Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Crown College of the "Bible"

First up in this study on Bible college is the infamous Crown College of the Bible located in Powell, Tenn. and run by "Dr." Clarence Sexton.  Despite the serious Shibboleth problem that was exposed down there, this is still one of the leading independent baptist colleges in America; as well as one of the most influential.  Therefore we chose to deal with it out of the gate.

We based the results of the survey on the 4-year prescribed plan of study as listed on the college's website.  While we understand that this may not be the exact way every pastoral ministry major at Crown goes through the system, it is the recommendation of the school, and therefore, is the ideal.  Keep in mind we also defined a Bible course as:

  • An individual book of the Bible taught
  • Specific Bible doctrines such as: Soteriology, Angelology, etc.
  • Dispensational courses
  • A required "Bible" elective
  • Book groupings taught such as: Pastoral Epistles
You can start to get a feel that this college, like the others, is more interested in teaching their students THEIR PHILOSOPHY rather than the words of holy writ as they list the key courses of the pastoral major as Living the Christian Life, Homiletics, and Baptist History and Distinctives.   One would think they would at least include the Pastoral Epistles as a key class for future pastors, but no.

With this in mind, here is what future pastors and graduates of Crown must undertake to be deemed "prepared" for the ministry:

FRESHMAN: 0 Bible Courses
SOPHOMORE: 6 Bible Courses - Bible Doctrine I & II, Pentateuch, Gospel Records, Historical Books, Christian Church Epistles
JUNIOR: 3 Bible Courses - Pastoral Epistles, Poetic Books, Hebrew Christian Church Epistles
SENIOR: 4 Bible Courses - Major Prophets, Minor Prophets, 2 Bible Electives

This yields a result of 13 Bible Courses in a 4-year program of study.  The total number of courses required to obtain a Bachelor of Biblical Studies in Pastoral Ministry from Crown is 54.  Therefore, doing the math (13/54) we find that 24% of the classes taken by a pastoral major are actually Bible courses.  While this is pathetic, Crown actually fares better than other "Bible" colleges; if you can believe that.  They, at least, do cover the entirety of the canon of holy scripture; albeit in an elementary way.  But this is more than you will see at some IB/IFB colleges in this survey.

Is this what you expected?  If we combined all the Bible courses, they could be taken in one academic year.  That means a Crown pastoral major will spend 3 of 4 years learning everything except the Bible.  WOW!

So what other subjects are taken by pastoral majors?  Greek (how come no Hebrew and Aramaic?), missions, Christian Home, Christian Music, Church Finance, Baptist History, and Counseling to name a few.  And we would not condemn the taking of these courses as many of them are helpful, and maybe even needful.  However, it is never wise to substitute teaching of holy scripture for an auxiliary course.  Church finance, church history, the home, music, and most other side subjects are covered in scripture.  Therefore you could teach the Bible in-depth; verse-by-verse, book-by-book, and cover all of these in some detail; kind of like expository preaching, which most fundamentalists think is a death sentence for a church per Jack Hyles' commendation (but that's another subject for another day). down and several more to go.  Remember, we said Crown was one of the better ones.  Up next: Pacific Coast...errr...Heartland Baptist Bible College.


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