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Charisma Magazine Ranks Biblical Life College and Seminary Among the Best in the Nation

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Charisma's Best Graduate Schools and Seminaries 2014

Charisma Magazine Ranks Biblical Life College and Seminary Among the Best Graduate Schools and Seminaries in the Nation.

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BLCS–the Better Way for a Theological and Ministerial Education

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BLCS - a better way

After a recent radio interview for my new book, The Shinar Directive, the hosts began talking about education.  One of these men was just eight semester credit hours away from completing his secular undergraduate degree.  He had completed all but 8 SCHS before being saved.  Now he was wanting to continue in a theological track.  I suggested the best option for he would be to complete his secular degree and then enroll into a Master of Divinity Program.  The road block is that his college is now charging $1,000.00 per credit hour!  How can anyone afford such high tuition?

At BLCS, we are here for only two purposes:  (1)  train aspirants of the fivefold ministry, and (2) to provide college level training for any believer that wants to get deeper into God’s Word.  Well, actually there is a third goal:  to keep it affordable!

At BLCS, we labor to keep our tuition within reach of any believer.  Our tuition is $65.00 at the undergraduate level and only $75.00 at the graduate.  This is less than 10% of what traditional colleges and seminaries charge.  We operate BLCS as a ministry to the Body of Christ.  There is no need for the Guaranteed Student Loan Program.  We have an affordable monthly payment plan.  Students only purchase course materials when they need them.  Most of all, they graduate debt-free!  This is the way the Kingdom of God should operate.

If you have not taken a look at BLCS, I encourage you to visit our website at http://www.biblical-life.com  There is complete information available online.  You can also download our complete prospectus in PDF immediately or request an information packet be mailed to you.

Isn’t it time to get out of neutral and start moving forward in your education?  Now is the perfect time to enroll with Biblical Life College and Seminary!

The Master of Divinity Program

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The Master of Divinity Degree

In the academic study of theology, the Master of Divinity (M.Div., magister divinitatis in Latin) is the first professional degree of the pastoral profession in North America.1 The Master of Divinity is designed for those that have already completed a secular undergraduate degree and then are called to ministry.

The length of the Master of Divinity degree ranges from 72 semester credit hours to 106, depending upon the major area of study and the seminary offering the degree. The average (and most acceptable) length of the Master of Divinity is 90 semester credit hours. Although a few seminaries will allow graduation without the development of a thesis, this practice is not the historical norm. Any graduate program with less than 72 semester credit hours would not be considered a legitimate Master of Divinity degree in America or Europe.

At BLCS, we believe that at least 90 semester credit hours is necessary in the Master of Divinity Program. A full three-year program of student is required for providing a well-balanced professional education for those called to ministry. Our emphasis is in the knowledge and skill gain through solid, biblical academics that makes the difference, not a degree hanging on the wall!

At Biblical Life College and Seminary, we offer three Master of Divinity Programs designed for Spirit-filled aspirants of the Gospel ministry:

●   Master of Divinity

●   Master of Divinity in Biblical Counseling

●   Master of Divinity in Hebraic Heritage Studies

All three M.Div. Program will allow graduates to proceed into either the Doctor of Theology or Doctor of Ministry Programs.

Note: In North America, all Doctor of Divinity degrees are considered honorary and hold no academic value. In Europe, the Doctor of Divinity is equivalent to our Doctor of Theology degree.

Endnote


1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_of_Divinity

Biblical Life Mentor: A Routine Examination

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A Routine Examination

By Michael K. Lake, Th.D.

productive_officeI have been dealing with nontraditional theological education for over thirty years. During those years, I have seen students progress through their programs smoothly from start to finish, others do well for a while and then stall out, and finally others that never progress beyond opening the box of materials once they arrived in the mail. My heart has always been to move all of my students to the first category of smoothly moving through the materials from enrollment to graduation. In this process we have rewritten our materials, produced extensive audio lectures (which our students love), and finally begun filming on DVD. While the depth of insight into the Word of God and spiritual transformation has greatly increased for those that move smoothly through the courses, the overall percentage of completion has only increased by about 5%.

