The Old Testament admonishes us to love the Lord, our God, with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Jesus in the New Testament reminds us to love our neighbor as our selves. Both of these scriptural truths are foundational to the mission of the Biblical Studies Department which is dedicated to building a strong foundation on biblical truth and a solid Christian worldview gaining an understanding of who God is and our unique relation and role in His divine, redemptive plan are central not only to effective ministry, but also to godly living.
The Biblical Studies Department seeks to acquaint students with the tools for Bible study, to foster lifelong habits of study for personal devotion and holiness; to impart biblical study skills and truth for Christian ministry and other vocations; and to prepare students for seminary or graduate school.
The emphasis is on an integrated view of God's Word and the Bible's role in God's revealed truth. The more we know of God through His divine and holy Word, the more we are able to love Him and others as we are told to do. A thorough understanding of Scripture and God's redemptive work is essential for those called to ministry in the Church and for those called to work among the general public in various areas of expertise, from counseling to business leadership to fields in the arts and sciences. The Department is committed to an integrated and comprehensive approach to biblical study so as to provide a solid platform on which to build Kingdom work.
The program of study offers courses in Old Testament, New Testament and theology that challenge and engage the student, leading to personal and social transformation. The approach emphasizes careful reading of the texts while learning the broader contexts of culture and language, both in biblical times and today. The overarching concern is to recognize the correlation between individual passages to the whole of biblical revelation throughout history, applying biblical understanding and a Christian worldview to today's needs, personally and corporately. The emphasis is placed on developing the student's own abilities to observe specifically, accurately, and thoroughly both the content and the structure of scriptural units (critical reading), to reason inferentially and validly from evidence gathered (critical thinking), and to connect this individual study of Scripture with the larger conversation that encompasses both primary and secondary sources, acknowledging that Scripture is alive and active today and is not simply of historical interest. We testify to God's transformative power as expressed through His Word and evidenced in our lives.
Biblical Studies Department Goals:
- Use contextual critical reading skills to define the meaning of a passage;
- Understand the linguistic framework for clarifying the meaning of the text;
- Understand the scriptural passage as part of God's story as He speaks into history and culture;
- Identify and appropriate biblical and theological material that disclose God's character attributes and His purpose and divine will for His people;
- Apply the task of biblical interpretation to the life of the Christian and the Church in the world;
- Incorporate insights from every aspect of the biblical study into the contexts of students' lives, flowing from a holy devotion to the reading, study, application and celebration of Scripture.
- Learn the various genres of biblical writing and where they apply (historical narrative, poetry, prophetic writing, parables, apocalyptic literature, etc.)
Concentration in Worship, Music, and Media
Rationale: Worship is central to the Christian faith and music is an important aspect of worship. Many of our students at Pillar are worship leaders in the church and in other settings. There are conferences and workshops available for worship leaders. However, there is a lack of opportunity for a formal education at a Christian institution of higher education in music worship ministry. Many music departments at Christian schools do not focus on the practical aspects of leading contemporary music worship in the local church.
- BIBL/THEO: Ecclesiology: Biblical Foundations of Worship
- BIBL/OL: Leadership/Administration: Leading Worship in a Church Setting
- BIBL/COMM: Technology/Media - Production
- BIBL/ COMM - Creative Worship
Concentration in Youth Ministry
Rationale: The youth are the future of our churches. Most churches have a special ministry to youth. Most of youth ministry is learned by one the job training. There is a great need to supplement practical experience with formal classroom training in youth ministry at a Christian institution of higher education.
- BIBL: Survey of Youth Ministry
- BIBL/COUN: Counseling Youth and Families
- BIBL/ORGL: Strategies for Youth Ministry
- BIBL/COMM: Communication Dynamic with Youth