TBS CSP 2023-27
Comprehensive Strategic Plan (CSP)
The most recent version of this document is available for viewing and printing
on the TBS website under “About – TBS Documents.”
The Bible Seminary
Campus: 2655 S Mason Road, Katy, TX 77450
Mailing: 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd Ste H120-930, Katy, TX 77494-3109
Note: For additional information, consider the TBS handbooks as companion documents to this plan.
The Bible Seminary (TBS) is an independent, non-denominational, 501(c)(3) charitable institution of higher education incorporated in Texas in 2010 to offer training for laity and vocational ministry professionals. On-campus and Distance Education programs include a non-degree certificate program, as well as Dual Degree Completion, nine Master of Arts, and a Master of Divinity degree program. The seminary is an accredited member of the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS), a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) approved to offer Distance Education, a member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), an approved CEU provider for the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), and an accredited member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). TBS aims to glorify God by impacting multitudes of souls for Christ and to help fulfill the Great Commission by the power of God’s Spirit. Our mission is to foster biblical literacy through comprehensive and strategic studies of all 66 books of the Bible, cultivate professional leadership skills for life and ministry, and deploy Christian disciples in service worldwide. Faculty integrate studies of the Bible with historical, theological, and practical disciplines and engage in experiential education through classroom instruction, study tours, hands-on ministry training, and community-based training with ministry professionals. Leadership includes Dr. K. Lynn Lewis, President; Dr. Scott Stripling, Provost and Vice-President of Donor Relations; Dr. Israel Steinmetz, Dean of the Graduate Programs and full-time Professor; numerous adjunct faculty members, ministry professionals, and mentors who serve as part of the teaching team; and a Board of Trustees.
The Bible Seminary is a member of the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS) [15935 Forest Road, Forest, VA 24551; Telephone: (434) 525-9539; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org] having been awarded Accredited Status as a Category III institution by the TRACS Accreditation Commission on October 26, 2020. This status is effective for a period of five years. TRACS is recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDOE), the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), and the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE). For more information, visit TRACS.org. TBS is an Accredited member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). Based on the ECFA Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship™, including financial accountability, transparency, sound board governance and ethical fundraising, ECFA accredits leading Christian nonprofit organizations that faithfully demonstrate compliance with the ECFA Standards pertaining to financial accountability, fundraising, and board governance. For more information, visit ECFA.org or call 1-800-323-9473. The Bible Seminary is a participating member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA), a private nonprofit organization 501(c)(3) that helps expand students’ access to educational opportunities and ensure more efficient, consistent, and effective regulation of distance education programs. For more information, visit NC-SARA.org. Also see: • Council for Higher Education Database of Accredited Institutions • U.S. Department of Education Database of Accredited Institutions
The Bible Seminary requires all administration and staff, Board members, faculty, and graduate students to read and sign agreement with the covenantal documents below that help define the ideological, relational, and theological parameters of the seminary community. Generally, everyone signs these documents annually in conjunction with their employment, enrollment or re-enrollment, and service contracts.
Vision and Mission
Vision: The Bible Seminary exists to glorify God by impacting multitudes of souls for Christ and to help fulfill the Great Commission. Mission: Our mission is to foster biblical literacy through studies of all 66 books of the Bible, cultivate professional leadership skills, and deploy Christian disciples in service worldwide.
"They read from the book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning
so that the people could understand what was being read."
Lordship – Because He is Lord (Philippians 2:11), we will continually ask Jesus Christ to sit on the throne of the seminary and on the throne of the lives of its faculty, administrators, and students for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Bible – Because the Bible is the fully true Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16), we will offer and require the study of all 66 books of the Bible before graduation with a degree. We will seek to creatively integrate classical theological disciplines and ministry training by studying books of the Bible (i.e. Church History will begin with the Book of Acts and keep going; Pastoral Leadership will come through the study of the Pastoral Epistles; Systematic Theology will flow out of the study of the Pauline Epistles).
Prayer – Because apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:5), we will continually seek to plug into the Vine Jesus Christ through yielding to Him in prayer. We will offer a unique emphasis on prayer, integrated with the curriculum, in classroom settings, meetings, and continual prayer opportunities in the life of the seminary.
