Educational Philosophy

Bridges Christian College and Seminary exists to cultivate hearts, to prepare minds, and to develop skills of Spirit-empowered leaders for practical and academic ministry to fulfill the Great Commission. Within scripture, the concept of discipleship and teaching has a rich Biblical provenance. At the very core of the matter, the ministry of teaching can be seen as one of the primary roles of the ministry. Ephesians 4:11 describes God’s actions with respect to the five-fold ministry of the church as a gift to the church. The next verse also defines the purpose and intent of this gift as being: “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12). We, therefore, view our primary purpose as educators as fulfilling and facilitating God’s provision for the church corporately through the gift of the role of the teacher to equip and build up the Body of Christ with the ultimate end goal being the fulfillment of the great commission by the student population of Bridges Christian College & Seminary.

We further maintain that the complex nature of the Gospel dictates the need for an equally diverse means of teaching. This diversity in teaching aligns with our mission of cultivating the hearts and minds of Spirit-empowered leaders. The ministries within scripture show instruction through both effective communication and experiential learning. Bridges Christian College & Seminary maintains the need for our students to learn through diverse instructional strategies, close relationships with instructors who are passionate about discipleship, and experiential learning using multicultural outreaches and in-context practicums specific to the unique divine calling of the student.

Bridges Christian College & Seminary believes that the New Testament dictates a clear classical Pentecostal distinction for vocational, bi-vocational, and lay ministry levels. This aligns directly with our mission of cultivating the hearts and minds of Spirit-empowered leaders. The Pentecostal distinction is such that it is evident in all aspects and demonstrations of ministry described in the New Testament after the events in Acts 2. Because of this, we maintain unapologetically, unreservedly, and without compromise a traditional, biblical, and classical Pentecostal viewpoint in all coursework, curriculum, and instruction that embraces the fullness of the movement of the Holy Spirit in the current modern ministry context. Because we operate from a traditional and Biblical perspective of Pentecostalism, we define our perspective of classical Pentecostalism by the experience of the subsequent work of grace that is the Baptism in the Holy Spirit as evidenced by the sign of speaking in tongues as the Spirit of God gives utterance. The purpose of Pentecostal gifts (Acts 2; 1 Corinthians 12; 14) given by the directive of Christ surrounding the fulfillment of the Great Commission (Acts 1:8; 2:1) drives our purpose in ministry and the mission of our students as they fulfill their divine calling.

We maintain that the Bible is absolute, complete, and total in its coverage. The Bible is the all-sufficient guide for faith and daily living and answers every issue faced by any society past, present, and future. This view of the inerrancy and infallibility of scripture serves as the foundation of our mission to cultivate the hearts and prepare the minds of Spirit-empowered leaders. As such, we believe that the Holy Scriptures offer solutions to every dynamic social issue that arises. Because of this, we maintain the following perspectives in our instruction and discipleship of future Christian leaders:

● We recognize the commandment of scripture love and respect all people. Our courses emphasize the need for our students to reach all people groups regardless of age, gender, or viewpoint. We also, however, simultaneously recognize and maintain Christ’s commandments on loving God by keeping his commandments and statutes. Therefore, we maintain the need to love and respect without tolerating, affirming, or compromising on clearly defined issues by a traditional and literal interpretation of the Bible.

● Bridges Christian College and Seminary develops Pentecostal students of spiritual discernment who model Jesus in their communities. We recognize that racism and hatred are sins that are matters of the heart. These are directly in conflict with the totality of God’s word and the love of God’s heart. Christ demonstrated this robustly through his ministry, and this was demonstrated in the Pentecostal context as all who were present were Baptized in the Holy Spirit in Acts 2 regardless of race or gender. However, we choose to define the notion of equality through the aspect of the Biblical perspective that all human beings are created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27) and all believers are purchased by the blood of Jesus through His work on the Cross (Revelation 7:9). Scripture clearly establishes that believers should love their neighbors (Matthew 22:39). We, therefore, reject the need to pollute and diminish the robust biblical definition of equality through definitions established by cultural trends, popular ideas, or societal initiatives and movements.

● Bridges Christian College and Seminary will educate students to be Christian ministers and leaders who fully discern and engage their communities, bringing glory to God. We recognize the need for compassion, grace, and the meeting of needs and believe this to be the fulfillment of being the hands and feet of Jesus. We maintain a need to train our students to do this through both the theory presented in class and the hands-on application through college outreaches and individual practicums.  We maintain the need to approach cultural movements and philosophies from a traditional, conservative, and biblical worldview to preserve the integrity of the application of scripture to modern contexts.

● We believe that Christians and ministers of the Gospel should actively advocate for God’s will and heart for all people. While we are sympathetic to the concerns of the hearts of those in our communities, we reject the need to ally ourselves with groups that promote hatred for one’s enemies rather than love (Matthew 5:43-48), division rather than Christ-like unity (John 17), offense rather than forgiveness (Matthew 18:21-22), hostility rather than peacemaking (James 3:18), and dishonor rather than a display of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:13-26).In conclusion, Bridges Christian College & Seminary passionately cultivates hearts, prepares minds, and develops skills of Spirit-empowered leaders for practical and academic ministry to fulfill the Great Commission. We champion the preparation and equipping of Spirit-filled and empowered students to serve as leaders in practical church ministry based on both biblical and contemporary principles and practices. We proudly operate from a position of biblical basis, Pentecostal distinction, and biblically defined traditional values. This position permeates and defines our collective worldview and is woven into the tapestry of all curriculum and instruction.