Plans for two new Bible schools in Oregon that officially launch this fall were announced last month. By coincidence, both have chosen names based on Greek words familiar to Christians.
In the Portland metropolitcan area, at a Clackamas County location yet to be announced, Colorado-based Charis Bible College will open a campus. Also this fall, Koinonia Bible School will begin classes at the Christian Renewal Center near Silverton.
Originally named Colorado Bible College, Charis Bible College was founded in 1994 by nationally known Bible teacher Andrew Wommack. With a teaching focus on the grace and unconditional love of God, Wommack has taught the Bible for more than four decades, authored several books and reaches millions of daily through broadcasts. His TV program, The Gospel Truth, is seen in Portland-Vancouver on KPDX-TV 49 and KNMT-TV 24, in Eugene on KLSR-TV 34, and and on multiple cable and satellite channels. His radio program of the same name is heard several times daily on KKPZ radio in Portland. Wommack visited Portland in 2015 and hosted a well-attended Gospel Truth Rally at the Oregon Convention Center. He will return to Portland for a three-day event next March.
From the beginning, Charis was designed as a school for practical ministry training with an emphasis on the grace of God. The college graduated its first class of 33 students in 1996 and today has its main campus in Woodland Park, Colo., with 44 satellite campuses across the United States and 23 more internationally. The Portland-area campus will be one of the college’s first on the West Coast.
Between the main campus, the dozens of satellite campuses and through online or correspondence courses, the college currently has a total of about 6,000 students.
According to Tom Montano, director and administator of the new Portland campus, charis — pronounced “care-us”— is the Greek word for grace. “Learning about the grace and unconditional love of God is what Charis is all about,” said Montano, himself a graduate of the college. He and his wife, Dixie, recently moved to Portland from Colorado after he spent three years studying at the Charis main campus and an additional year as a night school intern there.
“What I experienced at Charis Bible College changed my life tremendously in a short time,” he said. “After just a few years at Charis, I experienced the spiritual growth that I thought would take a lifetime. It all started when I learned how much God loved me, and God’s love will be the foundation of everything we teach at Charis Bible College Portland.”
The college’s fall term will kick off Sept. 5. The search for a suitable facility to house the school is ongoing, but Montano said the college is close to closing on a Clackamas County building that will be close to Interstate 205 and very near public transportation. The college will have classes for both full-time and “Hybird Charis” part-time students. “We will have daytime, evening and weekend classes, so there will be a class schedule available that will work for anyone,” he said.
Montano said class schedules, rates and the application forms are all online at www.charisbiblecollege.org. There also are videos of the college’s teachers and guest speakers, and answers to basic questions about the school. The Portland program also has its own new website, www.CBCOregon.com
But for those who can’t wait to get started, there are two ways to get a preview of the Charis Bible College Portland experience, he said. One is a Charis Bible study taking place at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays at the Milwaukie Center, 5440 S.E. Kellogg Creek Drive in Milwaukie. The study is currently utilizing Wommack’s book Spirit, Soul and Body, and those interested can register online at www.charisbiblestudies.net.
The other preview opportunity is at 5 p.m. Sunday, June 18 at the Milwaukie Center, when Greg Mohr, director of Charis Bible College Colorado, will minister healing and teach on being empowered to receive healing. “He is one of the greatest teachers on healing and has a compelling testimony,” said Montano.
There will be food, fellowship and worship at the event. A short introduction of the new Portland college will start the evening off, and there will be an informational table afterward for those with more questions.
For more information, email Portland.Oregon@awmCharis.com or phone 503-212-4141.
Koinonia Bible School begins classes Sept. 14 on the grounds of Christian Renewal Center, a popular family retreat center where conferences are held year-round. It is located in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, within walking distance of the 10 majestic waterfalls of Silver Falls State Park.
“We are so excited to be venturing into this new area of minstry,” wrote Tim and Julie Hansen, directors of both the retreat center and the new school, in a letter announcing Koinonia. “We can already picture young students laughing, studying and growing in the Lord together, being strengthened in their faith and prepared to share the gospel with boldness wherever the Lord takes them.”
Koinonia is a Greek word generally describing Christian fellowship or communion, with God or, more commonly, with fellow Christians.
According to the Hansens, the school, an eight-month program designed for young adults ages 18 to 25, will be a place “where intimacy with God is nurtured and faithfulness to His Word can grow strong, combining a strong Biblical foundation with practical discipleship.”
The Hansens anticipate a first-year class of eight to 12 students. Learning will happen through a combination of classroom instruction, group discussion, mentoring, hands-on ministry and fellowship. Key areas of emphasis will include God’s plan for relationship, redemption, the Christian worldview, and the work of the Holy Spirit. Students will also take part in a two-week missions outreach to the Philippines.
In addition to the Hansens, several other people will serve as instructors. The school will not have any initial accreditation. The Hansens said the teachers will reflect various levels of educational background, ranging from pastoring, too Youth with a Mission, Pensacola Christian College, Calvary Chapel Bible College, youth group and Sunday school directorships, and more. There also will be pastors, intercessors, missionaries and evangelists visiting throughout the school year as guest speakers.
For full information, go to CRCBibleSchool.org or contact the Hansens at 503-873-7743 or CRC.Bible,School@gmail.com.