Background and Beginnings
Tabernacle Baptist Bible College and Seminary, known also as TBBCS, began in 1970 as the Bible Institute ministry of Tabernacle Baptist Church under its founding pastor, Rod Bell, Sr. Though the church had only begun in 1967, Dr. Bell and the people of the Tabernacle saw a need in the Atlantic coastal region for a local-church-based Bible school, a school that stood for the fundamentals of the faith of Jesus Christ and trained fervent preachers of the Word of God.
In 1986, under the leadership of Dean Edward G. Caughill, the church expanded its Bible institute ministry to a full four-year college, Tabernacle Baptist Bible College. Dr. Caughill had come to the ministry in 1985 bringing broad experience and expertise in the Bible college movement and proved to be just the man to orchestrate this expansion.
Soon after that expansion, the church and college leadership responded to the need to offer an advanced level of Bible study, and in 1987, Tabernacle Baptist Church added to its Bible college ministry by establishing Tabernacle Baptist Theological Seminary. Under Dr. Caughill's continued leadership, the seminary provided advanced degrees for students desiring a more complete study of the Scriptures. With this new aspect of the ministry in place, the College and Seminary made intensive Bible study available to a wide range of individuals looking to serve more effectively in their local church ministries and desiring to develop a greater knowledge and understanding of God and His design for life.
Since its inception, God has used TBBCS to prepare hundreds of men and women for faithful service of Christ as pastors, teachers, missionaries, evangelists, educators, and even as lay members in churches. With God's blessing upon the College and Seminary, Tabernacle Baptist Church has seen its influence for Jesus Christ extend around the world, having provided training not only for American missionaries, but also for believers from other nations who came to Tabernacle to prepare for the service of God in their own countries. The present administration of the College and Seminary is committed to a continuing expansion of this influence to the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ in all the world.
Location and Climate
The College and Seminary is nestled within the sixteen-acre campus of Tabernacle Baptist Church, a vibrant and growing church serving the Hampton Roads area. Though specifically located in Virginia Beach, the cities of Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Hampton, Newport News, and even Suffolk are within an easy drive. The opportunities for housing and employment are many and varied.
The area enjoys a true four-seasons climate, but with seldom snowfall. Numerous historic and educational sites related to the founding of the nation, including Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown, are no more than a short drive away. Even our nation's capital is only a few hours drive away. The rich history of Virginia, so important during so much of the nation's history, provides an excellent teaching platform for children and adults alike. Recreational sites, such as the Outer Banks, the Shenandoah Valley, and the Blue Ridge Mountains are also within easy driving distance.
The mission of TBBCS is to glorify God by training faithful men and women who are committed to His service whether in full-time or lay positions in their local churches. This training centers on Christ and focuses on the Bible and those subjects directly related to its clear and effective proclamation while seeking to develop each student to the full potential of the gift of God.
The foundation of the entire academic program of TBBCS is the fact that God has revealed Himself and His design for human existence, and that He has recorded that revelation in the Scriptures, the Bible, the Holy Word of God. The faculty and administration of the College and Seminary are committed to establishing this foundation in each student, and thus, every teaching and every practice must honor God and the Word He has given. No human entity, whether a man, an organization of men, or a theological system devised by men, can be allowed to usurp the authority that alone abides in the Word of God. Neither does the authority for interpretation of the Word of God rest in any man or human system; the Scriptures shall be interpreted in accord with what they are and how they were given.
Thus, College and Seminary teaching will be rooted in a normal interpretation of the Scriptures not only according to the grammar and history of the time in which they were given but also with a full assurance that God has thoroughly and completely preserved His revelation to the present day. All students will be encouraged to develop some ability to use the original language texts, not as a measure of academic prestige, but as tools to aid them in accurate understanding and application of what God actually said.
For all classes and activities, the Authorized (King James) Version of the Bible will be the basic text; other versions will not be used or recommended. For all classes and activities where original language texts are used, the Hebrew Masoretic Text (MT) and the Greek Textus Receptus (TR) will be used.
As a ministry of Tabernacle Baptist Church, the College and Seminary is an institution of higher learning that is not bound, nor will it be bound, to any external convention, council, or group that would preclude it from exposing any violation of God's righteous design. In accord with this position and the truth that the character of God is not and cannot be different from His Word, the College and Seminary repudiates all belief systems and theological perspectives, regardless of their name or religious association, which in any way tend to exalt human reasoning or sensory perception above the Scripture, or which in any way tend to contradict or supersede the Scripture or its authority.