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July 10, 2020 12:01 am
In 2011, R.C. Sproul founded Reformation Bible College to train a new generation of knowledgeable, articulate Christians who will live out their faith in any vocation. Today, RBC's president, Stephen Nichols, announces a new step forward in this vision: Foundation Year Online.
Help Students Grow in God's Word, Wherever They Are: https://gift.renewingyourmind.org/1357/foundation-year
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Today is a special edition of Renewing Your Mind with RC scroll ideas have consequences not only for culture not only from nations but for you and for me. The Bible says as a man thinks in his heart so is he. You may be called to be the best physicists the best biologists the best musician the best economists that God has ever put on the face of the earth. But whatever you do get that knowledge of God is the foundation for what ever God calls you to do in this world.
Dr. school knew we would see admitted awakening to the knowledge of God and the reformed faith that we would need to train the next generation of Christian to be grounded in God's word and able to articulate what they believe. That's why in 2011 RC founded Reformation Bible, I'm pleased to be joined by the man who RC handpicked several years ago to succeed him as president of the college.
Dr. Steven Nicholson, Steve.
We are certainly glad to have you with us as we share some exciting news for them.
Thanks, Lee and you're so right about how crucial and how important Reformation Bible college was to RC scroll in many ways it goes back to the beginnings of licking your ministries and what he was trying to do there in the mountains of Western Pennsylvania.
It was a place where all ages, but a lot of high school and college age students would come in they would study life on life be discipled and learn theology and philosophy and apologetics in biblical studies and so as the twilight years of his ministry as RC was was bringing Reformation Bible College into being. It's really a throwback to those early years of legionnaire. It's also in his mind, influenced by the reformers that's were he would take us if he were here talking about RBC he would say this was very crucial to the reformers that they were about educating the next generation.
It was not enough to just simply reform the church because the church is always in need of reformation and we need that in every age and that's especially true in the moment we find ourselves in this moment in American culture, and as we look across the globe we see the uncertainty that's been caused by this pandemic. We recognize the turmoil that is caused in the markets and industry, and so many things that people took for granted so many things they relied on people feels of the earth is crumbling right underneath their very feet is or what we need is to train up this next generation to point people to the sure and certain word of God that certain foundation. Whatever God calls them into whether they go into the pulpit and will love to have our students in the pulpit but we also want students in the pew went theologically trained students in the pew and so this was RC's vision for RBC and it's our intention to be faithful to that vision and that as we bring students along with a very simple goal.
We just want the church to be more reformed and as the church is more reformed. We just believe that will have an influence on culture.
So that's were trying to do and that's why it's very exciting to be involved in RBC and recognize our obligation really that we have. To bring this vision of RC's to fruition. RC was certainly passionate about that vision. Dr. Nichols, so let's listen the more what he had to say how a person views themselves how they view the world in which they live, how they view the culture and everything in it art, music, law, politics, economics, all of those things are part of the broader perspective of what we call a worldview. Our view of the world and and everything in it and ultimately their only two kinds of worldviews there's either a theistic one, where the character and being of God informs everything about that world mathematics, music, everything or you have a worldview without God, which is nontheistic. The other word for that is a theistic and there is no middle ground there. There's no tertiary quit. There is no third option. There is no neutrality when it comes to education. When public schools or government school say were going to keep God and religion out of the curriculum were going to be neutral there killing themselves.
They've already stepped into an theistic worldview and it's killing us and what were trying to do is to train people to think as Christians to seek the mind of Christ to understand that that the Christian faith is not a compartmentalized reservation that has nothing to do with the rest of life. It has everything to do with the rest of life that God is God. It is God of all is not just God of the church is God of the government. He's got of the arts is going over everything. I think the biggest mistake that parents make when choosing a college for their children is the assumption that the college that they went to years ago is at the same place today.
