Reformation Bible College (RBC) is located in Sanford, Florida, just 30 minutes north of Orlando. It’s a perfect setting for students to grow in their knowledge of God while enjoying both His creation and the culture of Central Florida. Students have quick access to the scenic wilderness preserves and waterways of Seminole County. Sanford’s historic downtown is vibrant with restaurants, art galleries, antique shops, and a palm-lined promenade along the shoreline of Lake Monroe. Movie theatres, bookstores, a marina, zoo, and one of the largest malls in Central Florida are readily available “close to home.” Nearby, the large city of Orlando features world-famous theme parks such as Disney World, Universal Studios Florida, SeaWorld Orlando, and Gatorland.
RBC’s campus sits on 42 acres of prime lakefront property adjacent to the international headquarters of Dr. R.C. Sproul’s Ligonier Ministries and the majestic architecture of Saint Andrew’s Church, where Sproul is co-pastor. The distinctly Reformed college was founded by Dr. Sproul in January 2009 as a subsidiary of Ligonier Ministries, continuing the Ligonier tradition of teaching Christians to think deeply, critically, and obediently about every aspect of faith by mining the riches of Scripture.
Both institution and curriculum adhere to the centuries-old tradition of the reformers and are aimed at providing disciples of Christ the proper foundation to glorify God, proclaim God’s kingdom, and foster an ongoing reformation throughout their lives and in their churches, homes, and workplaces. The cornerstone of academics at RBC is rigorous study of God’s Word—holding that the living and active Word of God is still the greatest need in the world today. RBC offers a deep, meaningful encounter with the author of history, the source of truth, and the sustainer of faith. “For we know that when the Bible is taught clearly, God is seen in all of His majesty and holiness, and hearts are conquered, minds renewed, and communities transformed.”
In addition to studying the Bible and the doctrines of historic Reformed theology, RBC’s academics are rooted in the grand tradition of classical education through a Great Works emphasis. You will study the great works of art, literature, philosophy, theology, and music from a Christian perspective. With a critical eye formed by God’s eternal truths found in Scripture, you will be equipped to discern good from evil, truth from falsehood, and beauty from ugliness—providing a framework from which to examine everything you learn in college and beyond. This foundation prepares you for success in pursuing any vocation to which God has called you.
RBC’s degree programs are specifically designed to give graduates a thorough knowledge of the English Bible; an introduction to basic principles of hermeneutics (text interpretation); a basic grounding in systematic, biblical, and historical theology; and an appreciation and knowledge of the context of Scripture throughout church history and in the broader history of ideas. Knowledge of the classic works of literature, philosophy, and music is essential to basic literacy; many of these works also shaped the intellectual world within which the great theologians of the church lived and wrote.
RBC offers bachelor’s degrees in Biblical Studies, Theological Studies, and Sacred Music, as well as an Associate of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies. A degree completion is available for people who already have at least 60 hours of well rounded undergraduate studies or an Associate of Arts degree at another institution. These students can then take 60 hours of RBC’s core Biblical and Theological courses and be awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biblical and Theological Studies.
RBC is not presently accredited, which is not unusual for a new institution since the process ordinarily takes several years to complete. In general, the benefits of accreditation are that it indicates that the school provides a quality education, that its credits will transfer to other schools, and that it is eligible to participate in the federal student loan program. According to the RBC Academic Catalog, “Because of the high standards set for RBC’s administration and faculty, we are poised to be considered “accredited” and have already developed solid relationships with several of the leading seminaries in the United States.”
At RBC, students can participate in a community of learning populated by serious, like-minded individuals, bound together by a deep respect for God’s Word and a desire to live a life that glorifies and enjoys Him. A low student-to-professor ratio enables in-depth discussion with both students and professors. All classes are taught by a world-class faculty led by Dr. R.C. Sproul, including some of the brightest scholars and theologians in the Reformed world, who have earned recognition in their fields and hold advanced degrees.
The freshman class size averages only about 30 students. RBC intentionally keeps their incoming class sizes small to ensure that professors, not assistants, teach each class and that you’ll also enjoy strong and personal discipleship. Additionally, small class sizes help to develop strong ties between classmates, resulting in a unique closely knit community. At RBC you’re not a number; you’re part of a community where you’re known and loved.
