Bible school administration is important because it forms the foundation of training of God’s people. Training can equip one, but God is the only one who can call and empower you to serve effectively in whatever your role is in Bible school administration. Good administration is getting others to work together.
One must understand that Bible school administration is a ministry centered on equipping people, not techniques and paperwork. It is an art of management, not manipulation. It requires faith in God, sensitivity, integrity, timing, administrative skills, and resourcefulness.
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Lecturers and facilitators are leaders – they should have the ability to influence people. Many serving in Bible school administration are gifted with natural talents, yet these natural talents are sharpened through experience, training, and empowerment from God. Effective Bible school administration gets the bulk of the students and teachers to see the vision, grasp the vision, communicate the vision, and impart the vision to others. Failure to do so only causes chaos in the school; you will have some people doing one thing, while others are doing something else.
In Bible school administration, one of the key things we must remember is to place people where their strengths and/or calling are, not just where there is a vacancy. Some administrators are outstanding receptionists, but inefficient administrators.
In AG’s church administration, the General Assembly is the highest decision-making body. Because the General Assembly is the Supreme Council of the Church, it is, therefore, the governing authority of the church’s Bible School. While the constitutional authority to make decisions related to general matters affecting the Church and her different institutions (such as the Bible School) is entrusted with the General Assembly, the implementation of those decisions falls to the Church’s various Committees. In the case of some Bible Schools, it is the Elders’ Committee or combinations of other committees.
Its membership comprises one elder Minister from each of the Church’s sub-districts. The main function of the Elders’ Committee includes the confirmation of the annual reports of the Board of the Theological College.
This is the Executive and Advisory Body that oversees the management of the Bible School. As a sub-Committee of the Elders’ Committee or general assembly or so, as the case may be for each institution, the Board is thus under the authority of and accountable to the former, but with some degree of independent responsibility for the running of the School. The functions of the Board include:
- The implementation of all matters that is beneficial and necessary for the development of the Bible School.
- To enforce that the Bible School carries out its mission objectives competently.
- The preparation and submission of reports of the Board’s work to the higher Committee and through the latter to the General Assembly.
- Develop recommendations for the nomination, retention, promotion, tenure, and compensation of faculty, department chairs, and staff members in departments and units assigned to the college
- Extend offers for employment or initiate a dismissal within the college in consultation with the chairs, provost, and legal counsel
Often new pastors are quickly awakened as they leave Bible school or seminary and begin pastoring their first church. They spend much of their time performing business functions. While most Bible schools do a wonderful job of teaching theology, hermeneutics, homiletics, and basic Bible knowledge, few schools adequately prepare a pastor to deal with finances, accounting statements, legal matters, building programs, and basic personnel supervision. Church management is more of an art than a science. Although basic management can be taught in formal classes, true church business management is often learned through experience and advice, it is the responsibility of church cum school administration to organize practical training of pastors before they are allowed to manage a church. This will help them grow the church effectively without any problems.
Today’s office of administrator was born in the New Testament and arose from a need to solve the murmurings of the Early Church members. Even though the apostles were preaching, disciples were multiplying, and the church was growing, human needs were being neglected (Acts 6) because few people were sharing the administrative load.
The Bible school is made up of people in the administrative cadre. This multi-functional commission assists the school staff in an effective plan, organizing, managing, and maintaining the school, property, and personnel of the school. In addition, they develop and implement the school’s stewardship programs in ministry, finance, and prayer and, in a clear accurate manner, communicates information to all students. It also plans for future needs and seeks ways to provide risk management. Some vital functions of Bible school administrators include:
It is their responsibility to plan and implement teachers’ training. How they approach teacher training does matter if they are seeking to develop effective teachers.
It is also their responsibility to determine and adequately solve teachers’ needs. They should use a survey, observation, and/or personal consultation to help determine not only what topics teachers need help with but also their learning preferences so they can tailor training to individual pastors.
It is also the responsibility of Bible school administrators to determine teachers’ training needs to enhance effective training of students. Though valid means of training Bible teachers, seminars tend to provide more of a cookie-cutter approach. Everyone, regardless of need or teaching experience, receives the same training. Whether pre-service or in-service training, Bible teachers would benefit the most from a variety of means of training.
Teacher training efforts will be most successful when the leadership team is all on the same page, particularly when it comes to the overall goal of the church’s Christian education ministry.
It is equally the responsibility of bible school administrations to ensure that there is operational efficiency in its day to day running of the school, some of these functions include:
- they help ensure that matters are handled effectively; that is, with the goals of biblical ministry clearly in view;
- they reduce the possibility of mismanagement and unethical behavior, particularly in matters pertaining to employees and finances;
- they save time in the decision-making process, thus enabling the ministry to function more efficiently;
- they help to clarify expectations and enable people to work together in ministry with greater understanding.
- Develop, administer, and promote the academic programs and academic support functions of the college including international programs.
- Coordinate and promote academic proposals, changes, reviews, and other academic matters with the other deans of the university, and other institutions and groups
- Coordinate the departments and programs within the college
- Develop external relationships for the purposes of (1) enhancing student placement opportunities; (2) providing meaningful community outreach opportunities for students and faculty
- Responsible for managing and monitoring college budgets, allocating and providing oversight of department budgets and program fees
If God has called you to be a leader in a Bible school to educate this generation, your position in serving families requires a tremendous amount of faith and prayer, perseverance and dedication, discernment and diplomacy, and most of all, a true heart for grooming pastors.
One calling as an administrator, board member, or teacher to partner with churches in educating gospel ministers according to the Bible is a mandate from the Word. “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” Deuteronomy 6:4–7
The essence of Bible school administration is to help you teach gospel ministers how to reason from Biblical principles for lifelong discipleship. Educating them to think like Christ brings the Gospel from this generation to the next. As an administrator, the goal is to train young people to serve Christ with zeal and dedication. If today’s gospel ministers learn to base all decisions on the Bible, they will indeed become Christian leaders in their generation. Christian leadership is essential to preserving our nation’s liberty and our Christian heritage.
Assemblies of God. Church Administration. Boonville Ave Springfield: The General Council of the Assemblies of God. 2016.
Bartel, Leroy R. “How To Have an Effective Christian Education Ministry.” Enrichment Journal. 2016.
Church Administration Blog Host. What is Church Administration? April 6, 2011.
David, Francis. Three Dimensional Strategies to help members and Leaders fulfill the Great Commission. USA: Lifeway Press, 2006. Kogan, M. Education Accountability: An Analytical Overview. London, Hutchinson, 1988.