One of Few
Nazarene Bible College is one of the ten Nazarene institutions of higher education in the United States. It is one of the two institutions charged by the denomination with the relatively exclusive task of preparing ministers rather than with the broader assignment of providing liberal arts education for both laity and clergy. It is the only U.S. institution of the Church of the Nazarene given the responsibility and funding to deliver multicultural contextual education. Graduates of the four-year Bachelor of Arts in Ministry degree, with a major in Pastoral Ministries, meet denominational requirements for ordination to the ministry.
The College Founded
The General Assembly of the Church of the Nazarene, in session at Portland, Oregon, in June 1964, authorized the opening of Nazarene Bible College during the following quadrennium. A board of trustees was elected, and Dr. Charles H. Strickland was chosen as the first president. To serve a nation-wide church, Colorado Springs, Colorado was chosen as the site for the college.
The College Opens
Nazarene Bible College, established in 1964 by the Church of the Nazarene, provides the "study of the Bible and Bible-related subjects contributing to individual spiritual growth and understanding and effective Christian service" (1967-68 NBC Catalog). Dr. Charles Strickland, the college's founding president, together with his team of administrators and faculty opened the doors to what became known as "NBC' in 1967 to students who made their way across the country to enroll and study at the yet-to-be–built facilities on the campus in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Dr. L.S. Oliver succeeded Dr. Strickland as president in 1972. Dr. Oliver served until 1984 when Dr. Jerry Lambert followed him as president. Dr. Hiram Sanders became the college's fourth president in 1994, serving until 2006. Dr. Harold Graves, Jr., NBC's fifth president, served for fifteen years until his retirement in 2021. Dr. Scott Sherwood was elected in 2021, taking office in July of that year.
From the outset, Nazarene Bible College has fulfilled its mandate to provide "ministerial training in the important area of adult education" (1967-68 NBC Catalog). Innovative schedules and teaching methods designed for adult learners have been the standard for the school. Establishing online education in 1998 and becoming a fully online institution in 2017 continued NBC's legacy of effective adult education. Today, NBC students complete their education wherever their internet connections intersect with the college online.
The college was granted applicant status by the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) in 1972, candidate status in 1974, and accreditation in 1976. Nazarene Bible College has maintained accreditation ever since.
Nazarene Bible College was chartered by the State of Colorado as a non-profit educational institution in 1967. It was approved by the Colorado Department of Education to grant degrees under Section 124-21-3 CS '63 (1965 Supp.) in 1970. The four-year Bachelor of Arts in Ministry (B.A.Min.) degree and the two-year Associate of Arts in Ministry (A.A.Min.) degree have been approved by the state.
In 1970, the college was approved by the United States Department of Justice for the education of foreign students. It has been certified since 1975 by the Department of Education for eligibility to participate in federally-sponsored student aid programs.
In 2006, the college was granted regional accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The accreditation has been maintained ever since.
Decentralization of the college's operations began in June 2017. The administrative team moved to the Church of the Nazarene's Global Ministry Center in Lenexa, Kansas. Campus courses moved to facilities leased from Colorado Springs First Church of the Nazarene. The school's Information Technology center remained on the college's original campus. NBC's students, 95% of whom study online, complete their courses wherever their internet connection intersects with the college's learning management system.
The New NBC
Nazarene Bible College from its beginning has been innovative in its approach to preparing adults for ministry in the Church.
- We were the first bible college established by the Church of the Nazarene for the purpose of preparing men and women for ministry in the United States.
- In the 1980's we decentralized our educational model by partnering with districts across the US to offer ministerial education preparation for students where they lived.
- In 1998, we were the first Nazarene institution to offer a higher education degree online.
Entering our 51st year, NBC opened an exciting new chapter in the life of the college. The school is transitioning to a distance education model with a leaner organizational structure, a relocated center of operations, outsourced support services, and a full-time faculty that serves the college from remote locations.
The New NBC now has administrative operations located at the Church of the Nazarene's Global Ministry Center (GMC) in Lenexa, Kansas; full-time faculty telecommuting with the college and their students; and mission critical computer system servers also located in Colorado Springs, Colorado along with IT support staff, and some administrative office space.
Nazarene Bible College continues to be a leader in training men and women for ministry. The New NBC remains committed to our mission of glorifying Jesus Christ as Lord by preparing adults to evangelize, disciple, and minister to the world.