The College at Mid-America Emphasizes A-B-C
COLLEGE DEAN DR. BRAD THOMPSON: “Think of our philosophy in terms of A-B-C: affordable, biblically focused, and connected to the world.”
“To all the world for Jesus’ sake.” It’s the rallying cry that has united Mid-America students for the last half-century. Today, The College at Mid-America’s heart and conviction continue to reach up and reach out, connecting the classroom to the community through a commitment to the sufficiency of Scripture, personal evangelism, and missions.
As we start the second 50 years of the school, we continue to see the blessings of the Lord as faculty, students, and staff recast their same core commitments through multiple degree programs in the College and Seminary. Although Mid-America has offered undergraduate degrees since our inception, we began The College at Mid-America in 2017 to broaden our reach to students in the fields of Christian Studies, Biblical Counseling, Business Administration, and Organizational Leadership. New degree programs are being planned for the 2022–23 academic year as the College is experiencing tremendous enrollment. All degree programs focus on understanding course content through a biblical worldview.
The College at Mid-America generates excitement on campus as faculty pour their lives into students to help shape them for God’s plan for their lives. College students participate in lively worship and preaching during weekly chapel services, and they have added new enthusiasm in the residential life of the school as they interact with each other through clubs, programs, and special events. The original Practical Missions program that alumni will remember so well has been recast as Witness One:Seven for the Seminary and the GO! Program for College students. It has been the heartbeat of the Seminary from the beginning to put into practice lessons from the classroom while still in school. Now, the College through its GO! Program is continuing the tradition as students serve others in the community for at least one hour per week.
The College was asked by the Arkansas Baptist State Convention and the Global Prison Seminaries Foundation to begin offering a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies degree at the Varner Supermax prison in Lincoln County, Arkansas. Later, based on the success of the prison college classes, we were asked to begin the same degree at the Limon Correctional Facility in Limon, Colorado. This degree will be used by inmate students who are called to minister in both prison populations. Over a hundred inmates are currently enrolled in Arkansas and Colorado, and the first graduation ceremony will be held at the Varner Supermax in 2023.
Under the direction of Dr. Candi Finch, Director of Admissions, the Admissions team for the College has transformed the admissions process, and a more organic approach is taken in onboarding students. Partnering with the Student Life and Registrar’s offices, the school now shepherds students from their first interest in the College all the way through their degree program. Prospective students can attend Preview Day experiences in the fall or spring semesters with their parents and family, and individual campus visits are available to students and families throughout the year. Information concerning faculty, tuition costs, housing, student life, and course content is presented.
As Dean of the College, I think it is helpful to think of our philosophy in terms of A-B-C: affordable, biblically focused, and connected to the world. We are affordable because we are not a tuition-driven school. Many donors contribute to the College to keep tuition within reach of our students. We don’t want our graduates to be burdened with debt as they launch into their careers. Every degree program is taught through the lens of a biblical worldview. We believe the Bible is sufficient, and no other lens is needed. We also believe that education should be useful, connecting theory to practice. We focus on how the college experience will help students to be successful in what God has called them to do.
The next 50 years of Mid-America should be as exciting as the first as we seek to stay on track, following the Lord’s plan for His school and expanding our reach to a lost and dying world.