Unreached Peoples – Because the return of Christ awaits the evangelization of all people groups (Matthew 24:14), we will keep our eyes on the unreached peoples of the world and train our students to have a heart for the fulfillment of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) by seeking to reach millions of souls for Jesus Christ.
Local Church – Because the church universal (the body of Christ) is God’s plan (Matthew 16:18), comprised of local churches (Acts 20:28; Romans 16:3-5; Acts 5:42), we will have a symbiotic relationship of service, training and education with local churches and parachurch ministries.
Community – Because we were created for community (Genesis 1:26; Hebrews 10:24-25), we will seek to build a unique fellowship where we continually grow together in relationship and as followers of Christ, seeking to live as examples of biblical community, where authenticity and accountability are practiced, and where integrity is modeled and taught (Romans 12:4-5; Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-35).
Compassion – Because God has a huge heart for the poor and overlooked (Matthew 25:31-46), we will strive to motivate, equip, and train students to minister to “the least of these” as a lifestyle.
The Bible Seminary strives to provide faculty, staff, and support services that:
• Promote belief in Jesus Christ as LORD and the centrality of discipleship by offering Christ-centered educational programs and courses.
• Promote all 66 books of the BIBLE as the fully true Word of God by integrating the study of these biblical books into studies of classical theological disciplines and ministry training.
• Promote the vital priority of PRAYER by modeling and teaching prayer in classes, events, meetings, publications, and retreats.
• Promote awareness of and compassion for UNREACHED PEOPLES of the world by offering education in missions and engagement in cross-cultural endeavors.
• Promote experiential training by integrating LOCAL CHURCH and parachurch ministry leaders, site visits, and service opportunities into educational experiences.
• Promote authenticity, accountability, and integrity through genuine communication, collaborative learning, and ethical relationships in an academic faith COMMUNITY.
• Promote COMPASSION by providing education and cooperative experiences in ministering to the poor, overlooked, and underprivileged.
Progress in achieving each institutional objective is measured with Likert Scale assessments completed by students prior to beginning and upon completion of curriculum.
• The student will demonstrate mastery of all 66 biblical books by completing a summative Capstone project (CAP 590) as the culmination of his or her program prior to graduating with a degree.
• The student will demonstrate learning proficiency, progression in study skills, and academic achievement through successfully passing course exams, improving scores between pre-course and post-course assessments, research reports, written papers, and class presentations.
• The student will demonstrate evidence of core ministry skills in basic and advanced hermeneutics, pastoral leadership, preaching and teaching, biblically-based counseling, and cultivation of personal and group spiritual formation by successfully passing course exams, improving scores between pre-course and post-course assessments, and submitting respectable quality research reports, written papers, class presentations, and ministry service reports.
• The student will demonstrate exegetical comprehension and applied learning from the study of biblical cultures, languages, history and theology through successful engagement in course assignments and ministry activities within the seminary educational community and beyond, and by successfully passing course exams, improving scores between pre-course and post-course assessments, and submitting respectable quality, research reports, written papers and class presentations.
• We believe in the inspiration and authority of Scripture – The Bible is the only inspired Word of God, fully true, and our sole authority for all that we believe and do (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Matthew 5:18). We hold to the inerrancy of Scripture, as outlined in the “Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.”
• We believe in one God – There is only one true God who exists eternally in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:26; Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; John 14:9; Acts 5:3-4,9; 2 Corinthians 3:17; 13:14; Hebrews 1:1-3, I John 5:7).
• We believe in the deity and humanity of Christ – Jesus Christ is Lord, being fully God and yet fully Man, born of a virgin, as affirmed in the Nicene, and Apostles’ Creeds (Matthew 1:18-23; Luke 1:26-38; John 1:1-2,14; Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 1:13-20; Hebrews 1:8).
• We believe in substitutionary atonement – Jesus Christ died on the cross as our substitute – taking upon Himself the penalty of the sins of fallen humans (John 1:29; Romans 3:25-26; 5:8, 12-19; Galatians 3:13; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 3:18).
• We believe in the resurrection of Christ – Jesus rose from the dead in a bodily resurrection defeating sin and death (Romans 6:4-9; 10:9; 1 Corinthians 15:3-6).
