Frequently Asked Questions

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1 Frequently Asked Questions 1. Is Johnson changing its purpose? 2. Will study of the Bible and the emphasis on preaching be maintained? 3. Why was the name Christian not included in the name? 4. Does this change mean that Johnson is becoming a Christian liberal arts university? 5. Why change the name to include university? 6. What other factors were considered in changing the name to Johnson University? 7. Does dropping Bible from the name mean that Johnson is becoming liberal theologically or is ashamed of its heritage? 8. Will the name Johnson Bible College still be used? 9. Is Johnson changing its name because many sister schools have changed their names to include university? 10. Is Johnson changing its name just to receive more money? 11. Does this change mean that any academic program could be developed at the school? 12. Will adding other programs pull financial resources away from the preaching program? 13. Will this change affect our accreditation? 14. Will this change attract students whose lifestyle and goals are not aligned with our purpose? 15. Will this change ensure that the institution will be a better place?

2 Frequently Asked Questions 1. Is Johnson changing its purpose? No. When the Board of Trustees approved the revised mission statement they affirmed they were maintaining the original purpose of the institution. We are not changing our purpose or values. (Back) 2. Will study of the Bible and the emphasis on preaching be maintained? Yes. We remain committed to our undergraduate curriculum that features a Bible major, a core of general studies courses, and a professional area. Preaching has never received more attention than now. It remains a central academic emphasis as demonstrated by the features below. The two million dollar, twelve thousand square foot Russell Preaching Center opened in 2009, providing state of the art facilities and technology to train preachers. In the 2010 graduating class, 56% of male graduates were on a preaching or missions program. Of the current student population, 57% of men are enrolled in a preaching or missions program. All students in a preaching program receive a preaching scholarship. More scholarships are awarded for preaching than for any other single major. Since 2007, the Merritt Preaching Scholarship has awarded $5,000 scholarships to three or four students annually who excel in preaching. Those in a preaching program take three courses that specifically prepare them in preaching (writing and delivering sermons); five additional courses prepare them for pastoral ministry and leadership. Those in all ministry programs participate in a full time internship in which they serve off campus under an experienced mentor in ministry. Students in all programs, except Teacher Education, take one homiletics course as a part of their core curriculum (females may choose another course). Preaching students participate in the annual National Preaching Summit in Indianapolis. In 2010, twenty seven students and three faculty/staff attended. One faculty member presented a workshop at the summit.

3 Three faculty members focus primarily on teaching preaching and ministry courses. Two additional faculty members teach preaching courses. Four of these five preaching faculty have doctoral degrees; all have ministry experience. Since 1991, the College has hosted an annual preaching lectureship, including distinguished guest lecturers such as Ronald Allen, Michael Duduit, Scott Gibson, J. K. Jones, Robert Shannon, and Myron Taylor. In 2010, the annual preaching lectureship was named the Fred B. Craddock Lectures on Preaching to honor one of Johnson s most distinguished alumni. In 2010 and 2011, the College partnered with the Virginia Evangelizing Fellowship to host a Sermon Writing Seminar in Mechanicsville, Virginia, led in 2010 by Bob Russell and 2011 by Dave Stone. The College has no intention to diminish the emphasis on the pulpit ministry. In fact, a need exists to give even more attention to the ways that preaching differs in the traditional, seeker sensitive, and missional congregations and to introduce students to those distinctives. (Back) 3. Why was the name Christian not included in the name? Because of the priority of taking the Gospel to the unreached, we want to make it easier and safer for alumni to enter closed and limited access countries. Many missionaries have affirmed that our name presented a barrier for alumni wanting to enter some closed and limited access countries. Nearly 3 billion 1 people live among the unreached people groups of the world and have never heard the name of Jesus. Many of these are in countries that are difficult to enter. Therefore, we changed our name to enhance our Great Commission mission by making it easier and safer for alumni to gain entrance to countries that would otherwise be closed. While we realize it may be difficult for some to accept, the priority of taking the gospel to the unreached is why we did not include Christian in our name. (Back) 4. Does this change mean that Johnson is becoming a Christian liberal arts university? No. Christian liberal arts universities follow the cultural mandate of Genesis to subdue creation by preparing students for a wide variety of vocations so they can be salt and light in the world. While important, following the cultural mandate is not our mission. At Johnson, we follow the Great Commission mandate to make disciples among all nations. We will continue to focus on educating students for Christian ministry and vocations that are strategic in helping extend God s Kingdom among all nations. We 1 commission statistics.php March 30, 2011.

