A bible college is a school that offers degrees and programs designed for those interested in working for a religious organization or church. According to the South Pacific Association of Evangelical Colleges, the history of these schools dates back to 1873, though similar seminary institutions existed before then. These schools are a good choice for those who come from a religious background and those who want to work as ministers, educators and in other roles within a church. Most schools offer programs designed to help students use their faith and beliefs in their classes.
One of the more common majors available through these schools is one in Biblical Studies. This program will focus closely on the lessons in the Bible and teach students how to talk with others about those same lessons. Many graduates of these programs work specifically with parishioners of a church. They teach those parishioners how to turn to the Bible for help in times of crisis. Many colleges offer this as an associate’s program or a bachelor’s program, but some also allow students to earn a certificate rather than a degree.
Youth and Family Ministry
Churches hire youth ministers to connect with younger parishioners. A youth ministry will often try to teach students that following religious teachings is a cool or fun thing to do. They go to great lengths to encourage students to turn to their church leaders and to the Bible when they feel confused about certain things. Youth ministers may also arrange field trips and go on missionary trips with teenagers. Many religious colleges offer youth and family ministry programs that require students go on at least one missionary trip as part of their studies.
Family counselors deal with specific issues relating to the family unit. They often counsel patients dealing with money problems, a cheating spouse or a child who acts out in various ways. Traditional counselors will recommend that patients do tasks together and attend sessions to talk through their problems. The family counseling programs offered by religious colleges teach counselors how to encourage their patients to use religious teachings to recover from those problems and issues. Like the programs offered by traditional colleges, these programs will require that students do fieldwork and that they work with real patients.
Teaching and Education
Many of the degrees offered at a bible college will include those in teaching and education. Private schools are fairly unique because these schools do not always require that teachers have a degree in education. Some will accept teachers with strong experience in a specific field. Going to college though can give students the experience necessary for working with their future students and with helping those students with their studies. Most programs ask that students take religion classes and other general education courses before taking teaching classes. They may do some observing in the field before doing a student teaching placement. Most schools offer concentrations in fields like math or social sciences too.
Religious colleges provide students with the chance to learn more about the Bible and gain practical experience through missionary trips and similar programs. Though some assume that these colleges offer limited programs, a good bible college will offer degrees in a range of fields like family counseling and youth and family ministry.