• We believe in salvation by grace through faith alone – A person is saved from eternal separation from God as a free gift when that person places their faith in Jesus Christ who is the only way to the Father (John 1:12; 3:16; 5:24; 14:6; Acts 4:12; Romans 1:16-17; Ephesians 2:8-9; Revelation 21:27).
• We believe in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ – Jesus Christ will come again to judge the living and the dead (Matthew 24-25; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 19-21).
• We believe in heaven and hell – Believers in Jesus Christ will be resurrected to everlasting blessedness and joy in eternal fellowship with God (1 Corinthians 15:35-57; 2 Corinthians 5:1-9; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; Revelation 21:1-7; 22:1-5). Unbelievers will be resurrected to conscious separation from God and eternal punishment (Matthew 25:41,46; Mark 9:43-48; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Revelation 14:9-11;20:10-15; 21:8).
WHERE WE STAND ON SOME CONTROVERSIAL SOCIAL ISSUES
We acknowledge that the following social issues generate much pain and division in some churches, and we do not approach these issues lightly or glibly. But we also acknowledge that at the heart, these are authority of Scripture issues. We believe the Bible is clear about the following:
• Abortion – We believe human life inside a mother’s womb begins at conception and that at conception, a real human being is created in the image of God (Psalm 139:13-16; Jeremiah 1:4-5; Luke 1:39-45) and, therefore, that abortion is murder and wrong/sin (Exodus 20:13). We believe God offers full forgiveness to an abortive mother/father who has turned to Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:13-15; Ephesians 1:7).
• Celibacy, Marriage, and Sexuality – We believe God created humans in His image, intentionally and immutably male and female, each bringing unique and complementary qualities to sexuality and relationships (e.g., Genesis 1:27; 2:18, 21-24; Matthew 19:4-5; Ephesians 5:22-33). Celibacy, marriage, and sexuality in general are gifts from God to be expressed: (1) within specific boundaries He designed for our safety and pleasure, and (2) within the confines of His purposes, which include gratefully honoring the Lord with our bodies and minds (e.g., Proverbs 6:20-7:27; Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 7:19-20; Ephesians 4:17-5:21).
We believe God ordained marriage to be a lifelong union between one man and one woman (e.g., Genesis 2:18, 21-24; Matthew 19:4-9, Mark 10:5-9, Ephesians 5:31). God’s design for sexual acts is within marriage for the purpose of moral human procreation and the unique pleasurable intimacy (one flesh) intended for husbands and wives (e.g., Genesis 1:27-28; 9:1; 35:11; Psalm 127:3; Proverbs 5:18-19; Song of Solomon 7:6-13; 1 Corinthians 7:5). Sexual acts outside God-instituted boundaries are sinful and defy God’s natural order, plans, and purposes (e.g., Exodus 20:14; Leviticus 18:7-23; 20:10-21; Matthew 5:27-28; 15:19; 1 Corinthians 6:9-13; Galatians 5:19; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:2-8; 1 Timothy 1:8-11; Jude 7, cf. Genesis 19). We do not believe in ordaining self-avowed practicers of such sexual sin and do not believe in the validity of ceremonies that celebrate same-sex unions (e.g., Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:18-32; Hebrews 13:4).
• Ministry Leadership – We believe persons engaged in willful, ongoing sinful practice(s) should not serve in ministry leadership (Romans 1:18-32; I Corinthians 5:1-13 and 6:9-20; I Thessalonians 4:1-8; I Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9), and those already serving in ministry leadership who engage in ongoing sinful behavior(s) should be disciplined and removed from ministry leadership (I Samuel 15: Matthew 18:15-18). We believe true repentance is an essential first step in the sanctification process necessary towards restoration of ministry leadership (I Corinthians 6:9-11; I Thessalonians 4:1-8). Therefore, anyone considering ministry leadership via a path that includes seeking a degree from and/or working for The Bible Seminary should evidence public and private freedom from sinful behavior(s) over time (Matthew 3:8; Acts 26:20; James 2:14-26), since ministry leadership is incorporated into official positions and roles at The Bible Seminary, including administration, board, faculty, staff, volunteers and students.”
