Introducing the College
As a college, our commitment is to provide
'education which is spiritual, academic and practical.'
This three-stranded approach is crucial to all that we do at BBC. We do not believe that it is possible to study theology in a faith-vacuum.
Theology is much more than a subject of academic study - it is about looking deeply into the life-giving reality of God’s revelation of Himself to His created beings. Truly understanding and thus experiencing something of God and His Word inevitably has an impact on all that we are and all that we do.
So we aim to encourage the development of the spiritual life and practical service of each student just as much as their academic progress. Deepening our relationship with the Lord through worship, prayer, reflection and fellowship is an integral part of all our academic programmes. Alongside this students are involved in diverse experiences of ministry and service within and beyond the college campus. They undertake practical training placements on a weekly basis and serve for more intensive blocks of time in various contexts and locations from here in Northern Ireland to the farthest corners of the earth. Putting into practice in the reality of their own lives and in God’s world what they are learning in the classroom is at the heart of our vision for our students and is a core aspect of what we believe makes the BBC experience so formative for authentic Christian living.
We as a college are unashamedly in the business of challenging men and women to be "not merely hearers of the Word, but doers also." (James 1.22)
The college was founded as the Belfast Bible School and Missionary Training Home in 1943 by Robert and Rosalind McKnight. They themselves were unable to go overseas to work, but felt called and compelled to train others to be involved in world mission.
The college moved to its present site, Glenburn House in Dunmurry in 1983, with 35 full–time students. This was a major step of faith for the staff and board members at that time, but their faith was honoured as donations came in from Churches and individuals across Northern Ireland to cover the cost of purchasing and modernising the building.
Belfast Bible College has always tried to make theological training accessible and the Women’s Study Fellowship course began in 1975, and continues today, with over 100 women currently taking the course. Then in 1985 Evening classes began, and thousands of individuals have benefitted from the ministry and teaching there.
The college has continued to expand and the campus has grown over the years, with new buildings being added as student numbers have increased. The college community has grown significantly in recent years and now has over 150 full–time students, as well as several hundred involved in part–time study.
International students have attended the college from many different countries are a significant part of the college community, and usually make about 20% of our student body. This diversity is a crucial and unique dimension of the Belfast Bible College educational experience, particularly for local students as we seek to create and international perspective in a local context. We give thanks to God for His faithfulness since the college began, and we look to Him for the future.