One out of five Southern Baptist pastors in North Carolina have attended a little school hidden in the mountains near Hendersonville, N.C. Many South Carolina pastors also came from this little school. That place is Fruitland Baptist Bible College.
Fruitland is a two-year school that was created to train people for future ministry. It offers an associate’s degree in religion/Christian ministries.
I have taught at Fruitland off and on since 1993. I consider it one of the greatest privileges of my life to teach these men and women who will serve in ministry. Why have so many chosen to attend this school, and why does it have such a positive impact on so many lives?
Fruitland has had great leadership. I have served under four presidents. David Horton, our current president, continues the tradition of exceptional leadership for our school. The level of commitment to the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina can be seen in the fact that three former presidents of the state convention, as well as our current president, teach there.
Academically, the faculty is more than equal to the task. Each one has at least a master’s degree and many have doctoral degrees as well. We have arrangements with schools such as the College at Southeastern in Wake Forest and North Greenville University to accept our student’s course work toward a bachelor’s degree. Southeastern has expressed its pleasure with the quality of students we send them.
Fruitland is amazingly inexpensive in its tuition and fees. A student can take a full load of 16 hours for less than $600 total tuition for each quarter.
That is less than the cost of one class at most colleges. The cost of room, board, tuition and books together is around $1,800 a quarter.
How can Fruitland offer a great biblically based education that trains ministers at such a low price? Two reasons:
Because of your support through the Cooperative Program; and,
Because most of the faculty teach one day per week, receiving only small part time salaries.
There is more to Fruitland than just the courses that are taught. The camaraderie that is felt among the students is something you have to experience to understand. Our students grow close to each other and develop friendships that last for life. They pray together and worship together in a daily chapel experience. This is unashamedly a strong Christian school.
One other factor that makes us unique is the fact that the majority of teachers are people who serve as pastors during the week.
Students are being taught by people who preach every week, visit their people in the hospitals, do funerals and are a part of the “real world” of Christian work. What the students receive is not just academic theory, but truths that have been proven in the life of local churches.
If you are looking for a place to grow in the Lord and train for future ministry, or if you are looking for a place to send those who are called to ministry in your churches, please consider Fruitland Baptist Bible College.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Steve Scoggins is senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Hendersonville and president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.)