It is a high honor and privilege to represent God to people by training for and serving in ministry. When people see someone “in the ministry,” they see that person as representing Christ’s church. It is for this reason that the Bible outlines in 1 Timothy 3 some of the expectations and qualifications of a leader in the church. It is very important for each member of the seminary community (no matter what their position) to seek to live up to these standards (with God’s help and empowerment). Thus, we ask each member of the seminary community to covenant to lead a life that is “above reproach” as defined by the following Ethos Statement. The heart of this document is healthy community full of grace and truth (John 1:17).
As a member of the seminary community, I agree, with God’s help and empowerment, to live by the following ideals to the best of my ability:
1. I will seek to walk with God through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ (Genesis 5:22; John 17:3; Mark 12:29-31; Ephesians 2:8-9).
2. I will seek to have no other gods than Jesus Christ (Exodus 20:3-6; 1 Peter 3:15). I will seek to keep myself from idolatry (1 John 5:21) by not making idols out of money, sex, power, people, material things, school, or ministry success.
3. I will work as “unto the Lord” (Colossians 3:23-24). I will give God my best in my family, in my job performance, and in my training for ministry.
4. I will refrain from sexual immorality (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5). If I am married, I will be faithful to my spouse (Exodus 20:14). If I am single, I will remain celibate in my singleness. I will not engage in homosexual practice (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
5. I will refrain from drunkenness or the use of illegal drugs (Ephesians 5:18). I will not allow a substance to control me, rather I will seek to be controlled by God. If I choose to “drink socially,” I will do so in a way that does not cause other people to stumble (1 Corinthians 8).
6. I will practice biblical conflict resolution. If someone hurts or offends me, I will go to that person and speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15,25) and forgive them (Ephesians 4:32). If this does not resolve the issue, I will then involve a second person as prescribed in Matthew 18:15-17. I will not slander another person by talking negatively about him/her (Ephesians 4:31). I will seek to build others up with my words (Ephesians 4:29). If I cannot bring resolution through these steps, I will seek counsel.
7. I will be respectful of those in authority over me and submit to their leadership (Hebrews 13:17) unless they were to call me to do something contrary to Scripture (Acts 5:27-29). I will seek humbleness in my life (1 Peter 5:5-6).
The purpose of this Ethos Statement is to maintain order (1 Corinthians 14:40) and to uphold integrity, respect, honor, and character (2 Timothy 2:20-22). There is plenty of grace in this community for mistakes (James 5:16), whereas there is not room in this community for blatant and unrepentant rebellion (1 Corinthians 5). I agree to do my best to live by this Ethos Statement with God’s help and power through Jesus Christ and for His glory.
Academic Freedom Statement
The Bible Seminary (TBS) is in mission to provide academic instruction and vocational training for Christian ministers to perform as pastors, counselors, missionaries, church planters, and leaders. Supporting this mission are the seven adopted Core Values of TBS and basic Christian convictions stated in the TBS Covenantal Documents and the Faculty Handbook.
Diversity of education and religious viewpoint is available to society through the plurality of global academic institutions. At TBS, we invite the richness of interpretation and study of the Bible as we seek its deepest meaning and truth. TBS is to be distinguished as an academic institution that shares a basic set of Core Values among its students, faculty, administrators, and Board of Trustees. Instruction, research, and academic investigation are to uphold and respect the positions provided in the Core Values, the Ethos and Doctrinal Statements, and the Faculty Handbook. For example, the following statement from the TBS Faculty Handbook summarizes one of our institutional doctrinal positions that we expect all TBS faculty to uphold:
Creationism versus Evolution
God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1); God set the land to produce seed-bearing plants and trees (Genesis 1:11-12); God created all living things in the sea and on land, and the birds of the sky (Genesis 1:20-25); and God created man, male and female (Genesis 1:26-27). Scientific observations make obvious that God’s creation is uniquely enabled by God to adapt to its environment, making subtle changes over time to survive and thrive in the world – a process often described as “micro-evolution.” Humans have also adapted and diversified, as indicated by the many races, peoples, and societies that have developed through the ages. However, this ability to adapt is not a substitution for the absolute truth that God created humans in His image (Genesis 1:27), breathed life into man (Genesis 2:7), and, after the discovery of sin by the first humans, Adam and Eve, God dispatched mankind to the less-than-perfect circumstances in which we live life today (Genesis 3:14-24). Therefore, while we acknowledge the phenomena of micro-evolution, we reject the macro-evolutionary theory of how plants, animals, and humans came to exist. Rather, we embrace the biblical view of creation that God created the heavens and the earth and all that is within it, including humans. We are open to either a young earth view of creation (where “yowm” = 24-hour period) or an old earth view of creation (where “yowm” = an age).
