The History of ABC
Ambassador Baptist College began in a rented Christian school facility in Shelby, NC, in 1989. Evangelist Ron Comfort had an increasing burden to start a Bible college with an intense focus on the Bible and ministry training. While several good Christian colleges were in existence, very few had the single focus of training men and women for ministry.
For Ambassador to become a reality, Dr. Comfort criss-crossed America for two years prior to the college’s founding to share his vision and philosophy of ministry training. Pastors and friends joined him in his vision and contributed more than $400,000 to open the doors in August of 1989.
Thirty-seven students enrolled that first year. God not only provided a facility and finances, but He also provided faculty members who were willing to step out in faith to follow the Lord. In the following years, the Lord blessed the college with growth, but it was obvious that the Shelby campus was not the ultimate location for ABC.
In the summer of 1994, a vacated public school campus in nearby Lattimore became available. ABC bought the campus and was accepted by the community with open arms. For the next two and one-half years, the college steadily worked on renovating the campus. A number of work crews and volunteers from local churches all over the country helped, and the college relocated to its present campus in January of 1997.
Since then, a lot of things have taken place. Dorms have been built and improvements have been made. In 2009, Dr. Alton Beal followed the founder as the second president of the college. Brother Beal is a 1996 graduate of ABC and has the same burden and vision as the founder.
To date, the college has close to 1,000 alumni scattered around the globe proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Welcome To Ambassador
Our mission is to do the best job possible both spiritually and academically to prepare men and women for ministry in Independent Baptist churches around the world.
Six Words That Describe Ambassador Baptist College
Ambassador is a Bible college. Unlike most Christian colleges, we are built off of a Bible core instead of a liberal arts core. Most Christian colleges offer Bible majors that consist of 32-40 hours of Bible. However, every student who graduates from Ambassador in a four-year program will have at least 60 hours of Bible, and all men in preaching programs will have at least 65. The truth is that ABC offers more Bible in its curriculum than any other Christian college. Check it out for yourself. In the day in which we live, we don’t need less Bible in our ministry training. We need more.
The Bible is not only taught in the classroom, but it also is preached in the chapel services four days a week. The chapel services are the highlight of the day as we hear pastors, evangelists, and missionaries challenge us with Bible preaching. At Ambassador, the Bible is more than a textbook, it is our light and guide.
Ambassador is a specialty school in that it has a single focus - training men and women for the Lord’s work. When students enroll in a bachelor degree program, they must declare an area of emphasis. The men choose from Pastoral Studies, Evangelist, Youth Ministries, Missions, and Music. The ladies choose from Christian Elementary Education, Missions, Church Ministries, and Music.
Unlike most Christian colleges, Ambassador is able to provide an intense atmosphere that emphasizes preparation for ministry. Imagine being in a classroom where everyone shares your burden to serve the Lord. While you are being shaped in chapel services and classrooms, you are also sharpened by your peers that want to serve the Lord. A Christian liberal arts college cannot provide for you the same focus and intensity that a Bible college can provide.
The faculty is one of the most important items in considering a college. In our day, many students focus on the amenities and the activities, but who is teaching you is of the greatest importance. While every faculty member at ABC is academically and biblically qualified, you can rest assured that they are seasoned in the fields that they teach.
Some colleges use graduate assistants and teachers fresh out of the classroom to teach people for the ministry. You will not find that at Ambassador. Why is that? Well, the answer is simple. In the Bible, you find Elijah training Elisha. You see Paul training Timothy. The Bible encourages the younger generation to be taught by the older.
When a student sits in the classroom at ABC, he or she is guaranteed to be taught by someone who not only has a strong Bible foundation, but the voice of experience from many years in the ministry.
One of the things that makes Ambassador a special place is the personal interaction and relationships that are developed between students, faculty, and staff. The most effective forms of teaching and discipleship take place in a personal, family setting. An online education may give you a degree, but it cannot give you the family atmosphere to support you and encourage you in your ministry training.
If you want to learn in a personal setting and build life-long friendships that will encourage you throughout your ministry, then go to a place that feels like a family.
Through the years, local churches, other Christian colleges, and missions agencies have noted the high quality of training that our students receive. Graduates who have chosen to further their education in accredited seminaries in our circles have had their degrees recognized and have received advanced standing due to the amount and quality of Bible training they received during their undergraduate studies at ABC.
However, the greatest affirmation of the quality of our training comes from local churches. Every week, we receive calls from churches looking for pastors, Christian school teachers, and staff members. No amount of prestige can replace the approval of local churches when you are training men and women for the work of the ministry.
Our classes are delivered in a traditional semester format of 16 weeks giving the students time to process what they have learned. The students use a classroom software named Populi to submit assignments online and to have online access to grades, class syllabi, and class discussions. A piano lab is provided for music majors so they can collaborate in the classroom setting as they learn to arrange and play. We have endeavored to put tools into the hands our students to give them a high quality of training for the ministry.
Ambassador is training the next generation to serve and lead in the local church. No Bible college student will ever be fit to lead in a church until he or she first learns to serve.
When students arrive on campus, they have six weeks to visit local independent Baptist churches and then they must choose their church for the school year. While in these churches, the students have the opportunity to be personally mentored by pastors and their wives. They also have the opportunity to serve in the area of their calling, and to gain valuable ministry experience while they are studying for the Lord’s work. Ministry training at Ambassador would be incomplete without the local church.
These six words took a few minutes to explain, but now you know why I think Ambassador is a special place. Take some time to visit our college website at ambassadors.edu, or better yet, come by and visit our campus and see firsthand what God is doing in our midst. And please don’t forget to pray that more laborers will join us in the harvest. Jesus said in Matthew 9:38 “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.”