RBC doesn’t require daily chapel or even flawless class attendance, but it does mandate membership in a church. There is no housing on campus, but RBC partners with families in local churches who are willing to rent housing to students and to connect incoming students in order to facilitate their making housing arrangements together. Some nearby apartment complexes offer discounts for RBC students. RBC does not have a cafeteria; however, students are welcome to use the kitchen with refrigerator and microwaves when they bring meals to campus. The college is outfitted with the latest WiFi capability.
A Student’s Perspective
Thomas Booher, who dropped out of three other colleges before discovering RBC at the age of 21, wrote on his blog: “My first year at Reformation Bible College is now almost over… and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn the reformed faith in an environment conducive to growing spiritually as well as theologically… It’s great, and humbling, to be around so many smart people, people whom God has graciously blessed with insight and wisdom. I am not only talking about the professors, but fellow students. When you are sitting at home, cut off from other reformed folk, you can begin to think that you are the only person left in the world that cares about the deeper things of God and wrestling with Scripture to discern Truth. Thankfully… being part of a Christian community where the Christians actually act like Christians has been the most refreshing thing…. I’ve said a lot about Christian colleges negatively in the past, even some in my own denomination, and I think justifiably so. But so far, I can without hesitation recommend Reformation Bible College as being a very wonderful, and unique, Christian experience indeed.”
Since RBC’s class sizes are so small, space is limited and admission is competitive. The credentials leading to admission into one of RBC’s undergraduate programs encompass a range of factors: educational background, intellectual achievement, personal and spiritual maturity, and vocational aspirations. Sacred Music applicants are required to have an audition, demonstrate basic musicianship skills, and take a music theory exam.
All applicants must successfully complete a public, private, or homeschool high school (or its equivalent) program prior to enrollment at RBC, unless you’re a Dual Enrollment applicant desiring to take classes while still in high school. All applicants need to provide transcripts, ACT/SAT scores, two general references, a church reference, and a parental acknowledgement. To graduate from RBC, students must earn a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 which equals a B.
Homeschoolers have always been welcome at RBC. If you are home educated, RBC suggests this link for examples on how to generate a transcript: http://www.hslda.org/highschool/academics.asp. Heidi Zeller, the administrative assistant and registrar for RBC, was homeschooled in a Christian family. She lived many years in a Seminary community where knowing God was central, then studied for and received a Bachelor’s degree from a Christian College (Covenant College, History, 2009). She joined the RBC team in April 2011.
RBC offers affordable tuition, and financial aid is available. Limited Work Study positions are also available. Visit http://www.ReformationBibleCollege.org or contact the admissions office at 888-RBC-1517 to learn more. You can view the college catalog at http://reformationbiblecollege.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/RBC_Catalog.pdf. Prospective students are invited to visit the campus, join RBC’s Facebook page, and/or follow RBC on Twitter.
FREE Online Course for Dual Enrollment Students
As Reformation Bible College develops and grows, they plan to make some of their courses and materials available to students who are unable to move to central Florida. These courses will be facilitated by an RBC faculty member via an online learning system incorporating recorded video/audio lectures, reading assignments, and discussion forums. Being online means there are no set days or times for class meetings. The online system enables students to access all assignments and study material, and also provides the vehicle by which they interact with their teacher and classmates. All homework, tests, and quizzes will be due on Saturdays, leaving Sundays for rest.
There are currently two online courses to choose from: 1. The Doctrine of God (a study of the existence and attributes of the Trinitarian God revealed in Scripture), and 2. Theological Prolegomena (a study of the nature, method, and sources of theology), both of which begin on July 29, 2013. The future cost of these online courses have yet to be determined; however, at this time because they are still in the test phase, RBC is offering one course free for new dual enrollment students (students still in high school who have never taken a free class from RBC) and $300 ($100/credit hour) for everyone else. Additionally, students will need to pay a $35 application fee (new students only) and a $35 online technology fee. The application procedure for online courses is a condensed process:
· Complete and submit an online application, select “Online Courses” as your program.
· Distribute the Church Reference form to be completed and mailed directly to the Admissions Office.
· Arrange to have your transcripts—even if no program was completed—sent to the Admissions Office.
· Submit the applicable application fee. Payment may be made by check or money order via mail, or by phone using a credit or debit card.
For more information, see: http://reformationbiblecollege.org/academics. Completed applications are due by June 28, 2013.