During the same period, I have become very interested in personal productivity. If you were aware of all of the various aspects of Biblical Life (our local congregation, the college & seminary, and publishing – whether in book form or video), you would understand why I am so involved with the concepts of productivity: both personally and professionally. Without the concepts of productivity that I have learned and implemented over the years, I could not have kept up with the seminary, much less a congregation and publishing ministry.

Observing from the viewpoint of being involved in education for over three decades and now productivity for a little over two, I am convinced that the difference between the students that move smoothly through the programs and those that don’t progress is the result of positive routines and habits.

You may be saying to yourself: “But you don’t know all that is happening in my life – all the demands and chaos.” The truth is that we are all swamped with demands, and (whether it is home life, ministry life, or the work place) chaos is usually status quo.

I recently finished a new book co-authored by someone that I respect in the field of productivity and the creative mind, Scott Belsky. His book entitled “Making Ideas Happen” has become the “go-to” book for those working in creative fields. His team at Behance developed a new book entitled, “Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind.” In this book, he made two very profound statements:[i]

"It’s time to stop blaming our surroundings and start taking responsibility.  While no workplace is perfect, it turns out that our gravest challenges are a lot more primal and personal.  Our individual practices ultimately determine what we do and how well we do it.  Specifically, it’s our routine (or lack thereof), our capacity to work proactively rather than reactively, and our ability to systematically optimize our work habits over time that determine our ability to make ideas happen."

"You can surrender your day-to-day and the potential of your work to the burdens that surround you.  Or, you can audit the way you work and own the responsibility of fixing it." 

Did you catch that? Let me repeat just one sentence from Scott’s forward to the book that is paramount to our decision: “Our individual practices ultimately determine what we do and how well we do it.”

So let’s rule out learning difficulties and extreme family emergencies regarding the studies of our students – which is a small percentage. The difference between those students that made progress and those that did not continue is their individual practices. I believe “individual practices” can be defined as our daily routines and habits.

Routines and habits may sound like the same thing, but they are not. Before I examine what routines are, I want to take a look at habits.

Habits can be defined as an action or series of actions that we do automatically. In other words, we have done them so many times that we now have to give little thought in their activation or completion. Some habits are good and others are bad. It is kind of alarming to realize that we can have habits that are bad for us that can activate without conscious thought and be carried out without our realizing it! One could compare bad habits to what gathers on the bottom of ships as they navigate the ocean: barnacles. As those barnacles increase on that which is unseen (the bottom of the ship in the water), it impedes progress on that which can be seen (the upper part of the ship above the water).

One of the great mysteries of life is how to get rid of bad habits? The truth is that you can’t. You can overwrite them with new habits. For many, trying to find a way of replacing bad habits with good ones is like playing the lottery: millions will play, but few win. At least that is the way it seems until you add another factor to the equation: routines.

Every single habit we have (good or bad) is the result of our environment and our reaction to it. A specific environment will trigger a habit response. The environmental trigger can activate habits of defeat, procrastination, distraction, etc., in our lives. Therefore, the first step in overcoming bad habits regarding our studies (or any other area) is to modify the environment through an examination of our routines.

I want to focus specifically on dealing with education in this article. So let’s look at what happens when a student attends a traditional college. The student is placed into an environment in which learning, studying, and completing assignments are the main focus. Everyone is going to classes, using the library, and spending their evenings in study and writing. The environment facilitates and reinforces good habits regarding learning.

Our challenge is to systematically modify the environment in our homes or pastoral offices that facilitate and reinforce good study habits, which produce marked results in moving through the programs you are taking at BLCS. This may seem overwhelming, but it can be simplified.

In the book I have already quoted from, “Managing Your Day-to-Day,” I discovered that many famous authors use routines and their environment as triggers for productivity in their given profession. Here is a list of what some of them would do as a part of their established routine to write:

1. Clear off the desk or table of everything, and then lay out only the things needed to write.

2. Listen to a particular song or album. (Always the same – to create a specific environment.)

3. Have a cup of coffee in a specific cup. Maybe include a cookie or something small and enjoyable.

4. Study and write for one to two hours.

If they wanted to study and write daily, they would go through this routine every single day without fail. If it was to write on Mondays and Thursdays, they did it every week and never missed.

