The Bible college is essentially a nineteenth-century North American evangelical invention. A Bible college is a cross between a Bible institute (training center) and a Christian liberal arts school. Its students concentrate in religious studies and are trained for Christian service. The founders of the first Bible colleges were influenced by London pastors H. G. Guinness (1835-1910) and Charles Spur-geon (1834-1892).
In response to the revivalism of D. L. Moody, the Bible college movement blossomed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The first two Bible colleges were the Missionary Training Institute (Nyack College, New York) in 1882 and Moody Bible Institute (Chicago) in 1886.73 Their focus was to train ordinary laypeople to become "full-time" Christian workers.'
What led to the founding of the Bible college? From the mid-nineteenth century, little attention had been given to traditional Christian values as an integral part of higher education. Liberal theology had begun to dominate state universities across America. In the face of these elements, the demand for missionaries, parachurch leaders, and ministers provoked the creation of the Bible college to equip "the
Warkentin, Ordination: A Biblical-Historical View; 75.
Unitarianism denies the Trinity, the divinity of Jesus, and other orthodox Christian beliefs.
The first Catholic seminary to hit American soil was established in Baltimore in 1791. Reid, Concise Dictionary of Chr/stianity in America, 1071.
The Moody Bible Institute was formally constituted in 1889 (Virginia Brereton, "The Popular Educator," Christian History 9, no. 1 : 28).
Reid, Concise Dictionary of Christianity in America, 42-43; Harper's Encyclopedia of Religious Education, 61.
called" with a Bible education." Today, there are over four hundred Bible schools and colleges in the United States and Canada."
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