenged your notions and bolstered your faith as well.

      1. Oh, as a teacher at a community college and a friend with university faculty, I agree that they are not out to hurt my faith.

        No, I think I believe this because what I know about me. I know where I was, and how I wrestled with the shock of learning at BJU from a conservative Christian viewpoint.

        Of course, I could be wrong. But I don’t think so.

  14. Advice for control-freak pastors:

    1. Pray presumptuously.
    2. Perfunctorily tell your teens to ask their parents.
    3. Tell your teens to go to Bible “college”, to make them twofold more the children of hell than yourselves.
    4. Tell them again because telling it again makes you feel so powerful.
    5. Stop your ears and tell them again.
    6. Post this on the internet so the whole world will know your “wisdom”.

  15. One good thing is that the street this church is on, Robert C. Byrd drive is (I think) just one exit south of Appalachian Bible College. So they can live with their parents while going there. And it’s regionally accredited.

  16. Could it be following this list is the only way to keep those 18 year old kids “in the fold” a little longer?
    And has anyone ever discussed on here or on the forum why kids bolt as soon as they graduate? Seems to be an “alarming number” when you hear IFB preachers mention it, but I have heard it from other denoms as well. Just curious what folks viewpoint it on that.

    1. I bolted soon after I was married (a year after graduating, to someone who had never gone to Bible college). I realized that many of the standards fundamentalists held to and fought over were a waste of time. I didn’t want to waste my life being bitter and argumentative. I didn’t want to live in the fear I had lived in my whole life. Plus my dad was “such a good Christian” (no movies, no pants on women, KJV, no music other than hymns/classical, in church every time doors were open, soul-winner, etc etc.) but our home life was absolutely miserable. So the fact that he wasn’t really a good Christian yet because he did all the fundamentalist rules he was considered to be one didn’t add up in my mind. I felt it was a lie, hypocrisy, a farce. I wanted out of the stress, anxiety, and pointlessness of standards upon standards yet still never being good enough. It was a never-ending, exhausting cycle. Many of the kids my age in my church felt the exact same way. I met my husband who was non-denominational and had never been a Baptist in his life. Shortly after we were married I had the courage to leave the church I was born and raised in. Couldn’t have done it alone. And most of the other kids in my church married people who weren’t IFB and never had been. And pretty much none of them go to IFB churches. Anyway that’s why I bolted. Sorry for how long this is. 🙂

      1. No need to be sorry. Mine was longer. The fact is that we all have stories to tell, stories that need to be told.

        Yours was a good story, and well worth reading.

        1. Thank you. We do all have stories and sometimes I forget that the people here are definitely willing to listen!

    1. THANK YOU!!!! YOU KNOW SOME PEOPLE ON MY FB PAGE WRITE THIS WAY ALL THE TIME. I HAVE A HARD TIME FIGURING OUT WHEN THEY’RE ANGRY.

  17. Has anyone read Kevin Roose’s “The Unlikely Disciple”? A Brown student does a sort of studies abroad program by pretending to be an uber!Christian and attending Liberty for a year.

    1. My wife and I read it a few weeks ago. I thought it was ironic that he pointed out some schools that were far more extreme fundie than Liberty, and named PCC and BJU.

  18. I had the experience of Bible college AFTER I had a real degree from a state university. It helped me to easily see how much of a joke the “Bible cawledge” degree was.

  19. My wife and I both went to a Bible/Christian college…Bob Jones University.

    I proceeded to get a master’s and Ph.D. from a state university and then moved into a research position at a medical university. My wife went on to medical school and is now a board certified pediatrician.

    Bible/Christian college did alright by us.

    Usually the people who go to a Bible/Christian college and then can’t get a job are the losers who wouldn’t be able to get a job no matter what school they went to. Or they go, pick a major like counseling and then blame the Bible/Christian because they can’t find a job in a non-counseling field.

    1. “I was lucky enough to be ok, so everybody who has trouble because the university they went to isn’t regionally accredited must be a loser.”

      Ok then.

    2. There are many graduates who work in a different field than what they majored in. Some are successfully and happily in another line of work. Some would like to be in their chosen field but simply can’t find a job for which they studied. So they settle for other jobs. It’s not true, for the most part, that they are losers who couldn’t find a job anyway. Many of the majors in Christian colleges don’t translate we’ll in the real world, like Pastoral Ministries, Missions, Music, Youth Ministries, etc. Most places are not impressed when your major in college was “Pastoral Ministries.” So sometimes it’s tough to get a job in retail or whatever with that on your résumé. And I live in a place with very high unemployment. It’s tough for a lot of people to find work. They aren’t losers, it’s just still a bad economy in so many places.

    3. After being raped as a teen by an older church member, blamed for the rape by her spiritual advisors, sent out of state and forced to put her child up for adoption, Tina Anderson is now happily married and relatively well-adjusted.

      Oh, I’m sorry, that should read “despite”, not “after”.

  20. It’s been mentioned before, but I’m amazed at how young looking the pastoral staff. It’s actually kind of refreshing (though I do agree with earlier comments on maturity)!

  21. “Usually the people who go to a Bible/Christian college and then can’t get a job are the losers who wouldn’t be able to get a job no matter what school they went to.”

