Essay / Education

STUDY at BIOLA (1941)

I don’t have an image of it, but here is the nifty text from an ad in Biola’s King’s Business magazine from August 1941, p. 307. The ad invites prospective students to come to the Bible Institute of Los Angeles, which had not yet started using the neologism “Biola” but occasionally did refer to itself with the initials B.I.O.L.A. And in the spirit of acronyms, the ad invited people to S.T.U.D.Y. there.

STUDY stands for Set for the defense of the gospel, Trained for service, Understanding the scriptures, Developed for leadership, and Yielded to Christ. Here is the extended ad copy that connects the curriculum to the acronym more specifically:

Set for the defense of the gospel (Studies in Apologetics and Bible Doctrine will stabilize your faith and prepare you to “give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you.”),

Trained for service, (Three-Year Courses: General, Christian Ed, Music. Four-Year Courses: Bible Collegiate, Christian Education, Music Collegiate, Missionary),

Understanding the scriptures (Classes in Bible Synthesis, Analysis, and original languages form a basis for more effective service and Christian living),

Developed for leadership (Public speaking, personal evangelism instruction, musical training, practical Christian work, and opportunities for extra-curricular activity develop the student for active leadership in Christian work),

Yielded to Christ (Devotions, prayer, meditation, and fellowship lift the student to higher ground in spiritual life. Conferences and missionary messages challenge him to life-surrender)

This is a great sketch of a course of study. I love how it is both narrow (Bible Bible Bible) and holistic (public speaking, musical training, apologetics). I love the balance between “trained for service” and “developed for leadership.” A Bible Institute is not the same thing as a college or university, and Biola is now a University with a range of graduate programs. But it’s easy to see how the visionaries behind the Bible Institute of Los Angeles would soon turn their attention to bigger ideas of what it takes to train (with skills) and develop (with breadth) Christian workers to serve the mission of the church.


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