Pensacola Christian College

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Pensacola Christian College
Pensacola Christian College
Motto Learn, Live, Grow
Established 1974
Type Private
Religious affiliation Independent Baptist[1]
President Troy Shoemaker
Location Pensacola, Florida, US
Colors Blue and White
Mascot Eagle
Website www.pcci.edu

Coordinates: 30°28′15″N 87°13′57″W / 30.4709°N 87.2325°W / 30.4709; -87.2325 Pensacola Christian College (PCC) is a fundamentalist, Independent Baptist[1] liberal arts college in Pensacola, Florida. Since its 1974 inception PCC was opposed to accreditation, but reversed this position and was accredited with Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools in 2013.[2]

History[edit]

Arlin and Beka Horton graduated from Bob Jones University in 1951,[3] and moved to Pensacola, Florida in 1952 to found a Christian grade school. That school, Pensacola Christian Grade School, opened in 1954 and was later renamed Pensacola Christian Academy.

In 1974, the Hortons opened Pensacola Christian College to further their vision of "Education from a Christian Perspective." Pensacola Theological Seminary, an extension of PCC's graduate school, was founded in 1998.

In 1996, state and federal agencies requested millions of dollars of unpaid taxes between 1988 and 1995 from A Beka Book, at the time a division of PCC.[4] A Beka Book (named after Horton's wife, Beka), provides a K-12 curriculum that is used by some Christian schools and homeschooling families[5] and is one of the largest Christian textbook publishers in America.

In February 2012, Arlin Horton announced that he would be retiring from the ministry after the May 2012 school year. The school's board voted unanimously to install Troy Shoemaker, a PCC graduate, as president of the college.[6]

Academics[edit]

PCC has eight academic divisions including Arts and Sciences, Basic Sciences and Engineering, Bible, Business, Communicative Arts, Education, Music, and Nursing.[7] Graduate degrees are offered through the Graduate school at PCC and through Pensacola Theological Seminary in the fields of Bible, Business Administration, Communicative Arts, Divinity, Education, Ministry, Music, and Nursing.[8]

Students who study education are told the PCC program is for "Christian school teachers" and states that their approach is for a "local Christian school ministry" and is "not designed for preparing to teach in public schools."[9]

Creation and evolution positions[edit]

The school accepts a literal interpretation of the Genesis creation narrative from the Bible and teaches students young Earth creationism.[10] Students are taught that God created the Earth in six literal 24 hour days[10] and its biology classes teach creationism.[11] The 4.54 ± 0.05 billion years age of the Earth and scientific theory of evolution are "rejected" by Pensacola Christian College.[10]

Accreditation[edit]

Since 2013, Pensacola Christian College has been accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS), a religious national accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, to offer Associates to Doctorates degrees.[2]

From 1974 until 2011, Pensacola Christian College did not seek accreditation due to its long-standing policy. In numerous publications the school explained that it eschewed accreditation indicating that an outside agency that didn't share its religious and moral distinctives might try to pressure the college to change or eliminate its beliefs. Over the years, some students had problems transferring credits or using PCC degrees because of its lack of regional accreditation. Although PCC's administration reported that many Christian colleges and some secular institutions accept Pensacola's credits, graduates were still having difficulty getting advanced degrees or transferring to other schools.[12] Some former students said they had no difficulty transferring credits or applying for jobs, but others were told none of their credits would transfer and started their higher education over at another institution.[12]

The college changed course on November 9, 2011, when the administration informed its students that PCC had been awarded candidacy for accreditation, a pre-accreditation status, by Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools.[13] In October 2013, PCC was officially accredited by TRACS.[2]

Student life[edit]

Athletics[edit]

PCC participates in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) for intercollegiate sports. The Mens Eagles Basketball games as well as the Lady Eagles basketball games are played in the arena level of the Sports Center. The Lady Eagles Volleyball team also competes at the intercollegiate level. PCC also hosts a number of invitational high school sporting tournaments and camps.[citation needed]

In addition to intercollegiate athletics, PCC students are also afforded the opportunity to play intramural sports through their Collegians.[citation needed] Sports offered through collegians include soccer, basketball, softball, volleyball, and broom-hockey among others. Every fall Collegian Soccer culminates with the winners of the playoffs facing each other in the annual Turkey Bowl held over the Thanksgiving weekend.[citation needed] Also in the spring students can play softball and basketball.

