Monday, August 18, 2008


In 1992 I graduated from High School. The world was my oyster. (I don't really know what that means, but I've always wanted to say it.) I was going to shuck it for all it was worth and then some. But I wasn't going oyster shucking for myself, I was doing it all for Jesus. That's right my friends, I was headed to Bible College. (Where, coincidently, I never ate shellfish of any kind. Dang.)

Bright and shiny, squeaky clean, glittering with sage wisdom, Bible College. In my mind I had it all figured out. I was immersing myself in the think tank of all Christendom - everyone there, young and old, would adore me. Mothers would want their daughters to be just like me. Guys would want to date me. Professors would shamelessly beg for my theological insight. Flowers would bloom and angels would sing everywhere I went. We would all laugh, and hug, and sing "Kum-by-Ya". I would surely help usher in the greatest revival of all time. It would be holier than heaven itself.

Then I got there.

And realized it sucked.

I guess it's not so much that it was so sucktacular, it's more that the culture of the whole thing was just plain weird. That's not to say that I didn't have fun while I was there or that I didn't get a good education. It's just that Bible College is, it's Bible College.

Take everything that drives you nuts about church culture. Throw it into really close living quarters. Take away deodorant, fashionable clothing, and common sense. Fold in a hymnal, a few suits from the 80s, and a curfew. Sprinkle it with controversy and lint from the pockets of scary elders. Add 1/2 cup of angst from trying to maintain technical virginity, and ta da! Instant Bible College. (Some assembly required.)

This week we will discuss the ins and outs of Christian education at its best and worst. If I lived this for 4 years and paid about $30,000 for it, surely you can come along with me as we hop, skip, and jump (over land mines) down memory lane. Surely my experience will not be the same as yours. I'm the first to acknowledge that I graduated 12 years ago and much has changed in church culture since then, so presumably Bible Colleges, Christian Universities, and Seminaries have also changed. Yet still, I have a hunch that some things will never change.

If you never went to Bible College this will be all new to you. That's fine because I'll hold your hand and lead you gently. If you're one of the lucky few who did attend I'll be more than happy to indulge your guilty pleasure, you name it. Mrs degrees? Briefcases with no real purpose? Delivering a pretend eulogy while a classmate lays on a table next to you, pretending to be dead? If you have an idea or experience, let me know. Otherwise, let the antics begin!


vanilla said...

Many years before you, but attended both a Bible college and later a Christian university.

Bible college: how about the 'demerits' posted on the bulletin board in the ad building for having been seen in the company of a MOTOS on a Sunday afternoon? Off campus.

Anonymous said...

did you seriously have to give a pretend eulogy? while a "dead" classmate listened?!?!? i graduated from bible college 7 years ago and i am very happy that they had already gotten rid of that one!

St├ęphanie said...

ha. the eulogy thing weirds me out little.
Bible college is pretty much the same as you described it, so compare away!

This should be good.

Lady Arbonne said...

4 1/2 years of a Baptist University. No dances, but we did have 'foot functions.' I needed to dance, so off to Mexico for spring break with the football team, seriously, they were all there. We stayed at my aunt's house who doesn't know about bible college, and we all slept on the floor in one tequila induced coma. I got back, and to pay penance went on a mission trip. Something stinks about 'bible college.' At least the football team thought my aunt was cool, hence making me cool.

Skerrib said...

I went to a Christian college, which I think was sort of like a half-brother to Bible college. I was way into the Christian culture and did BSU and all sorts of things. We were pretty progressive because one night a week we would have open dorm & the guys could come visit, as long as the doors were open and all parties had one foot on the floor at all times. Awesome.

Kevin said...

how about the many conversations that sounded like this:

Boy: Hi, I'm Bill. you new here?
Girl: yeah, I'm Lauren, hi.
Boy: so, are you married?

Neyhart said...

On Mrs. degrees and related nonsense:
1) My freshman year the joke I heard was "a ring by spring or your money back"

2) It was a well known "fact" that if you were seen walking around campus together with a member of the opposite sex you were dating (or courting or whatever) and it was a joke that if you walked around the campus 3 times in a certain direction that meant you were engaged.

Dog snob said...

Sounds like I missed a hootin good time...