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Thinking about Pensacola Christian College?
Posted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 9:22 am
I am a home-school graduate and I would like to warn the members of this board about Pensacola Christian College and ABeka Books. My parents home-schooled me using the ABeka curriculum and it was through ABeka that I learned of PCC. The ABeka curriculum does prepare students well for standardized tests and ABekaâ€™s reading program for kindergarten through third grade is particularly good. There is nothing inherently wrong with the curriculum; what is wrong is the college that publishes it. My mother no longer buys ABeka books because of what I have told her.
I went to PCC in 2000, at the age of 16, and graduated summa cum laude with a BA in English in 2003. I went to Dallas Theological seminary for one year after that, and then went to St. Johnâ€™s College in Maryland where I finished a Masterâ€™s in Liberal Arts in 2006. I am currently working as an editor in China, and I have been accepted to begin a PhD program in English literature at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland this fall. Perhaps I should also mention that I am no longer a Christian. I hope that will not bias your opinion of what I am about to write; PCC was a major reason for my loss of faith. I now believe PCC is a cult. For a list of cult characteristics, please see: http://members.aol.com/carol2180/wcult.htm#character
. This is not just an extreme statement; I have written out how PCC has all these characteristics, and if you are interested, I can send you my analysis later.
Before I went to PCC, a couple of people tried to warn me about it, and I refused to listen. I was excited about leaving home and PCC was the only school â€œawayâ€
Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 11:41 am
I appreciate what you have said here.. and will keep it in mind while checking out various colleges for my children.
I am concerned that you let them shipwreck your faith though.
I don't know that this is the venue to discuss it, but I have been through
a shipwrecking myself in the past, and perhaps discussing it would help.
Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:39 pm
okay, I have to say this now.
While I am not necessarily endorsing PCC, the folks in our area that
have graduated seem to have come out the other side alright.
I'm not doubting that you had issues with them, but I think there may
be something else at work here as well.
Just something to think about.
Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:46 pm
No, I did not just "have issues" with them. I graduated summa cum laude and got very few demerits. I know a lot of people will say their experience there was not that bad and that God wanted them to be there. But when people are told for four years that God wants them to be there and that everything that is happening is ultimately for their good, many start to believe it themselves. The point of my post was not to say that everyone who goes there will lose their faith. PCC was only one of the reasons I am no longer a Christian. It certainly shook my faith, but I didn't stop believing altogether until 3 years after I left. I have started a Facebook group called Pensacola Christian College Information: http://stjohnscollege.facebook.com/grou ... 285&ref=mf
In case you're not on Facebook, I'll copy what someone posted, so you will see that it's not just me:
I attended PCC because it seemed that my parents only would allow me to go there, it seemed God closed all other doors. The first month I outright hated it there. The rules were overwhelming, and the classes were so strict because of the rules. No freedom. Then, I started buying into all of the stuff, thinking that I was in God's will. So I started enjoying it and made some friends. I joined the PCCymphony and it was probably the greatest highlight of my semester to participate in the Mikado musical. We were allowed to wear jean skirts and jackets, and, this is a shocker, flip-flops (because I guess they are less seductive when you are rehearsing..haha..). I stayed at PCC for another semester after that. Then, I started reviewing, and I started noticing that many people commented on how judgmental I had become. Yet, I still would wear jeans and listen to CCM or "secular music" with no qualms. I just was just so blinded that I did not see how much PCC's environment had affected me spiritually. I knew they were wrong in many aspects, but I bought a lot of it because I truly was being brainwashed.
After a year at PCC, I seriously considered leaving. I realized how the college's portrayal of Christianity is very inaccurate. It saddens me that they turn people away from Jesus Christ instead of attracting a person towards Him. I am glad to know, however, that even though PCC does not encourage heart change, the Lord Jesus Christ always looks at the heart and not the appearance of a man. The spirit of PCC is not equal to the Holy Spirit, just being at PCC is not equal to God's will.
I have to admit, I am glad I went to PCC so that I can help people who are dealing with what I had to deal. I've already been able to counsel some people at my new school who have encountered legalism like that of PCC.
