When considering the question as to “Why Attend Heritage Bible College?” the three considerations to be made must be (1) the purpose of Heritage Bible College, (2) the programs of Heritage Bible College, (3) and the pros of attending Heritage Bible College as described by the students themselves.
The Heritage Bible College Timeline
Heritage Bible College began as a dream by Pastor Ryan Ralston and a few key influencers. It has since become a growing college that desires to prepare young people for the calling of ministry.
Here is a brief timeline of the events of leading to Heritage Bible College’s inception.
It began under Pastor Ryan Ralston’s leadership in 2014 by a group of members of the Savannah Holy Church of God who felt the need for an accredited Pentecostal Holiness college in the southern United States.
This mothering church had been founded in May of 1943 by Reverend C.M. Butler. Currently, the congregation has approximately 250 active members.
Heritage Seminary applied for and received “Religious Exemption” status in August of 2014.
This designation allows us to operate in the state of Georgia as an institution of higher learning but with certain restrictions dealing with types of degrees offered, type of institution, etc.
The official start date for Heritage Seminary was the fall of 2014 with a small number of students.
On February 18, 2015, Heritage Seminary applied to become an “Affiliated Member” with the Accreditation of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE).
The first class of Heritage Seminary graduated May 17, 2015.
Sept 26th, 2017 Heritage Seminary received “Applicant Status” with ABHE.
Heritage Seminary changed its name to Heritage Bible College in 2019 reflecting its development and is no longer considered a new institution with the state of Georgia.
Heritage Bible College’s accreditation team continues to work tirelessly towards becoming fully accredited through ABHE. Updates on this process can be found at our website
Thus, when considering the question as to “Why Heritage Bible College?” the three considerations to be made must be the purpose of Heritage Bible College, the programs of Heritage Bible College, and the pros of attending Heritage Bible College as described by the students themselves.
The Purpose Of Heritage Bible College
As stated in Heritage Bible College’s mission statement,
“The mission of Heritage Bible College is to equip students with professional competence, academic distinction, and an informed Biblical worldview so that they will be set apart as people whose experience is Pentecostal, whose standard is holiness, and whose goal is excellence in all things for the Glory of God.”
This mission can be broken down into three distinct parts that illustrate the mission and purpose of Heritage Bible College.
First, it is important that students possess professional competence and exhibit evidence of having mastered core competencies and acquired knowledge related to their field of study.
Second, it is important students possess academic distinction by exhibiting a high degree of information literacy and communication skills, an introductory understanding of a broad range of subjects, an ability to learn on one’s own, and a lifelong passion to continue learning.
Third, it is important students possess an informed biblical worldview through the following ways:
- by exhibiting evidence of being Christ-centered through knowledge of the Bible,
- through active and faithful involvement in church,
- through personal testimony and lifestyle;
- by exhibiting evidence of Christian character through the internalization of the Biblical principles taught by Heritage and respect for its core values and the faith and practices from the Pentecostal Holiness worldview;
- by exhibiting evidence of commitment to ministry,
- regardless of the educational field or profession, by faithful participation in ministry opportunities of the local church and global evangelism.
Heritage Bible College currently offers three programs to enrolled students.
- Certificate in Christian Foundations,
- Bachelor in Biblical Studies,
- Bachelor in Education.
All program descriptions and course offerings can be found by visiting our website.
Certificate in Christian Foundations
The Certificate in Christian Foundations was designed to develop students in its one-year program that they might possess a greater understanding of the defense of their beliefs before entering into secular college.
The vast majority of Christian young people find themselves ill-equipped to defend their beliefs in an appropriate manner as freshmen facing a college professor or fellow classmates. This program was designed to help students become more grounded in their faith before facing these challenges.
The Certificate in Christian Foundations program objectives are as follows:
- develop a deepening appreciation and knowledge of the Scriptures from a Pentecostal Holiness worldview;
- acquire the foundational skills necessary for various educational and church ministries;
- and exhibit evidence of being Christ-centered, active and faithful involvement in church, and personal testimony and lifestyle.
Bachelor in Biblical Studies
The Bachelor of Biblical Studies program was designed to develop young men and women in their understanding and interpretation of the Scriptures.
Differentiation is made within this program for young men that are preachers and young women who desire to grow in their knowledge of God’s Word.
