Ronald Youngblood, Ph.D.
To Whom It May Concern:
My experience as a teacher of SBS in various YWAM venues goes back about ten years. It is no exaggeration to affirm that I am both honored and humbled to have been asked to participate in this outstanding inductive Bible study program, which is offered in dozens of locations worldwide.
The SBS principle, as I understand it, is to acquaint the student with the basic outlines, themes and contents of every book in the Old and New Testaments of Holy Scripture. In the full SBS program each student is required to attend for nine months beginning in the fall of one year and concluding in the spring of the next year. During that time they must attend lectures on each book of the Bible taught by YWAM staff members or outside teachers. They must also read through the entire Bible five times from Genesis to Revelation, including one time aloud. In addition, they must produce various outlines, charts and other similar assignments that are designed to give them an adequate understanding of each book of the Bible as a basis for further study throughout the rest of their lives.
I know of no other course as comprehensive as SBS, and I will be eternally grateful to Ron and Judy Smith for putting it together (under God’s direction, I’m convinced!) many years ago. I am delighted to be able to recommend the School of Biblical Studies without reservation.
Faithfully yours, and in Christ,
Ronald Youngblood, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Old Testament and Hebrew
St. Paul, Minnesota
Born-again Christian since 1940
Member of the Committee on Bible Translation, New International Version
Author of commentaries on Genesis, Exodus, 1 and 2 Samuel, and Isaiah
Associate Editor of the Zondervan NIV Study Bible
Editor and/or author of numerous Bible dictionaries, concordances and other Bible-related works
Former editor for 23 years of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the International Bible Society (now Biblica)
Member, deacon and Sunday morning Bible study teacher at College Avenue Baptist Church, San Diego, California
Husband of Carolyn Johnson Youngblood, the most beautiful woman in the world, for the past sixty years
Father of two children and five grandchildren
Current address: 325 Kempton St., # 1009, Spring Valley, CA 91977-5810
Colonel David G. Hansen (USA, Ret.) Ph.D
Dear Dr. Smith:
I am delighted you asked me to provide some remarks about the quality of the Youth With A Mission’s Schools of Biblical Studies. As you are aware, I have taught at more than twelve of their campuses during the twenty years I have known you.
For the past ten years I have taught each year at least seven schools, and sometimes more including three outside of the USA. Thus, I believe I am very well acquainted with your excellent curriculum, the quality of the teaching staffs and the remarkable results I have observed in the hundreds of students I have enjoyed teaching.
As for my qualifications, I have over twenty-two years of teaching and leadership experience, both undergraduate and graduate level, at accredited colleges and universities including Penn State, the University of Texas and the Army War College (an accredited, graduate-degree awarding institution). My degrees include a BS, two MAs, and a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies. I have held the academic ranks of Lecturer, Assistant Professor, and Professor in the higher-educational institutions where I have taught as well as having a military career, rising from private to full colonel. I believe that my diversity of background gives me a unique perspective to objectively evaluate the Schools of Biblical Studies.
The intense curriculum the Schools of Biblical Studies follow requires that students rigorously study the entire Bible in nine months (three semesters) and places demands on the students unlike academic courses in any other institution of higher education of which I am aware. In fact, I know of no other college-level course of instruction that has such a rigorous academic program. Your curriculum requires students be measured and graded frequently and, in doing so, they are required to achieve excellence in order to be allowed to continue to graduation.
The supervision you provide to the far-flung, world-wide, campuses is extraordinary. In addition to your continual monitoring of those schools with personal visits, over the internet and through the use of other media, coupled with the geographical area mentors you have established who also watch for quality, insures there is no slackness in the quality of instruction or curriculum. The staffs at every school I have visited really believe that it is an honor to teach and their dedication to superior instruction is inspiring. No instructor in any of the schools I have visited is permitted to teach a class that has not been evaluated in a “dry” practice session prior to his or her presentation by his or her peers; thus, insuring quality of instruction as well monitoring for inaccuracies. This is a practice that could well serve all higher educational institutions.
The results are evident. For fifteen years I have taught and traveled to Israel (where I have a license to lead Christian pilgrimages). On several of those trips graduates of the Schools of Biblical Studies and staff have accompanied me. I am constantly impressed, as are my teaching colleagues who have graduated from conventional seminaries and Bible colleges, at the knowledge of the SBS graduates. Their in-depth understanding of the Scripture, including the historical and cultural backgrounds of both the Old and New Testaments, is amazing.
I realize this endorsement may be lengthier than you requested; however, I cannot under-emphasize the proven academic knowledge and depth of Bible understanding for those who have graduated from the Schools of Biblical Studies. Thus, it is my pleasure to unconditionally recommend that such graduates be favorably considered for full academic credit at any institution for higher education in any Bible program which requires a thorough, basic, understanding of the Bible.
Dr. David G. Hansen