The most important thing in life is not how a person dresses or acts, but where that person stands in his relationship with Jesus Christ, who made a way for us to know God.
has a lot of relevant information, though it unfortunately has not been updated since 2003.
Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:07 pm
apparently you did and still do have issues with them, which is well within
your right to do so.
What is much more important, is that since you feel they are not representing
true christianity, you should not have let them sideline you.
Instead, you should have stayed close to Jesus and followed where He would
have you to journey forth.
repy to ocelot
Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 9:48 pm
I hate to burst your bubble - sort of - but you can't no longer "be a Christian" unless you can no longer be born. I grant that you are no longer a "Christian" as you understand the concept, but there is much more to salvation than a profession of faith. It is completely normal to reject a Christian profession which is not grounded in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. But the last thing I would do is let a place like Pensacola Christian College drive me away from the Lord.
I completely understand your concerns about PCC. Our daughter and son-in-law graduated (survived) from that college. I absolutely would not send another child to PCC under any circumstances. It has taken years for our daughter and her husband to recover from their experience.
When PCC sent a copy of "Trust Not the Unclean Thing" to me, I read it and became so outraged, that I spent the next three years writing my doctoral thesis as a rebuttal and self-published it under the title "Do We or Don't We Have the Bible?" It can still be purchased online through Cafe Press.
I consider PCC's theology to be a corruption of biblical doctrine, especially their view of the inspiration and preservation of Scripture.
In the light of my own family's experience, I am very saddened to read how that college and its radical views have harmed you. Please understand that Pensacola Christian College's own warped view of the Christian life does not approximate the truth. Read the Bible for yourself (any version you can understand), and ask God to guide you in the way of truth, just between the two of you. If there is a God, He should be able to handle that challenge.
I hope you will accept this letter as an encouragement and not a criticism of yourself. I do not intend it that way. I hope people will take your warning (about PCC) to heart, for you are quite accurate in your descriptions. Please do not allow perversions of biblical truth to turn you away from seeking after God.
Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 8:46 am
First, much of what you said about PCC I knew and it is not a Christian school I ever recommend for a variety of reasons. Yet, do not blame you rejecting Christianity because of them. I have seen the worst side of "christians", maybe much worse than you... maybe not but probably so.
Look at Christianity on her own merits, not on the back of PCC. Yes, they may be irrational or harsh, but that does not mean Christianity is irrational and truly good.
You sound like you were greatly hurt, in that regard I understand. YOu sound like you have seen through the legalism at PCC. That is actually a great thing. Yet, that does not mean God is false, only that man is sinful.
We wish you well and I pray the Lord will Bless you.
Posted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:09 am
I believe everything you said about PCC. A friend of my older sister went there for a year (it must have been back in 1991 or so). I heard that the students are not supposed to show the student handbook to anyone (how weird is that?).
Posted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 12:21 am
Just thought I'd weigh in here, even though this post is old. I somehow found it via Google. I went to PCC until 1993 and am now a 37yo homeschooling mom myself of four (ages 5-13). I still live in the vicinity of the college, so although we don't visit it much, we do have a little contact, and I can say with certainty that it has not changed in these 15 years!
What was posted about PCC is true. All of it.
However, what is absolutely different between she and I, I think, is the attitude. PCC is strict, is unbending, is rather military-like in many ways, yet you can go there and enjoy the other 3,000+ kids who are in the same boat as you, you can find ways to look cute even in those conservative clothes, and, why yes, you can enjoy the beach (it is quite accessible and popular enough that finding 5 girls - a rule they create for safety, and as a mama, I'm not sorry for that - is not difficult).
My husband and I (whom I met there) came out of it 100% scar-free. We didn't take the doctrine classes as what we must believe ourselves; rather, we took that as yet another person's opinion. So? It's good to get other opinions to mull over. It made for great discussions, past and present.
Yes, there were many annoyances (the tattle-tales are one), but there were also some great things (the non-tattle-tales who became such great friends that we're driving from FL to Chicago next week to see 4 of them). You just take things with a grain of salt and keep your own opinions.
