hey folks, i thought i’d share a new video that just arose from the bowels of Eternity Bible College bursting with creativity and real stories of some genuine people, and friends of mine. EBC is now offering online course, starting this fall, which is pretty dang exciting. especially for those of you who were interested in a legit bible education, at a fraction of the cost i might add, without wanting to relocate to the greatest state in the union, southern california. wanna know more? find out some more info by heading over to http://eternitybiblecollege.com/distance/about.html. (Stolen from http://therealalbert.com/ ) Thanks Albert ;]
hey folks, i thought i’d share a new video that just arose from the bowels of Eternity Bible College bursting with creativity and real stories of some genuine people, and friends of mine.
EBC is now offering online course, starting this fall, which is pretty dang exciting. especially for those of you who were interested in a legit bible education, at a fraction of the cost i might add, without wanting to relocate to the greatest state in the union, southern california.
wanna know more? find out some more info by heading over to http://eternitybiblecollege.com/distance/about.html.
(Stolen from http://therealalbert.com/ )
Thanks Albert ;]
Eternity Bible College began changing the face of Christian Higher Education six years ago when our doors first opened by offering a life changing bible education at a price that students could afford without going into debt.
Well, we’re changing it again!
Now we’re bringing that same life changing education to people from all walks of life around the country through online classes!
Please watch our brief video and then forward it to the people you know around the country who want to better know, love, and serve God but can’t move to Simi Valley.
We will waive the $50 application fee for all applications received through July 18th.
Eternity Bible College
As many of you know, I have been attending Eternity Bible College here in Simi Valley.
Just recently, EBC has decided to launch a Distance Education program (online classes) in August.
I would appreciate if you could help my college with a couple of things:
First, please watch the new EBC Distance Ed video.
Second, please forward this email to the people you know around the country who want to better know, love, and serve God but can’t move to Simi Valley.
If you would like future updates about the exciting things happening at EBC, subscribe to our newsletter. They won’t use your email for anything else.
“Eternity Bible College offers a life-changing bible education at a price that students can afford without going into debt. All you need is an internet connection.”
My life changed when I began believing that I was uniquely created. I got excited about waking up! This was a feeling I hadn’t experienced in awhile. It’s a rush knowing that God has work for me to do, and He doesn’t want anyone else to do it for me. Do you believe this? Do you believe there is a specific, God-given mission you are to accomplish here on earth? Whether you believe it or not, it’s true.
God says to Jeremiah,
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
God knew Jeremiah before He formed Him! He had work for him to do before he even came out of his mother’s womb!
God says of believers,
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
He prepared good works for me in advance. Much like Jeremiah, you and I have been entrusted with a task! This is why we exist.
My heart is to see Eternity Bible College train young people for their mission. Too many people waste precious years of their lives chasing after the temporary and unfulfilling. The college years are vital. Proper training can save us from years of boredom.
Our mission goes beyond education to discipleship. Our desire is that students will not only learn from teachers, but know them. We don’t expect students to observe a healthy church, but to be a critical part of it. We plan to place students in secular settings where their faith is going to be challenged, and walk with them through the battles. At the core of all we do is discipleship.
Eternity Bible College isn’t the best college for everyone. Pray and explore. If God leads you here, let’s make every day count.
It started with a church’s desire to fulfill its calling to equip people for ministry. Under the leadership of Francis Chan, Cornerstone Community Church had been developing as a body of believers that cared deeply about Jesus Christ being known and loved—both here in Simi Valley and every place around the world. This commitment led Cornerstone to start a Bible Institute.
In 2001, Douglas Bookman and Kevin Oates teamed up to launch the Cornerstone Bible Institute. Though Dr. Bookman’s most recent engagement had been teaching at PBU/Friends of Israel, he had already accumulated a lifetime of experience in Christian education. As the Bible Institute developed, their thought process became more ambitious: what if we turned this into a full-blown college? These discussions began in early 2003. Around the same time, two other key players were added to the staff: Spencer MacCuish, who would later become the Academic Dean, and Joshua Walker, who would eventually become the President.
The discussion about starting a college became increasingly serious. Dr. Bookman began challenging Francis to find out what he was passionate about. Francis was consistent in his response: he saw a void in training people for lives of ministry. In many places, the training was not biblically based. Though there were schools that offered solid biblical training, the costs of such schools quickly became prohibitive. In addition to all of this, Francis was convinced that ministry training must happen in close connection with the local church. If they were going to start a college, it would have address these issues.