Recreation[edit]

The campus offers opportunities for individual or group recreation, such as the Arlin R. Horton Sports Center that opened in 2009.[citation needed] The Sports Center has facilities for ice-skating, bowling, racquetball, miniature golf, table tennis and weight lifting.[14] In addition, it includes a surfing wave, water cannons, an inline skating track, a roof top sun deck, a snack bar and two climbing walls.[14] The campus also has the John Ray Hall Field House in which students can play basketball, swim, work out in the weight room, and play tennis in the tennis courts. For students willing to make the 30-minute drive, the West Campus has 24 Hobie catamarans with classes "offered in sailing, kayaking, swimming, and lifeguarding."[15]

Rules and regulations[edit]

PCC policies govern many aspects of the students' lives, including dress, hairstyles, cleanliness of residence hall rooms, styles of music, borrowing, off-campus employment, and Internet access.[16] For example, "All students are expected to dress modestly, in conservative fashions and . . . men are not to wear effeminate hairstyles or apparel."[17]

PCC also prohibits physical contact and interaction between unwed members of the opposite sex. For example, a chaperone and "day-pass" is required for a "mixed group" for students under the age of 23.[18] Students over the age of 23 are not required to have a chaperone on a date, but cannot go to a beach or a park after dark and cannot "visit the home of an unmarried person of the opposite gender."[19] Most stairwells and elevators on campus are segregated by gender.

Other prohibited activities at PCC include "fornication, adultery, homosexual behavior, or any other sexual perversion. Also, any involvement in pornography or sexual communications, including verbal, written, or electronic."[20] In addition, "most forms of dancing," profanity, hazing, discrimination, gambling, stealing and "witchcraft, séances, astrology, or any other satanic practices" are also banned." Students are also not allowed to use, possess, or "associate" with alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs.[20] Policy violations also include visiting movie theaters, patronizing unauthorized area businesses, being off campus after hours, being in a residence hall belonging to a member of the opposite sex, and engaging in social activities with members of the opposite sex as a group.[20] The administration of PCC also reviews any reports brought to their attention of students behaving in a manner unbecoming of PCC ideals who are at home or away on school breaks while enrolled at the college.

Demerits and discipline[edit]

The school operates a "demerit" system where "demerits—points" are "recorded on a student’s record for the purpose of limiting continued misconduct, given for continued neglect of responsibilities or for more serious offenses."[20] PCC has four levels of punishment; students can be given "infractions," can be "limited", "shadowed", or expelled. For students, who receive "75 demerits in consecutive semesters or 100 demerits within a semester may be subject to suspension."[20] Students who have these demerits are subject to administrative review by the Student Court, during which demerits are assigned or canceled corresponding to the degree of the infraction or circumstantial conditions surrounding the incident in question."[20]

Students who acquire a certain number of demerits in a semester are "limited," meaning they are not allowed to leave campus for a period of time.[20] Students suspected of more serious violations may be subject to being "shadowed," where they are assigned to a Residence Assistant (a fellow student who is selected by PCC to provide leadership in the residence hall and to enforce college regulations).[20] This includes being required to attend the Residence Assistant's classes and moving to the Residence Assistant's room.[12] While being shadowed the student is prohibited from speaking with any student other than the Residence Assistant.

Faith and King-James-only debate[edit]

PCC rejects Calvinism, Modernism, Neo-orthodoxy and the modern day charismatic movement and specifically states that "Pensacola Christian is not a part of the 'tongues movement' and does not allow students to participate in or promote any charismatic activities, nor do we permit students to promote hyper-Calvinism."[21]

PCC also states that they believe the Textus Receptus is the superior Greek text of the Bible and upon this basis use the King James version of the Bible for all their pulpit ministry and classroom Bible instruction.[21]

In 1996, Dell Johnson, who would later become the dean of Pensacola Theological Seminary, gave two chapel messages advocating the exclusive use of the King James Bible and the Received Greek text. In 1997, the school released a video featuring Johnson, Michael Bates, and the late Theodore P. Letis entitled "The Text Is The Issue."[citation needed] The following year, Letis and Johnson presented a history of textual criticism in American Bible seminaries, blaming Benjamin B. Warfield and his followers including A.T. Robertson in the Southern Baptist Convention, Lewis Sperry Chafer at Dallas Theological Seminary, and Charles Brokenshire at Bob Jones University for what they considered undesirable changes.[citation needed] Johnson denounced certain King James Only advocates such as Jack Hyles, Peter Ruckman, and William Grady, who espouse "advanced revelation" or "re-inspiration" views of the King James Version of the Bible.

