Louisiana Baptist University
|Louisiana Baptist University|
|Type||Private / Religious Exempt|
|Religious affiliation||Baptist Bible Fellowship International|
|Academic staff||44|
|Students||650 (in 2010)|
|Location||Shreveport, Louisiana, USA|
Louisiana Baptist University (LBU, originally called Baptist Christian University) is an unaccredited theologically conservative Christian university, founded in 1973, located at 6301 Westport Avenue in Shreveport, Louisiana.
LBU has both an on-campus program and a distance education program which primarily teaches subjects pertaining to the Bible and Baptist theology. Classes are grouped in five areas: School of Biblical Studies, School of Communications (Music, Creative writing), School of Counseling, School of Christian Education, and Theological Seminary. Distance education courses are offered by mail and via web-based delivery.
In 1973, Baptist Christian University was founded by Jimmy G. Tharpe (1930-2008) as part of the Baptist Tabernacle, offering distance education for full-time ministers to complete degrees without leaving their pastorates. In February 1993, the trustees restructured the school's charter and changed the name to Louisiana Baptist University. LBU states that on February 1, 1994 it became the first non-traditional post-secondary institution in the state of Louisiana to receive full licensure by the Louisiana Board of Regents.
In its beginning, LBU was housed in the Centrum Building on Hollywood Avenue. It later relocated to a 12,500-square-foot (1,160 m2) facility off Interstate 20 at 6301 Westport Avenue in the center of West Shreveport, where the campus remains today.
In May 2013, the university expanded their campus with the completion of the Neal Weaver Conference Center. The center is equipped with the latest audio/video equipment which enables the university to host webinars in addition to their conferences.
LBU is not accredited by any accreditation organization recognized by the US Department of Education or Council on Higher Education Accreditation. LBU's website states the university "has never sought government accreditation due to the nature of the educational services it provides. The mission of the school is and always has been to train people for ministry. Because of our strong belief in the separation of powers, we have never invited government oversight of our programs."  LBU is chartered by the Louisiana State Board of Regents. This charter provides that LBU may award advanced degrees in various fields for use in ministry. Because the university only grants non-secular degrees for use in various areas of ministry, it operates under religious-exempt status in Louisiana.
LBU is one of six approved schools of the Baptist Bible Fellowship International, which has 4,500 congregations in North America totaling 1.2 million associated members; with an additional 10,000 churches associated worldwide. LBU is also a member school of the Association of Christian Schools International. and holds "affiliate" status with The Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE). According to ABHE, "ABHE Affiliate status is available to credible institutions of biblical higher education seeking to benefit from ready access to ABHE services and networking but presently lacking either readiness or inclination to seek ABHE accreditation. An affiliate institution must not portray itself, verbally or in print, as an accredited member of ABHE."
Academics and staff
The school employs some fifty people as faculty and staff. A majority of the faculty list degrees from LBU, including its previous name, Baptist Christian University, which the institution states reflects the school's "strong stance on inspiration of the scriptures, doctrinal purity and premillennialism."
LBU accepts a limited amount of three types of non-traditional credit: experiential learning credits, military experience credits, and credit by examination. The university also allows students to transfer credits from other universities as well as approved Christian educational organizations. For example, at LBU alumnus Chuck Missler's Koinoina Institute, students can earn credits toward a degree at Louisiana Baptist University.
In 1998, LBU announced "plans to offer a business administration degree. The university doesn't think Regents approval is necessary." This caused controversy over schools awarding degrees with substandard instruction. As a result, on December 10, 1998, the Board of Regents unanimously voted to deny the University an operating license for its business education programs, required it to cease admitting students, and cease advertising. Students matriculated at the time were allowed until December 31, 1999 to finish their degrees. Then, reversing its prior decision, on April 22, 1999, the Board voted to accept the recommendation of the Planning, Research and Performance Committee to exempt the university under the religious institution exemption provided for by Act 129 of 1991, allowing it to operate as a religious institution.
- Rick Scarborough - author, activist, and founder of Vision America.
- Neal Weaver - current Louisiana Baptist University president.
- Roland S. Martin - American journalist, syndicated columnist, and author.
- Bob Cornuke - author and director of the Bible Archaeology Search and Exploration Institute (BASE).
