Birmingham Christian College
BCC is a training college for Christian Ministry and Mission where men and women are modelled to become faithful disciples of Jesus Christ in the church, society and the marketplace. Situated on the Selly Oak Campus of University of Birmingham, BCC has former students serving all over the world. With roots in the Evangelical and Pentecostal/Charismatic movements, it welcomes students from all church, ethnic, social and economic backgrounds. BCC has a missional attitude to all aspects of Christian service and is investing a great deal of resources to train non-Western missionaries in Europe to partner with local churches to reach out to both the indigenous and various Diasporan communities.
A Brief History of BCC
Birmingham Christian College was founded as the Birmingham Bible Institute, by Presbyterian minister Henry Brash Bonsall, at premises in Pakenham Road, Edgbaston in 1953 where staff and students from different Bible believing backgrounds lived together as part of an extended Christian family. Brash Bonsall led an inspiring life, which you can read about in ‘Running for Revival’, a biography by Ruth N.B. McGavin.
A Change of Premises and a Change of Name
The College moved into the Selly Oak area of Birmingham in 2000. It re-branded itself as Birmingham Christian College and became a formal member of the Selly Oak Federation, poised to engage with a changing world and changing missions context in Europe. In 2006, it moved to the Crowther Hall campus, a purpose built missionary training centre previously used by the Church Mission Society (CMS) until 2004.
Enrolment for undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses validated by the University of Wales ceased in 2010 due to the University of Wales no longer offering validation services. However, the establishment of a strong missional partnership with The Church of Pentecost in 2012 allows BCC to revamp, upgrade and modernise its buildings and facilities to recreate the Christian environment that it has been noted for over many years. BCC offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses validated by Birmingham Newman University.
BCC was and remains an independent, interdenominational evangelical training college that aims to help students from all backgrounds respond effectively to the call of God in a Christian environment that students since the beginning in 1953 have noted as one of the main benefits of College life. It also offers ministerial training for pastors and lay leaders of The Church of Pentecost across the whole of Europe.
Our vision is:
To create a multi-ethnic, inter-cultural and inter-denominational Christian environment where men and women of all hues are challenged intellectually and inspired spiritually to learn, worship and serve together to impact their generations with the power of the love of Jesus Christ.
BCC is Christ centred, bible based, spirit led and mission focused.
We provide individually tailored programmes of Christian training and education that help our students to learn to trust and obey Jesus Christ so that His will is done more fully in thought, word and deed.
We help our students to use the bible in all matters relating to Christian faith and conduct, as it is a more reliable guide in such matters than either human reason or human traditions alone.
We help our students to understand the person and the work of the Holy Spirit in empowering and leading the believer to fulfil the mission of God on earth in anticipation of the coming of our Lord.
We encourage Christians, our students in particular, to work practically, in culturally sensitive and contemporary ways towards achieving the goal of “a church for every people and the gospel for every person”.
Birmingham Christian College exists:
“To promote the understanding and practice of the Christian Faith.”
The College is a long-standing corporate member of the UK Evangelical Alliance.
Since BCC’s establishment in 1953, some distinctive emphases have emerged that have a proven and lasting value in the eyes of the Trustees, the staff and past students:
- Our use of the bible as the primary guide in all matters relating to Christian faith and conduct;
- Our commitment to the primacy of faith, prayer, intercession and obedience in the Christian life – particularly in the provision of the resources that are needed for doing God’s will;
- Our strong sense of the perpetual need to demonstrate the gospel through practical servanthood empowered by agape love;
- Our stress on the importance of spiritual renewal and revival in both the individual and in society;
- Our practice of designing appropriate programmes of study and practical work for students, drawn from a wide ability range, to help them to experience both spiritual growth and educational advancement;
- Our desire to see spiritual gifts used effectually in the life of the College under the Lordship of Christ;
- Our priority of spreading the gospel to every human across every part of the planet by whatever means that are appropriate to the local context;
- Our ongoing call to help and strengthen both the members and the leaders of churches across the West Midlands conurbation in appropriate ways;
We pray that these values will always be a practical expression of what is important to us as a Christian college community aiming to honour Jesus Christ fully in all we do.
Affiliations and Partnerships:
Newman University validates Birmingham Christian College’s degree programme. Their mission is to make high quality education accessible to all who are able to benefit from it and to deliver research and scholarship that has a positive impact on society. Their students become independent thinkers with ambition, empathy, and a lifelong love for learning.
Newman University champions social justice, strives for quality in all they do, nurtures and celebrates individual and collective success and consistently seeks ways to improve all they do. They recognise the power of community and building relationships that help us excel and respect and value all contributions. People are at the centre of all they do and they are ethical, honest and steward their resources well. Newman’s mission is based on respect for others, social justice and equity.
Birmingham Christian College is an approved NCFE Customised Qualifications (CQ) centre.
NCFE is an awarding organisation recognised by the qualification regulators for England (Ofqual), Wales (Qualification Wales) and Northern Ireland (CCEA Regulation).
Accreditation Service for International Colleges
Birmingham Christian College is accredited by Accreditation Service for International Schools, Colleges and Universities (ASIC) which is an independent body providing accreditation services for independent, further and higher education colleges. The Institution has earned Premier status with ASIC for its commendable areas of operation.
ASIC accreditation helps students and parents make a more informed choice and will also help a school, college, university, training provider or distance education provider, demonstrate to the international student body that they are a high quality institution.
Evangelical Alliance UK (EAUK)
The UK Evangelical Alliance is a network of over seven hundred evangelical Christian organisations and many thousands of evangelical churches and individuals. BCC is an institutional member of the Evangelical Alliance in the UK and holds to the Evangelical Alliance Basis of Faith, Relationships Commitment and the Alliance’s Mission Statement. Please visit the UK Evangelical Alliance website at www.eauk.org.
The Church of Pentecost
The Church of Pentecost, is a worldwide, non-profit-making Pentecostal church with its headquarters in Accra, Ghana. It exists to bring all people everywhere to the saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the proclamation of the gospel, the planting of churches and the equipping of believers for every God-glorifying service. It demonstrates the love of God through the provision of social services in partnership with governments, communities and other like-minded organizations. The Church of Pentecost has formed a partnership with BCC as the provider of training for their leaders and lay leaders in their European churches.
Counselling and Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body (CPCAB)
Birmingham Christian College Counselling courses is accredited by the Counselling and Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body (CPCAB) which has since 1993 grown to become the UK’s leading awarding body specialised in counselling. As part of the Counselling Psychology Services Group (CPS), CPCAB offer vocational qualifications in over 300 training centres including Birmingham Christian College throughout the UK and overseas with over 13,000 candidates registering with them each year. They are the only awarding body run by counsellors for counsellors.
Their success is based on their commitment to developing competent counsellors. Their practical experience of counselling gives us a unique ability to design and support vocational qualifications in this and related fields.
Embracing diversity is one of the pillars of CPCAB’s philosophy. Embedded within all of their qualifications is criteria that is focused on working with difference and diversity.
Association of Christians in Counselling and Linked Professions (ACC)
Birmingham Christian College is a counselling and training affiliate member of the Association of Christians in Counselling and Linked Professions. ACC is a professional body set up in 1992 to facilitate quality counselling, psychotherapy, pastoral care and related training. They are the only Christian UK-wide counselling organisation holding an Accredited Register with the Professional Standards Authority. They offer membership to individual counsellors and psychotherapists; organisations, agencies and Churches concerned with counselling/psychotherapy or related activities; and pastoral carers.