Many years ago, the late Dr. Wayne Van Gelderen, Sr. expressed his burden for a new fundamental college that would train leaders for the local church through the local church. His son, Pastor Wayne Van Gelderen, Jr., shared that burden, and, with the overwhelming support of the people of Falls Baptist Church, established Baptist College of Ministry in the summer of 1998. Twelve young men and women, all members of Falls Baptist Church, enrolled for the preliminary year in the fall of 1998. During the 1999-2000 inaugural year, twenty-four students were enrolled, some coming from as far away as Florida and Rhode Island. In the college’s third year, thirty-nine students dedicated themselves to train for the ministry at BCM, with four students receiving their baccalaureate degrees in May of 2001 at the school’s first commencement service. The fall of 2001 marked the addition of seminary and graduate degree programs, and the first seminary graduates were awarded degrees in May of 2003. The administration, faculty, and student body of Baptist College of Ministry look forward to God’s continued blessing upon this ministry. We praise and thank the Lord for the opportunity to train godly young men and women who, by the grace of God, will be tomorrow’s leaders in the local church.
Baptist College of Ministry and Theological Seminary is a private fundamental educational institution operated as a ministry of Falls Baptist Church. The purpose of Baptist College of Ministry is to prepare dedicated young men and women to serve the Lord Jesus Christ faithfully and effectively as leaders in the local church.
We believe that Christian higher education should, by the grace of God, prepare students for ministry by equipping them spiritually, morally, and academically. Spiritual equipping develops in the believer a desperate need for God-dependence to access the Spirit-filled life. Effective ministry is impossible apart from the energizing dynamic of the Spirit’s power. Moral equipping emphasizes holy living, not as the mark of spirituality, but as the gateway to greater spiritual growth and usefulness in the Lord’s work. Academic equipping provides the springboard for the development of a truly biblical worldview with godly convictions that will withstand the pressures of our post modern culture. In a day when old-fashioned, conservative Bible Christianity and standards of holiness are routinely belittled, Baptist College of Ministry and Theological Seminary stands ready to help committed young people who have determined that the unchanging Word of God must be proclaimed clearly and authoritatively in this present age.
The fourth chapter of Ephesians provides a succinct expression of the proper philosophy of church ministry. Christians are to “walk worthy” of their calling, dedicating their lives to ministry and uniting with other believers to serve the Lord Jesus through the local church. God gave the leadership gifts to the church in order that the saints would be equipped to do the work of the ministry. Every believer, therefore, must be equipped for ministry. Certainly pastors and evangelists must be specially trained for leadership and for the proclamation of the Truth, but the mandate of Ephesians 4 is that every believer be prepared for and dedicated to the all-consuming work of the ministry. Baptist College of Ministry and Theological Seminary exists to train young men and women to be godly leaders in their homes and in their churches. Although ministry training can be adequately accomplished through para-church institutions, it is properly and primarily the responsibility of the local church--“the pillar and ground of the truth.” We believe that God will use Baptist College of Ministry and Theological Seminary as an arm of Falls Baptist Church to provide such training to generations of His servants.
The classes, chapels, activities, and setting of Baptist College of Ministry are intended, with God’s help, to develop in each graduate:
- A thirst for the Spirit-filled life
- Evangelistic fervor
- Sound ability to understand and apply the Word of God
- Comprehensive knowledge of Scripture
- Personal standards of holiness
- Historic fundamentalist and Baptist convictions
- A proper philosophy of the local church
- Extensive practical experience in ministry
- Self-discipline and industry
- The ability to think logically and analytically
- The skills, background, and initiative to study independently
- Effectiveness in both spoken and written communication
- An appreciation for God-honoring music
- A gracious spirit
- A sincere and ever-growing love for the Lord Jesus Christ
Baptist College of Ministry is looking for students whose desire is to serve God wholeheartedly and to live a life separated unto Him. We are committed to working hand-in-hand with pastors and parents in order to produce Christian leaders who will not waver in their love for Christ nor in their commitment to serving Him. We are also committed to enrolling only those students who genuinely desire the kind of education we offer. We are confident that the Lord will direct like-minded students to pursue their undergraduate and seminary education at Baptist College of Ministry.
The mission of Baptist College of Ministry is to provide a Christ-focused, faith-based, local church, liberal arts education, discipling young men and women who are in union with the enthroned Christ to wholly surrender their lives to Him and to experience the fullness of Holy Spirit power in order to reach a lost world for Christ.
At Baptist College of Ministry, students are taught to interpret the Scripture from a biblically dispensational approach, using a literal, grammatical-historical-contextual hermeneutic. The shortcomings of other positions, including covenant theology and progressive dispensationalism, are clearly presented.
DOCTRINAL AND THEOLOGICAL DISTINCTIVES
Systematic theology is emphasized as the best defense against heresy, but at the same time, students are challenged to guard against over-systematizing and arriving at a systematic theology that goes beyond the Scripture. Proper theological instruction promotes in students a willingness to adjust their thinking to conform to the Scripture, rather than manipulating the text to conform to the system. The result is a biblically-balanced theology that avoids the extremes of both Arminianism and hyper-Calvinism.
Baptist College of Ministry stands in full agreement with the cessationist position and is firmly opposed to the man-centered emphasis of the modern charismatic movement. While readily acknowledging that God the Holy Spirit still gifts believers for the edification of the body of Christ, we recognize that those gifts no longer include the miraculous sign gifts that were extant during the first generation of the Church prior to the recording of the New Testament Scriptures.
Baptist College of Ministry is unashamedly Fundamentalist, repudiating the compromise and toleration of New Evangelicalism in the realms of both personal and ecclesiastical separation.
As reflected in its name, Baptist College of Ministry is resolutely Baptist in its polity, practice, and distinctives.
At Baptist College of Ministry, students are challenged to embrace the belief that God still works miraculously in every age. Rather than pointing to “the Will of God” as the explanation for spiritual defeat in evangelism or discipleship, students are encouraged instead to put their trust confidently in God for spiritual victory and to expect to see His reviving work in this day.
We believe that God has preserved His Word for every age. We accept the preservation of the Old Testament through the Hebrew Masoretic text; and we accept the preservation of the New Testament through the time-honored Byzantine, majority text stream represented by the Textus Receptus. We desire to teach the doctrines of inspiration and preservation in a faith-based, non-divisive manner. We use only the King James Version in our public ministry and academic work.