- Bill Gothard - former president of the Institute in Basic Life Principles
- Grant Jeffrey - author and teacher
- Chuck Missler - author and founder/operator of Koinonia Institute in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
- Robert Morey - author and founder of the unaccredited California Biblical University and Seminary.
- List of unaccredited institutions of higher learning
- Higher education accreditation in the United States
- "Louisiana Baptist University". Association for Biblical Higher Education. 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-11.[dead link]
- http://www.lbu.edu/download/LBU%20Catalog%202012-2013.pdf LBU 2012-2013 Catalog pg 20
- "Welcome to LBU!". Louisiana Baptist University (Archived). April 1999. Retrieved 2007-03-07.
- United States of America, State of Louisiana, Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco Proclamation Signed March 29, 2005.[dead link]
- Tharpe, Mr. Baptist, pp. 135-137
- https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151530148444492.1073741826.264062789491&type=3 LBU Official Facebook Page
- http://lbu.edu/FAQ.html LBU Frequently Asked Questions
- http://lbu.edu/quick%20facts.html LBU website: Quick Facts
- http://www.cga.ct.gov/2007/rpt/2007-R-0023.htm Pinhel, EXEMPTIONS FROM THE HIGHER EDUCATION LICENSING PROCESS FOR RELIGIOUS COLLEGES
- http://www.thearda.com/Denoms/D_1096.asp Baptist Bible Fellowship International (BBFI)
- "Directory". Association for Biblical Higher Education. 2011. Retrieved 2010-04-11.
- http://lbu.edu/staff.html LBU Staff
- "Academics and Vision". Louisiana Baptist University. 2007. Archived from the original on 2006-11-17. Retrieved 2007-08-18.
- Koinonia Institute degrees
- http://lbu.edu/staff.html LBU Staff Page
- "Unlicensed "colleges" worry state officials: Legislation being prepared to tighten rules for nonprofit schools". The Advocate. November 22, 1998. Retrieved 2007-03-07.
- "Minutes of Board of Regents December 10, 1998". Louisiana Board of Regents. December 10, 1998. Retrieved 2007-03-13. Orders LBU to stop admitting students.
- "Minutes of Board of Regents April 22, 1999". Louisiana Board of Regents. April 22, 1999. Retrieved 2007-03-13.
- Tobia, P.J. "Reading, Writing and Jesus: What nearby schools don’t know about the Bible class they soon may be teaching", Nashville Scene, October 19, 2006. Accessed December 19, 2007. "While there are a few reputable legal and theological minds from solid universities associated with the group, they are far outnumbered by the likes of Carl Baugh, who holds a Ph.D. in theology from Louisiana Baptist University."
- Perkes, Kim Sue Lia. "Fort Worth school sues to call itself "seminary'", Austin American-Statesman, April 15, 1999. "Tyndale has about 350 seminary students, about two-thirds of them taking courses by correspondence, said Mal Couch, the school's president and founder. He said he holds five degrees, including a doctorate of theology from Louisiana Baptist Seminary..."
- Murray, Shailagh. "Filibuster Fray Lifts Profile of Minister: Scarborough Has Network and Allies", The Washington Post, May 8, 2005. Accessed December 19, 2007. "After receiving a master's of divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth and a doctorate in ministry from Louisiana Baptist Theological Seminary, Scarborough hit the national revival and crusade circuit for 14 years."
- Rick Scarborough Vision America
- Wilson, Jennifer. "Is Noah's Ark on mount in Iran? Man scours the world looking for religious artifacts", Deseret Morning News, August 11, 2006. Accessed December 19, 2007. "Bob Cornuke doesn't have a degree in archaeology; he holds a doctorate in Bible and theology from Louisiana Baptist University."
- Knowles, Francine (June 18, 2014). "Ex-head of religious group acted inappropriately, not criminally: investigation". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved July 2, 2014.
- Arellano. "Dr. Jihad", OC Weekly, March 2, 2006. Accessed December 19, 2007. "Morey also claims to have received a doctorate from Louisiana Baptist University. Two problems: LBU is unaccredited by the United States government, which means no serious academy would recognize it. Then there’s this: LBU doesn’t offer a Ph.D. in Islamic studies."
- Louisiana Baptist University – Official website