Recently, I’ve been pondering the privilege it is to train ministry students at West Coast Baptist College. As we are currently celebrating our twenty-second academic year here at WCBC, I wanted to share with you twenty-two things you should know about the college:

  1. Our mission is “Training laborers for His harvest.” We are not a liberal arts college. We work to have a well-rounded, academically-strong curriculum, but we do not train for secular degrees. We seek to recruit students who are planning to go into full-time Christian ministry or who would like to be grounded in their faith before pursuing other education.
  2. WCBC operates under the umbrella of Lancaster Baptist Church. We are a local church college, and our students are mentored and given hands on local church ministry during their college experience.
  3. We emphasize the Baptist distinctives. WCBC students learn the biblical basis for our Baptist distinctives and receive their theological and ministry training from a paradigm that emphasizes Scripture as the sole authority for faith, practice, and church polity (2 Timothy 3:16).
  4. We are committed to the King James Version of the Bible. We believe that God not only inspired every word of Scripture, but that He has preserved it through the ages (Psalm 12:6–7). We believe the KJV is the preserved Word of God for English-speaking people.
  5. We believe in the Spirit-filled and grace-motivated life which produces holiness. While we teach biblical principles and enforce institutional rules, we teach our students that it is the Holy Spirit who produces godliness in our lives, not a list of rules (Ephesians 5:18). We believe that the grace of God leads us to deny ungodliness and walk in holiness (Titus 2:12).
  6. We believe in the importance of conservative music. We follow and teach the scriptural admonitions found in Ephesians 5 of singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. We believe that wrong musical influences are destructive to the Spirit-filled life and maturing of a Christian.
  7. We believe in the primacy of preaching. We train preachers to boldly and compassionately preach the gospel and to unashamedly declare truth in their generation.
  8. We do not accept government funds. Although we are in the final stages of candidacy with the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS) and are grateful for Christian accreditation, we have chosen not to receive government funding, including Title IV loans. We do not want to be obligated to government oversight and vetting of our curriculum, staffing, or beliefs. Nor do we want our students to be burdened with student loans. As a result of our accreditation process, however, WCBC has received “eligible institution” recognition by the U.S. Department of Education which has allowed students and their parents to participate in significant tax benefits. Additionally, our student employment office works to connect students with the many great employment opportunities right here in our community.
  9. Ninety-seven percent of last year’s graduates were placed in ministry by graduation. Our ministry placement office works diligently to connect pastors who need staff with WCBC seniors. From our annual Interview Days in the fall all the way through graduation (and beyond), we work with every senior to help them get placed in ministry. We’ve been blessed as over the years, many pastors have come to specifically desire WCBC graduates for staff positions.
  10. Every member of the administration and faculty are involved in real, local church ministry. There are no armchair professors at WCBC. We believe in a Philippians 4:9 model of ministry in which students are taught to do what they have seen lived out in front of them. They learn from a team of faculty with a wealth of experience in personal, local church ministry. They are not teaching theoretical leadership, but are leading by example and teaching from experience.
  11. We teach and model servant leadership. We believe that godly Christians should follow the example of our Lord Jesus by exercising servant leadership (Luke 22:27). We believe the local church pastor is an undershepherd, given the responsibility to lead, feed, and care for the flock that belongs to Christ (1 Peter 5:2–4).
  12. We emphasize both soulwinning and discipleship. We believe the mission statement of the local church is the Great Commission of Christ, which commands us to actively reach people with the gospel and to purposefully teach them the doctrines and practices of biblical Christian living (Matthew 28:19–20).
  13. We emphasize missions. WCBC students are frequently on mission fields. Every year, students benefit from the missions conference of Lancaster Baptist Church; and throughout the year, they benefit from missionaries preaching in chapel. Missions majors learn from Dr. Bryan Stensaas who has spent over three decades in church-planting missions.
  14. We believe in church planting for the spread of the gospel. We believe that the local church is God’s designed institution to reach the world with the gospel. We encourage graduates to plant churches, here in the States and around the world.
  15. We provide quality academics. We don’t believe that strong academics and practical ministry are in conflict, but that they compliment one another. WCBC has always sought to employ well-trained instructors who are knowledgeable in their field, active in the local church, and consistent in personal evangelism. Our teachers hold recognized graduate degrees in their fields, and many are actively pursuing additional credentials.
  16. We strive to provide a balanced student experience. We encourage whole-hearted engagement in ministry and classes, but we work to keep a schedule that allows for down time, fellowship, intermural and intercollegiate sports, and especially, personal time with God. We want our graduates to live with balanced life rhythms as they give their all to the Lord.
  17. We encourage pastoral and parental counsel and relationship. It is our privilege to partner with a student’s parents and home church pastor in continuing the many investments they have already poured into a student’s life. We encourage students to continue to seek counsel from their parents and pastor and to keep those relationships strong.
  18. Faculty and administration maintain an open door policy. Students have out-of-classroom access to their instructors for mentoring, encouragement, discipleship, and counsel.
  19. High school students can begin early. The Fast Start program allows high school seniors to take up to three Bible classes through video lectures recorded during actual classes on the campus of WCBC. This allows them to begin college with an understanding of collegiate-level work and up to nine credit hours already completed.
  20. We have over 2,300 graduates serving the Lord around the world. We thank the Lord for each of them, endeavor to stay in touch, and rejoice in how God is using them.
  21. We have an online Master’s program. Our recently-redesigned online Master’s program allows students anywhere around the world to earn a Master of Religious Education with a concentration in Bible, education, or music. We’ve received tremendous feedback from recent online graduates and current students, and we’re thankful for how it is helping them to increase their ministry impact.
  22. WCBC is for students who want to change their world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. The men and women who have changed this world have been the men and women this world could not change. We exist to train leaders who are committed to the Word, compassionate toward the lost, and compelled to change communities for Christ.

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