At first, very little will happen. You go through the routine and stumble or get little done. Over time, the mind understands what you are after. Within is few weeks, the moment you start clearing off your desk or table, you will feel a switching to study and writing mode within your mind. You have established a new environment through a routine that activates a new habit of study.

This understanding has helped me greatly. I have always been about to study and development sermon/lecture notes. I struggled in the area of moving from developing outlines to writing. I guess I use different mental/spiritual muscles to develop outlines than I do in writing. For me, writing required some type of inspiration. A certain mood had to hit me before I could write. The problem was that sometimes the mood only hit me three or four times a year. The result was that I could write and do it well a few times a year.

While reading and meditating on the concept of using routines, the light finally came on. I do something similar every week with sermon preparation and delivery (funny thing about being a pastor – the congregation wants to hear something inspired, new, and anointed every week whether the mood hits me or not). I realized that I have little routines during the week that create the environment to hear from God. Then there are other little routines that help trigger the research and review. Finally, every single Saturday morning I am up by 6 AM to type out my sermon notes (which I will deliver at 10 AM that morning to my congregation). This is so strongly embedded in me that even when I travel to speak and have all of my lectures notes prepared beforehand, at 6 AM on Saturday I am up reviewing that morning’s session to see if God wants me to make any adjustments.

I now have some newly developed routines for writing. I have been working with them the same time, on the same days each week. The result is that I don’t have to wait for the mood to hit me; I am creating a new environment that triggers the mood or inspiration. In fact, I am kind of shocked at how quickly I have moved into a routine of writing. It is really exciting for me. I have already developed several new articles and begun outlining a new book. Some of the articles may never see the light of day. Others may be amalgamated into other projects. But the block is gone, and the creativity has begun to flow.

What routines have you developed that produce successful study times for your coursework from BLCS? Maybe you don’t have any, and that is the reason you are waiting for the mood to hit you to study and move forward. The good news is that through the power of routine, you can establish a new environment that facilitates good study habits.

Maybe it’s time for a routine examination in your life (i.e., examine your routines). If what you are currently trying isn’t working, change the environment and look for things that create the atmosphere for progress!


Endnotes

[i] Glei, Jocelyn – General Editor.  Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind.   Amazon Publishing, Las Vegas, NV.  Copyright 2013.  Forward.  Kindle Edition.


 

Michael K. Lake, Th.D.

 

Dr. Lake is the Chancellor and Founder of Biblical Life College and Seminary, the Director of Biblical Life Publishing, and the Senior Pastor of Biblical Life Assembly.  He has been involved in the education of aspirants of ministry for over thirty years.  He also serves on the International Board of Restoration Fellowship International.

Biblical Life Mentor’s Tip for January 2012

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The Power of Core Valuesbible1

By Michael K. Lake, Th.D.

It has been said:

“The man, who will not stand for something, will fall for anything.”

Although the origin of this axiom is unknown, its truth is manifest in the lives of men throughout history. In fact, I am seeing its truths being manifested today throughout the Body of Christ in the Western world. You see, there is an epidemic of biblical illiteracy in the Church in our Western culture. Somehow in the Protestant movement, we have transitioned from being a people that would give up their lives for the right to read the Word of God to a people that are dying spiritually because we refuse to read it! What a spiritual paradox this places us in.

What the aforementioned axiom tries to express is the truth that if a man has not developed a code to live by with real dedication and conviction, he will run after every new thing filled with folly that the world will throw at him. This explains one of the reasons that the Church today is consumed with being a part of every new fad, gimmick, or philosophical idea that is embraced by the world. This is a sign of the immature believers that Paul warns us about in the Book of Ephesians:

Ephesians 4:14 (KJV)
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

In the times in which Paul lived, the word “doctrine” had a different meaning than the one we attribute it to today. Hebraically speaking, “doctrine” is what you live. It is your manner of life. The world’s way of living is like a storm whose waves will eventually carry your ship to the deadly rocks of a shipwrecked life. God has a better plan for you than this! He has a destiny for you, but that destiny can only be reached when you live by the core values He expresses in His Word.

