Faith Builders serves the church by training students for a lifetime of ministry. Our two-year tracks of study are the most focused way in which we work toward that goal.
A new group of students begins their two-year course of study in August 2016. These men and women embark on a rigorous program of study carefully planned to nurture their love of God, cultivate servanthood, and equip them with practical skills. This study follows three tracks: Teacher Apprenticing, Christian Ministries, and General Studies.
Teacher Apprenticing introduces students to the attitudes, habits, and skills necessary for successful teaching in Christian day schools. Through a combination of theoretical and practical training, this track of study aims to develop Godly teachers who can both teach academic content and model a virtuous lifestyle.
The need for preparation before teaching is clear. Teacher Apprenticing serves to fill that need. Less clear, however, is the value of the training provided through General Studies and Christian Ministries. We believe that this training significantly increases the potential of men and women to serve Jesus and proclaim the Gospel wherever they live their lives.
General Studies prepares students to navigate college successfully. No matter the course of study, the climate in colleges and universities is not friendly to faith. Lectures and classroom interactions raise questions about truth, reality, and faith, all from a mindset that devalues faith in Jesus Christ. When young people enter this environment without first understanding their faith, they open themselves to failure in ministry and loss of faith. Many students who enter college find themselves unequipped to face the challenges to their faith. Study at Faith Builders lays a solid foundation of Scripture, ethics, and philosophy all within the context of Anabaptism. Faith Builders offers a faith-friendly environment in which to consider questions about truth, reality, and faith.
Through the credit recommendations offered for Faith Builders coursework, the General Studies track provides a significant portion of the work required in a four-year college degree. Students who pursue further training in areas such as English, history, or teaching will likely be able to receive 55-60 transfer credits toward a four-year degree, depending on the institution they choose.
Christian Ministries equips students for a lifetime of service in both their local congregations and around the world. Many young people desire to invest their lives in something that matters, but they often pursue that with little preparation. Fortunately, our heritage gives us a strong foundation for Christian living, and this wholesome lifestyle opens doors for ministry. Unfortunately, as we engage in ministry we often find that we struggle to offer compelling answers to people we meet. In fact, at times our own faith suffers as we ponder the challenges raised by these interactions.
With the increasing globalization of society and the growing interest in urban ministry, people in all stages of life have opportunities to engage in cross-cultural ministry. No longer must we travel to another country to interact with someone of another faith—we meet those men and women in the grocery stores, gas stations, coffee shops, and libraries of even our small towns. Whether businessman or homemaker, pastor or children’s ministry worker, Anabaptists have the opportunity, sparked by their Godly lifestyle, to speak truth into the hearts of many. This does not require formal avenues of outreach: in a society that is moving further from biblical principles, simply engaging in the routine activities of life provides a platform. The mother with her preschoolers in tow has opportunity at the checkout counter to share a Godly perspective on family and children. The crew leader on the job faces ethical questions; his decisions may plant a seed in the heart of customers or other contractors. Our actions provide the opportunities; our words clarify the message. Too often, fear of difficult questions prevents us from taking these opportunities to share our faith in words.
Indeed, our routine interactions bring us into contact with men and women who raise challenges to our faith:
The Muslim who believes that the doctrine of the Trinity results in idolatry by worshiping more than one god;
The woman who has just learned that her unborn child will likely have serious health problems and is contemplating having an abortion;
The postmodern youth who cheerfully allows room for “your truth” but refuses to acknowledge objective truth that applies for all;
The openly gay couple that wants to rent an apartment or purchase services from Christian providers;
The divorced young man who has given his life to the Lord but whose wife has remarried, and now he struggles with remaining single.
The course content included in the Christian Ministries track and the interaction with trusted instructors provide a framework out of which to offer answers to these questions. Courses like Old Testament Survey, Anabaptist Life & Thought, Ethics, and Worldviews seek to cultivate the ability to offer compelling answers to these questions.
The heritage of faithfulness found in Anabaptist communities provides a foundation on which to build. Investing in preparation builds on that foundation and equips students to face the challenges they will encounter in future ministry opportunities. Two years of training pays dividends over a lifetime of service.
Those interested in enrolling should submit an application, which is available from the office or at www.fbep.org/academics/semester. Information about available scholarships is at www.fbep.org/admissions/scholarships.
To discuss these options with a staff member, call 814-789-4518 extension 224 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.