Would we let our 4 children go there? If they want to! We are raising them to know their own minds (and make their own decisions). PCC was unable to change my mind or my husband's or our friends, and we intend to raise these kids well enough that they will know right from wrong for themselves. It is a VERY safe place, especially for girls.
Yes, I was put in the most horrid job on campus - the kitchen - and it is true, there was no interview to place me there. Because of this, and because the low wages is true, and because working so much made studying very difficult for me, I would NOT have our girls work there(unless they could get a library job, lucky gal!).
So, in summary, it is strict, yes, but if you think of it as "military-strict" and just accept those rules and go along with it; if you listen to the teachers/preachers/evangelists (my, there are many!) but mull it over in your heart and alone with God until you realize your own views, you'll come out of it unscathed.
p.s. It is absolutely true that the PCC degree causes problems going further. Not in every case, but many. My husband was turned down from the Air Force officers training school (degree not accepted) and my brother, who has a masters from PCC, cannot get a regular teaching job at a public school. We're going to let our children decide where they go to college, if they even do go, but we'll make sure they know about this problem in some majors, if they go to PCC. Oh, by the way, the nursing program IS accredited, and very accepted in hospitals and in further education.
Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 10:04 am
Thank you for writing this.
Honestly, I think Jesus would be VERY upset with PCC and similar colleges (Maranantha, Bob Jones, etc), the same way he was upset with the religious hypocrites of his day.
Christianity is about following and loving Christ, not following ridiculous rules and living in constant paranoia. I pity anyone who unwillingly attends PCC, and I thank God that I have found a college that encourages students to think for themselves and to know and love Christ personally (Indiana Wesleyan, check it out! lol)
Posted: Sun May 17, 2009 8:56 am
I really think it is sad that you had such a bad experience. I have family who attended there and I can say that these family members are now a little on the "radical" side and do things that I really don't agree with.
I am not going to encourage my children to go there!
My kids will start in a 2 yr college and transfer to four yr college. They will do it this way only because in my state they can start working on an Associates degree in the 2 yr college at age 14 and it is free, I only have to pay for the books.
I do have to say though that I use the Abeka curriculum and think it is wonderful! My kids take a standardized test yearly (state mandated) and score well above grade level every time, they have also never had any problems taking them.
I understand what you are saying and even though I may not agree with a lot of the college's "rules" I like their curriculum, and even if it means giving the college money, I will still continue to use it. I have used the curriculum for grades 1-9 so far and don't have plans to change.
It seems, for the most part, that you aren't against the homeschool curriculum; however, I just wanted to point out that I have had a positive experience with it and my kids don't have any problems testing.
Luckily I buy my stuff used so they aren't actually getting anything from me!
Posted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:09 am
I looked into attending PCC back when I was looking at colleges several years ago. I ended up going to Moody Bible Institute (MBI) instead and getting my BA there. Looking back, I'm very happy with that decision. I've since met two former students from PCC who related their own poor experiences of this college. Neither of them had forsaken their faith, they just didn't believe that PCC offered a very good environment or even a Christian education. Does this mean that no good can come from PCC? Probably not, but it's definitely not for everyone, and I think it is coming across very negatively to the outside world (the world that Christians are still a part of and seek to minister to on a daily basis).
I'm also no longer a Christian, though that has little to do with MBI. Though I sometimes wish I'd gone through a different undergraduate program that may have been more technically oriented (e.g., engineering or mathematics at Cal Poly, one of the colleges I was accepted at), the four years I spent there really expanded my thinking and research skills, and gave me a huge appreciation for evangelical higher learning that still exists today. MBI has rules and regulations too, and like PCC it's not for everyone, but the rules aren't really anywhere near as strict as what I've heard of PCC, and there is definitely a spirit of focusing on the condition of the heart and soul of a person on that campus, not just on their behavior or appearance of behavior.
I think I understand fully what Susan was saying, and I'd encourage others not to be too quick to judge her. As she already said, PCC wasn't the only factor in her disillusionment with the Christian faith; why do respondents to this post keep voicing the assumption that she thinks it was? In any case, I'd agree with her 100% that anyone looking at this college needs to really take it serious consideration, but so it should be with any college.
