Highlands College is a biblical higher education institution that exists to supply the Church with leaders of competence, character, and spiritual maturity, holistically trained to lead lives of eternal impact by fulfilling the Great Commission.
Our mission statement begins with our declaration that we are a Bible College, which means that we prepare students for ministry based on the Bible and biblical principles of growth and leadership. Our specific focus is on leadership, which is needed to efficiently and effectively scale the efforts of the Church to spread the Gospel. Leadership necessitates a focus on the whole person, which requires holistic training. Accordingly, our training not only stresses academic instruction and ministry training, but also character formation and spiritual development, with a goal of producing ministry leaders of competence, character, and spiritual maturity.
Our approach is immersive, meaning our program is highly structured, residential, and is situated in a church setting. Our approach is also pragmatic, with students receiving 400 hours of hands-on training in one of eight practicums. Additional hands-on training occurs each Sunday in the local church where students produce and facilitate engaging and dynamic worship services and experiences.
All of this training is provided to prepare our students to fulfill the Great Commission, which is best expressed in Matthew 28:16- 20. Before ascending to Heaven from a mountain in Galilee, Jesus charged his apostles to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you.” This command from Jesus applies to all of his followers, who are instructed to embrace an evangelistic mission to make disciples of others, the results of which are seen in eternity. In leading others to fulfill this mission, our graduates are living lives of eternal impact. And in living such lives, they are fulfilling the mission of Highlands College.
To create a ministry academy model, applying leading-edge methods in world-class facilities, where students graduate debt-free—educated, equipped, and empowered to expand the Kingdom of God in a complex and changing world.
We believe that biblical higher education needs to be profoundly refreshed to better prepare leaders for the challenges, and more importantly the opportunities, of an increasingly complex and rapidly changing world. At Highlands College, we intend to lead the way in reimagining biblical higher education. Our goal is to provide training to the best and brightest who feel a calling to the ministry so they may realize their full eternal potential.
We realize that fundamentally different thinking about ministry training is needed. We have studied numerous educational models and found the example of the military service academies most appropriate for Highlands College for many reasons, such as their emphasis on the whole person . . . on character . . . on leadership . . . on practical, immersive, and holistic training . . . and on virtues such as integrity and discipline. Our leadership model is translating many applicable elements of the military service academies to ministry training. This means that students will be pushed hard in a structured environment that transforms young women and men into strong and mature leaders.
We also recognize that our Academy model of leadership development must be enabled by leading-edge methods situated in world-class facilities. To implement these methods, we are adopting the best practices of successful institutions of higher education and developing a campus to include facilities and spaces that support these practices.
A key goal of our vision is for our graduates to graduate debt-free. To that end, we will eventually provide free tuition to all students and additional financial aid based on need. We will make every effort to keep the Highlands College experience accessible and affordable for all, and we are committed to 100% placement opportunities for all our graduates.
Ultimately, we aspire for our graduates to be “educated, equipped, and empowered to expand the Kingdom of God.” This means that our graduates must not only be passionate, but also thoroughly educated (i.e., biblically literate and church-system savvy) and practically trained—possessing the indispensable relational and technical skills needed to lead ministries, create essential environments and experiences like baptisms and weddings, and pastor people. They must also demonstrate the emotional maturity that results from a strong character and the spiritual maturity that results from a deep and personal relationship with God.