By late 2003, the decision was made to start Eternity Bible College (EBC), and Mark Henry was brought on to run the school. With their work cut out and piled high, Mark Henry, Joshua Walker, Spencer MacCuish, Francis Chan, Doug Fox, and Chuck Bomar planned every aspect of the college. They refined the key distinctives:
First, students must be enabled to acquire a solid biblical education without incurring debilitating debt. Too often, people called to missions or pastoral ministry would go to school to receive biblical training, only to leave with a mountain of debt that would take them years to escape. In cases where debt did not permanently redirect these students, churches or missions organizations would be saddled with the financial burden. This cycle had become so commonplace that some missions organizations had even dropped their biblical education requirements. The committee decided that EBC would be fundamentally committed to enabling students to graduate debt-free.
Second, students would be trained to engage culture. Too often, in an effort to train people to minister, we actually isolate them from the people to whom they ought to be ministering. The college was founded with a commitment to the type of hands-on training that could only come through students’ being actively involved in the surrounding culture.
Third, the college would maintain a close partnership with local churches. Rather than pulling students away from the life of a local church, each student would be a vital part of the life and ministry of a local church body. Rather than simply teaching students about church, students would live out the daily realities of being a member of the body of Christ.
Fourth, students would be taught how to think, not what to think. Though indoctrination is easier, critical thinking and a fully formed Christian worldview are essential in this cultural climate. Rather than giving students the answers, the committee decided that students would be given the tools and the training to think for themselves.
And finally, students would be taught by practitioners. Ivory tower theologians tend to produce ivory tower theologians. If students would be taught to practically live out what they were learning, then those who teach them must be involved in real life ministry.
With these distinctives in place, planning continued during the Spring and Summer of 2004. Mark Henry and Joshua Walker handled the documentation and set up the infrastructure. Because he had a background in education, Spencer MacCuish was brought in to troubleshoot some of the issues that came up.
Dr. Bookman’s busy schedule had pulled him away as the planning developed and the school began to form. On a return visit, the staff filled him in on their progress. Dr. Bookman’s response put to words what everyone had been quietly feeling: “Huh, you guys are actually going to pull this off.”
Eternity Bible College was set to launch in the Fall of 2004. With most of the planning in place, the school was lacking only one thing: students. The Summer of 2004 was spent promoting the school. As Francis and the other staff members spoke at churches, camps, and conventions that summer, they began to pitch the school. They were selling nothing more than an idea—that was all they had at that point. Over the course of the summer they were able to pitch the school to thousands of potential students.
Mark Henry had been praying that they would have 100 students for the first semester. When Fall arrived and the first ever EBC class went through orientation, there were 98 students. By the first day of classes, two more students had added.
Unbeknownst to the other staff, Mark Henry had prayed for 100 students because he knew he would be leaving, and he wanted to leave his replacement, Joshua Walker, with an example of God’s faithfulness. Mark Henry left after the first semester to pastor a church in Colorado.
After that first semester, the school continued to grow—both in numbers and in strength. Dr. Bookman came back to teach as an adjunct professor. Doug Main, who was pastoring in Sunland, also joined the faculty. The school’s mission statement, values, and institutional goals were established.
One of the major issues that the staff had to wrestle with was whether or not to pursue accreditation. Every new school needs to make this decision. In the Spring of 2005, the decision was made to pursue accreditation through the Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE). That decision has played a key role in the direction and formation of EBC.
In the Spring of 2006, the school launched its first Israel study trip. It was led by Dr. Bookman. In Israel, Joshua and Spencer connected with Nate Foreman and Jon Marshall, both of whom immediately became key members of the faculty. Three Cornerstone Church members were also on the trip: Rick Utley, Del Owyoung, and Larry Thrasher. Though they didn’t know it at the time, these three men would eventually become the beginning of the school board.
In Fall 2007, EBC partnered with Grace Chapel and a few other churches in the Antelope Valley to launch an extension campus in Lancaster. A number of students from the area had been making the hour plus drive every week to attend classes. The extension campus has allowed them to continue their education without spending unnecessary time or money on a commute.
With the goals and mission of the school clearly stated, the college was able to begin assessing the curriculum. In January 2007, a group of faculty members went on a retreat to Hume Lake. While they were there, they began to dream up a new curriculum that focused less on Systematic Theology and more on Biblical Theology. They wanted students to walk through the Scriptures for themselves, applying the principles they had learned in their Bible Study Methods classes.
