We do not require that students be college graduates; however, if they plan to attend college, we recommend that they come to BBTI after college graduation so that their phonetic and linguistic skills will be sharper when they depart for the field. We suggest that all students have a good working knowledge of the Bible and basic Bible doctrine. We ask that students come with the approval and blessing of their pastor and church. We essentially trust their pastor’s judgment as to their spiritual maturity. We want mature (not necessarily old), serious-minded, and disciplined people. We do not have any “dorm parents” to look after students. Students are responsible for their own cooking, housekeeping, laundry, etc. The mission field is no place for lazy people, and neither is BBTI.
We only accept those who believe in basic Bible doctrine. This doctrine includes, but is not limited to, the exclusive authority of the Word of God, eternal salvation by grace through faith with no mixture of human works, baptism by immersion of believers only, a Trinitarian view of God, and a Biblical view of the Holy Spirit (to the exclusion of Pentecostals and Charismatics). We do not train those to hold to the doctrines of Calvinism as described in the mnemonic TULIP. We do not consider someone a Calvinist simply because he believes in salvation by grace and eternal security. We reject the teaching that God has chosen a certain number of people to be saved, and that Christ died only for that select few, leaving all others without any hope of salvation.
The first requirement for entrance is the completion of an application and a written testimony of salvation. Married students must submit separate applications. The BBTI staff and sponsoring church pastor then consider the applications. Both husband and wife are required to take most of the classes together. Although some of the courses are technical and difficult, our classes are small, and we give personal, hands-on help to each student. With completion of our training, students gain confidence in their ability to accomplish language and culture learning assignments for any mission field.
Since BBTI is supported by churches that share our burden for training missionaries, we are able to keep the cost to the students very low. Also, no staff member receives a salary from the BBTI, allowing us to be a tuition-free school. Students will be required to purchase some textbooks. Married students with up to four children pay $350.00 per month for housing (which includes utilities). Married students with five or more children pay $400.00 per month for housing. Single students pay $250.00 per month for their own house or $200.00 per month each when sharing a house. There is also a $50.00 per semester administration fee. Washing machines and dryers are available to students at no charge. Students, with the approval of their home churches, are encouraged to continue their deputation on weekends. There are hundreds of churches in the Texas/Oklahoma area.
Each house is different to fit the needs of each individual and family. Students are required to cook for and take care of themselves. We have no “dorm parents” to look after students.
We try to have adequate furniture and appliances in all the homes. If you would prefer to bring and use your own things, please notify the leadership so we can properly store the furniture that you remove from the apartment. If there is something you need or want, please let us know and we will try to locate it.
BBTI’s teaching is primarily practical, rather than spiritual. However, video Bible classes are offered through the Faith Bible Institute (FBI). All students and staff are encouraged to take part in FBI at East Side Baptist Church. It is held on Tuesday evenings from 6:00 to 9:00. Even if you are a Bible college graduate, you will benefit from these classes. The cost is very reasonable, and the homework load is not difficult. Faith Bible Institute classes are taught by video one night a week by John Yates, pastor of Rowland Road Baptist Church in Monroe, Louisiana. Unfortunately, there is no nursery provided, and mothers of small children may find it difficult to take part in FBI.
The advanced missionary training course of BBTI is of such an intensive nature that it is not feasible for students to have outside employment. Since the missionary will be working full time on the mission field, it is essential that such full time service begin during training.
The missionary in training begins learning how to trust God to meet his financial needs now while he is in his own country. Students are encouraged to arrange weekend deputation meetings. This provides some income and often results in lifelong friends and churches who take on a part of the prayer and financial support of missionaries.
Baptist Bible Translators Institute is not an accredited school. An appropriate number of credits are given for courses, but transfer of these courses to other institutions of learning are at their discretion. In addition to the specialized missionary courses, the BBTI students and staff may take part in the Faith Bible Institute (FBI) classes at East Side Baptist Church.
BBTI is a ministry of Bible Baptist Church, Bowie, Texas, under the leadership of Pastor Steve Summers.