College education is in a series crisis right now. Alan Bloom's book and no really exposed that where the colleges are given to relativism so that 95% of the students come. The college already committed relativism and that view is cement putting cement in the four years of their college, even a so-called Christian college, you have to be extremely careful and I talked about how beautiful our campuses but you can't make a decision to somebody or somebody door school because the grounds are pretty got a look carefully at the curriculum carefully at the of the faculty and see what the school stands for and I can tell you this, that if I work right now going away to college. That's right, Wanda. You know leads. It's always a pleasure to hear the words of Dr. scroll and be reminded of what mattered to him. Not just because it mattered to him, but because what he talked about truly mattered and it matters to the future of the church and even matters to the future of God's world, that he made any puts his finger right on it. Does any when he talks about this relativistic worldview that is just a staple of the American higher education scene wasn't always that way we can go back centuries ago, and be reminded of these stalwart institutions in their original stand for the gospel in their stand on the word of God in their stand for truth and so you go off to these colleges to learn truth and to learn, goodness, and to learn beauty.
Well, as Dr. scroll has identified forests, a lot of those days are long gone and we need to recapture that that is really key fact, Dr. scroll outline three things that Neely said the curriculum which is the classes, the faculty, which are the teachers and the people who will influence kids during these years, but he also says and what the school stands for to what is its vision of what is its doctrinal statement. What are its principles and purpose and mission. These are important questions. These are questions we wrestle with at RBC as we think about the curriculum as we hire faculty and as we think about our vision and purpose in our distinctives.
We want to make sure that we have a place where we will train students in truth, goodness and beauty and will be anchored on that so that they will have a theistic God centered worldview that they can live their lives from that's what were all about and it's so wonderful to see it put forth. So so compellingly here by Dr. scroll yes and no. Steve, I've heard you say that the personal discipleship is essential to a theological education. It's one of the distinctives of the college. Tell us about the on-campus experience at Reformation Bible college and how it differs from from say other college experiences you I think back to my own college experience and I had a faculty member who had a tremendous influence on me and actually never had for a class we a conversation that led to a meeting for lunch and we met throughout the year for lunch and just was a wonderful time of discipleship of me from this person's influence and that's what we wanted RBC so these are godly, faithful faculty that we want to put in front of our students because we want them to have an influence in RC also believed in having a small college. You know he talked about being special forces and not regular army and so we have a vision of a small intimate community where the students know each other in the faculty and the staff know the students and that true discipleship takes place as they're being educated in the classroom there being discipled so they of course graduate knowing more about God than when they started, but we also want them to have a deeper love for God than when they started, and that's what were trying to do with our students at RBC.
What about those students that want to receive an RBC education but though don't have the means to relocate here to Central Florida and we certainly recognize that there are many overseas or even within the United States is just for whatever reason are not able to get to our campus and we recognize that especially in this moment, and in this season of this upcoming academic year. Just all the challenges that are out there for families and for kids to be facing.
So we are very excited to announce that for the first time we are taking our foundation year, which is our one year program and we are launching our foundation year online.
It's as if we can open those classroom doors and invite students that no matter where they are and from wherever they are, they can be a part of the class. We want to invite you into that classroom and the reason is very simple.
I we believe that what we teach in the subjects we teach are absolutely crucial that there issues not just of life and death. These are matters of eternal life and eternal death. And that's what we want to do and we hope there are many that can benefit from this.
We want to make it available to them.
So were launching our foundation year online program. Now I can't think about a better institution to launch an online program then Reformation Bible college. Steve, I have the opportunity to witness firsthand how you and your faculty and staff care for your students. Your invested in their growth and development spiritually and academically absolutely leave you know this was not something that we entered into lightly because we take so seriously that character development issue and we care so much about who you are, not just what you know what we really want you to have that real time in class experience and virtually be discipled by a faculty member as your learning alongside of fellow students well were also joined by mating marking the director of admissions for Reformation Bible college in the maybe what is the response been like for this foundation year online program am so grateful to be here, lady.
We are so encouraged by the hundreds of students that expressed interest here in our foundation year online and my team and I we been set eager and excited to meet and speak with everyone and answer all their questions how you and your team feel about all of this and maybe this can only be described as a tsunami of interest in the program while he verse were also encouraged and excited by the response, but honestly, my arms are tired. That December, our admissions team.
We decided to do a push-up challenge for every student that confirm their enrollment for the fall. He did 10 push-ups that seem pretty reasonable and lonely at the net foundation year online.
We decided not to do this as soon as we saw how many people were applying to the program or expressing interest, but in all honesty were or so, very encouraged by the students that have either applied to our expressed interest in joining us online program.
