As the Director of Admissions for Calvary Chapel Bible College, one of my great joys is introducing prospective students and parents to our beautiful campus and Biblical studies programs. Inevitably the question comes up, “What can I do with a degree in Biblical studies?” Fair enough, students and parents want to know what benefit they will receive from their investment of time and money.
The first benefit, and in my mind the greatest, is that the time spent at CCBC provides “preparation for life.”
That is, we believe that the best foundation for success in life is to know what the Bible actually says about God, people, and how we ought to live. A solid foundation in the Scripture provides the necessary tools for living a life pleasing to God and the apologetic weapons for defending one’s faith from the onslaught of this corrupt world system. My point is that no matter what God has called a person to do in life—to be a pastor, firefighter, mother, missionary, nurse or to transfer on to an engineering program at an Ivy League university, establishing a firm Biblical foundation at CCBC will prepare a person for the challenges of living in a fallen world.
I often remind parents that, “Studies have shown that between 60% and 80% of previously engaged Christian youth become disengaged from their faith as they transition into college.”1 The reality is that most college and university campuses are not friendly to the Christian faith. That’s putting it nicely. The truth is that the majority of academic institutions in America are hostile environments bent on dismantling the Christian faith of our young people. High school graduates entering those battlegrounds unprepared become confused by and hostages to the competing worldviews of humanism, Marxism and the false religion of Darwinism. It is essential then that we prepare our young men and women for the battle they will face in life. Calvary Chapel Bible College provides such training!
Graduates of CCBC are prepared for life through the life-transforming study of the Bible. This includes an overview of the entire Bible with pastor Chuck Smith via recorded sermons, eight required core Bible books that dig into the essential doctrines of our faith, four semesters of practical Christian ministry, as well as dozens of additional Bible classes and courses such as “how to study the Bible,” theology and apologetics. Anyone who has completed a Biblical studies degree at CCBC can say with confidence that they have gone cover-to-cover through the Bible—something less than 11% of professing Christians in America have done!2
The second benefit of earning a Biblical studies degree from CCBC is that time invested here will prepare a person for vocational ministry.
Over the last 43 years of our history, hundreds of young people have gone forth from CCBC to plant churches, serve as missionaries and to join church ministry teams as worship leaders, youth workers, assisting pastors, etc. I like to encourage parents and prospective students to visit our website where they can hear firsthand from graduates about how the Lord is using the education gained at CCBC in the real world.3
Another benefit we are now seeing is that some of our graduates have been selected to take up the pulpit from that first generation of Calvary Chapel pastors who are now retiring. Guys who came to faith back in the 60s and 70s under pastor Chuck Smith’s ministry, who then went out to plant churches, are now turning those churches over to a new generation of CCBC graduates!
A fourth benefit of a degree earned at CCBC is that it prepares students for ministry where an advanced degree is required.
We have articulated agreements with a number of Bible colleges, universities and seminaries that accept our degrees in full or part where students can earn a graduate degree in pastoral counseling, theology, education and chaplaincy.4 As we move toward full accreditation, the number of post-graduate options will continue to grow for our students.
So, back to that prospective student and his or her parents sitting in my office who asked, “What can I do with a degree in Biblical studies?” My answer—a lot! A Biblical studies degree from Calvary Chapel Bible College will prepare a young person for life, vocational ministry and lay the foundation for an advanced degree path, if that’s where the Lord is leading.