2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog

Philosophy of Education

Lancaster Bible College exists to educate Christian students to think and live a biblical worldview and to proclaim Christ by serving him in the Church and society. Simply stated, educating students to be servant ministry leaders is our purpose. This purpose is integrated throughout the general Institutional Goals and Core Knowledge & Skills to the more specific department objectives, program objectives, course objectives, session topics, assignments, and the various assessments. Our philosophy of education, then, unites the academic community in function and direction to fulfill our purpose at all levels.

The Context

We believe that learning occurs in the midst of culture. While the end goal of our education is captured in the mission statement, the means by which we achieve that mission are informed and shaped first by the unchanging Word of God and second by the ever-changing culture. Thus our philosophy of education emerges from the belief that God has spoken within and to cultural contexts that must continually be engaged, understood, and utilized in order to educate students to be effective in reaching the changing global community with the changeless message of Jesus Christ.

The academic departments work together to foster a community of higher learning and to formulate the undergraduate curriculum. While contributing unique components to the curriculum, they also intentionally work together to ensure that students understand the Scriptures, the world in which they live, and the means to take the Word of God effectively to that world.

The Faculty and the Student

The faculty instructs students not only through their teaching but also through their lives. Professors recognize they are disciples themselves and therefore desire to disciple their students to know, be, and do what God requires of them. Professors seek to model what they teach in all areas of life and thus are continually growing in knowledge, character, and skill. The Holy Spirit is also at work in the lives of regenerated faculty and students, adding a uniquely supernatural dynamic to our educational task.

Professors do not just teach subjects; they teach students. They understand that the students are unique, each created in the image of God to display his glory and to fulfill his plan. Since students are multi-dimensional, professors seek to instruct them in all areas of life including the spiritual, cognitive, affective, and psycho-motor domains.

Hence, instruction takes into account the differences in the students' learning styles, personalities, and abilities. Both teaching and assessment methods are varied to fit the subject matter and the differing nature of the students. Within the bounds of Christian propriety, instructors have the freedom to use methods that will accomplish maximum learning on the part of the students.

Professors are not the sole providers of instruction. Students bring with them experiences and knowledge that are tapped to enrich the learning experience by the instructor, who builds on these to advance students in understanding, character, and ability.

The Learning Process

In considering the learning process, we hold in tension the positives of the modern quest for true knowledge and the postmodern acknowledgement that the understanding of any subject is limited by human finiteness. In the crux of that tension stands our firm foundation and authority, the Bible, the revealed word of God, which states absolute truth, but is accommodated to our human limitations. Consequently, our approach to the learning process denies both the arrogance of modernism and the relativity and absolute uncertainty of postmodernism.

The transmission of information from the instructor to the student encapsulates the most basic and fundamental component of the learning process. The measure of genuine learning, though, is not realized simply through the students' collection of transmitted information. Rather, genuine learning is revealed through transformation in the spiritual, cognitive, affective, and psycho-motor domains of the student's life. In order to determine the effectiveness of this transformation, appropriate and varied assessment of both teaching and learning is used and correlated with course, program, departmental, and college-wide objectives.

Because we live in an age where information is abundant and readily available, students are instructed throughout the curriculum to develop the information literacy skills necessary to collect, critically analyze, and communicate that information accurately and effectively. Having data does not imply its proper use, as knowledge alone is not equivalent to wisdom.

Students receive a holistic and integrated picture of a discipline in order to have the framework for understanding the depth of that discipline and the methodology necessary to work in it. This approach across the departments utilizes broad survey-based courses complemented with narrower in-depth courses. As students progress academically, they are expected to advance into higher levels of learning and application while understanding that by nature no subject can be examined exhaustively. This expectation does not cease upon the formal completion of the student's education at LBC; rather, it emerges beyond LBC through the discipline of life-long learning.


In the midst of the shifts occurring in the culture today we cling to the promise that, "The Word of the Lord endures forever" (1 Peter 1:25). It is the prayer of the academic community that we glorify God by remaining true to that Word and this philosophy of education as we instruct Christian men and women to live biblically and proclaim Christ in the Church and society.