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What’s the Difference between Bible College and Seminary?
God called you into ministry. You need preparation to follow that call. For some, that preparation requires biblical and theological preparation. For others, preparation involves leadership skills. Is Bible study alone sufficient? Do you need more? What’s the difference between Bible college and seminary? What should you look for in…

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What’s the Difference between Bible College and Seminary?

by | Jun 6, 2017 | Bible college, Uncategorized | 16 comments

God called you into ministry. You need preparation to follow that call. For some, that preparation requires biblical and theological preparation. For others, preparation involves leadership skills. Is Bible study alone sufficient? Do you need more? What’s the difference between Bible college and seminary? What should you look for in your preparation to serve God faithfully?

Is Bible study alone sufficient?

Many believers have the idea that all they need is Bible study. Besides, the Holy Spirit will give me everything I need to do the work of ministry. Right? Yes and no. It is true that the Holy Spirit will lead and guide you in ministry. But, that truth does not mean you should not prepare! Indeed, the Holy Spirit can do a whole lot more through you if there is something to work with!!!

Everyone God calls into ministry should be involved in regular Bible study. This fact is a given. But a question must be asked: How do I properly study the Bible? This is where a Bible college or seminary plays an important role.

Difference between Bible college and seminary

What is a Bible college?

The difference between Bible college and seminary might be best explained by defining each individually first.

Bible colleges are undergraduate programs that have a unique focus on the Bible and a biblical worldview to their general education studies. In other words, you can get an Associates degree or Bachelor’s degree at a Bible college.

While you can often major in nursing, criminal justice, etc., the major focus of most Bible colleges is studying the Bible, doctrine, and professional skills needed in ministry. Courses include: Old Testament Survey, New Testament Survey, Doctrine, Life of Christ, Greek, Hebrew, as well as your basic general education courses like English, Math, and History.

Some Bible colleges are accredited (such as through ABHE, www.abhe.org), while others are not. The idea of accreditation is that a higher authority has validated the school, giving it greater worth. Many graduate schools will only recognize degrees from other accredited schools.

Bible colleges serve an important role in higher education. Obviously, you get the foundational teachings in Bible, doctrine, and ministry. But you also study grammar, history, and philosophy from a biblical worldview. Many students will attend a Bible college for their first two years (Associate degree) to get a biblical foundation before transferring to a university that trains them in a particular field, such as engineering, medicine, biology. The advantage to the student is that a Bible college is often significantly more affordable than a state university or private college.

Why seminary

What is a seminary?

Bible colleges and seminaries are similar, yet different. They both focus on Bible, Christian ministry, doctrine, etc. However the major difference is that Bible colleges are designed as undergraduate programs (Associate, Bachelor’s) whereas seminaries are graduate level (Master’s, Doctoral).

The other major difference is that seminaries normally focus more on leadership roles within ministry: pastors, worship leaders, missionaries, etc. Some students attend seminary before moving into a doctoral program in order to teach in biblical higher education.

Student holding books

What’s the Difference between Bible college and seminary?

Bible colleges require a high school diploma (or equivalent) for entry. Seminaries require a bachelor’s degree. Therefore, some students attend Bible college only to go on pursue greater studies at the seminary level. When this happens, they often get credit for courses already taken (such as New Testament Survey).

If you believe God has called you into ministry, then attending a Bible college and/or seminary is an important part of your preparation. While you could attend one and not the other, you may find a greater depth by attending both.

Much of that decision depends on what is required for the job or ministry you are pursuing. To be a pastor in your denomination, does it require a degree? If so, what kind? Are you preparing for ordination and need a better foundation?

The difference between Bible college and seminary may be summarized in one word: purpose. What’s the purpose behind your education?

Why is attending a Bible college is important?

It’s been said that the foundation is key to everything. Consider a house. If the foundation is strong, the house is strong. But a weak foundation leads issues all throughout the house. Attending Bible college is like building a firm foundation.