In general, Academic freedom means individuals have rights to engage in intellectual debate, research, and speech, through written or electronic correspondence, on and off campus, without fear of censorship, retaliation, or sanction. This freedom encompasses rights to maintain academic standards and gives faculty members reasonable latitude in deciding how to teach assigned courses; encourages intellectual integrity; sustains pedagogical approaches consistent with disciplines taught; and informs evaluations of student work, all exercised within the shared boundaries defined by the TBS Covenantal Documents.
Academic freedom does not involve expressions that substantially impair the rights of others or the imposition of political, religious, or philosophical beliefs on individuals of the TBS community. Academic Freedom does not provide protection of faculty who demonstrate professional ignorance, incompetence, or dishonesty with regard to their assigned discipline or fields of expertise, or who engage in arbitrary or capricious evaluation of students.
All members of the TBS community have a right to due process. Anyone alleging or responding to a potential breach of academic freedom should follow the TBS Grievance Policy.
The Bible Seminary admits students of any race, sex, color, disability, age, or national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the Seminary. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, disability, age, or national or ethnic origin in the administration of its hiring policies, educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and other school-administered programs.
Philosophy of Education
We believe the Bible is one book, written by many authors over time, inspired by one Spirit for all time – and is the best training manual for ministry.
We believe that doing ministry, debriefing ministry, and studying ministry – in association with called, life-giving, seasoned and Spirit-filled professionals – is an effective educational model.
We believe a balanced, Bible-based, Christ-centered, mission-focused educational approach includes a comprehensive curriculum that integrates studying through all 66 biblical books along with studying standard historical, theological, and practical disciplines critical to developing professional skills for 21st century ministry.
We believe that challenging and nurturing students, getting them into the Word of God, and helping them think biblically while listening to the Holy Spirit, involves a unique combination of professional ministry training, cutting-edge tools, and extraordinary experiences.
We believe that interactive personal engagement over time, among groups of individuals with a common set of core values and doctrines and ethical standards, and with diverse backgrounds and experiences, can offer an exciting, family-friendly, practical, rich, and unparalleled learning environment.
We believe that a journey of theological education should accomplish the following:
• Glorify the Lord
• Be rooted in His Word
• Nurture an intimate, faithful, trusting relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
• Cultivate a contextual and more profound understanding of God and creation, scripture and the world, heaven and earth, culture and history, time and eternity, and things seen and unseen
• Equip students with relevant experiences, knowledge, relationships, training, and tools for a lifetime of ministry leadership
• Lead to a passionate commitment to love and serve the Lord and others with all that students are and have, in perpetuity.
