Changes in the missions of colleges accredited by the American Association of Bible Colleges as indicated by their educational programs, recruiting practices, and future plans
Millard, Timothy, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Gibbs, Annette, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Taylor, Alton, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Chronister, Jay, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Niles, Spencer, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Ball, Donald, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Bible colleges, founded at the turn of the twentieth century, were established by Protestant revivalists who were motivated by the need to increase the numbers of pastors, missionaries, Sunday school teachers, and other Christian workers. These "training schools," as they were called, provided an alternative to the traditional "college-followed-by-seminary" method of ministry preparation. Consequently, Bible schools were vocational, low-cost, nontraditional institutions limited to the singular task of preparing students for ministry.
Most Bible colleges retained this singular purpose until 1950. In the 50s and 60s, however, some Bible colleges began evolving into broader, more complex institutions. Some became liberal-arts colleges, others, seminaries, and still others, universities. This trend continued into the 70s and 80s as other Bible colleges changed and adopted the Christian liberal-arts model.
This study examined how institutions accredited by the American Association of Bible Colleges (AABC) expanded their missions after 1950. The data revealed that AABC colleges are divided into three distinct groups: "traditional," "progressive," and "evolving" Bible colleges.
This study, based on a survey of 78% of AABC presidents, concluded that: 1) the number of "traditional" Bible colleges will dwindle, 2) the number of "evolving" Bible colleges will increase, and 3) "progressive" Bible colleges will continue to broaden their programs but find the task difficult without altering the fundamental nature of their institutions.
EDD (Doctor of Education)
evolving missions, bible colleges, institutions
All rights reserved (no additional license for public reuse)