Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bible College: How To Break The Rules (and have an awesome time doing it)

I went to a very conservative Bible college with some strict rules. I'm sure all Bible colleges have rules because "be nice and only get drunk on Jesus" just isn't specific enough for some people. I will be the first to say that going into college I knew these rules and signed a form that assured my compliance. I later learned that compliance and not getting caught are inbred cousins.

So here's a list of rules that you'll only find in Bible College:

1) No bare feet in mixed company. Seriously. Before Bible college I had no idea that taking socks off in front of aspiring preachers was right up there with pole dancing, but apparently so. I broke this rule on one very specific occasion. One night the girl in the room next to me had taken drugs, and I don't mean Flintstones vitamins. She was completely juiced, screaming about how she was going to kill herself. So I run upstairs to the head resident's apartment. She answers the door and looks down at my feet. I open my mouth but before I can get anything out she says she won't talk to me with my feet uncovered, and I would need to put on some socks and then return. Close door. Folks, I couldn't make this up if I tried.

2) Curfew is 11 pm on weekdays. It may have been 10 pm, but in order to protect myself and cut down on the shock therapy treatments, I have blocked out the details. So this means finding a way to sneak in. Typically I would go through a window. But finding a way in wasn't the problem, campus security was. Campus security is another way to say Pharisee meets narc. Actual students by day, the security patrol were the super nerds of the campus. Typically scrawny and prepubescent, they drove around in a '72 rusted out Caprice Classic. Armed with only a clipboard and pen, they could record people's sin, just in case God had better things to do than making sure I wasn't out roaming the campus, barefoot, at 11:01 p.m., which would make me a harlot. And that's bad. So bad.

3) No dancing. It is widely known that the reason Bible college students aren't allowed to have premarital sex is because it will lead to dancing. Well, that and the fact that extra stupid security narcs could catch you and wonder where babies come from, upsetting the delicate balance of the universe. My BFF, Lacy, reminded me that the actual rule was no dancing within 50 miles of the campus, which makes sense. The dork-per-capita quotient fell significantly approximately 52.3 miles from the school's front gates, and this is the reason why.

4) No shorts may be worn in any building. I was good with this one. It has always been my theory that sequin tube tops look best with leather pants, anyway. It's just generally good idea to avoid shorts in Bible college. Some preaching major who is convinced the Bible peaked in 1987 is going to break out his pleated, Duck Head khaki shorts, but forget to take off his black socks and garters. (SOCK GARTERS, PEOPLE! Get your mind out of the gutter! No self respecting Bible college male wears those other kind of garters. At least not until after graduation. Please.)

5) Girls, no scantly clad roller skating through the dorm during finals week. This is an unwritten rule. It became an unwritten rule when someone actually did it, then got kicked out of her program. Never mind that dorms aren't co-ed. In Bible College girls can't even take a shower unless they're wearing a unitard. Modesty is everything. PG-13 skating behavior will not make serious preaching students want to date you, thereby lowering your marriage-ability quotient by 76%! Unfortunately, ladies, if you don't get married within 3 months of graduation, you probably never will. (I think that's Biblical, probably in the footnotes.) Sadly, this means you might not get invited to couples-only dinner parties in heaven. And wouldn't that just be the icing on the cake of your tragedy?

6) Guys, no hair growth beyond the collar. In Bible college there are pictures of Jesus everywhere. Walking with sheep, blessing children, hugging the Old Testament professor, you know, pictures of Jesus. In all of those pictures he had long hair. This means that He would have been kicked out of Bible college, or at least written up. Then where would we be? Oh, I shudder to think...

7) No kissing anywhere on campus. Translated, this rule implies that public displays of affection are meant for more romantic locations, like walks in the park, and visits to a fancy restaurant. Or, say, under a busted floodlight, in the backseat of a car in the Wal-Mart parking lot.

So there you have it, seven of the most rigorous standards for ethical Christian living. It's a lot to live up to, but this isn't living, this is Bible College.

Which rule would get you kicked out????

(Special thanks to my BFF Lacy who encourages my ADHD and will always help me break the rules.)


Francois said...

Hey Stacy, read your comment on Stuff Christians Like and would just like to say good luck with your Dad`s health problems. You guys are in my prayers.

God bless

Stacy from Louisville said...

Thank you so very much for stopping by my site. Your prayers are so vaulable to me.


Shaybplus3 said...

So Stacy I too went to Bible College... and became a "sweaty philistine" (like the SCL reference) for dating oh my goodness.... a non Bible College gentleman... therefore t-ing off my "mentor" supervisor person and she caught us hugging (off campus in a car did I mention that?) and wrote me up... YES! A true story I feel your pain.

Ellen said...