Incorporation and Licensing
• Independent and non-denominational
• Registered Domestic Non-Profit Corporation in the state of Texas (Feb 2010)
• Registered IRS 501(c)(3) Charitable Institution of Higher Education (Aug 2010)
• Exemption by Texas Workforce Commission (Mar 2011, Oct 2018, Aug 2020)
• Exemption by Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (May 2011)
• Affiliate Member of the Association for Biblical Higher Education (2012 - Jul 2021)
• Approved CEU provider by the Association of Christian Schools International (Oct 2015)
• Approved by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS) for Applicant Status (Jan 2018), Candidate status (Apr 2019), Accredited status (Oct 2020), and to offer Distance Education (Apr 2021)
• Approved accredited member of ECFA (Sep 2019)
• Approved member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (Dec 2021)
• Dr. James E. Leggett, Founding President (2010-13)
• Rev. Paul Helbig, Bible Institute Co-founder and Lead Faculty (2008-16)
• Mr. Dan Dunham, Founding Board of Trustees Chair (2010-13)
• Grace Fellowship Church, Seed funding for launch (2010-11)
• President, Dr. K. Lynn Lewis (2014-present), Executive Vice-President/Provost (2011-13)
• Provost, Dr. Scott Stripling (2017-present)
• Vice-President of Finance and Administration, Mr. Rick McCalip (2010-present)
• Board of Trustees, Mr. Adam Peters (Chair) with 11 total members
• Master of Divinity (84-credit hours)
• Master of Arts (four majors plus four concentrations, 48 to 60-credit hours)
• Dual Degree Completion (Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry in conjunction with a TBS MA or MDiv)
• Certificate of Theological Studies (27-credit hours)
• Two full-time administrators who also teach
• One full-time faculty member and 15+ adjunct professors and teaching assistants
• 50+ professionals who serve as mentors and visiting teachers
• All programs cover all 66 books of the Bible
• Comprehensive, relevant education and training for 21st century leadership
• Local mentoring and training opportunities throughout the graduate degree programs
• Educational experiences in classrooms, on-site visits to regional locations and international locations, especially in Israel
Special Program Elements
• Distinctively clear core values, doctrine, and ethos statements
• Holy Land Study tours and archaeological excavation opportunities
• Technological study and resource tools
• Multiple experiential learning opportunities
• Strong commitment to helping students graduate with ZERO ($0) seminary debt
The Bible Seminary’s passion for vibrant Bible-based, Christ-centered, mission-focused leadership training began with Dr. James E. Leggett, founder and senior pastor of Grace Fellowship Church in Katy, Texas. Under the leadership of Teaching Pastor, Paul Helbig, the church established a Bible Institute in 2008 teaching all 66 books of the Bible. A team led by future Board Chair, Dan Dunham, and Vice-President of Finance and Administration, Rick McCalip, helped incorporate The Bible Seminary (TBS) in 2010 as an independent, non-denominational, charitable 501(c)(3), educational institution of higher education. The Board named Dr. Leggett as volunteer President and the church raised $1,100,000 from 260 donors to help launch the seminary. In 2011, the Board hired Dr. K. Lynn Lewis as full-time Executive Vice-President and Provost; received exemptions for its Master of Divinity program by the Texas Workforce Commission and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; transferred the Bible Institute from Grace Fellowship to TBS; and graduated the first 12 students from the Bible Certificate program in December 2011. In 2012, TBS received approval for Affiliate status with the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE). The graduate program launched on September 4, 2012 with 12 inaugural students. In 2014, Dr. Leggett resigned as volunteer President, the Board named Dr. Lewis as President, and TBS hired a full-time Provost. In 2015, TBS established a Master of Arts program, a Dual Degree Completion program, a Licensed Professional program consisting of core graduate courses, awarded its first graduate degrees (seven Master of Divinity and one Master of Arts), launched a Spanish Bible Certificate program, and received approval from the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) to provide continuing education. In 2016, TBS began offering courses in regional locations. In 2017, the seminary hired Dr. Scott Stripling as Provost and Dr. Douglas Petrovich as full-time faculty member, revised the Bible Certificate program, and received recognition by the Knowledge Review as one of the 10 Most Preferred Divinity Schools for Religious Studies 2017. In 2018, TBS added four new Master of Arts programs, reduced Master of Divinity credit hours from 96 to 84, revised the Licensed Professional program, received approvals of exemption from the Texas Workforce Commission, and added new remote instructional locations. In 2019, TBS hired Dr. J. Paul Nyquist as Dean of Graduate Programs and became an accredited member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). In 2020, TBS named Dr. Doug Petrovich Dean of Graduate Programs and Mrs. Carousel Pieterse Director of the Bible Certificate Program, renamed the “Licensed Professional” program the “Vocational Ministry” certificate program, and earned Accredited Status with the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS). In 2021, TBS received approval from TRACS to offer Distance Education and became a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). In 2022, TBS added four Master of Arts Concentrations, formed a publishing division (Nehemiah Press), opened the 3J Archaeological Museum, hired Dr. Israel Steinmetz as Graduate Dean, and named Dr. Scott Stripling as Provost and Vice-President of Donor Relations.
