Thursday, August 12, 2010

#182 - Christian Life College

Once known for its great theology program and progressive music department, both of which have since slid into oblivion. All the teachers left and nobody replaced them (slight exaggeration here). There was a Dean of Music whose perspective on ministry was very progressive as well as how that related to music. She empowered students and created a great environment for learning and ministry. But then she left (shout out to LLP - woot!), then there was a replacement. Then they left. Then nothing. I remember hearing the chorale at a Youth Congress and then IBC sang and made them sound like kindergartners (although since they've added 'I'm A Pentecostal" to their repertoire they've become infinitely more popular). In case you're not familiar with the song, I've attached a link for your viewing pleasure.

CLC was once known for being Theologically progressive (Segraves, Garner, etc). Then there was a change in the administrative structure. Although evidently there are prayer meetings and fasting retreats all the time now. Actually, there is Roy Fischer who everyone expects to be fired after his teaching on biblical criticism ( if you're interested). But all the people in the Pacific Northwest are now happy that they have someone to send their kids. How does CLC differ from some of the other schools? Here's an example:

Ask an IBC kid for directions or something at an event they are hosting and they'll pretend they know and be very helpful even if they don't; ask a Gateway student and they'll probably know (very organized people) and be able to help you; ask a CLC student and they'll look at you with blank stares and just say no and walk away leaving you bewildered and no better off than you started. If you want professional Pentecost, you'll have to go to the Midwest or the South.

If you went to CLC and have some additional descriptions, please leave them in the comments section.

Also - we're still looking for blogs on the other schools. You can email

Gateway will be posted later this week.


  1. What a misinformed post....I can tell you weren't at Youth Congress last year. If you're goin to generalize and stereotype something, do it right. The fact that this is written from such an ignorant point of view is baffling.

  2. Agreed, quicklyhome. Quite possibly one of the worst songs I've ever heard (christian or secular). A perfect capsulization of everything that's wrong with pentecostals--I doubt it's the case, but if that's what the people at clc were shooting for when they wrote the song, they nailed it.

  3. I attended CLC for 3 yrs. I'll's not for everyone...and if you better know what you're going for. I still wouldn't change a thing.
    Luckily I was there under Dr Segraves, Jeff Garner, and Laura Payne. Each one an incredible educator who truly cared about each student and took a personal interest in their lives and in their ministry.
    It is, sadly, not what it once was.
    FYI..."CLC" didn't write that song...Nathaniel did...'nuff said.

  4. It's never cool to generalize about any church's imperfection by labeling them all stuck up(regarding CLC). On the
    other hand you don't need to be Doctor to notice that a good amount of the congregation have an unfortunate disease that keeps the nose pointed upward and the eyes looking downward. Hopefully this can be contained for the sake of the great commission.

  5. I know nothing about CLC except for some very nice students I met as a camp counselor. They didn't seem stuck up, but then again they were the ones that chose to spend their summer supervising and talking to teenagers about Bible College, sounds like cream of the crop to me (or perhaps the ones administrators trusted to represent)
    As for I'm a, every time I hear it I'm reminded of Redneck Woman. The music and beat is pretty similar. Doesn't make me very excited to be Pentecostal when I'm thinking 'stand barefoot in my own front yard with a baby on each hip,' although the Walmart part of the song could go for Pentecostals just as much as rednecks :D
    Went to Gateway so will be interested to read that post. Thought this one was pretty funny.

  6. When has Bible College ever been "for everyone?" It's like one of those "you had to be there to get it" kind of jokes, if you miss it you missed it.

    The person that wrote this has no clue what they're on about, no clue what the place is like and no clue what the school is even all about. I just think a former student would have painted a much much more accurate picture of CLC. Besides, this wasn't even funny. I think I managed to locate only one joke, a really bad one at that.

    And for your information, CLC is the only oneness Bible College in the whole of North America that accepts international students. Beat that IBC and Gateway! Yes, that last line was cocky, but I went to CLC because no where else could accept me since I'm not an American citizen and hadn't done SATs. Who are the snobs now?

  7. Ryan; I just read the previous post and learned that you also attended CLC for one semester before realized it wasn't for you. I only went for a year, and my choice not to get the diploma had everything to do with my calling. That probably doesn't make sense to people who think it's like some formula; call of God + Bible college = full-time ministry. But since when has God ever worked in formulas?