When I was in college at a heathen-filled STATE UNIVERSITY (oh my! with that revelation out there, I'm not sure I'll still be allowed to read this blog), I was involved with Campus Crusade. The Bible College kids from the next town over came to a few of our socials/dances and got SO BUSTED. There were actual "spies" from their Bible College checking in on them--trailing them--to see where they were going and what they were doing. They weren't "allowed" to come anymore, which was such a shame because 2 of them were kinda cute...

p said...

Can you clarify the difference between Bible school and Christian College? I attended a CC for a semester before transferring to a State school. But collected a few stories nonetheless...(I posted one about pearl "holder" rings or the pre-engagement fad...and a catfight)

Also Shaybplus3 - how many unequally yoked sermons did you hear??

daphne said...

The sock thing is INSANE.
I was too much of a drunk to go to ANY collage but I have many stories about being raised Catholic. The big difference I see though is I had no choice, yall PAID to have people judge you and force you to wear socks! CRAZY, man!

Stacy from Louisville said...

I don't know the real difference between a Christian college/university and a Bible college. I think, from my experience at least, at a Bible college, "Bible" is automatically your major. There were specific areas of emphasis, like youth ministry (my track) or preaching, but it was built around a "Bible" major.


eireann said...

i didn't go to bible college but so many of my friends did - and after discovering the 730am-mandatory-chapel-three-times-a-week-not-including-sunday-service rule, i was kind of glad. 730am just is not a pretty time for me. (i know mandatory chapel is not on your list, but i just thought i'd throw it out there.)

Miss Hannah said...

Watching R-rated movies was probably the rule I broke most often. That or acutally allowing my boyfriend/fiance to set foot in my apartment if my roommate wasn't home. (Even if you lived off campus, you weren't allowed to have a boy there without "supervision," which I always found to be incredibly lame. I've discovered by experience that it is, in fact, possible just eat dinner together in an otherwise empty apartment without taking your clothes off or necking. Self-control, imagine that.) I also loved that our school wouldn't let you move off campus until you were 21 ... Seems counterproductive since you are then old enough to do everything they don't want you to, and big brother can no longer watch you.

Shaybplus3 said...

UNequally yoked are you kidding me...you actually would like me to count? I was preached at. At one chapel my "mentor" was doing the "message" actually used me (nameless at least) as a sermon illustration. See that is how I roll ain't just bad but bad enough to be preached at, too and about... In the words of my son woot woot beep beep!

(Side not I married that "heathen" and have two babies with him now)

Skerrib said...

sigh...at Christian college, I met my husband my freshman year. He was an RA. The next year he was still an RA so my roommates would wait until we went out on a date so they could break the rules. Then he stopped being an RA, but I became an RA, and had to give people minor violations for displaying pretty candles on their shelves (fire hazard--old buildings).

The best rule-breaking I did was when my roommates and I had a pet rabbit for a month, before my then-fiance (now-husband) busted us and we got a minor violation. Pathetic. I could do so much better now...and probably have a whole lot more fun.

The barefoot thing would've gotten me though. Come on--Phoenix. Too hot for soxx.

JennyM said...

Oh MAN the stories are flooding back like toxic waves!!! AHHHHH!! It BURNS!!
I'll bullet this...
-making a "beverage" that happens to sit on the windowsill for weeks.
-being told to use band-aids on ones nipples in winter (sorry, but it IS technical word) in case it was really cold and we gave unwanted directions.
-jeans were of the devil in class. But in dorm, apparently, denimsanctification occured. Of course, in class who could SEE the butt? In dorm? Wagga wagga!!
-the road to HELL was paved with leather ties.
-during dorm tours, an annual event, one guy posted a extremely detailed pencil sketch of his, umm, part that define his umm, manfulness. It was done on a large piece of paper. I would have wriiten "it was large". But I knew him, and therefore can attest that ONLY the PAPER was large. He had SMALL hands. And feet. He drove a big truck though.
- the college president kept looking for his name in the list of Disciples. Oddly, no one else did.
-if "pasty, humourless, white guy with no muscle tone" was a requirement for ordination, our school churned Reverends like some kind of machine!

And my all time personal favourite?
When a certain young narc/buzz kill/sexless dweeb checked his mail, his hometown buddies had pulled a prank. They signed him up for Playboy. And by law (whether national or school law) no one could interfere with the delivery of the mail.
The mailroom was PACKED as Mr C.T. received his brown paper covered edition of Playboy. I have never seen a more terrified nerd in my entire life.
It was like the Superbowl!! Screaming crowds, people eating lunch right there, in the mailroom, and I'm sure at least one camera crew. It was awesome.

JennyM said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dog snob said...