Controversies[edit]

Taxation[edit]

The school has an active anti-tax protester stance and will report people who violate the laws of the United States. Rebekah Horton, former senior vice president, testified in federal court that she will report people who break federal tax law.[22] In the mid-1990s, after she learned of Kent Hovind's anti-tax stand where he claimed he did not have to pay taxes, she testified during Hovind's 2006 criminal trial that his tax beliefs are "against Scripture's teaching" and she reported the misleading doctrine because "I didn't want to see innocent people get led astray."[22] After learning of Hovind's tax teaching, Pensacola Christian College no longer permitted students to work at Creation Science Evangelism, Hovind's organization.[22]

The Student Voice[edit]

In 1996 Peter Gage, a PCC alumnus, started an electronic newsletter entitled The Student Voice, which criticized the school and urged prospective students not to attend Pensacola Christian College.[23] For example, the newsletter criticized the demerit system, writing that it is "inherently unfair to sanction a student for something when the individual doing the sanctioning is unknown" because "there are a multitude of reasons why one person's word may not be accurate: prejudice, incorrect perception of surrounding circumstances, incorrect information, etc."[24] Gage then purchased the web domain www.pensacolachristiancollege.com to serve as the website for the newsletter and even advertised the website on a large billboard adjacent to the campus. Horton and the administration of PCC responded to the newsletter's first issue with a speech in the campus chapel, calling the newsletter "an attack from Satan",[citation needed] and warned that anyone involved with the newsletter would be subject to expulsion. In 2001, PCC twice filed a complaint against Gage with the National Arbitration Forum, the body that arbitrates website disputes, and it agreed with Gage, dismissing PCC’s complaints and claim of the website.[25]

Subsequently, PCC banned all devices which would allow an individual to connect a personal computer to the Internet and filters internet content. However, personal computers, iPads, and other devices are now allowed on the college network and students are able to connect to the filtered internet or are able to use these devices off-campus and WiFi locations. (current student handbook) The Student Voice released new issues regularly for two years and continued to release their newsletter irregularly through their website until 2003, but Gage maintained registration of the domain.[23]

On March 25, 2013 Pensacola Christian College filed a lawsuit in federal court against Gage seeking $100,000 in damages for "allegedly committed trademark infringement and cybersquatting for more than a decade."[26][27] The lawsuit was dropped in early April and since the settlement, the domain name for The Student Voice now redirects to PCC's main home page.[28]

Student Welfare[edit]

In April 2014, Samantha Field, a female student at the college, published an article in online journal 'xojane' [29] accusing the school of having drastically failed to provide her with support following her rape and abuse by her ex-fiance, a fellow student at the school. According to Field, her request to have her chapel seat changed in order to avoid her ex-fiance, whom she said was then stalking her, was denied; she was informed that it was a personal issue, that it was her own behaviour that was problematic, and that she should 'stop antagonising him'. Field also states in the article that she was later summoned to appear before the dean of 'Student Life', who sent her to a counseling service where, upon explaining that she had been raped, she was told to 'repent', because she had 'sinned'. She adds that her only remaining option, to go straight to 'Student Life' and tell them exactly what had happened, was not possible because she was worried that, like two former PCC students who had done just this, such action would result in her expulsion.[30]

The college responded by denying the allegations. adding that the college was “being harassed and victimized through recent online accounts.” It also said that no student had “ever been expelled from PCC for being a victim of rape or any other crime.” Two of the anonymous students mentioned in Field's blog were interviewed by the Pensacola News Journal and confirmed that they had been expelled, one after making a complaint that he had been sexually assaulted, the other after being reported for having spent time alone with her boyfriend and telling the Student Life Office that she had been verbally manipulated into sexual activities.[31]

Other ministries of PCC[edit]

The Campus Church[edit]

Pensacola Christian College operates The Crowne Centre, also called the "Campus Church," which is an Independent Baptist church in its campus auditorium and has Sunday morning, evening and Wednesday evening services.[32] According to PCC, "All students carrying 12 or more credit hours are required to attend chapel. Part-time students and special students attend chapel on the days in which they have a class before noon."[32]

Jim Schettler served as the church pastor, but resigned in May 2006. On December 10, 2006, Horton announced that Neal Jackson would be the pastor[33] and on August 20, 2009, Jackson resigned his position. Then on August 14, 2011 Horton announced that Denis McBride would be the new pastor.[34]