The Bachelor of Biblical Studies program objectives are as follows:
- demonstrate effectiveness in oral and written communication;
- critically and constructively apply a Pentecostal Holiness worldview as it relates to church disciplines in contemporary society;
- demonstrate knowledge of the Bible and church history with the purpose of ministry application;
- and develop fundamental leadership skills for ministry and service in a local church.
Bachelor in Education
The Bachelor of Education was designed to train Christian educators in an early elementary setting through lesson planning, classroom management, and mentorships with experienced teachers.
Heritage Bible College partners with Butler Christian Academy, the K-12 school on campus, to provide students with practical experience and training.
The Bachelor of Education program objectives are as follows:
- cultivate a biblically based philosophy of education that integrates biblical truths into curricular areas;
- employ instructional methods, concepts, technologies, and strategies that contribute to an effective learning environment for all disciplines of study;
- obtain knowledge and evaluate current educational methods, theories, and trends from a Biblical worldview;
- and become proficient in teaching skills through classroom experience and student teaching.
The Pros Of Attending Heritage Bible College
The administration decided there were no better respondents to ask as to the pros of attending Heritage Bible College than the students themselves.
Some of the common themes provided by our students are:
The ability to Transfer to graduate programs after receiving an undergraduate degree at Heritage.
Several of the alumni have been able to transfer to Luther Rice Seminary and Piedmont International University and continue directly into their master’s programs.
Heritage Bible College is seeking to obtain memorandum agreements with other institutions so that they will accept Heritage’s credits as well.
The location of Heritage Bible College as being a pro of attending.
Heritage Bible College is located in historic Savannah. Our location is near shopping, the beach, and restaurants.
Another student also mentioned the facilities.
The girls occupy a 19-bedroom, two-story dorm that was built in 2018, and the boys will occupy a mirroring 19-bedroom dorm that is being built this summer.
The classrooms are updated with Interactive White Boards and technology for the teachers and students to use. The cafeteria is available, and the staff serves 10 meals a week for students.
The Hezekiah Polk Library is another great resource for student learning that has 11,000 volumes and is continually growing.
Another positive of attending Heritage Bible College is the practical ministry experiences.
The choir tours twice a year visiting various churches and allowing students to preach and sing.
In the past, Heritage has also performed Christmas plays that have been a great outreach opportunity for students.
The students participate in nursing home services and door-to-door visitations on a weekly basis and are involved in ministries with the local homeless ministry and food bank as well.
All students are also granted the opportunity to travel on mission trips each year in February. The places HBC has visited thus far include:
- Dominican Republic,
- and Panama.
These trips have proven to be impactful on the missionaries as well as the students as they are introduced to different cultures and the global church.
What The Students Say
When asked why they chose to attend Heritage, students replied:
“I chose Heritage to further my knowledge of the Bible, have a full understanding of Holiness, and to comprehend the willingness of ministry.”
“I chose HBC because it is a place that will help me fulfill my calling.”
“I chose to attend Heritage Bible College to affirm what I believe in as a Pentecostal Christian and to follow after the will of the Lord.”
“I chose Heritage Bible College based on the credibility of its leaders, the reputation of the home church and its congregation, and the dedication of the school to become accredited.”
“I came to Heritage to dedicate this time in my life to further develop my relationship with God and ground myself in His Word.”
These responses show various reasons, but a common theme. Heritage has proven to be a place for setting apart oneself for the calling of ministry.
Why Attend Heritage Bible College
The three pillars the faculty strive to instill in the students are to
- and ignite.
The instruction occurs through the classroom setting where students grow in their academic knowledge;
the inspiration occurs through the examples the instructors provide and forming relationships demonstrating true Christian service;
and the students are ignited through the working power of the Holy Ghost in the classroom and church services.
The administration and faculty realize the importance of spiritual development, and this aspect takes precedent over all other activities.
Several of the current students have been filled with the Holy Ghost for the first time since attending Heritage.
Other students have continued to grow in their walk and devotion with the Lord through church services, biweekly prayer meetings, and biweekly dorm devotions.
For disclosure as the editor of BeYeHoly.org, be aware that my youngest son attended and graduated from Free Gospel Bible Institute. He graduated in 2019.