Psalm 1:1-3 (KJV)
1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

We have been trained by the Greco-Roman influence in the Church to despise the “Law” of God. Yet the Word, in countless verses, promises blessings and prosperity to those that meditate in the “Law.” Are we missing something here? Let’s look at the Hebrew word translated “Law” in verse 2:

Law: Strongs #08451 towrah {to-raw’} or torah {to-raw’} [1]

Meaning: 1) law, direction, instruction 1a) instruction, direction (human or divine) 1a1) body of prophetic teaching 1a2) instruction in Messianic age 1a3) body of priestly direction or instruction 1a4) body of legal directives 1b) law 1b1) law of the burnt offering 1b2) of special law, codes of law 1c) custom, manner 1d) the Deuteronomic or Mosaic Law.

First with the Torah, and then throughout the entire Old and New Testaments, is the instruction of God. Within this instruction are divine core values that are essential to walking in the Kingdom of God and staying free of the siren’s song of this world. When we read and meditate on the Word of God (Genesis – Revelation), we begin to see, understand, and implement God’s core values in our lives with devotion that serves as part of our worship to Him.

It is God who defines what is right or wrong, clean or unclean, holy or unholy. It is His instruction, when consistently applied in our lives, that places us in strategic positions for advancement, prosperity, and blessings. His principles are also safeguards to keep us on course and from the rocky shores of ungodliness.

Yet the world has done several things to throw the Church off course:

  • Biblical Illiteracy
  • Progressive Philosophies

The first takes us away from the only source of true core values to live by. The second teaches us concepts like:

  • Situational Ethics (i.e., do wrong, if you think you can get away with it.)
  • Relativism (i.e., there are no absolutes.)
  • The End Justifies the Means (i.e., lie, cheat, steal, and kill for the greater good.)

The list goes on of these philosophies birthed in the darkest corners of hell itself. The world is being positioned strategically to welcome the anti-Christ with open arms. The only antidote is a return to a life of devotion to Christ that includes a passion of His Word and living by His principles as an expression of our worship of our Creator.

We need to realize that when we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, God’s Law was written on our hearts. The prophets of the Old Testament looked to our day with wonder:

Jeremiah 31:30-33 (KJV)
30 But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge. 31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: 33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

How much is Jeremiah 31:30-33 connected to New Testament believers? Verse 31 is where we get the concept of the New Covenant or New Testament. These verses are the prophetic foretelling of the New Birth that Messiah would one day come to give. Part of that New Covenant was that God’s Law (Torah or instruction) would be written on our hearts – in other words, encoded into our spiritual DNA are God’s core values expressed in the Torah.

This is why the Apostle Paul instructs us to walk in what the Holy Spirit encoded into our spirits at the New Birth:

Galatians 5:16-17 (KJV)
16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

When we live by the flesh (i.e. ways of this world), we are living in violation of what the Holy Spirit has encoded into our spirits (or hearts). When our actions are not in line with what God has written on our hearts, it produces frustration, inaction, and ill-effects. Let’s look at these verses again in the Complete Jewish Bible:

Galatians 5:16-18 (CJB)
16 What I am saying is this: run your lives by the Spirit. Then you will not do what your old nature wants. 17 For the old nature wants what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit wants what is contrary to the old nature. These oppose each other, so that you find yourselves unable to carry out your good intentions. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, then you are not in subjection to the system that results from perverting the Torah into legalism.

Can you see now why it is so important for a believer to meditate on the Word of God to learn God’s core values and to begin living by them? It is the only way to live “by the Spirit” and to gain victory in our lives. No wonder the Word continually promises blessings and prosperity to those that meditate in the instructions of God!

