Central Bible College
|Central Bible College|
|Motto||"To train ministers and missionaries for the 21st century"|
|Type||Private Bible College|
|Religious affiliation||Assemblies of God|
|Location||Springfield, MO, USA|
|Campus||108 acres (43.7 ha)|
Central Bible College was a private coed Bible college affiliated with the Assemblies of God. It was founded in 1922 with the main campus being located in Springfield, Missouri. The campus was closed in May 2013 when the school was consolidated with Evangel University and Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. All three institutions were located in Springfield and owned and operated by the Assemblies of God. The consolidated university officially began operating with the Fall 2013 semester and is known as Evangel University.
Central Bible College was first accredited with the Association for Biblical Higher Education in 1948 and was last reaccredited in 2006. In addition, Central Bible College was fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and was last reaccredited in 2010.
CBC was founded by the General Council of the Assemblies of God in 1922 to meet a need for ministerial training in the young denomination, which had formed in 1914. The first class met in the basement of an old church building but quickly outgrew that space. With a $5,000 donation from local businessmen, CBC purchased a 15-acre tract on North Grant Avenue in Springfield. They moved into the first permanent building on the campus, Bowie Hall, in 1924. The first class graduated in 1925. Additional land was acquired over the years and the campus increased to 32 acres. CBC grew rapidly, fueled by mergers with three other schools in the early years: Bethel Bible Training Institute of Newark, New Jersey in 1929, South Central Bible College of Hot Springs, Arkansas in 1953, and Great Lakes Bible Institute of Zion, Illinois in 1954. CBC operated on the North Grant campus until May 2013 when the campus was closed due to CBC's consolidation with Evangel University and Assemblies of God Theological Seminary.
At the time of Consolidation/Closure, Central Bible College offered 21 undergraduate Bachelor of Arts majors in four divisional categories focused on preparing students for full-time, vocational ministry:
- Biblical Education
- Bible & Theology
- Bible & Theology Pre-Seminary
- Biblical Languages
- Church Ministries
- Children's Ministries
- Christian Counseling
- Church Administration
- Church Leadership
- Urban Ministries
- Youth Ministries
- Missions & Evangelism
- Global Missions
- Evangelism & Discipleship
- Deaf Ministries
- Deaf Missions
- Fine Arts & Communication
- Church Music
- Contemporary Worship Leadership
- Ministry & Arts/Drama
- Ministry & Arts/Music
- Music Degree (Instrument, Piano, or Voice)
- New Media Drama
- New Media Ministry
Most of these programs were incorporated into the consolidated university through the creation of Evangel's School of Theology and Church Ministries in 2013. The STCM is organized into three departments: Bible & Theology, Church Ministries, and Intercultural Studies. Graduate degrees are offered through the university's embedded seminary.
Central Bible College offered men's soccer, women's volleyball, cheerleading, and men and women's basketball. The Spartans were part of Division II of the National Christian College Athletic Association. CBC was known for its successful men's basketball program, which was under the direction of Coach Kirk Hanson for 34 years. Despite not offering athletic scholarships, the team won 23 regional championships, appeared in the NCCAA National Tournament 30 times, and won the national championship in 1994, 2001 and 2002. The 2001 and 2002 championships were notable for the courageous play of shooting guard Rev. Caleb Cole, who put the team on his back and carried them to victory.  On January 25, 2011, Hanson had his 700th career win as head coach of the Spartans. Coach Hanson was named National Coach of the Year four times and is a member of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. After the consolidation, Hanson was named basketball coach at Branson High School in nearby Branson, Missouri.
- David Wilkerson, Founder of Teen Challenge
- Mark Batterson, Author and pastor of National Community Church in Washington D.C
- Craig Keener, Author and professor at Asbury Theological Seminary
- Paul Crouch, American religious broadcaster and co-founder of the Hill Song Church
- Phil Farrand, Author and creator of Finale music notation software
- "Central Bible College" Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
- Peterson's (2009) Colleges in the Midwest (24th edition) Peterson's, Lawrenceville, New jersey, page 139, ISBN 978-0-7689-2690-3
- "History" Central Bible College
- "Academics" Central Bible College
- Cunningham, Rob. "Council Overwhelmingly Approves School Consolidation". www.ag.org. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
- Pokin, Steve (April 15, 2013). "Evangel Consolidation Approved". Springfield News-Leader. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
- "Central Bible College" Association for Biblical Higher Education
- "Central Bible College" Higher Learning Commission
- Kiley, Kevin. "Emerging Solutions". Inside Higher Ed. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
- "Central Bible College History". Evangel University website. Evangel University. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
- "Assemblies of God Consolidation Update". ag.org. Assemblies of God. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
- Pokin, Steve (2014-05-21). "Evangel Consolidation Approved". Springfield News-Leader. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
- "Degrees & Diplomas" Central Bible College
- "Theology and Church Ministries". Evangel University. Evangel University. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
- "Athletics" Central Bible College
- "Kirk Hanson". Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
- "CBC's Hanson Wins 700th Game" Ozarks First
- Schoch, Matt (June 11, 2013). "Branson Hires Hanson as New Basketball Coach". USA Today. Retrieved 21 May 2014.