Bible College also referred to as bible institute is a postgraduate institution that equips students with theological education, practical ministry training, and biblical studies to prepare them for church ministry and other various church ministry activities. Primarily, a bible college offers undergraduate degrees. However, the Bible Institute may also provide graduate degrees in lower level degrees such as diplomas and certificates in certain specialized areas of the Christian training that does not require full degrees.
According to ABHE (Association of biblical higher education), Canada and the United States have more than 1,200 Bible colleges and schools that contribute a large percentage of evangelical missionaries in the Northern America. The Bible colleges and schools serve as the primary training center for all the local church leadership. As of November 2012, more than 300 accredited Bible colleges were present in the U.S according to Theology-Degrees.com research report.
The primary purpose of a Bible college and the education offered is to prepare and equip people with knowledge and skills essential for handling specific roles and responsibilities in the Christian ministry. Bible institutes usually associate with Pentecostal Protestant or evangelical denominations. The structured programs of the Christian service are known to supplement the Bible college centered curriculum typically. A bible college confers various bachelor’s degrees in various divisions that include pastoral ministry, church music or the worship ministry and the Christian ministry and most often deal with biblical studies. Some of the bible institutes or colleges offer various degree programs in the specific ministry related areas such as Christian education that have secular application.
Graduate divisions and seminaries have been established beyond the undergraduate level that serves the same purposes as the bible colleges for higher specialization in the ministry field. Laypersons in the church ministry for example, Sunday school teachers do not require a full bachelor’s degree to execute their specific church service activities. For this reason, a bible college offer designed programs such as diplomas, associate’s degrees, and certificates to such persons. The individuals who take the programs have the desire for any additional training in areas such as Bible studies, practices of their denominations and Bible teachings. With the additional training, the individuals are effectively prepared to take specific roles in the church ministry. Bible college students are taught to handle the scriptures or the word of God with integrity while developing effective, practical ministry skills with pastoral wisdom for various contexts.