Do Not Go To Bible College (Revisited)

facebook_classroomDo not go to bible college, or at least, do not go for one second longer than you need to.

I recently read an article titled The Case for Dropping Out of College written by Samuel Knoche. It got me thinking about an article I wrote awhile back about not going to bible college, which I think is a waste of time.

Knoche argues that American colleges are far too expensive for what they actually offer — which is little more than what the student can get for free online these days. College students are skipping most of their lectures (or passing the time on Facebook) and simply acquiring the knowledge they need from Youtube videos (often uploaded by their own professors) in order to pass the exams and write the essays.

So, Knoche asks, what the heck are they paying for? The answer is they’re paying for the diploma. Or, as Knoche puts it, the “signalling” function of a diploma. “Because employers lack any quick and reliable objective way to evaluate a job candidate’s potential worth, they fall back on the vetting work done by third parties — namely, colleges.” (Knoche)

College graduates earn more money than high school only graduates. Is this because of the skills they learn in college? Not necessarily. The skills needed to earn higher wages is already possessed by these young people before they even go to college. In fact, it is these skills which get them into college in the first place. “The competitive college admissions process winnows the applicant pool in such a way as to guarantee that those who make it into college are more intelligent, conscientious and conformist than other members of his or her high school graduating cohort.” (Knoche)

What about bible college? Well, as I wrote in my article, and what is supported here, bible college is indeed a waste of time.* Some of the people going into bible college already have what it takes to go into ministry (at least at an on-the-job-training level). Or if they don’t have what it takes, they won’t get it from bible college. The lack of work ethic, maturity, life experience, etc. that currently disqualifies them from ministry are best learned in real world situations, like in the workforce. Why pay to sit in a classroom and/or do “practical experience” training when you can learn all you need to learn, for free, in the real world?

But…. should one never go then? Some organizations will require you to attend their educational institute in order to work for them. They may want to indoctrinate you somewhat before taking you on as a working member. Or others may require you to have a degree of some sort. You need to do what you need to do, but don’t do one iota more than you need to. Don’t do in a classroom for two weeks what you can do online in two days. Don’t pay for anything online if you can get the same results for free. And never exchange real life knowledge for the “signalling” function of a diploma.

Related Reading: Playtime and Real Life

Read Knoche’s article here

Another related article by Knoche

*I should note: I believe it is a waste of time mostly for westerners to go to bible college. Individuals from non-western countries face different circumstances, and the training they get might be something they can not get in real day to day life, and therefore is an invaluable education for them. That is a topic for another article.

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