4 remain committed to our undergraduate curriculum that features a Bible major, a core of general studies courses, and a professional area. (Back) 5. Why change the name to include university? In many countries outside of the United States, college means high school or technical school. For an institution that wants an international focus, university has much greater currency than college. (Back) Other factors also warrant consideration. Johnson currently offers five master s degrees. We are also leading a partnership with six other sister schools to develop a doctoral level distance learning program. This program targets professors for Christian universities overseas who will educate Christian workers in those countries. (Back) 6. What other factors were considered in changing the name to Johnson University? More accurately reflecting academic quality. Unfortunately, to many in today s world the name Bible college no longer reflects Johnson s longstanding academic excellence, thus presenting a barrier to some who might otherwise enroll or to alumni seeking entrance into some graduate schools. Over 1,400 Bible colleges exist in North America. Johnson is among the less than 10% which are accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education. Fewer than 30 hold regional accreditation. Johnson was the first Bible college accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Honoring the founders. Johnson was retained to maintain continuity with the current name and to continue honoring the founders Ashley and Emma Johnson. In 1909, the student body petitioned Dr. Johnson to change the name from "The School of the Evangelist" to "Johnson Bible College". The reasons cited in the petition related to more accurately reflecting the academic challenge of their courses and honoring the founders. (Back) 7. Does dropping Bible from the name mean that Johnson is becoming liberal theologically or is ashamed of its heritage? Johnson is neither theologically liberal nor ashamed of its name. Our purpose and values have not changed. We maintain a commitment to the faith statement that has been part of the institution since the beginning. These changes are fully consistent with our heritage of educating students to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and our commitment to educational quality as discussed above. (Back)

5 8. Will the name Johnson Bible College still be used? A concept has been discussed that would incorporate the name Johnson Bible College into the academic structure of the institution, but no final decision has been made. (Back) 9. Is Johnson changing its name because many sister schools have changed their names to include university? No. Actually, that these institutions have changed their names makes the prospect more difficult for us. We will surely be seen by some as following the crowd. We have not changed our name because everyone is doing it. We have changed it in order to enhance the accomplishment of our mission. (Back) 10. Is Johnson changing its name just to receive more money? No. We believe some foundations will consider making grants that might not have otherwise, but this is not the reason we are changing the name. While we always want the financial means to accomplish our mission more effectively, the mission is not up for sale. We will not compromise the mission, nor change the name, merely to receive more income. We will still depend heavily on gifts from alumni, friends, and churches to keep the cost of education affordable for students committed to changing our world for Christ. (Back) 11. Does this change mean that any academic program could be developed at the school? No. Not every program would have the potential of being strategic to furthering the Great Commission. We want to choose those programs that engage populations of people not otherwise easily accessible. Furthermore, the College does not have the human and physical resources to add any program. We must be deliberate, strategic, and mission driven. (Back) 12. Will adding other programs pull financial resources away from the preaching program? No. Good strategic planning requires that new programs must be built on a sound business plan without adversely impacting the financial viability of any existing program. Any new programs must provide funds from student enrollment or from other sources to cover the additional expenses created by those programs. (Back) 13. Will this change affect our accreditation? No. We will continue to be accredited by the Association of Biblical Higher Education and the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. (Back)

6 14. Will this change attract students whose lifestyle and goals are not aligned with our purpose? If anything, this change should attract more students who are interested in a Great Commission ministry or vocation. We will still focus on a holistic approach which is part of the heritage of the school a focus on spiritual formation, biblical knowledge, and ministry skills. (Back) 15. Will this change ensure that the institution will be a better place? No. The institution cannot be a better place unless it demonstrates faithfulness to its heritage and mission. It cannot become a better place by merely putting words in a document. The change does provide, however, an opportunity to prepare men and women for a wider Great Commission ministry than does the current structure. (Back)

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