    Anyway, I think I now understand that these Bible college posts are limited to a very very narrow understanding of this aspect of Apostolic culture. Fortunately, what God does and how His people respond is a lot bigger than any of us can claim to understand. So I'm not mad at you, just think maybe you should be put more effort (research, contemplation, editing) into writing better posts. Peace!

  8. Ok, where to begin...

    First I'd like to say that up until this point I've really enjoyed this blog and what it stands for, it's given me many a good laugh as well as made me think.

    Until this point.

    Man, I know you went there yourself and that does give you the right to your opinion, but this post is really ignorant and insulting. I have been going to Christian Life Center (the church associated with CLC) for about 5 years, and I would have to say that you are either misinformed (you only had one semester to experience it for yourself), or maybe you missed the point, I don't really know what happened.

    I don't even know what to say, actually. This post really paints an ugly picture of the place.
    From my personal experience with the school (which I will be attending this semester) I would say it's a great place to develop yourself and train for ministry. The spiritual environment really is something special. Anyway, I'm borderline ranting now, so I'll lay off.

    I just don't think it's right for you to post something like this. If you had a bad experience, don't generalize and put that context on what it is like here now. It doesn't seem right for you to blatantly tear CLC down just because it's not perfect, it's making you and CLC both look worse than reality.
    God's still working on all of us, so lets not tear each other down, ok?

  9. this post is blatantly bitter, poorly written, and even bad satire ("satirically" speaking)....therefore, poster's opinion is irrelevant.

  10. WOW. ummm impressive article! You really tried hard to tear CLC down bro. God help you.
    EVEN IF IT WHERE TRUE! your lack of ethical language regarding the ministry and generalization of the college tell me you yourself have got some stuff to work on brother. There are many men and women of God who attend CLC, teach in CLC, and Godly pastor/s that have been guiding this training ground for ministry, in the right direction. And they don't not deserve the words you have chosen to direct towards their ministry. we have very well respected members of the pentecostal community teaching us.

    IBC made us sound like kindergartners? LOL even so! kindergartners that LOVE JESUS, and given God the praise he deserves!! mmm! I feel the Holy Ghost!

    Truth is, hermano, every bible college generation is different. the personality of a bible college student body changes every school year. something every bible college cannot deny. hey, maybe you did have a bad experience with an unfortunately rude alumni of CLC. it very well could be possible! but please don't shoot down the men and women of God who still attend here because of one ungraceful person lol. We are following the God given calling the Lord has placed on our lives!! to speak ill of us is playing with fire. because we are the anointed of the Lord! becareful

    God bless you brother blogger! just a heads up, pick your words wisely. and pick your words spiritually.
    be blessed!

    this is going to be an anointed year for CLC! by prophetic word! for a prophetic generation of young ministers! HALELUYA SOMEBODY! mmm got me all riled up now.

    God bless Gateway, IBC, TBC, ABI, Urshan, and any other pentecostal school out there trying to further the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ! may the Lord use them all!

  11. It's funny how Canada is left out of everything. I Live in New Brunswick Canada. Some great preachers and missionaries have come out of New Brunswick such as the Bustards, Lynn Jewett, Bro. & Sis DeMerchant and the list goes on. There has been a UPCI bible school here for years and the web link is .

    Ishta was very incorrect in one of her statements because NCC also allows International Students to attend Bible School. We have had graduates from the Philippines. Since we border Maine we have had many American graduates and attendees as well.

    Personally I have not attended but many of my young people have and gone on to ministry and the mission field. I really enjoy this blog and the content in it. Yes there has been stuff that makes me say “OH NO YOU DIDN’T” hehe but I have learned to take it with a grain of salt and with all honesty it’s a blog which is someone’s personal opinion and not everyone is going to agree with personal opinions. Either way no matter what Bible school you are for if the truth is being taught and men and women of God are being equipped with the tools to reach this world for the soon coming King…It’s all good!

  12. Hey John Paul; My bad, I had originally typed "in the entire USA that accepts international students" (because that I know for a fact is true). But when I remembered how many Canadians had been at CLC, I thought maybe they hadn't been able to get into any of the other American colleges, and I didn't even considered them studying in their native Canada as an option.

    So I stand corrected, CLC is the only oneness Bible College in the whole USA that accepts international students.

