Pensacola Christian College

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Pensacola Christian College
Pensacola Christian College official seal.jpg
MottoStrength. Truth. Beauty.
AffiliationIndependent Baptist[1]
PresidentTroy Shoemaker
Students4,882 (2016)[2]
250 Brent Lane
, , ,
United States
ColorsBlue and White

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 Christian, Independent Baptist[1] nonprofit liberal arts college in Pensacola, Florida. Founded in 1974 by Arlin and Beka Horton, it is accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools since 2013.[3]


PCC logo

Arlin and Beka Horton graduated from Bob Jones University in 1951,[4] 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.[5]

In 1974, the Hortons opened Pensacola Christian College to further their vision of "Education from a Christian Perspective." The college had 100 students its first year open, and was based in a single building, Ballard Hall. The college now has over 5,000 students from all over the world.[6]

Pensacola Theological Seminary, an extension of PCC's graduate school, was founded in 1998. Its avowed purpose is "to fill each student’s mind and heart with what the Bible says."[6]

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.[7] Mr. Shoemaker, a former administrator at Pensacola Christian Academy,[8] completed his undergraduate education at PCC and holds a Doctor of Education degree from the institution as well as an education specialist degree from the University of West Florida.[9]


The main entrance to the main academic and administration building

PCC has eight academic divisions including Arts and Sciences, Basic Sciences and Engineering, Bible, Business, Communicative Arts, Education, Music, and Nursing.[10] 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.[11]

The college markets its education programs as being specifically intended to prepare educators for employment at Christian schools rather than public schools, though graduates of the programs have been eligible to apply for public school teacher certification in Florida since 2000.[12]

Because the college accepts a literal interpretation of the Genesis creation narrative from the Bible and rejects evolution and other mainstream theories about the origins and age of Earth, students are taught young Earth creationism,[13] and that God created the Earth in six literal 24-hour days[13] and its biology classes are based on creationism.[14]


The Bell Tower at PCC

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.[3]

From 1974 until 2011, Pensacola Christian College did not seek accreditation. In numerous[citation needed] publications the school explained that it eschewed accreditation, indicating that an outside agency that didn't share its religious and moral views might try to pressure the college to change or eliminate its beliefs.

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.[15] In October 2013, PCC was officially accredited by TRACS.[3]

The baccalaureate and master's degrees in nursing at Pensacola Christian College are also accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing, and the baccalaureate degree in engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.[16]

Student life[edit]


Arlin R. Horton Sports Center

PCC participates in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) for intercollegiate sports. Sports include men's basketball and soccer and women's basketball and volleyball. The men's wrestling team won the NCCAA national championship in 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1998, the last year before the NCCAA discontinued the sport.[17][18] The Men's Eagles Basketball games as well as the Lady Eagles basketball games are played in the arena level of the Sports Center. 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.[citation needed]


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.[19] In addition, it includes a surfing wave, water cannons, an inline skating track, a rooftop sun deck, a snack bar, and two climbing walls.[19] 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. 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."[20]

Rules and regulations[edit]

The main dining facility

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.[21] For example, "All students are expected to dress modestly, in conservative fashions and . . . men are not to wear effeminate hairstyles or apparel."[22]

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.[23] 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."[24]

Most stairwells, elevators, and parking lots 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."[25] 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.[25] 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 off campus.[25]

Demerits and discipline[edit]

Area outside of the student union, known as the Commons building

The school operates a "demerit" system where "demerits" 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."[25] 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."[25] 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."[25]

In the past (at least until 2006), students who acquired a certain number of demerits in a semester were "limited," meaning they are not allowed to leave campus for a period of time.[25] Students suspected of more serious violations could be subject to being "shadowed," where they were assigned to a Residence Assistant (a fellow student who was selected by PCC to provide leadership in the residence hall and to enforce college regulations).[25] This included being required to attend the Residence Assistant's classes and moving to the Residence Assistant's room.[26] While being shadowed the student was prohibited from speaking with any student other than with the Floor Leader who was shadowing them.

