February 17, 2020
In 1938, Dr. Henry Shilling purchased White Oak Camp which was operated as a service station, dance hall, and tourist camp. Through God’s direction, this parcel of land in the hills outside of Pittsburgh, PA, was turned into a camp, youth convention center, and finally a Bible school. Over the course of those first few years, a small group of Jesus followers developed the school that is today the Biblical Life Institute (BLI). Displayed throughout the main building on its campus are pictures of some of the first students and faculty crafting the buildings that now stand on the campus.
Today, Biblical Life Institute is an intimate Bible school that prepares men and women for a lifetime of service in the kingdom of God. The faculty seeks to help students understand the Christian faith, live as followers of Christ, and walk alongside others in ministry. It is a school that is deeply committed to creating an educational journey rooted in spiritual formation.
By God’s grace, we have had the opportunity to learn more about Biblical Life Institute, interact with its faculty, staff, and board members, and hear about their heart for developing servants who participate in the Kingdom mission. The school’s commitment to helping students integrate faith, learning, discipleship, and vocation fits well with the driving impulses behind the Kairos Project at Sioux Falls Seminary.
As a result of that alignment, the board, faculty, and staff of BLI began considering an integrated partnership with Sioux Falls Seminary. Through an integrated partnership, BLI hopes to make the Kairos Project available to students in the churches and networks in its area. We are excited about what God may do through an integrated partnership between SFS and BLI.
Like with Taylor Seminary and Evangelical Seminary, an integrated partnership with BLI creates unique opportunities for enhancing and expanding the Kairos Project. For a few years now, through the encouragement of the Kern Family Foundation, Sioux Falls Seminary has had the privilege of working with various undergraduate institutions to provide an accelerated educational journey that allows students to blend their undergraduate experience with one of the programs at Sioux Falls Seminary. While such programs exist at several seminaries across the United States, Sioux Falls Seminary has developed a unique way for such programs to operate. With the advent of faculty mentors from BLI, who have extensive experience with young adults and undergraduate education, the Kairos Project will better able to serve students interested in these blended programs.
We are excited to welcome BLI as an integrated partner in the Kairos Development Network. God continues to surprise and encourage us by creating new partnerships and new opportunities to develop servants who participate in the kingdom mission!