The early decades of the 20th century found many denominations accepting the philosophy and theology of the modern world. As a result, the number of ministers and missionaries committed to biblical truth was in decline, and churches found themselves lacking a source for reliable ministers and missionaries. In response to this, many Bible Institutes and Bible Colleges were created in the United States.
Independent Christian churches and churches of Christ began more than 40 of these schools in various regions of the country. Some were started in cities with the goal of helping churches with the evangelization of the region. Some were started near university campuses to provide influence on the educational systems of the area. Others were started where established churches could provide students and support that would produce additional Christian workers to serve the area.
The latter approach described the founders of Central Christian College of the Bible, when they decided to create a new college in Moberly, Missouri in 1957. The purpose of the college would be to “recruit and train leadership for the church at large according to the New Testament’s teaching.” Though the wording of this statement has been adjusted occasionally during the years, the mission has stayed the same: Developing servant-leaders for the church.
The original seal for CCCB was developed in Cincinnati, before classes even started. Gareth Reese and Frank Watson met in the home of Reuben Bullard to discuss the academic program and create the first catalog. They agreed that a seal was necessary, and they chose the torch as the main symbol, circled by the Greek phrase “The Full Armor of God.” It was designed there and has been modified several ways since then.
The various graphical emblems of the College on the cover help us realize that adjustments are needed through the years to represent the mission in a way that is relevant and meaningful for the time. And yet, the mission remains unchanged.
That original purpose helps us realize at least two things as we remember Central’s history. First, our work is on behalf of the churches that established us 60 years ago. We are here because they placed us here, and you will see that strong association in each season of the College’s existence.
Second, our results benefit those churches, plus many others. The “church at large” includes many congregations that have not supported us financially or may not even agree with us theologically. It includes various ministries that specialize in kingdom work of all types. But the education we provide creates workers who are able to benefit any interested church. We are humbled when we see God use one of our graduates to benefit the church and proclaim Christ.
The following pages give you a chance to track our mission through the decades. You will see how different milestones were reached along the way, with the leaders who were actively directing the students and the institution according to God’s purpose. In every era, the students have embodied our mission, serving on campus, in the community, and in the churches to reflect Christ and serve His kingdom.
Your support will help us train more servant-leaders for the church.