CONSOLIDATION ADVANTAGES FOR CBC STUDENTS
Dr. George O. Wood
Spiritual Influence. Often ministerial students have a greater sense of call and devotional life than those
studying for other professions. An integration of ministerial students with those studying for other professions
provides a great opportunity for ministerial students to have significant spiritual influence on their peers. In
turn, ministerial students gain the benefit of interacting with those studying for other professions.
Social integration and life-long networking. Mutual benefits are formed when students studying for ministry
and other professions are brought together in classes, living areas and social centers. Friendships formed on
campus lead to life-long networking opportunities. Many of the students studying for professions will
ultimately become local church leaders, and prove to be a valuable contact from their ministerial friends seeking
placement opportunities in the future. An intangible benefit is that studying side by side with students entering
the professions provides the building of mutual confidence and respect for one another in subsequent years
spent within the life of the church. Such experiences can prove valuable in building effective pastor-board and
pastor-lay relationships [I know this from personal experience.] Further, a larger student body provides
opportunity for a wider choice in dating relationships.
Expanded educational opportunities. Consolidation will permit a far larger range of electives for ministerial
students and a greater variety of faculty to choose from. These expanded educational opportunities will also
include foreign study programs, a wider variety of short-term missionary trips at home and overseas, and a
broader extra-curricular venue of clubs and associations.
Missionary work and service abroad. Increasingly missionaries are noticing that foreign governments and
national churches place a higher premium on university degrees. In some countries, a Bible school diploma can
actually prove to be a barrier in obtaining a resident visa. Further, national churches around the world have
their own equivalent Bible school programs and are looking to receive missionaries who have obtained a higher
level of degree and training than they themselves offer.
Short-cut for Master of Divinity. Through consolidation, at least one year can be eliminated from the present 4
year undergrad and 3 year M.Div. program. Through integration of curriculum on the graduate and
undergraduate level, one year of the M. Div. program can be eliminated; and possibly even two years (3 years
college, 2 years M.Div.). This represents a considerable savings of time and money for the student.
Consolidation also provides dual enrollment opportunities in graduate courses by undergraduate students.
Reduced costs. Through efficient consolidation of administration, faculty, staff and programs, operational costs
of the school can be reduced with the prospect that increases in student costs can be kept as minimal as possible
or even reduced.
Learning/teaching opportunity. When CBC students enter vocational ministry they will become change agents
in their churches. Youth pastors, children’s pastors, senior pastors will all be urging their churches to grow.
Growth will require a lot of flex and change. Long established churches often have difficulty growing because
they are unwilling or don’t know how to change. This opportunity for consolidation gives CBC students a first-
hand opportunity to experientially learn how to process change, how to let go of the past – as good as it was – to
embrace a future than is even better. Such an experience will be invaluable as they enter vocational ministry
and help churches grow and accommodate change.
The consolidation will not affect the present senior and junior classes as the consolidation would not take place
until the school year 2012-13. Thus the classes of 2011 and 2012 are unaffected.
The present classes of 2013 and 2014 (and future class of 2015) will see little change in their curriculum as the
school catalog under which they enter is determinative in terms of their curricular path. These students,
however, will begin to benefit from a broader social and extra-curricular interaction and elective offerings.
These classes also will be part of something historic, and in later life will be able to look back and say, “I was
there when a great new opportunity opened up to future generations of students. I helped make the student
DNA of a great university.”
A consolidated university will be able to offer more curricular choices for future students through digital
delivery systems and multi-location venues that utilize the connectivity now possible through live streaming.