Faith Bible Seminary Receives ABHE Accreditation

I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds

(Psalm 9:1).

This week on February 20, 2019, Faith Bible Seminary (FBS) President Dr. Brent Aucoin and FBS Dean of Enrollment Management/Registrar Kirk Fatool stood before the Commission on Accreditation of the Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE). They heard these exciting words:

“The Commission has decided to grant initial accreditation to Faith Bible Seminary that lasts for five years.”

Please join us in thanking the Lord for His provision.

The Faith Bible Seminary Vision: Reinventing Ministry Training 

The congregation of Faith Church has been committed to discipleship for ministry service since its birth in 1964. This commitment extended beyond the equipping of the church itself to include those preparing for pastoral ministry. Numerous pastoral interns have been practically trained at Faith. In addition, by the grace of God, Faith Church also became known for its emphasis on the sufficiency of Scripture and its corollary—biblical counseling. Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries, a ministry of Faith Church, has trained over 12,000 men and women in biblical counseling through the Biblical Counseling Training Conference and the Basic Training Courses.

As a result of the training emphasis in the church, in 2002 the congregation of Faith Church, under the leadership of Sr. Pastor Dr. Steve Viars, included in its five-year strategic plan an initiative to consider and lay the ground work for a church-based seminary. The congregation believed that a church-based seminary was a natural extension of what God had allowed Faith to do throughout its history. The congregation wanted to begin Faith Bible Seminary (FBS) in order to address three growing concerns with the current seminary model.

  • First, the cost of seminary has quickly outpaced the ability of most seminarians to graduate debt-free.
  • Second, many students face the challenge of not finishing their degrees within three-to-four years due, in part, to the high cost and the associated full-time work.
  • Third, many students do not sufficiently engage in practical ministry during their seminary experience which hinders their preparedness for future ministry.

To address these needs, Faith Bible Seminary was legally established in 2005 by Faith Church as a limited liability corporation. FBS began in the fall of 2007 by offering a Master of Divinity degree. FBS graduated its first M.Div. class in 2010. In 2007, the church decided to expand the potential influence of FBS by investigating the possibility of adding a Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling degree. The new program began in the summer of 2008. In 2011, FBS graduated its first MABC students.

From Vision to Accreditation

Because of FBS’ unique approach, we did not envision that our FBS model was “accreditable.” However, in June of 2010, after graduating its first M.Div. cohort, FBS decided to pursue accreditation with ABHE. Having received Candidate status in 2015, the leadership team of FBS spent the next four years in preparation for initial accreditation. This process included an ABHE Accreditation Team Visit in November 2019, and a twenty-five-page Response to the Visit Report (RVR) (along with thirty-three supporting exhibits) that FBS submitted to the Commission on Accreditation on January 5, 2019.

Then, as we just announced, on February 20, 2019, President Aucoin and Dean Fatool heard those encouraging words, “The Commission has decided to grant initial accreditation to Faith Bible Seminary that lasts for five years.”

Thank you for joining Faith Bible Seminary on this journey of reinventing ministry training through your support and prayers. Now, please join us in thanking the Lord for this new milestone in the history of Faith Bible Seminary!

Bob KellemenBob Kellemen
Bob Kellemen, Th.M., Ph.D.: Dr. Kellemen is VP of Strategic Development and Academic Dean at Faith Bible Seminary in Lafayette, Indiana. Bob is also the Founder and CEO of RPM Ministries through which he speaks, writes, and consults on biblical counseling and Christian living. Dr. Kellemen served as the founding Executive Director of the Biblical Counseling Coalition. For seventeen years, Bob was the founding Chairman of and Professor in the MA in Christian Counseling and Discipleship department at Capital Bible Seminary in Lanham, MD. Bob has pastored four churches and equipped biblical counselors in each church. Bob and his wife, Shirley, have been married for thirty-eight years; they have two adult children, Josh and Marie, one daughter-in-law, Andi, and three granddaughters. Dr. Kellemen is the author of eighteen books including Equipping Counselors for Your Church, Gospel-Centered Counseling, and Gospel Conversations.