Planning, Use, and Design
Planning and Use
This TBS Comprehensive Strategic Plan (CSP) depicts a schematic outline summarizing progression of ongoing planning, budgeting, engagement, and governance processes. It ensures alignment of the institution’s Covenant Documents (Mission, Purpose, Core Values, Doctrines, Ethos, Institutional Objectives, Educational Philosophy, and policies) with annual strategic objectives, goals, budgets, and implementation timing. Alignment spans key areas addressed directly in the CSP component sections.
Original Version Development
Since 2010, as detailed in the bylaws, TBS has engaged in an annual planning and budgeting process involving the Administration and the Board. Following the launch of the Master of Divinity program in September 2012, the Board commissioned subcommittees to provide supplemental annual planning efforts to address strategic areas. Additionally, in February 2014, the Board convened the first annual Board Strategy Retreat with three distinct goals:
1. To understand the current state of TBS, including internal and external challenges
2. To identify key upcoming priorities
3. To identify specific actions needed to advance select priorities
Retreat follow-up included forming a Strategic Plan Sub-committee to advance the work and integrate it with existing TBS planning and governance processes to formulate the first 5-year Comprehensive Strategic Plan (CSP). Over the next few months, CSP Subcommittee Chair Bob Button initiated sessions with Administration and the Board Chair to map out a process to develop and approve an official CSP. The process included convening a workshop with administration, faculty, and student representatives to obtain grass roots constituency input. Additional discussions between the TBS President, Board Chair, and subcommittee chair, and then a subcommittee meeting with the TBS President, resulted in adoption of the CSP design framework, identification of component sections, identification of section objectives, goals, timetables, responsible individuals tasked with completing, financial resources, and item statuses. The committee issued the first draft to the Board in mid-August, received feedback, made revisions, the Board received the original version and approved it at the September 28, 2014 Board meeting.
Ensuing Versions and Use
TBS administration and staff review the CSP annually as part of the ongoing cycle of planning, budgeting and assessments outlined in the Comprehensive Assessment Plan (CAP). The Board utilizes the CSP as the outline for the annual Strategic Planning Retreat, normally held each February or March, and approves updated CSP’s regularly. The back page of the plan notes the dates of the original Board-approved version, most recent Board-approved version, and most recent edited version.
The outline consists of ten component sections: 1) Prayer, 2) Educational Programs, 3) Enrollment, 4) Staffing, 5) Finances, 6) Facilities, 7) Policies and Procedures, 8) Accreditation, 9) Alumni, and 10) Communications and Marketing. Each section is further divided to address the following elements:
In practice, TBS leaders additionally engage in a SWOT analysis of each of the ten areas. The administration, staff, faculty, students, and Board conduct analysis separately during January and February, and these are combined for joint review during the annual Board planning retreat. The graphic below depicts the general format.
2. Educational Programs
The Bible Seminary’s main campus facilities consist of 3,800 sq. ft. of leased space with one 40-seat classroom (Suite 270) and small kitchen area (cabinets, microwave, refrigerator) and storage closet, a museum (Suite 250), a 16-seat Library/Boardroom (Suite 263), five individual offices, a combined office/production studio, a combined office/reception area, and access to common restroom facilities and a parking lot with 100 parking spaces. Total simultaneous capacity on the main campus approximates 40 students in one classroom plus up to 16 in the library. The campus is located at 2655 S Mason Rd, Katy, TX 77450, in the business complex on the grounds of the 80-acre Great Southwest Equestrian Center (GSWEC) and next door to the 30-acre Grace Fellowship Church campus.
The Board established a Campus Development Committee (CDC) in 2012 to work with administration to evaluate facility needs and provision strategies. Current leases at the GSWEC extend through July 2023. Options to acquire additional space in the current facilities are reviewed as they come available, but several recent options were declined in favor of improved options related to possible relocation.
7. Policies and Procedures
10. Communications and Marketing
The Bible Seminary
2655 S Mason Road
Katy, TX 77450
© The Bible Seminary
Comprehensive Strategic Plan
Latest revision: 4/4/2023
Current Version: Board-approved October 2022
Original Version: Board-approved September 2014