Revamping the Bible College


Marching Off the Map - Part 4

Marching Off the Map has our heads spinning with ideas for improving the Bible College. We want to make it more effective than ever to reach the next generation of leaders. From online and virtual classes to internships, we can't wait to share with you what we have in mind.

40-50% of recent education majors have quit after their first year of work. According to Tim Elmore, we have three choices:

  1. Yell at the wind.
  2. Surrender to the wind.
  3. Adjust the sails.

At Victory Bible College, we are adjusting our sails to meet the needs of our students. The education system of old has got to go and we have begun making plans for aggressive changes. We really are marching off the map.

This book has caused us to shift our thinking a lot. One of my biggest revelations was the distinct difference Elmore made between the Millenials and Generation Y. I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out Millenials yet here we are with a new generation on our hands already. We really have no time to waste. They are here now, in our churches, entering our Bible colleges, and soon to be entering our workplaces. 

Restructuring Online Classes

VBC has offered in-class and online courses for years. In beginning this time of revamping, the online classes and website need a facelift. Online classes are effective for students today because they want to learn at their own pace and on their own schedule. However, long lecture-style classes over the web hinder other ways people learn. Our presentation of each session needs to be rethought in order to make them more enticing to the students who will be a part of them.

Altering the In-Class Experience

Our classroom approach is in need of an overhaul. Students today aren't learning through just lectures so we need to adjust in order to better suit the way they learn. We are seeking to make the classroom a place for application and discussion while supplying information and material online. Creativity is huge and visual stimuli has come to be expected by Generation Z.

Killing the Campus Mentality

Our focus on the idea of a "campus" needs to change. I think the days of having the right facility and an attractive campus in the right location are behind us. Students have access to thousands of courses on their devices at home so they are not apt to spend fortunes on a degree they may or may not use. So as colleges, I feel we need to kill the campus and move classrooms into our churches, pursuing virtual classes that students across the globe can join and internships within the local church.

Our Approach

I don't want to reveal too much too soon because we are still in the initial phases of planning but we are working on a three-fold approach to education.

  1. Internships - This will allow our churches to raise young leaders locally. Students can learn "on the job" in a practical way, giving them ownership of the content.
  2. Updated Online Courses - Over the next five years, we are looking to give the current VBC online courses a considerable facelift. This would involve making them shorter, more interactive, and applying some different classroom techniques.
  3. Virtual Classes - This will allow students to have the classroom experience from anywhere around the world, complete with live interactions between the teacher and other students. By doing a virtual class, we can build relationships between students from all over which would strengthen our mission moving forward.

In 1 Corinthians 4:15, Paul says, "There are a lot of people around who can't wait to tell you what you've done wrong, but there aren't many fathers willing to take the time and effort to help you grow up." If the church can take this approach in caring for people and abandon the lecture method, the future is bright! I think the church could reposition itself as the center of hope within each community, not a place to receive a lecture, but authentic relationship. The church needs to become the hope of the world for every generation, on a mission to reach every available person, at every available time, by every available means, with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by creating churches unchurched people love to attend.

Episode Resources

If you are interested in diving deeper into Marching Off the Map, buy your own copy here! We highly recommend it.

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