The rules and disciplinary policies at Pensacola Christian College have been the subject of criticism. In 1996 a PCC alumnus started an electronic newsletter entitled The Student Voice, which criticized PCC, particularly the school's rules and demerit system.[27] It was originally published in a newsletter format distributed exclusively via e-mail, and it was later published at Following numerous attempts by the college to have the website shut down through arbitration and lawsuits, the website's owners relinquished control of the domain to the college, who has redirected the domain to the main PCC website.[27][28][29][30][31]

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."[32]

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.[32]

Conflict with Kent Hovind[edit]

Former senior vice president Rebekah Horton testified during the 2006 criminal trial of Kent Hovind that his beliefs on taxation—he held that he was under no obligation to pay taxes—were "against Scripture's teaching" and that she reported the misleading doctrine because she "didn't want to see innocent people get led astray." She further testified that she would report people who break federal tax law. Pensacola Christian College thereafter forbade students to work at Creation Science Evangelism, Hovind's organization.[33]

Affiliated ministries of PCC[edit]

The Campus Church[edit]

The Crowne Center, which serves as an auditorium and campus church, was built in 2001

The Campus Church, an Independent Baptist church[34], meets in the Crowne Center on Pensacola Christian College's Campus and has Sunday morning, evening and Wednesday evening services.[35]

Original founded in 1974, the Campus Church's first pastor was Bob Taylor, who served in the ministry at Campus Church for fourteen years.[36]. In 1988, Jim Schettler became the Senior Pastor and served for eighteen years[37], resigning in May 2006. On December 10, 2006, Dr. Arlin Horton announced that Neal Jackson would be the pastor[38]. Neil Jackson resigned from Campus Church on August 20, 2009. On August 14, 2011, Denis McBride was installed as the Senior Pastor.[39] During the summer of 2017, Dr. Tim Zacharias was called to become the Assistant Pastor of Campus Church.[40]

Rejoice in the Lord[edit]

Crowne Center Auditorium

The Campus Church holds their weekly services from the Crowne Center at Pensacola Christian College. These services are recorded and edited for the 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 Pastor Denis McBride. The hour-long television program is broadcast at 8 p.m. Eastern on Sundays on the Daystar Television Network.[41]


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.

Abeka [edit]

Abeka, formerly known as A Beka Book, is a publisher affiliated[clarification needed] with Pensacola Christian College that produces K–12 curriculum materials that are used by Protestant fundamentalist[42][43] and other conservative Evangelical 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. Abeka and BJU Press (formerly Bob Jones University Press) have been considered the two major publishers of Christian-based educational materials in America.[44]

Abeka has been criticized for selling works that do not follow a 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 Abeka publications for preparatory use because the books are "inconsistent with the viewpoints and knowledge generally accepted in the scientific community."[45][46]

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.[47]

Notable alumni[edit]

Name Known for Relationship to Pensacola Christian College
James 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[48] Computer Science 2003.[49]
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.[50]
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[51]
Garrett Mason Elected to the Maine Senate in November 2010.

Maine State Senate Majority Leader[52]

Management, 2006.[53]
Cathy McMorris Rodgers Elected to United States House of Representatives from Washington state in November 2004. Pre-Law, 1990[54]