The rule that I couldn't get was men and women couldn't swim together. Even the married couples and kids had separate swim times. I always thought, "so you can live in the same room and "make babies" but can't swim together"? Makes perfect sense... Of course, since I never went to Bible collage, this didn't affect me, but I have friends that told me all about it, (and how they would sneak out and get around it).

David Carrel said...

Pantyhose always being worn was a fun one for the girls. Wearing skirts to the ball games sitting on bleachers? I don't get it. No one thought about skirts possibly being inappropriate at times.
No tshirts to class or cafeteria, just collared shirts for guys. That was all fun but things lightened up. I was an RA for two years and loved it. I focused more on relationship than rules, but rules have their place. But I have heard/been involved in many crazy Bible School rules stories. One school would not let the guys watch girls play intramurals.

elj377 said...

I went to Bible college for 2 years and I always hated that you had to wear dress code until 5 and then it was okay to wear your casual stuff aka jeans...I hated that in order to go in any building after classes you had to be in a skirt rather than pants...this included going to get your mail. Plus since the mail ladies were only there until 5 it meant you either had to go immediately after class or change to go get your mail! I broke this one a few times!

Another stupid rule is that you couldn't listen to music with a 2-4 beat...had to be a 1-3 beat. There is no music with a 1-3 beat that is decent to listen too!

bludab said...

My Bible college had many of those rules (except the feet one), as well as "spies" and "security" and due to all that, my first date with my husband was at a laundromat and our first kiss was in a Walmart parking lot!
The no kissing in public rule also applies to married couples, in married student housing - and other married students' homes. One professor encouraged us to keep any physical affection out of the "common areas" of our own homes, I guess just in case of a weaker brother forcing the lock on your door and catching you sitting close together on your couch and drowning in lust , and he even said that he and his wife have a special "affection room" where they go to hold hands, hug, etc, when they "really need to".
Never looked at that (elderly) couple again without really weird mental pictures!
Here's to breaking the Bible college rules!

alicia said...

Stacy, you are my hero. I seriously almost wet my pants and cried at the same time. And now I'm more thankful than ever that I'm going to a non-Christian University!

Nick the Geek said...

I could go on and on about the rules at my Bible College. Honestly though, they had to add rules every year because of ignorance. Apparently the fact that there wasn't a rule clearly stating that one should not under any circumstances roll a bowling ball down the hall into the panel under the window means this is a perfectly good idea. Now they have a rule against it.

I think a more common sense rule should be in place like, no destruction of property. If property is destroyed then you shouldn't have done whatever you did.

Anyways, I will say this about security, some of them were jerks, including my former roomie, but some were cool. They had curfew at my college also, and I would go on a date with my GF (my wife now) and drop her off. There was short term parking right in front of her dorm and my dorm was across campus. I would walk her to the dorm and talk with her in the common area until security locked the door. Her dorm was the 2nd building locked up and mine was the 2nd to last. This meant I had time to go to my dorm before it was locked up so, even though it was technically after curfew, I never got written up since the building was unlocked.

One night I blanked and walked across to my dorm instead of getting my car. in the morning my first thought was, "where did I park." I got dressed and ran across to find a ticket on my car. Then I read the ticket and it was a "warning" from one of the night guards I was friends with. He put the ticket on my car so the day guard wouldn't give me a real ticket. That was pretty cool.

Oh, and my favorite rule that was broken. At my Bible College you had to get permission to get married during the school year. It was more about the housing change than anything else. Well a couple get married over Christmas but never got permission, so they stayed in their dorms for the spring semester. One spring evening our President was driving past the park and saw a car parked there with a school parking sticker. He went to check on them and found them ... well you know where babies come from right? Anyways, they got in huge trouble to start with because fornication is big time against the rules. They produced a marriage certificate to prove they weren't having premarital sex and got kicked out for getting married without permission during the school year.

Let that be a lesson to you. No having sex with your spouse if you are not registered with the school. Just because God and the state have sanctioned your marriage doesn’t mean it is ok.

Nick the Geek said...

I take it back, my favorite rule in fraction was when the girls in one of our dorms were advised that they should do all their changing in the bathroom instead of their rooms because some of the men in the married housing complained at being able to see them change if their blinds were closed the wrong direction.

I would like to point out that the windows on most of the rooms in this dorm were practically opaque because of calcification between the panes and that the housing was a quarter mile away from the dorm with trees in between. I am fairly certain the only way some guy would ever see a girl changing from the married housing is with a telescope intentionally checking the rooms with new windows.

How do the girls get reprimanded for some guy peeping? Seriously?!?!

Oh, and a Christian college is a provate college that offers secular degrees. A Bible college generally only offers ministry degrees. Many Bible colleges become Christian Universities. Southwestern University, for example, use to be Southwestern Bible College. They added some additional degree programs and because a university, but still have their ministry degrees. Evangel University, however, was a Evangel College. They had a bible degree, but their main focus was liberal arts. They were a Christian college that eventually became a university.