The new curriculum launched in the Fall of 2008. During the first year, students are given the tools they need in order to study the Bible. Then they spend the next three years studying from Genesis to Revelation, drawing implications and applications for all areas of life directly from the text of the Scriptures. This shift flowed directly from the college’s mission and philosophy of education.
Also in Fall 2008, a semester abroad program was launched in Quito, Ecuador. This program had been developing since the Summer of 2003 when Spencer MacCuish and Francis Chan connected with Phil Payne, who had spent the past ten years as a missionary in Ecuador. The program reflects their shared passion of seeing students continue their education in an international context while gaining valuable cross-cultural ministry experience.
Though the future of EBC has yet to be determined, there are some indications of where the school is headed. The accreditation process has been going smoothly, but much work still lies ahead. The school has finished its first year in the new curriculum, and the curriculum will continue to be shaped. Since its doors opened in 2004, EBC has continued to grow. Because of its commitment to keeping students in the context of their local churches, the majority of growth will probably come through planting other colleges in conjunction with local churches.
To date, EBC has graduated 47 students. Five graduates are currently serving as missionaries in five different countries: Israel, France, India, Hungary, and Iraq. Others are pursuing additional training and raising support for the mission field. Five graduates are furthering their education at the seminary level. Nine graduates have joined the staff of churches and camps across the country. Four are pursuing additional degrees. Three are serving as social workers. The rest of the graduates have joined the workforce or are working as stay-at-home moms. EBC is very proud of its graduates, and looks with anticipation to what God will continue to do in and through them as the school grows and develops. Ultimately, the school does not exist to offer classes or degrees. Rather, the purpose is to train people to fulfill the ministries that God has entrusted to them.
Eternity Bible College
Friends and Family of EBC,
To begin, let me apologize for not sending newsletters more frequently. We will try to do a better job of keeping you informed of the many exciting things happening at EBC.
As you probably know, EBC isn’t like other colleges—our tuition is only $100 per credit ($125 online). Some people would call this cheap, but as you know, nothing is cheap. In fact, it is quite costly. EBC is unique because we pass on as little of that cost to our students as possible. In order to continue to offer education at this affordable price, we rely on a staff and faculty that are willing to make personal and financial sacrifices for the sake of the school, we avoid all unnecessary expenses, and we rely on donations from ordinary people like you.
At our current rate, we are facing a deficit of $100,000 by June 30, 2011 (the end of our Fiscal Year). We are confident that the Lord will provide for us. As you are thinking about your year-end giving and planning for your giving for next year, would you please consider being a part of that provision by investing in Eternity Bible College as a way to invest in the lives of the future leaders of the church? One time gifts are a great blessing, but if you are able, would you consider making regular investments in EBC? As always, gifts to EBC are tax deductible. There are about 500 subscribers to this newsletter - if each of you gave $200 extra this year, that would cover our entire deficit.
There are several ways you can donate to EBC:
1. Cash / Check – Simply mail it or drop it off at the office. You can find our address at the bottom of this newsletter.
2. Automatic Checks – Set this up through your bank to be sent to us each month. If you don’t know how, let us know and we can help you out.
3. Credit Card – Give us a call at 805.581.1233 and we’ll set up either a one-time or recurring donation.
You can find more information on how to donate on our website here.
Winterim with Dr. Tom Schreiner
Dr. Tom Schreiner, the James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, will be teaching a Winterim course at EBC on Gender and Sexuality. The course is January 3-9 (5:30 p.m. M-F; 9:00 a.m. Sat). Each evening Dr. Schreiner will be covering an additional topic of interest for the last hour with significant Question & Answer time. We’d love for you to join us for this incredible time to interact with a gracious and wise scholar. It is $50 to take the course for personal enrichment and it is also offered for credit for students of EBC. Contact our office for more information.
This is a very significant year for EBC in the process of accreditation. In November, 2009 we submitted our first self-study to the Association for Biblical Higher Education, our accrediting body. They sent a team of five evaluators to visit our campus September 13-15, 2010. The evaluators examined all the various aspects of the school with a fine-tooth comb and submitted a report to ABHE and to us. We are currently responding to their report and will know whether we are granted Candidate status at the ABHE annual meeting in Febuary 2011. Candidate status is the “halfway point” in the approximately eight year process from Application to Initial Accreditation. It is a significant milestone for us, so please be praying that our hard work pays off and we have favor with the committee.
