[blockquote]There is no secular/sacred divide but rather an intelligent and humble viewing of all life and learning from God’s perspective.[/blockquote]
In the development from Philadelphia Bible Institute, to Philadelphia College of Bible, and then to Philadelphia Biblical University, there certainly have been changes, however, the foundational aim of education has been an unchanging characteristic. PBU is an institution of higher learning; a place for faculty and students of all generations, races, and denominational backgrounds to come together to learn, to grow, and to develop an integrating core of biblical answers to the major questions of life that provide meaning and understanding to academic and professional pursuits. Simply put, there is no secular/sacred divide but rather an intelligent and humble viewing of all of life and learning from God’s perspective.
In the late 1950s, the Administration of the institution envisioned PBU as an accredited college approved by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The dean and faculty took the institution through the rigorous process of becoming a four-year, degree granting college not only to better prepare men and women with a biblical foundation, but to provide a robust curriculum of more than 70 credits in the liberal arts – the natural and social sciences and the humanities – to prepare well-educated men and women. The new curriculum reflected an understanding of the importance of knowing not only the Word of God and God Himself, but His world.
In the late 1960s the Administration saw the need to be approved regionally by the Middle States Association (MSA). Hard work and necessary changes led to MSA accreditation, something that has helped PBU graduates as they pursue post baccalaureate studies at the master’s and doctoral levels. There has never been a fear at PBU to seek academic accountability.
Each generation played its role in creating the academic institution we currently enjoy. In the 1970s, 80s, and 90s when PCB added five-year programs in music, social work, education, and business, the institution sought the approval of the Commonwealth and national accrediting bodies and the additional degrees to represent each area. Academic excellence demanded that a fifth year be added rather than dropping the Bible degree. PBU’s five-year students receive two degrees, one in their chosen professional area and another in Biblical Studies. The five-year programs reflect the ongoing commitment of the development of men and women of character who are well-educated, biblically minded, and professionally competent for service to their generation– the unity of aims in the PBU mission statement.
In the early 1990s, the Administration initiated five graduate programs of study that led to the addition of five graduate degrees and the establishment of two international campuses. When graduate degree programs were approved by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and well underway, the next change was to apply for and become a university. The rest is history. Here we are today, Philadelphia Biblical University.
A brief history of the university is a tapestry of change to meet the needs of each decade or period of institutional history. There is a thread in the tapestry, however, that has never changed. Throughout all of these curricular, accreditation, and academic accountability changes, the university has retained its central focus on God’s Word. All course work is designed to explore the disciplines of learning with the intellectual openness that can only come when there is an internalized belief system. PBU is a thinking community of learners.