Luke said...

BFF LACY?!?!?!?! Who is this person? I'm mad, jealous and hurt.

Anonymous said...

I was signed in under my husband's fake google account so he can headhunt people on monster.com. This is ME! Lady Arbonne.

BFF Lacy!?!?!?!?! Seriously. And, I read Jon's post. In true Christian sacrifice I'd like to keep you accountable.

bridget said...

Outstanding, Stacy! I just came to visit from SCL, and I'm still at a Christian college--my senior year starts in, oh, a week and a half. Eep--and it has been very exciting to watch the school slowly go to hell as more and more rules are relaxed. There's no dress code, we can play cards and--gasp!--co-ed swim! There's no curfew, though you do get kicked out of academic buildings at 2 in the morning... unless you know the security guard.... Why would I know this? I'm a music major. We are nothing but constant all-nighters, practicing and composing and wondering if there's any major we can possibly switch to other than "pastor's wife." (the answer is no.)
I had the joy of being at my college's first legal dance--outrageous! The dancing rule had been "in consideration" since I applied, and was quite ceremoniously overturned after the winter banquet this past year. Before that happened, I went to college in the movie Footloose: I kid you not, to go dancing you had to cross train tracks. There's a statue outside our campus center in memory of 7 students who died in a car accident during homecoming in the 80s (admittedly, not coming back from a dance... but they'd never admit that!) My music major-y friends and I used to love climbing to the top of the train tressle and singing "Almost Paradise." But the dancing rule was overturned, and what did my college think would provide the least amount of fornication?
A hoedown.
Imagine every awkward Bible College boy you ever knew, walking up to any of the long-denim-skirted, long-hair-and-bangs girls you knew, pushing them (gently!) over and declaring: "ho down!"

Nice move, school. Nice move.

JennyM said...

Honestly. Some of these rules and stories just SCREAM "stay pagan!!! stay pagan!!!".
I rememeber one of older students was stunned at the 10pm curfew. He had been a policeman for YEARS and had done all night stake-outs and the adminisees had thougth that debauchery began at 10:01pm. He eventually moved off campus so that he wouldn't cause a mass revolt for student's rights. And so he could attend to personal matters with his friends. From the police force. Who had lives.

The Zirkles said...

stacy~ where did you graduate from?

Stacy from Louisville said...


I have to admit that I am purposely not going to tell where I went to Bible College. Though I went and graduated I don't want to have my diploma revoked. And they reserve the right to do that, though I don't think they ever have.

Thanks for reading!!


Ness said...

Okay, so my school didn't have the socks rule - I went barefoot almost everywhere on our tiny campus - we did have the no dancing, no PDA etc. Of course, it was only considered PDA if you were dating. If you were just friends, it was perfectly ok to sit in his lap, or give her a massage. One time my boyfriend (future husband)and I were sitting in chapel and he happened to have his arm around me. Our female student director came up, put her arm around him and said, "I don't think that behavior is appropriate." Seriously.
Commuter students were required to be off campus an hour before resident students' curfew. "We don't actually want you to feel like one big family. Take your socializing out of our safe and supervised environment. Oh, and your resident student girlfriend wants to hang out with you? Ok. She doesn't have to be on campus for another hour. Go hang out in your car somewhere. That's got to be better than being here in our well lit, well populated student lounge."
I don't know if they had a rule about getting married, but you were required to ask permission before becoming engaged during the school year. What?! You don't know enough about me or my life to make that call. We did not talk to them when we became engaged over the Christmas break.
In my second year, they implemented a new "covenant" everyone was required to sign in order to attend, agreeing to follow all their legalistic little rules. A few of my friends had issues with signing it and talked with the president to see if some kind of agreement could be reached. One of them was informed that because he enjoyed going home to his apartment and occasionally having a cold beer at the end of the day, he was "putting beer before Jesus."

Stephanator said...

Wow. I'm glad i never went to Bible school... i did graduate from a Christian college, but apparently it's rather "worldly". =) we could wear shorts both in our dorms and around campus, even to get our mail. we did have to fight for spaghetti straps; that took a few years to get OK'd. and we could have dances, though we didn't have many.
there were some strange rules which didn't always make sense, though they started to get more relaxed the years i was there. perhaps it was the new president of our school? but whatever the reason, i was thankful. =)

co_heir said...

I just came over here from SCL. I would add streaking through the men's dorm at 3:00 AM to the list of prohibited things. Also, going out to a Christian camp and dirupting the bedtime routine of the freshmen retreat. Both almost got some of us expelled.