  13. AMEN BROTHER JOHN PAUL! well said.

    GOD BLESS NORTH EAST CHRISTIAN COLLEGE!! never knew there was a bible college up there. glad to hear it!

    be blessed

  14. I think that your defenses of clc are necessary and very helpful, but they ultimately miss the point. It's all well and good that "Nathaniel" wrote the song, but it would appear very few people are privy to such information. For example, the first two results that pop up on youtube for the song have clc next to them and there isn't any mention of anybody named Nathaniel in the other results. The perception, whether true or not, is that clc wrote the song and has done the most work to propagate its spread.

    The same goes for clc's reputation and that of bible colleges in general. Frankly, there hasn't been a lot done on the part of those bible colleges themselves to dispel those false perceptions, however unwarranted.

    Rather than tackling these criticisms head on by posing serious questions to the institutions themselves or demanding change, what I hear a lot from people who defend bible colleges is a retreat into facile solipsisms about the differences between "calls of God" and education in any other format.

    I'll say that I'm not attacking anyone's bible college experience, it may have been fantastic for you and God could and, I have no doubt, does amazing things in the lives of those who commit themselves to know and serve Him more deeply. However, as happens so often on this blog, the point has been missed. We are talking about perceptions and projections, which often have far more impact and strength than "reality."

    Remember, the perception of us among a lot of the people who read this blog is that we're ungodly, unfaithful, don't read our bible, and that our mission is to exert power over our brethren that we hate and lead them all to damnation. The only person I know on here personally is Joel, but I can tell you that neither of us resemble this perception. Alas, defenses don't matter, the only thing that will alter those opinions are time and persistence in how we act and carry ourselves through our writings (or if we're ever blessed enough to meet you, how we behave in person.)

    Somewhere along the way, the perception of bible colleges went very wrong, now the question is how to change that, and it would seem to me that the best solution is to go back to the people and institutions and find ways to project better. That, I think, is what this series of posts is trying to say.

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  17. Chady,

    I understand the point of the blog, but this is the first post I've seen that attacks a particular institution so fiercely, and with no real satire. It comes across as very harsh. Up until this point, I've been able to identify with the perceptions reflected on this blog, even if some of them were harsh. I think the problem with this post for me is the false information and direct attack on the quality of the people teaching at this institution. CLC knows there are poor perceptions of the ministry here at the college and has been working hard for years to change that (to great avail)
    It just doesn't seem like this post is really interested in "fixing" the perception but rather in magnifying it to a greater extent.

    I think that's why a lot of the commenters (including myself) are unhappy with its content.

  18. also, other posts have reflected widespread ideas and thoughts while this seems a bit too personal, and I hope this isn't how a lot of people see CLC.

  19. well said Chady Hosin!
    Although, I don't agree that the posts have missed (THE) point, but rather bypassed (A) point. and a major point at that.

    "Somewhere along the way, the perception of bible colleges went very wrong, now the question is how to change that, and it would seem to me that the best solution is to go back to the people and institutions and find ways to project better"

    good stuff

  20. Ishta - your facts concerning the acceptance of foreign students are baseless. Gateway and ABI both have Canadian students. Gateway also had a student from England/Jordan and another from a middle eastern country.

    So to you I say...nice try. Maybe never.


  21. They may very well be from all those places but still be American citizens or have done SATs in those parts of the world. Such stuff is possible in the times we live in. My point was that other BIble colleges don't accept any other high school equivalent qualifications. Making it hard for people who hadn't planned to study in that part of the world and therefore didn't bother with SATs to get in.

  22. Wow... I read a lot of hurt feelings, but no one has actually defended the fact that most of the respected academic staff have left CLC?

  23. For ishta and the foreign students comment. While in Gateway I met students from Canada, England, Jamaica, Nigeria, South Korea, Pakistan, Maylasia, Germany, South Africa and Jordan. Of those only the ones from Germany and South Africa had American citizanship. I don't know if they took SATs before coming to Gateway, that could be a valid point but definately not that other Bible Colleges don't accept foreign students.

  24. Ishta - It's all good from my side of the view. I was partly joking with the Canadians being left out of everything hehehe Our UPC Bible School has been around since 1955 and there has been great men and women of God come out of there. And just like any other Bible school you had some Under achievers as well and also Ups and downs with faculty. As it sits now it is strong and ready to equip men and women to forth into the whole world.