You could take general education courses at the local community college. Or, you can take them from a Christian leader with a biblical worldview. Sure, grammar is grammar. But the instructor makes a difference. Surely you know that the Bible is important enough to be studied from those who have dedicated their lives to it. The faculty at a Bible college are doing that very thing.

At Carolina College of Biblical Studies, our mission is to disciple Christ-followers, through biblical higher education, for a lifetime of effective servant leadership. If we can help you reach your ministry goals, let us know.

To learn more about Bible colleges, download our “9 Answers to Your Questions About Biblical Education” from our website (www.ccbs.edu).

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16 Comments

  1. Marvin J. Wilson

    The information provided on the subject matter is very enlightening. Do you have classes on line?
    Thanks,
    Marvin

    Reply
    • Bethany Minich

      Hi Marvin,

      Yes, we offer both Associate and Bachelor degree programs online. Our online courses are 5-weeks long and you take one class at a time. I would be happy to answer any additional questions you have. Please feel free to contact us at 910-818-0009.

      Reply
    • Benard

      I do appreciate the fact that, I now get it clear about all the issues concerning Bible collage. I m interested of attending. My is irikefebenard@yahoo.com

      Reply
      • Bethany Minich

        Hi Marvin,

        We would be happy to assist you in exploring options here at CCBS! Feel free to reach out to our admissions office at admissions@ccbs.edu or you can call 910-818-0009.

        Reply
  2. Aleecha Adams

    PRAISE God🕊

    This was only the Holy Ghost because I was going to for get it and go do something else.

    Thank you kind spirit for this reading, I know God has called me to do greater works in the kingdom(only if you knew my story) NOW is the time to make that move but I’m having the hardest time finding a BIBLE COLLEGE.

    I’m 53 years of age and been to college before and I’m looking for a Bible College at this time. I live in Maryland and I’m just so excited for what God is about to do in my life…..REALLY🕊.

    Can you help me.

    Aleecha LA. Adams🕊

    Reply
    • Bethany Minich

      Hi Aleecha,

      We do offer our degree programs in an online format. Since you live in Maryland, are you interested in taking online classes? You can read more about our degree programs on our website at https://www.ccbs.edu/academics/online/.

      Please feel free to contact me with additional questions at online@ccbs.edu or 910-818-0009.

      Blessings,

      Bethany Minich
      Admissions

      Reply
  3. Dennis Ware

    I have an undergraduate degree but I’m 63 and want to be a pastor. Can you give me some insight?

    Reply
    • Bethany Minich

      Hi Dennis,

      This fall we will be offering a Master of Arts in Theological Studies degree. The degree will be offered on campus and also online. You can read more about our graduate program on our website: https://www.ccbs.edu/graduate/.

      If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us at 910-818-0009 or online@ccbs.edu.

      Reply
  4. Bessie Tembo

    I am a Malawian, can i also benefit from the online classes?

    Reply
    • Bethany Minich

      Hi Bessie,

      Thank you for your interest in CCBS. Unfortunately, we do not work with international students at this time.

      Reply
  5. Dare

    I already have two Masters degrees; one in business administration and the other in public health. I am already an ordained Pastor and looking for a doctoral program. I currently live in Maryland. Any recommendations?

    Reply
    • Bethany Minich

      We offer a Master of Arts in Theological Studies, but at this time, we do not offer a doctoral program.

      Reply
  6. Michele

    Hi..I am an ordained minister yet I want to be in ministry on the next level… I’m looking for online classes to lead me in the right direction…. Where do I begin

    Reply
    • Bethany Minich

      Hi Michele,

      I would be happy to discuss our online programs with you. You can feel free to contact me at admissions@ccbs.edu or 910-818-0009.

      Reply
  7. Alphonse Jean Louis

    Good morning Mr. Bethany, I’m already an ordained pastor with a diploma at Christian ministries I want to continue my education, how you can help me, I currently live in Florida.

    Reply
    • Bethany Minich

      Hi Alphonse,

      We offer online undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Feel free to visit our website to read more about our course offerings: http://www.ccbs.edu. If you have additional questions, you can reach me at admissions@ccbs.edu or 910-818-0009.

      Reply

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