7 October, 2021

Missouri Colleges Will Be ‘Better Together,’ SLCC President Says

by | 16 September, 2021 | 3 comments

By Jim Nieman

Under a merger plan being discussed between Central Christian College of the Bible and St. Louis Christian College, the latter’s campus “will remain open and functioning as normal for this entire academic year,” SLCC president Terry Stine said.

After this school year, the plan is for SLCC’s students and some staff members to move to CCCB’s campus in Moberly, Mo., Stine said.

The two colleges “have a very similar focus on educating Christian preachers and missionaries,” Stine said. “We will be ‘better together,’ and I believe this is a win for the kingdom.”

Boards of trustees of both schools might consider a plan for approval at their October 2021 meetings. “Any agreed plan will then be implemented during the following months with the support of The Solomon Foundation and other regional partners,” according to a joint announcement earlier this month.

If a plan is approved as envisioned, “The Solomon Foundation will take care of the sale of the [SLCC] campus and use those funds to help other Christian church/church of Christ churches and parachurch organizations to fulfill the Great Commission,” Stine said Wednesday. “SLCC will still have a Legacy Scholarship administered by some SLCC people and The Solomon Foundation for students who want to attend CCCB.”

In the joint announcement available at CCCB’s website and SLCC’s website, the boards of trustees said “a merger or similar formal arrangement between the two institutions . . . will provide traditional and innovative options for ministry education in the St. Louis area.”

“Current SLCC students will have a path to complete their educational programs, either on Central’s campus in Moberly or at a location in the St. Louis area,” the announcement continued. “It will also provide affordable options for future students in the greater St. Louis area to be served in new and exciting ways.”

CCCB president Dr. David Fincher is leading design of a formal plan.

Stine highlighted enrollment issues St. Louis Christian College has experienced during the past two years at its Florissant, Mo., campus, 15 miles northwest of St. Louis. He said that last fall’s decline was worse than Christian Standard reported last October.

“We actually ended up with a confirmed 20 students who did not attend last year because of COVID-19,” Stine said.

“Enrollment looked to be up this year,” Stine continued; over the summer it was projected at 100 full-time equivalent (FTE) students. “Then, two weeks before classes started, the new students started announcing they were not coming this year. Some were taking a year off. Many of them were because of concerns about COVID. . . . The number one reason given by those students, though, was the social and political unrest in the St. Louis area.”

The St. Louis area has been a hotbed for squabbling over mask-wearing and mandates, Stine said. There also have been scores of protests over policing since last summer in downtown St. Louis. Additionally, in 2020, the homicide rate in St. Louis was at its highest level in 50 years.

Stine’s opinion is that the negative news coverage served to dissuade several prospective students who live outside the metropolitan area.

Jim Nieman serves as managing editor of Christian Standard.

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  1. Alan Wynn

    I understand your concerns about the “Covid” problem and civil unrest but my main concern is the lack of confidence in our Lord to undergird and sustain the SLCC campus. 2 years of an out of proportion reaction to the covid and additional unrest in the streets of St Louis are NO reason to disband and hide in the middle of the state and give up the advantages of a strong metropolitan campus for the many students that should be encouraged to never fear what the world throws at us but that we should stand firm and concentrate our efforts in training students on the St Louis Campus. I am disappointed that the “fear factor” has driven the amazing legacy of SLCC to destruction. I am sorry, but I feel fear should NEVER rule the lives of Christians that are determined to take the message of Discipleship to the world as our Lord commanded. Please reconsider this proposal and use this as an opportunity to show the world that we do not fear what the world throws our way but that we TRUST the Lord to provide through faith in him! So very sad that this campus is succumbing to the world without attempting to stand firm on the word! We will overcome by allowing our Lord to provide so that FEAR DOES NOT rule us!! 1 John 4-16-21 [16] And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. [17] In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. [18] There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.[19] We love because he first loved us. [20] If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. [21] And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

  2. D. Clay Perkins, Ph.D.

    May God grant those who lead our colleges’ wisdom upon wisdom. I am so thankful for the leadership of Dr. Stine! And Dr. Fincher is amazing. God is using both of them for the Kingdom. Shalom.

  3. Guthrie Veech

    Praise God for St. Louis Christian College alumni, supporters, the Trustees, President Stine, the students, administrators, staff and faculty. These faithful men and women have faithfully served Christ leading hundreds into the ministry. I am also thankful for this courageous effort between CCCB and SLCC to make a Kingdom difference in St. Louis and around the world. When God is in it and leaders move forward with humble hearts it is amazing to see what God can and will accomplish. I was greatly blessed to serve with these dear friends for 10 years as President. My prayers are with all of you! Guthrie Veech

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