The year 2012 needs to be a year in which you return to the full counsel of God’s Word, spending time meditating on the principles you learn and then beginning to make them a part of who you are and how you live. As you do, you will discover:

  • Greater faith: your spirit and soul will be in agreement.
  • Greater results in prayer: powerful prayer is a product of a right relationship with God and a system of living that is in agreement with His Word. (Your heart can believe what you are asking for.)
  • Strategic Positioning: your biblical core values will place you at the right place and at the right time for miracles.
  • More open doors for Heaven to move in your life.
  • Fewer open doors for Hell to invade your life.

A better life and a brighter tomorrow await you when God is the One who provides your core values to live by!

© Copyright 2012 by Michael K. Lake, Th.D. All Rights Served.


[1] Strong’s Enhanced Lexicon. BibleWorks for Windows 7.0. BibleWorks, LLC, Norfolk, VA. Copyright © 2006.


Graduate in the Spotlight

chad_kottkeChad Kottke served in the U.S. Air Force for ten years, and worked in construction management for eight years after leaving the military. He has earned a Masters of Divinity in Hebraic Heritage and is currently pursuing the Doctor of Theology from Biblical Life College & Seminary.

Chad recently published his Master’s thesis through Biblical Life Publishing. Here is a summary of his book "Restoring Biblical Foundations":

God gave the church a sure foundation in the Scriptures, but various doctrines throughout the centuries have taken away from or added to the truths of Scripture. Restoring Biblical Foundations returns to two foundational aspects of Scripture – covenant and Torah – to examine what God says about each one.

The covenant section is a review of seven Biblical covenants that God has made with man. These covenants are shown to complement one other as they come together to form the covenant that Jesus the Messiah has made with His body.
The Torah section develops principles about the Torah from nearly two hundred passages of Scripture. These Biblical principles are used to build an extensive definition of Torah, and to show that the Torah is a necessary part of a believer’s walk.

Chad’s book should be available at Amazon.com by January 15.


planningChart Your Course for Victory!

True leadership is expressed by the vision to chart one’s course through challenging times toward victory. Education has always been a strategic element for success in ministry. BLCS is ready to assist you in your educational endeavors. If you are ready to move forward and see more accomplished in your life and ministry than ever before, call or email for a free consultation.

Current Tuition Special:

Enrolling Using Plan C (Full Payment with Enrollment): You will receive a full 35% discount on tuition on all programs.

Offer Ends March 31, 2012.

Coupon must accompany enrollment and cannot be used for programs by the National Chaplains Institute.


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ACI On-Site Inspection Completed

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Arrived at our office at 6:00am yesterday to prepare for Dr. Scheel’s arrival. I always prefer to be over prepared for such visits. Dr. Scheel arrived around noon and we spent the afternoon going through the self-study report, student records, resource materials, and curriculum. It was a good and thorough (making sure everything was up to ACI standards). We are now good for another seven years with ACI. My thanks goes out to all that helped support this visit.

I always enjoy talking with someone that understands the educational process, has a passion for excellence, and (of course) loves the Lord! We were both able to share some “old soldier” war stories in Christian education.

Most of you know that I tend to be a “tech head,” which allows me to drive productivity through the roof at BLCS. During our discussion yesterday, I discovered there is so much available that I use on a daily based that most ministers do not know about. I plan on introducing to you in upcoming posts several cross-platform programs that makes life so much easier! I showed just one of them to Dr. Scheel yesterday that will make his on-site visit documentation so much easier. So be looking for them after I get back in the office next week!

The Prophetic, the New Heart, and Fulfilling Your Destiny DVD Series

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PHD-LogoDid you know that the first three kings of Israel walked in things that were beyond their dispensation and reflect the work of God in the lives on New Testament believers? Did you know that the prophetic anointing can release new giftings into your life or that you have a responsibility to guard and grow them?

In this new series, you will learn from the lives of Saul, David, and Solomon. You will learn from both their successes and failures. You will also learn the ancient Hebrew secret that made King David stand out and allowed him to build a throne that one day Messiah would sit upon!

You will also learn how to avoid the pitfalls the enemy uses to move you away from your destiny as well as how to flow with God to move into it!

4 one hour sessions on four DVDs.

$32.00

Purchase Set