    The Whole Gospel to the Whole world!! God Bless

  25. So why did most of the respected staff leave? By "respected staff" I mean, Dan Segraves, Terry Baughman, Jeff Garner, Laura Payne, Carene Bracken, Bob Roam, Raymond Crownover, etc.
    No one has mentioned this yet.

  26. Add Roy Fisher and Jarrid Younkin to the list of former 'respected faculty'.

    From what I understand, many of the respected faculty members hold views on education, eschatology, and other issues that are fundamentally different than those of CLC leadership/authority. It seems as though, in an effort to be both true to themselves and honest with others, some faculty could only do so outside of the regulation of CLC's regiment.

  27. One of the best aspects of CLC has to be how many people leave the UPC for other denominations after attending school there. In that respect it really is helping to change the world.

  28. I went to CLC during the '03-'04 school year. Our student body president was a Hawiian surfer who, during his first year there, sold pot out of his dorm room. God had obviously got ahold of him by the time I got there, but still. That's definitely not the norm for every UPC Bible school. I've ran into many students from CLC since then. They are definitely a different breed. A confusing breed for me.

    Honestly, reading some of the other posts in this blog, I feel like I'm reading a transcript of the conversations my classmates had in the Student Center.
    My few months there changed everything in my future.

    As for Nathaniel... I never did get his messages (his preaching always went exactly against what we were learning in classes). Eli Lopez was the one that always made sense in my heart. To this day, I still call him when my world's collapsing. Eli never gives me answers. He just has a unique way of pointing me back to the One who does.

    This blog does sadden me though. I loved CLC because most of the students there didn't have a Pentecostal pedigree, and the usual attire around campus for most of the girls was pj pants under a jean skirt. Nobody cared about how expensive your clothes were, who your daddy was, or what church you came from. The majority only cared about how crazy you were about Jesus. It was the first place in Pentecost I heard about social justice, and the first time I learned about grace.

    Maybe I'm looking back at it with the rose colored glasses of nostalgia, but if many of the writers here could go back in time with me and visit that year, this particular blog entry would read entirely different.

    I hope they get it figured out.

  29. Brittany; your comment actually sounds a lot like the CLC i remember! i loved CLC for the same reasons; the misfits and underdogs, even the losers with chips on their shoulders. bro. Lopez and his thesaurus-rich sermons! the conversations in the student centre... i'm smiling at the memories now. that weird mix of people there (staff inclusive) had me questioning things i'd never really thought of before, and isn't that what studying theology ought to do to you? confuse you and drive you to ask questions? to be honest, i don't even remember a lot of what we learned in class, but the questions i asked of God back then unearthed answers that are a part of who i am today.

  30. Another thing that I kind of loved about it was that a good chunk of the students that were there had parents that weren't in church, so most of them were entirely footing the bill for their time at CLC. These were young people who were fiercly serious about following Christ, and serving as He did.

    Of course, that could be the nostalgia glasses talking again... :D

  31. nostalgia glasses or not, what you're saying is totally true Brittany! i had a part-time job at the Hogue library to help pay my tuition. that work-study programme was simply a blessing to so many of us. it's my prayer that it continues to help young people who are passionate about Jesus, and that more programmes like it are put in place to financially support theology students in different schools.

  32. I grew up in Pentecost and am now an assistant pastor at a good Pentecostal church so I have had fun reading your previous blogs. It brought back a lot of memories. I am also an alumni of Christian Life College (class of 07) and am still very close to the college. I am thankful for teachers life Dr Segraves and Dannie Odle. I learned how to interpret the Bible and became influenced by their theological minds. That said the teachers we have now may not have the degrees that give them reverence but there is one common thread in the faculty there. Experience!!!! Men who know how to start churches and have been involved in ministry for years. The spirit of the college is not as carnal as when I was a student. I won't talk about our other bible colleges because I don't have the authority to. I was never a part of any of them however when I look at CLC right now I can say it may not have the number of degreed instructors but why would we? We are here to build churches not degree people and what better way than to be taught by men of experience.

  33. God is moving at Christian Life Center. The college is on fire for God. CHRISTIAN LIFE COLLEGE HAS COME along way and is now being certified as a credited school. It is a privilege to be apart of this college and a gift froom God.