Since the inception of PCC and of the Campus Church, critics have pointed out that college's Campus Church may not be a true local church. One example of how the Campus Church operates differently is the recent selection of its current pastors. Traditionally, local churches of the Independent Baptist persuasion (as the Campus Church claims to be)[1] take a congregational approach to selecting a pastor. In the case recent pastoral successions at the campus church, the college administration has selected who will be the next pastor without congregational vote.[citation needed]

Rejoice in the Lord[edit]

The Campus Church of Pensacola Christian College records its Sunday services for weekly television broadcast of Rejoice in the Lord. The programming of Rejoice in the Lord consists of musical numbers performed by the Rejoice Choir, various PCC musical ensemble groups, congregational singing recorded in the Campus Church and preaching by Joel Mullenix, Rejoice TV's pastor.[35] The hour-long television program is broadcast at 7 p.m. EST on Sundays.

WPCS[edit]

Main article: WPCS (FM)

Pensacola Christian College owns radio station WPCS 89.5 FM, known on-air as Rejoice Radio. WPCS is the main station of the Rejoice Broadcasting Network (sometimes referred to as "RBN"). The content heard on Rejoice Radio consists primarily of inspirational music and syndicated Christian radio programming.

A Beka Book [edit]

A Beka Book is a publisher affiliated[clarification needed] with Pensacola Christian College that produces K-12 curriculum materials that are used by fundamentalist [36][37] conservative Christian schools as well as non-fundamentalist Christian schools[citation needed] and homeschooling families around the world. It is named after Rebekah Horton, wife of college president Arlin Horton. A Beka Book and BJU Press (formerly Bob Jones University Press) have been considered the two major publishers of Christian-based educational materials in America.[38]

It has been criticized for selling works that are contradictory to the scientific consensus regarding the origins of the universe, origins of life, and evolution. In Association of Christian Schools International et al. v. Roman Stearns et al., a judge upheld the University of California's rejection of A Beka publications for preparatory use because the books are "inconsistent with the viewpoints and knowledge generally accepted in the scientific community."[39][40]

Notable alumni[edit]