That's great radio push-up challenge. It sounds like the wisdom was the better part of valor, but I think it reflects how encouraged you and your staff are by the response.
We hope that you know Lee is as were listening to.
Maybe you can just tell you can hear it how she and her staff cares for the students that come her way.
And that's very encouraging for me to watch course or faculty are the same as they care for students, but our staff are there as well and they are truly committed to serving students into helping them come to us because been obvious to all of us are of the wood veneer and Reformation Bible college campus.
Dr. Nichols why do you think there's been so much interest in this I think is what the foundation year has to offer is a substantive education. It's talking about things that truly matter and I think there's a deep desire to study truth, goodness and beauty the recognition of how foundational these things are to a life that is pleasing to God in the life that worships God and serves God and enjoys God in everything that that this is important to lay that foundation and get it right especially for Christians who take God's word seriously. For Christians who are what we might call convictional Christians or confessional Christians. They realize and they recognize the value of God's word and they want to know it less what we do within our name Reformation Bible college and that's what Lincoln years been doing. It's been doing it for five decades of helping folks interact with the world in which they live.
You go back to 1970. That was a tumultuous time in American culture, and there was the legionnaire Valley study center grounding people on the word of God and theology, and here we are in 2020, and it is a very tumultuous moment and what are we doing were grounding people and theology and God's word because that's what matters. And I think people recognize that indeed it and if there's a student right now Dr. Nichols were perhaps a parent of a student or grandparent of the student looking for a college would you give us an idea of what they will study. If they give one year to Reformation Bible college. Well, our Dean Dr. Choi Dale who loves church history will walk students through church history, though, have a course in the fall. Of course in the spring through those two courses though get an overview of church history but is not just history for history's sake. Dr. tweedle believes that church history will help you be a better disciple and he will walk you through through church history, so that you will be a faithful disciple in Christchurch today and for the generation to come with a wonderful faculty who teach biblical studies. Dr. Dedrick will teacher New Testament course in the fall and Dr. Shaw will teach you in the spring. The idea of these courses is to take you into the depths and the riches of God's word. You will have God's Word opened up before you in ways you've never seen it before, and you will be equipped with a better understanding of God's word and also the skills to continue in your Bible study. Hopefully a lifetime of studying God's word and mining the riches of God's word. We also of course believe in theology here.
Sometimes a Sarah Ligon Aaron RBC that we do three things here theology.
Theology. Theology so you will have theology with one of our most beloved faculty members, Dr. Keith Matheson. He's of course not a new name to Renewing Your Mind. Folks are to Ligon your folks. He's been with table talk for decades and with the college right from the day we opened our doors and I've observed him and I can tell you one thing about Dr. Matheson.
He loves his students and he loves his subject and he loves God and he's infectious about all of that and just being around him is a joy, let alone sitting in his class and learning at his feet and I have the wonderful privilege of teaching apologetics and philosophy. These are such important topics as we think about what it means to not only defend the faith because we have lots of objections and challenges to the Christian faith, but to walk through what it means to be a persuasive all winsome contender for the faith to not just defend but to contend and so I love walking through the history of ideas with students and some of these crucial thinkers and trace out where some of these ideas that really do have consequences in our world today to trace where they've come from.
So I love that a journey with students of the those are some of the courses and what we believe is the cumulative effect of all that will lay a solid foundation for you and hopefully also put you on a path of a lifetime of discovery and of learning of God's word and of God's world, and I noticed that you'll find courses in this program that might not be expected of the Bible college references and this one is near and dear to my heart.
A course on communication. That's an incredibly important class. You know it's not enough just to know the truth.
We also have to speak the truth.
What that means is being a compelling communicator will this goes back to our founder, doesn't it. There was no more compelling communicator then RC Sproul. He was a consummate teacher and people loved listening to have any just sort of brought you any had that gift. Ultimately, this is our vision for the college to produce knowledgeable and articulate students. Students who know the truth, goodness and beauty and they know God and his word, but they are also compelling articulate communicators for the truth. We need that we so desperately need that now more than ever so agree with you there. Dr. Nichols made sure many folks are wondering about the cost of a program like that. Can you give us specifics on what it cost for the foundation.
