Why I Love Bethlehem College

Why I Love Bethlehem College

After doing serious church-based higher education for decades, we made it official in 2009 and started Bethlehem College and Seminary (BCS). I love what God has put together.

As many of you know, I began my ministry back in 1974 as a professor of New Testament. Now that the end of my three-decade-long chapter as senior pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church is on the horizon, I am excited that higher education is still part of God’s call on my life. Especially so when I consider that BCS is organically rooted in the very church that I am in my fourth decade of loving. As I continue to write and speak, God willing, I am eager to pour energy into raising up the next generation of leaders by serving as Chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary.

Introducing Bethlehem College

Many of you have heard of The Bethlehem Institute (TBI), which has recently become Bethlehem Seminary. But not as many of you have heard of the college program being birthed here at Bethlehem before our eyes. It takes my breath away when I ponder its depth and its scope and its potential.

How should a young person and parents choose a college? One of our professors, Ryan Griffith, just wrote a compelling answer. I hope you will read it.

One of the reasons I love Bethlehem College is its unique approach to undergraduate education — the first two years offer an Associate of Arts in Christian Worldview. Here’s what the curriculum looks like.

After the first two years, a student can pursue specialized studies elsewhere or stay and branch into one of two directions: Bachelor of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies or (coming soon) Bachelor of Arts in History of Ideas.

Aims for the College

I love the mission and vision and the core values that we all share here. We really want this experience to be profoundly transforming, both intellectually and spiritually, for the sake of a whole life of Christ-exalting impact on this world. To that end, here are a few aims for the college:

  • We want to keep it small — up to 200 students in the undergraduate program.
  • We want to keep it affordable — $5,280 yearly tuition presently.
  • We want to keep it relational — the cohort that enters moves forward together.
  • We want to keep it Bible-saturated — Bible and theology permeate the curriculum.
  • We want to keep it globally expansive — from creation to the present and all of life.
  • We want to keep it God-centered — reckoning with his sovereign rule at every point.
  • We want to keep it gracious — with faculty who care and really help the students.
  • We want to keep it rigorous — growing in our ability to think incisively (like God).
  • We want to keep in worshipful — with every true reflection awakening true affection.
  • We want to keep it healthy — aiming at emotionally whole and wise and loving Christians.
  • We want to keep it prayerful — learning moment-by-moment dependence on grace.
  • We want to keep it happy — because God is glorified in us when we are satisfied in him.
  • We want to keep it mission-empowering — because millions are lost and it is God’s world.
  • We want to keep it rooted in history — people a lot smarter than we are have left legacies.

We would love to serve you or the young people you care about. For more information, come on over and explore our website.

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John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.