What happens to your child if you send them to PCC
Posted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:13 am
Really, it was an accident for me found this post. But Susan's experience brought a lot of emotions to me & I am writing this. I went to PCC from 2003 through 2006, then I quit with one semester left and transfered(so called) credits to the State University in the same city. And added extra 2 years ( so it took total 5 & half years to get bachelors).
I just want every prospective students and parents to know that Pensacola Christian College Inc.(Yeah, they are Inc. on the formal paper) is really for your kids!
While they are not gonna directly and physically harm your kids, they may leave your kid's heart profound damages like some of my fellows.
I know so many former students(including myself) who were from nice Christian family and him or herself was Christian, turned out to really secular. I lost my faith. Unlike Susan, I lost my faith not only from PCC, but PCC gave me a big confidence of how Christianity or any religion can lead people silly.
Sorry, if I made your feeling bad, I don't mean to deny Christianity and other religions in this post. My point was to warn you that PCC is crazy enough that turns your children like me.
My parents are very disappointed after knowing my change, and indeed, our family relationship went somehow wrong. Can you imagine that your children are really confident of losing their faith and enjoying secular activity? I guess not, if I'm in their position. I feel sorry to them, but at least I don't lie to them because I love them.
I know at least 10 people, after expelled, quit or even graduated from there, started drinking, having sex before marriage and all those "bad" stuff you may think of.
one student went really crazy during the semester and went to rehab.
All of them happened in my 3 years of college life, and I'm sure that these are just a piece of huge iceberg.
Posted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:01 am
Well, I also accidently came across this site looking for PCC on Google (for some reason I can't access it).
All of you really amaze me. So PCC has some rules, big deal. There's a reason for those rules, because kids weren't behaving in a Christ-like manner. I went there for one semester back in '93 and loved it! I would have gone back but didn't have the money. Is PCC strict? Yep, but it's for your own good. The Bible has a lot of rules too but it's for your own good. If you don't like dress codes, and not being able to go out with a girl/boy alone or being able to listen to your rock/rap/CCM music then PCC is NOT for you. If your a very conservative Christian the rules shouldn't bother you at all. I wasn't "scarred" or "damaged" and I didn't deny Christianity, in fact during that time I got closer to Christ and became a better Christian. If you deny your faith, don't blame PCC, don't blame God, blame yourself. You chose that path, no one chose it for you.
No college is perfect and I'm sure PCC has it's faults but by no means is it this horrible school that some people make it out to be. You may be right about the difficulty of transferring courses, so don't go to PCC if you plan on going to another college. My understanding of PCC not being Accredited was because they didn't want any kind of government funding. I could be wrong on this.
I have a brother who is a Bible teacher there, his wife has been a part of school her whole life. I know another couple from our former church who both graduated from PCC and never heard a bad thing about it.
Posted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 7:52 pm
You know...it isn't just Pensacola Christian College that is disgraceful in it's so called "Christian Conduct." I went to Evangel University in MO and this was a good Christian liberal arts school...however, I was forced (yes forced) after two years to transfer to Trinity Bible College. There were curfews imposed on every student. I started living with my parents (Missionaries in Residents at the time). Then there was Chapel Monday through Friday. Attendance was mandatory. There were chapel speakers who told students that unless they were in the front, they were not saved. Or even the school pastor would say that unless we were going to all of the extra chapels, we were lacking in our love for Christ. Attending class was also mandatory. If you miss more than the days allotted, you will lose letter grades for that class. My story becomes more personal than that. I started to date someone at the school who my parents (teachers at the college) did not approve. After over a month of fighting with my parents and losing precious hours of sleep and sanity, I moved into the dorms. Months of people telling me to go to counseling for not honoring my parents followed...The main reason I moved into the dorms was to avoid harassment from my parents so that I could actually focus on studies. However, the harassment seemed to double. My parents actually tried to get my boyfriend expelled from the school. People would tell me that they were praying for me to make the right decisions and that what I had done was ungodly. I had to leave chapel one minute early every day to avoid harassment. Needless to say, I am no longer at that school--and my view of Christian love has been smeared by Evangelical Christians. I still love God--but his people sure seem screwed up...and I'm not going to associate myself with any church that judges a person as "unfit."