Are you a person yearning to not just love God, but to do something about it?
There is a place you can go where self-awareness is celebrated, diversity is embraced, divides are closed, and a spirit of humility is fostered.
The College of Biblical Studies, with a campus right here in Houston, might be just what you are seeking. With programs that address all that our nation is facing right now, and an atmosphere that President Dr. Bill Blocker describes as “personal enrichment times 100,” the college is for those seeking to bring their faith to the forefront of their lives.
“Our students are people coming on the precipice of a cognitive awareness to find purpose or meaning in life and contribute to the call of Christ,” said Blocker. “They want to do more than they’ve been doing. They are seeking more. They are people from all walks of life, from teachers to directors to police officers, and the average age is 38-43.”
Dr Bill Blocker
Only 35% are students who plan to become full-time ministers. The rest are people like you and me who want to DO something, who are looking to make a change in their community, family or themselves. They want relational wisdom to handle anything life throws at them, and they want to be in the trenches, serving the underserved.
“We have a different philosophy,” Blocker explained, when asked how CBS is different from other colleges. “We resemble the statue of liberty – we have no stipulations. Give me your passion for Christ and we’ll help you find purpose. This echoes through the halls of CBS. Other schools are training people to make a great living and help transform others, which is good. We are transforming our students on the inside. We focus on character, competency, and compassion, not on making a million dollars.”
Blocker says that crucial to the program is helping students find their spirit of humility, so most work behind the scenes, volunteering with quiet dispositions. “They are peacemakers,” he said. “If Houston didn’t have us, you would have tragedy like you are seeing in other cities like Portland and Kenosha. What’s lacking there is cultural understanding and sensitivity. We bring people together to learn from each other, not just from a professor, then encourage them to pay it forward.”
One program offered at CBS is particularly applicable to the turmoil we are currently facing as a nation. Grace Relations is a community of individuals, churches, and ministries that is passionate about applying the grace of God to conversations about race and ethnicity – grace relations, not race relations. The purpose of this ministry is to address the racial injustices from a Biblical standpoint.
Blocker described the philosophy behind the program: “We want to get to the root cause of the civil unrest we are currently seeing once we take politics and the media out of the equation and concentrate on what the Bible says. We approach it from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians stating that we are all united in Christ. There’s only one race and all the other categories are man-made. The Gentiles were dead in Christ, socially alienated, but Christ unified them. I have to be God-aware. Who I am in Christ?”
Given what we are up against, Blocker said, “I am compelled to unite with other believers to ensure that we break down man-made barriers. Our program is about sitting down and teaching people to be culturally sensitive, ethically sensitive, and aware of what God has called us to fulfill.”
Blocker describes CBS as the heartbeat of Houston. “It is a place where it doesn’t matter where you come from; the unifying component is Christ. We have cross-pollination that represents Houston like none other. Students say they are here because they get to live out their faith in a community that represents what Christ looks like. We embrace diversity in a loving and peaceful manner and in a way that glorifies God and transforms lives.”
For more information about The College of Biblical Studies, visit www.cbshouston.edu/. The school is now offering an Emerging Leaders Scholarship Program. This is a full tuition-paid scholarship offered to young Christian men who have experienced father absence, or who are living without a positive role model in their home. The candidate must be referred by their pastor, and can earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree (or both). Tuition is fully paid. Currently in its pilot year, the program plans to expand to include women.
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