    Oh, really? Or perhaps they’re people who, like me, drank the kool-aid and believed that Bible college really was a better choice than Radford…and found out too late that no one wants a teacher with a BRE.

    I may have made a bad choice, but I’m not a loser. Thank you very much.

    1. I remember hearing Cary Schmidt talk a few years ago about a teen who had been saved at Lancaster and then went to either Stanford or UC Berkeley, I forget which. After a year, the kid came to believe that God wanted him to enroll at West Coast. Of course, this was presented as a powerful spiritual victory where God got hold of a kid’s heart and changed the course of his life. That kid’s life was changed, all right.

      Bible colleges have their share of losers, but not everyone is there because they cannot cut it anywhere else. A lot of students have given up fantastic opportunities elsewhere because they have been manipulated by parents or pastors like the one who posted this note to believe that that is what they must do to be right with God.

  22. 1: Prepare to graduate from High School
    2: Listen to Youth Pastor worship his Alma Mater
    3: Listen to guilt inducing lectures as to why you are not a good Christian if you do not attend “Bob Jones University.”
    4: Senior pastor endorses BJU weekly from the pulpit
    5: Get fed up and quit going to church because you can’t live up to the Idealistic Christian Perfectionism they are selling.
    6: Return to the IFB as an adult like a dog to its vomit because the IFB indoctrination was so ingrained that you believed all other denominations were flaming liberal hellholes filled with apostates and perverted Bible translations, and you would go to hell for even visiting non-IFB churches.
    7: Finally the Lord removes the scales from your eyes after several horrible incidents with several IFB churches and you see the IFB movement for what it is.
    8: Sever ties, shake dust from shoes and walk away.
    9: Warn a many as you can about the inherent problems in that system which enables abuse and promotes the concentration of power in the hands of a single individual.

  23. $5,470.00 per semester
    Graduates must have completed at least 128 semester hours. Why do you have go to college to be a preacher?
    Why don’t preachers teach and mentor future preachers? I don’t believe in any of it anymore, but I know young men and woman who are being brainwashed into spending money they don’t have on an education that won’t amount to a hill of beans.

    1. And the “education” further translates into money these kids won’t have in the future, because really, what marketable skills will an employer think you have with a degree in Bible or pastoral theology? That’s right, none.

    2. In my considered opinion, a pastor should have a good liberal arts education so they will know about the world. They should, in my opinion, have to pass mathematics through Calculus I and Statistics. In science they should have to take the first two courses in the Biology sequence (which includes learning about evolution from the scientific point of view).

      Preaching is not just about knowing the Bible. Paul demonstrated his Classical Education when speaking to the Greeks, showing his knowledge of their customs and literature.

      I include the mathematics and science. I want a person who preaches to be able to think his way out of a paper bag, and to be able to spot the errors in fundamentalist literature. If scientific and mathematical progress had been left to fundamentalists, we would still be in the dark ages.

      That is, of course, my opinion. But we don’t need brainless idiots in the pulpit. We need people who actually know something, who have some experience.

      Jesus did not take Bible College grads into the ministry. He chose fishermen, tax collectors, administrators, and even bounty hunters (Saul) into the ministry. These people had real world experience. They were not separated from the lives of other people.

  24. One of the bad things for me about going to PCC for Pre-med was the lack of real world experience. I don’t remember ever having any opportunities to volunteer in the medical community. We women were also not allowed to work off campus. Being so sheltered, I really had zero experience and I was afraid of everything. That did not prepare me for grad school. I never went. I chickened out. I have now been married 16 years with four kids and attending a local tech school to be a medical technician. I get more experience there than I ever did at PCC.

  25. There are successes at fundamental schools. My three children were graduated from BJU. One is in residency at Ohio State in Physical Medicine; one is an assistant professor in a college of nursing; and the other is a full-time housewife (with a degree in special education) married to a man who is a comptroller of a successful company. It really depends upon the degree path you take.

  26. As I read through the comments on here, I find it to be very therapeutic. I attended an unaccredited school 28 years ago. The experiences that many of you describe could have been written by me.

    I finished my associates degree and I was so “proud” of it I burned the diploma two months after graduation.

    Like many of you, I had heard the people in authority tell me that I would not be saved or meet some ungodly fate worse than death if I left “the covering”.

    While my life has not been a walk in the park, I have never regretted leaving. I don’t give it a lot of thought these days, but on those occasions I do, I feel slightly nauseous about the whole thing.

  27. I also wonder why pastors don’t teach and mentor future preachers.
    I think the saddest thing about Bible College is that it has trivialized Titus 1 and I Timothy 3 as the standard of the pastoral office. Now all you need is a piece of paper from a preferred college to spiritually lead a congregation. I’ve seen some young men void of experience and character carried through the system (it’s a wonder what having the right last name in a culture of partiality will excuse). I’ve seen married men worked to the bone, neglecting their families for four years, and replacing their personal walk with the Lord for busywork in ministry and compulsory studies. They start pastoring nearly burnt out and with strained family relationships. They fake it till they break it.
    It seems Scripture is calling out for those who have had authentic Biblical transformations to be elders; the testing ground is one’s personal life. Bible Colleges seem to be a mold to conform the exterior: the testing ground is public ministry.

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