Looking ahead, we will go through a similar process from November 2013-Feburary 2015 to determine whether they will grant us Initial Accreditation. The earliest that would happen is February 2015. Please pray for our perseverance through this long, but profitable process.
From Plumber to Pastor
On December 11, EBC held its 10th Commencement Ceremony bringing our total number of graduates to 69. One of the graduates that morning was a part of our initial class back in August 2004 when our tuition was even cheaper - $25 per credit! At that time Kevin Pisano was a plumber working in the Los Angeles Unified School District. He could only take classes at night and I had him as one of my first students. He was involved in ministry with Life Groups at his church, Shepherd of the Hills in Porter Ranch, CA. As he steadily grew in his understanding of scripture, his church saw the benefit of bringing him on staff as their Life Groups Pastor so he could have more time freed up for ministry. That also freed up some time for him to take more classes. He poured himself into ministry there and the Lord gave him great fruit. As time went on Kevin eventually was asked to come back to the church that he originally came to know Christ in, South Valley Church, and preach a few Sundays because their pastor had left. The church felt that the Lord was calling Kevin and his family to come and be their pastor. Kevin realized it was indeed the Lord calling and he came on staff to plant a new service within the church. So the tranformation was complete - the Lord had taken a Plumber and made him into a Pastor. If you’d like to hear more of Kevin’s story, see his bio.
Kevin had a significant impact on my life while here at EBC and God is using him in many lives. Will you join me in thanking the Lord for Kevin and his wife Kathy and for their time at EBC? Please pray that God will be honored and glorified in their ministry together.
EBC Delivered Where You Are
Last February, we realized that in order to be consistent with our core value of “A biblically sound partnership with the local church” we needed to make some changes. We had always resisted doing Distance Education, but we realized that if we didn’t do something we were only going to be able to partner with churches in Simi Valley. So over the summer we worked hard to put together a Distance Education program that truly partners with local churches to bring Affordable, Rigorous Bible Education to churches across the country and the world. We are really excited about the possibilites that this offers. The program involves every student having a pastor / mentor within their own local church who will be involved in their life through their time at EBC. They will provide the face to face relationships that are so important for education to impact a life.
The program has grown quickly. We already have professors in three different parts of the country and 30 students from all over the country and into Canada. We are anticipating incredible growth in this program as people realize that they can get an entire Bible Education for about $16,000 TOTAL without having to move across the country or around the world. Please help us get the word out. The easiest way for people to find out more is to visit our website for Distance Education. You can also view many of the videos from the classes for free.
If you are interested in hearing about Distance Education on a regular basis, you can sign up for our separate Distance Education newsletter.
Thank you for all of your support and prayers. For more information, you can watch videos about EBC, read about life at EBC from our student bloggers, or find general information about the school, please visit our website.
Thank you for your support!
Copyright (C) 2010 Eternity Bible College All rights reserved
Eternity Bible College is excited to have Dr. Thomas Schreiner as a visiting professor for our 2010 Winterim class. Dr. Schreiner will be teaching on gender and sexuality during the week of January 3-8, 2011.
Dr. Schreiner’s class will meet Monday through Friday from 5:30 - 10:00pm, and on Saturday from 9:00am - 12:00pm.
This two-unit course will examine contemporary church issues related to the role of women in the church. In particular, the role of women in leadership, service, and teaching in a local church context. The course will also study various issues related to sexuality in the church, especially homosexuality. As part of this class, Dr. Schreiner will spend the final hour of each class in an open discussion regarding other theological, practical, and ethical issues facing the church today. The course will be very biblically centered, engaging in a thorough study of the relevant Scripture passages.
Eternity Bible College desires to partner with the local churches in equipping the saints for their work of service to the Lord. As with our other classes, our Winterim courses are open for auditing. We would like to invite you to join us in thinking through these important issues.
You can sit it on this class for only $50.
To register, or for more information on auditing this class, please call our office: 805.581.1233
Can’t attend in person? This event will be streamed live on each day of the class:
Dr. Schreiner comes with over 20 years of pastoral and teaching experience. After teaching New Testament at APU and then Bethel Theological Seminary, Dr. Schreiner joined the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary faculty in 1997 where he currently teaches. He is the author or editor of several books and serves as the pastor of preaching at Clifton Baptist church in Louisville, KY, where has ministered for the past 12 years.