  1. ^ a b "Articles of Faith". Pensacola Christian College. 2013. Retrieved January 13, 2013.
  2. ^ Joseph Baucum (2017-05-22). "Escambia County approves vacating Rawson Lane to PCC". Pensacola News Journal. Ganette.
  3. ^ a b c "October 2013 Accreditation Commission action". Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools. November 7, 2013.
  4. ^ CLA [Christian Law Association] Defender, 4:9 (September 1981), 19; Bob Jones University Vintage (yearbook), 1951, 183.
  5. ^ "Pensacola Christian Academy - History". Pensacola Christian Academy. Retrieved 2019-01-27.
  6. ^ a b "History of PCC · Pensacola Christian College". Pensacola Christian College. Retrieved 2017-06-17.
  7. ^ Horton, Arlin. "President Horton Announces Retirement". Retrieved February 8, 2012.
  8. ^ "President". Pensacola Christian College. Retrieved 2019-01-27.
  9. ^ "Board & Administration". Pensacola Christian College]]. Retrieved 2019-01-27.
  10. ^ "Majors Index". Pensacola Christian College. 2007. Archived from the original on February 9, 2007. Retrieved 2013-10-29.
  11. ^ "Catalog 2013" (PDF). Pensacola Christian College. 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29.
  12. ^ "Academics FAQ". Pensacola Christian College. Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  13. ^ a b "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" (PDF). Pensacola Christian College. 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29. page 7
  14. ^ "Catalog 2012" (PDF). Pensacola Christian College. 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2013. page 208
  15. ^ "Announcement from PCC's President". Pensacola Christian College. November 12, 2011. Retrieved 2013-10-29.
  16. ^
  17. ^ "PCC". Retrieved 2017-01-17.
  18. ^ "Men's Wrestling Archives" (PDF). NCCAA. Retrieved 2017-01-19.
  19. ^ a b "Sports Center". Pensacola Christian College. 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29.
  20. ^ "West Campus". Pensacola Christian College. 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29.
  21. ^ "PCC Pathway to College Success Student Resource Guide 2013–2014" (PDF). Pensacola Christian College. 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29. pages 14–17
  22. ^ "PCC Pathway to College Success Student Resource Guide 2013–2014" (PDF). Pensacola Christian College. 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29. page 15
  23. ^ "PCC Pathway to College Success Student Resource Guide 2013–2014" (PDF). Pensacola Christian College. 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29. pages 37
  24. ^ "PCC Pathway to College Success Student Resource Guide 2013–2014" (PDF). Pensacola Christian College. 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29. pages 40
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h "PCC Pathway to College Success Student Resource Guide 2013–2014" (PDF). Pensacola Christian College. 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29.
  26. ^ Bartlett, Thomas (2006). "A College That's Strictly Different," The Chronicle of Higher Education.
  27. ^ a b "Thou shalt not steal? Christian college, alum end battle over domain name". Fox News. April 7, 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29.
  28. ^ "Pensacola Christian College Sues Former Graduate for $100,000 Over Domain Name". Christian Post. April 1, 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29.
  29. ^ "Pensacola Christian College sues over website". Pensacola News Journal. March 31, 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29.
  30. ^ Pensacola Christian College Inc v Peter Gage
  31. ^ redirects to the website.
  32. ^ a b "Articles of Faith". Pensacola Christian College. 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29.
  33. ^ 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.
  34. ^ "Detail by Entity Name". Retrieved 2017-09-08.
  35. ^ "Catalog" (PDF). Pensacola Christian College. 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29. page 13
  36. ^ "Bob Taylor". COLONIAL HILLS BAPTIST CHURCH. Retrieved 2017-09-08.
  37. ^ "Jim Schettler". Embassy Media. Retrieved 2017-09-08.
  38. ^ Campus Church welcomes new Pastors
  39. ^ "Campus Church has New Pastor". Pensacola Christian College. August 8, 2011. Retrieved 2013-02-24.
  40. ^ "Campus Church Staff". September 7, 2017.
  41. ^ "Rejoice in the Lord". Retrieved 2017-09-08.
  42. ^ Wagner, Melinda Bollar (1991). God's schools: choice and compromise in American society. Rutgers University Press. p. 157. ISBN 978-0-8135-1607-3.
  43. ^ Parsons, Paul F (1988). Inside America's Christian Schools. Mercer University Press. p. 89. ISBN 978-0-86554-303-4.
  44. ^ Parsons, Paul F (1988). Inside America's Christian Schools. Mercer University Press. p. 42. ISBN 978-0-86554-303-4.
  45. ^ "Creationist lawsuit against UC system to proceed". National Center for Science Education. August 10, 2006. Retrieved 2009-11-18.
  46. ^ "Judge throws out religious discrimination suit". North County Times. August 8, 2008. Archived from the original on August 15, 2008. Retrieved August 24, 2008.
  47. ^ "Taxpayers foot religious school's tax tab". St. Petersburg Times. Jul 7, 1996. Retrieved 2013-10-29.
  48. ^
  49. ^
  50. ^ "Authorities trace pair's trip". Las Vegas Review-Journal. May 11, 2001. Retrieved July 24, 2009.
  51. ^ "'Apprentice' connection," Pensacola News Journal, January 14, 2005
  52. ^, Design and Development by Firefly, LLC |. "District 22 Sen. Garrett Mason | Maine State Legislature". Retrieved 2017-09-08.
  53. ^ "PCC Graduates in Government". Pensacola Christian College. 2011. Retrieved March 24, 2013.
  54. ^ Project Vote Smart – Representative Cathy McMorris-Rodgers – Biography

External links[edit]