You will find our educational philosophy stated in 21 proposals in the article “An Appeal for Alternative Education Models for Church and Mission.” It is available as a download as MBS Text 14. Here is a short summary:
- Our program is designed to fit the student, rather than insisting that students fit our program. We try to create a flexible program for every student, no matter the circumstances in which he lives or the learning style he prefers.
- We combine high academic training and research with practical experience and discipleship. The skill to research a topic independently and the skill to be a good leader and visionary in church and missions are interdependent.
- It is often better to send a seminary to the students than to send students to a distant seminary.
- Being and working in a local church is part of the training. Many students officially work part-time in their churches and have been asked by their local churches to study with us.
- All teachers have extensive experience as pastors, missionaries, etc., and without exception are still engaged in ministry to varying degrees. Their goal is to communicate an authentic Christian lifestyle, together with passionate theological conviction.
- Students learn to know and understand different theological traditions in their best present form and are encouraged to work toward unity among evangelicals while still holding strong convictions. Debates over theological differences (e.g., baptism, tongues) are not avoided, but are initiated by those lecturing and are viewed as necessary to a well-rounded education.
- We urge students to acquire knowledge from other schools, from specialized organizations (e.g. media, business), and from other believers, churches and schools in the Third World. We encourage trips to and internships in Third World churches.