In July 2004, West Gate Baptist Church acquired ten (10) acres of vacant property contiguous to the then-current four (4) acre campus. Remaining plans for this property include:
- Expansion of the current gymnasium and school building to create recreational and administrative space for Florida Baptist College.
- Two (2) multi-story academic buildings with classrooms, faculty offices, and dormitories.
The Bible college experience is more than just classrooms and books. It is meeting new people, interacting with pastors and professors, and fellowshipping with church members and fellow students. Students will make lifetime friends and may even find God’s choice for their future spouse. Because of the importance of these out-of-classroom experiences to students’ spiritual and social development, FBC has designed programs and facilities to promote structured social interaction. Most importantly, students’ social lives revolve around the ministries and activities of West Gate Baptist Church.
Every student is lovingly “adopted” by a West Gate Baptist Church family through the “Adopt a Student” program. The West Gate family provides a home-away-from-home for the student to relax and enjoy home-cooked meals on Sunday afternoons and to encourage the student throughout the semester with notes and care packages. Seasonal banquets, sightseeing trips, and other special events enrich the college experience by encouraging social contact in both formal and informal settings.
Florida Baptist College desires to maintain a spiritual atmosphere on campus that promotes holy living among our faculty and students. Students are required to attend church services, chapel services, and dormitory devotions where they are challenged to have a closer walk with the Lord. Students are reminded that they cannot do the work of God without being a person of God through their daily devotional time.
The college administration and faculty desire to impact students by mentoring them individually and in small group settings. Faculty members have an “open door” policy so that they are always available to counsel and guide students in their spiritual lives.
Weekly chapel services are designed to challenge and motivate our students to maintain a close walk with the Lord and to wholeheartedly serve Him. Students are exposed to the preaching and godly influence of veteran pastors and missionaries who are regular guest preachers in chapel services. Additionally, students are blessed by the preaching of the President of Florida Baptist College and Pastor of West Gate Baptist Church, Pastor George Pirt and the faculty members and adjunct professors who fill the pulpit on regular occasions.
Students have the opportunity to see the local church in action on a weekly basis. From the opening prayer to the invitation, the church services at West Gate Baptist Church emphasize the importance of proper worship. They are thus one of the most valuable training tools at Florida Baptist College. Missions conferences, revivals, special days, and many other great events are held annually to encourage the church members and expose them to great men of God that have been greatly used in the work of the ministry. Students are required to attend all services of West Gate Baptist Church during their years at Florida Baptist College. On special occasions, students may receive permission from the administration to attend a like-minded, independent Baptist church Students attending other churches are expected to be faithful to the services of that church.
Christian Service Requirements
Students apply the principles taught in the classroom by serving the Lord in the ministry of West Gate Baptist Church. This practical experience includes weekly soulwinning opportunities and a number of weekly ministries such as Sunday school classes, junior church, bus routes, and Adventure Club. Mature Christians who can share life experiences and help train students in the ministry mentor students. Those who attend other churches may fulfill their Christian service requirements in the churches they attend.
The Bible clearly identifies godly music as a vital aspect of every Christian’s personal walk with the Lord. For this reason, students are given many opportunities in the college setting to serve the Lord in song and to develop their musical skills. Students at Florida Baptist College also have the privilege of being a part of the vibrant and Christ-honoring music program of West Gate Baptist Church. Students have opportunities to sing specials in college chapel services, West Gate Baptist Church services, and in other ministries of the church.
Students who are more serious about developing their musical talents for Christian service have additional exciting opportunities as a part of a traveling tour group. Music Education majors are also given practical training and involvement in developing seasonal church musicals. Students with instrumental skills find plenty of opportunities to use their talents in college chapel services, church offertories, and the growing orchestra at West Gate Baptist Church.
It is the sincere desire of Florida Baptist College to teach each student a biblical philosophy of music. We also want to give each student practical opportunities to develop their musical abilities and to thoroughly prepare them for a future ministry in a local church.
Students may drive and park on campus after receiving a parking permit from the Registrar. The Registrar will issue a parking permit after verifying the validity of the student’s driving license, registration, insurance, and the safety of the student’s driving record. Students may not loan their vehicles to, or borrow vehicles from, another student without the express written permission of the owner and the Registrar. Application forms for parking permits and vehicle loan authorizations are available in the Registrar’s office.
Vehicles must be operated with care both on and off campus and must be parked only in designated areas. The Administration may refuse to issue a parking permit or may revoke the driving privileges of any student who violates these policies or who irresponsibly uses his vehicle.
FBC is sensitive to the responsibilities of married life and the financial sacrifices that many married students make to attend Bible College. Because of these special circumstances, FBC offers the following benefits to married students:
- Spouses may take up to six (6) hours for credit per semester tuition free.
- West Gate Christian School offers need-basedassistance for their children.
- Assistance in finding off-campus housing.
- There are special activities for wives and married couples.
General Dress Guidelines
Florida Baptist College believes that the Bible is relevant to every aspect of a Christian’s life including his personal dress and appearance. The overriding Biblical principles concerning dress and appearance are modesty, distinction between the sexes, and doing all things to the honor and glory of God. Students are expected to model these Biblical principles and to conform to the dress and appearance guidelines of the Student Handbook.
Students are expected to conduct themselves in a Christ-honoring manner with a good spirit. Students must read and comply with the college rules and the Biblical standards of separation set forth in the Student Handbook. Students are accountable for their testimony in the community and their place of employment. They are ambassadors of Christ and representatives of West Gate Baptist Church and Florida Baptist College everywhere they go.
Courtship and Marriage
The Apostle Paul encouraged unmarried persons to use the time they are single to focus their time and energy on serving the Lord and maintaining a close relationship with Him. Similarly, Florida Baptist College encourages students to focus their time and energy on their ministry, studies, and work. Students must honor each other as brothers and sisters in Christ and keep their relationships pure and wholesome.
Students are encouraged to spend time together in group activities where the true character of a person may be evaluated rather than in the artificial atmosphere of recreational dating relationships.
We believe that students should not become engaged without obtaining the approval of their parents and counsel from their home pastor and the college administration. The Apostle Paul also warned unmarried persons that marriage adds an entirely new set of “cares” that may interfere with the Lord’s work. For this reason, FBC discourages students from marrying before graduation. In no event should a student marry during the school year.
Florida Baptist College students enjoy a good reputation among local businesses. Even in this down economy there are numerous opportunities for employment available for the student who diligently seeks after the job the Lord has for him.