Why Eternity Bible College?

Preston Sprinkle —  October 2, 2013 — 2 Comments

Eternity Bible College is not your typical college. It’s not even your typical Bible College. It’s a place where students come—according to our mission statement—“to live and die well.”

chan-EBCThere are several things that make Eternity unique. Most people who are familiar with us know that we offer courses at the most affordable price possible—$175 a unit. What would cost you a semester at most schools can get you an entire 4-year degree at Eternity.

But Eternity is more than an affordable Bible school.

Another thing that stands out is the relational atmosphere. Most students get to know their professors very well here, and there are no thick walls between teacher and student. Students borrow our cars, share our meals, or sometimes live in our houses. Even our president will have a couple students living under his roof every semester.

But Eternity is much more than just a relational school.

Consider the nature of our classes. We believe that both heart and mind are essential to living out the Christian faith. If we cranked out students who were all heart and no mind, then they will be like engines with no rudders. If we create students with large heads and small hearts, not only would they look funny but they’d probably do more harm EBCthan good for God’s kingdom. This is why every professor, every class, every assignment at Eternity seeks to challenge both heart and mind so that we can produce graduates who can think and live well—and die well.

But Eternity is more than just a well-balanced educational institution.

All of these are important factors that make Eternity a unique school. But one thing stands out the most to my mind.

Eternity exists to further the mission.

Jesus told His disciples to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matt 28:18-29). A few days later, He said: “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). And thus began the impossible mission; the mission of a rag-tag band of Jesus-followers, who against all odds, in the face of persecution, with the prospect of political upheaval, would take the good news about a risen King to the ends of the earth. The disciples would multiply and be persecuted. And the more they were persecuted the more they multiplied. And the more they multiplied the more they were persecuted. Through it all, the King demonstrates His power through the Spirit working in these outcasts to penetrate all areas of culture with the good news that Israel’s Messiah reigns over the earth.

And that’s what I love about Eternity. We’ve taken the baton from Jesus, the Apostles, and the early church in equipping unlikely heroes in “turning the world upside down” (Acts 17:6). And I love it!

Many people don’t think of “mission” when they think of theological education. They probably assume that Bible Colleges exist in order to make Christians smarter about doctrine and theology. Maybe they do—but we don’t. If giving knowledge to college students were the goal of Eternity, I wouldn’t be here. No way. I’ve got better things to do than make 20 somethings, who already struggle with pride, puffed up with more knowledge.

As an Old Testament professor, I long to take my students to the Garden of Eden, to Mount Sinai, through the Red Sea, and into the sands of the desert order that they come face to face with the Holy One of Israel. I want them to feel the heat from the burning bush, cry out in agony with ebc 2Jeremiah, and feel the pains of death as they walk across the valley of dry bones with Ezekiel. Why? Because such an encounter with Yahweh generates and sustains a holy passion for mission.

We’re not just training college students. We’re raising up martyrs.

Quite honestly, the front-line ministries excite me the most. I’m involved in a ministry called Touch Nepal, which supports indigenous pastors in a Hindu nation. My church supports another ministry called Zoe International, which rescues children out of the sex-trade industry and saturates them with the gospel. I love these ministries. They excite me more than any other ministry I’m involved in.

But if the kingdom of God is like a garden, then Touch Nepal and Zoe International—and a host of other ministries preaching and living the gospel in the hard to reach areas—are the fruit. They’re the tomatoes, the cherries, the 20 pound watermelons sprawled out over the earth. But a garden’s soil needs to be fertilized, tilled, churned up, and revitalized. That’s where Eternity comes in.

We are the rototiller, the shovel, the bag of nutrients spread over the ground. Eternity nourishes and revitalizes the soil; otherwise, there may not be any fruit next year.

Historically, this has been the mission of Bible colleges. They were originally planted to stir up the soil in order to further the mission, and that’s the heart of Eternity. We exist to train students to live and die well—both near and far, local and global. We raise up artists to reach the art community, public school teachers to transform education, business owners to construct gospel-centered, counter-cultural businesses. And we raise up pastors and missionaries to evangelize the nations.

By teaching at Eternity, I’m digging graves for aspiring martyrs, whose blood will be redeemed by the King whose blood saved the world.

Come die with us, whether as a student or a partner in enabling us to fulfill our mission.

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Preston Sprinkle

Preston Sprinkle

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I'm married to a beautiful wife and we have four kids (3 girls and a boy). I've been teaching college level Bible and Theology classes for a few years now (since 2007), and enjoy hanging out with my family, running, surfing, and life in SoCal. Before I became a teacher, I was in school. Lots and lots of school. I did a B.A. and M.Div here in SoCal, and then did a Ph.D. in Scotland in NT studies. Before coming to EBC, I taught at Nottingham University for a semester, and Cedarville University for a couple of years. Along with surfing, I also love to research and write, and I've written a few things on Paul, Early Judaism, and Hell.