Name Known for Relationship to Pensacola Christian College
Micah Van Huss State Representative in House district 6 of Tennessee. 8th generation Northeastern Tennessean. Served three tours in Iraq and one tour in Afghanistan with the United States Marine Corps[41] Computer Science 2003.[42]
Mark E. Clayton Was the 2012 Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate from Tennessee. The Tennessee Democratic Party disavowed Clayton's candidacy for his associations with the Public Advocate of the United States based in Washington, D.C. considered a "hate group" by the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center. Pre-Law, 2002.[43]
Maria Boren Job candidate on the 2nd season of NBC's reality TV show, "The Apprentice" in 2004. Bachelor's in business, minor in home economics, 1994[44]
Garrett Mason Elected to the Maine Senate in November 2010. Management, 2006.[45]
Esther Slater McDonald Former Counsel to the Associate Attorney General for the United States Department of Justice, implicated by the DOJ Inspector General in the Dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy [46] 1996 graduate.[47]
Cathy McMorris Rodgers Elected to United States House of Representatives from Washington state in November 2004. Pre-Law, 1990[48]
Troy Shoemaker President of Pensacola Christian College since 2012 Education degree, 1989; doctorate of education, 2007[49]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Articles of Faith". Pensacola Christian College. 2013. Retrieved January 13, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "October 2013 Accreditation Commission action". Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools. November 7, 2013. 
  3. ^ CLA [Christian Law Association] Defender, 4:9 (September 1981), 19; Bob Jones University Vintage (yearbook), 1951, 183.
  4. ^ "Taxpayers foot religious school's tax tab". St. Petersburg Times. Jul 7, 1996. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  5. ^ Our Foundation. (2008). A Beka Book, para. 2. Retrieved from http://www.abeka.com/OurFoundation.html
  6. ^ Horton, Arlin. "President Horton Announces Retirement". Retrieved February 8, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Majors Index". Pensacola Christian College. 2007. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  8. ^ "Catalog 2013". Pensacola Christian College. 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  9. ^ "Catalog 2013". Pensacola Christian College. 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29.  page 18, 48
  10. ^ a b c "We believe God created the heavens and earth in six literal days, and that God created all life (Gen. 1). We reject the man-made theory of evolution occurring over millions of years and believe the earth is 6,000 years old.""Catalog 2013". Pensacola Christian College. 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29.  page 7
  11. ^ "Catalog 2012". Pensacola Christian College. 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2013.  page 208
  12. ^ a b c Bartlett, Thomas (2006). "A College That's Strictly Different," The Chronicle of Higher Education.
  13. ^ "Announcement from PCC’s President". Pensacola Christian College. November 12, 2011. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  14. ^ a b "Sports Center". Pensacola Christian College. 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  15. ^ "West Campus". Pensacola Christian College. 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  16. ^ "PCC Pathway to College Success Student Resource Guide 2013-2014". Pensacola Christian College. 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29.  pages 14-17
  17. ^ "PCC Pathway to College Success Student Resource Guide 2013-2014". Pensacola Christian College. 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29.  page 15
  18. ^ "PCC Pathway to College Success Student Resource Guide 2013-2014". Pensacola Christian College. 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29.  pages 37
  19. ^ "PCC Pathway to College Success Student Resource Guide 2013-2014". Pensacola Christian College. 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29.  pages 40
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h "PCC Pathway to College Success Student Resource Guide 2013-2014". Pensacola Christian College. 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  21. ^ a b "Articles of Faith". Pensacola Christian College. 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  22. ^ a b c Fail, Angela (October 20, 2006). "Christian College leader says taxes are part of religion: Hovind argues God's workers are exempt". Pensacola News Journal. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  23. ^ a b "Thou shalt not steal? Christian college, alum end battle over domain name". Fox News. April 7, 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  24. ^ "A Call On The Administration To Revise The Discipline Committee Procedures". The Student Voice. 10/11/96. Archived from the original on 2003-09-28. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  25. ^ "Pensacola Christian College Sues Former Graduate for $100,000 Over Domain Name". Christian Post. April 1, 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  26. ^ "Pensacola Christian College sues over website". Pensacola News Journal. March 31, 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  27. ^ Pensacola Christian College Inc v Peter Gage
  28. ^ http://www.pensacolachristiancollege.com redirects to the http://www.pcci.edu website.
  29. ^ http://www.xojane.com/issues/samantha-field-pensacola-christian-college-rape-stalking
  30. ^ http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2014/03/11/guest-post-god-is-done-with-you-pensacola-christian-college-and-sexual-violence/
  31. ^ Davidson, Michael Scott (April 20, 2014). "PCC grapples with sex abuse allegations in viral blog post". Pensacola News Journal. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  32. ^ a b "Catalog". Pensacola Christian College. 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29.  page 13
  33. ^ Campus Church welcomes new Pastors
  34. ^ "Campus Church has New Pastor". Pensacola Christian College. August 8, 2011. Retrieved February 24, 2013. 
  35. ^ "Campus Church has New Pastor". Pensacola Christian College. 2011. Retrieved February 24, 2013. 
  36. ^ Wagner, Melinda Bollar (1991). God's schools: choice and compromise in American society. Rutgers University Press. p. 157. ISBN 978-0-8135-1607-3. 
  37. ^ Parsons, Paul F (1988). Inside America's Christian Schools. Mercer University Press. p. 89. ISBN 978-0-86554-303-4. 
  38. ^ Parsons, Paul F (1988). Inside America's Christian Schools. Mercer University Press. p. 42. ISBN 978-0-86554-303-4. 
  39. ^ "Creationist lawsuit against UC system to proceed". National Center for Science Education. August 10, 2006. Retrieved November 18, 2009. 
  40. ^ "Judge throws out religious discrimination suit". North County Times. August 8, 2008. Retrieved August 24, 2008. 
  41. ^ http://www.micahvanhuss.com/index.php
  42. ^ http://www.capitol.tn.gov/House/members/h6.html
  43. ^ "Authorities trace pair's trip". Las Vegas Review-Journal. May 11, 2001. Retrieved July 24, 2009. 
  44. ^ "'Apprentice' connection," Pensacola News Journal, Jan 14, 2005
  45. ^ "PCC Graduates in Government". Pensacola Christian College. 2011. Retrieved March 24, 2013. 
  46. ^ Kate Klonick. "Who Is Esther Slater McDonald?", TPM Muckraker, June 25, 2008. Retrieved on June 28, 2008.
  47. ^ "Esther Slater McDonald". seyfarth.com. 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2013. 
  48. ^ Project Vote Smart - Representative Cathy McMorris-Rodgers - Biography
  49. ^ President Horton Announces Retirement, Pensacola Christian College, 2012

External links[edit]