Your online while there's no cost to apply for the program foundation your online students will pay no more than $4600 in tuition and fees for the entire one year certificate and theology courses is broken up into several payments that, in addition to an application fee were actually going to wait $300 enrollment fee for students that submit all their paperwork by July 15.
That is not a lot of time.
So they've got there. What five days now to get all their paperwork in and they can mentally have their application fee waived, but to also waive the enrollment for you. Is that right that's right, and will help them lock the rate step in the process is great wealth cost for higher education is on the rise these days, but the Reformation Bible College is committed to offering an education at an affordable cost. But we can't do that alone, which we did not want to put this out of reach of students that would benefit from this education, but in order for us to do that we need folks to come alongside and help us and I am continually humbled and also just amazed at how people have come alongside to help us and what were doing truly partner with us at RBC and it is because of the generosity of our donors that we can do this, you know, really, I think some of our donors come to us and they they shared this with me. They recognize how strategic a gift to RBC is and when you think about it this is what you're investing in your investing in a lifetime of service as a whole lifetime of ministry and impact that our students are going to have in our donors feel, and rightly so. They are making that happen in our students know that and that gratitude just drives them even more to get as much as they can out of their studies are faculty and staff know that that encourages them to be even more committed to the task, but it really does come back to those folks who come alongside of us soon and give to us it's it's truly wind in our sales for us to do what we do and the reality is RBC would not exist if it weren't for the kindness and generosity of our donors know Dr. Nichols II think the supporters are so generous because on on certain occasions. They've had a chance to interact or hear from your students.
And so I'd like for our listeners right now to hear what they have to say about what they love Reformation Bible, there are a lot of reasons why I love RBC.
I can't even begin to describe the devotion that my professors have had in helping me grow in the knowledge of God.
The professors they are so kind and dedicated to teaching the truth of God's word, which is the they actually want us to leave RBC loving Christ more than when we came into the college plants here. I've been able to every area of our knowledge and guidance linked our worship of God and they always remind us of that. And they live this out right before our eyes truly felt like a family need so many close friendships here lock into the coffee shop to work on homework and five something I enjoyed most about RBC with a lasting friendship platform with many of my classmates in the professors I've met so many godly people who have challenged me to love and pursue Christ more and more each day will be my lifelong friends and life together here extremely thankful for the that's really what I love about our receipt to love Christ more and teaches you to understand who he is and what he teaches and strengthens you and your faith in your Christian walk with God. Nearly it's one thing to to hear us talk about the vision of the college, but when you hear it from students you recognize the real impact that RBC is having in their lives. And then you recognize the impact the students are going to have. That's just so encouraging to actually hear from our students themselves. So maybe how can our listeners find out more about this foundation. Your online program. While he lobby to visit firstname.lastname@example.org/online to learn more about the foundation your online program and of course you can also retest in admissions at 888-7215 17 or through email@example.com and maybe is there an opportunity for the foundation.
Your online students interested in pursuing a degree program on campus and into make that transition absolutely friend for days that meet the admission requirements they can transition seamlessly into one of our AA or BA programs so we would be happy to walk you through that process to transition to RBC on campus and one of those other degree programs. Yes, we had the SAC of arts in theology and said the bachelor of arts in theology, but either a Christian thought major or biblical studies major and they can find out more figurative Reformation Bible college.org apps lately in early. We started with the RC's vision for RBC and it's come to be come to pass. It's here. It's a beautiful campus in Sanford. We been training students there out there and seminaries there married the raising families there serving the church there serving in professions and now to see the foundation your online and to recognize that what were trying to do here can reach people beyond our borders. It's just a very exciting thing and it's wonderful to see how gracious God is to us in the realization of this vision of Reformation Bible college and that would that we are at the end of our program today, but there before we go. Let me encourage you to visit Reformation Bible college.org/online to learn more about this foundation. Your online program.
You can also email them the address is firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call at 888-722-1517. That's 888-722-1517 and if you'd like to help support Dr. Sproles vision of training the next generation of church leaders through Reformation Bible college due to the every generation campaign by going to Reformation Bible college.org/give work by calling us today at 800-435-4343, Dr. Nichols and Nadine Martin, thank you for being with us today, ensuring your time and we thank you for listening today and I hope you make plans to be with us Monday as RC considers what separates Christianity from all other religions. Beginning next week here on Renewing Your Mind