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Bible Concentration Through West Coast Baptist College Master’s Program Allows Online Students to Delve Into the Word

Master of Religious Education Degree Also Offers Online High-Quality, Affordable Programs Concentrations in Education and Music


LOS ANGELES—If a goal for 2018 is to dive deeper in the Word of God, students can pursue post-secondary education through the Bible concentration of the on-campus or online master’s degree program at West Coast Baptist College (WCBC), which empowers students and ministry leaders to become more effective in their calling.

The graduate program is an affordable way students can invest in themselves and prepare for the exponential personal and ministry growth that God has for their future, specifically through the Bible concentration—one of three areas of focus.

“The online master’s program at West Coast Baptist College is intense study for those who want to obtain a deeper level of learning without losing a zeal for practical ministry,” said West Coast Baptist College President and Lancaster Baptist Church Senior Pastor Dr. Paul Chappell. “The West Coast Baptist curriculum also places an emphasis on student research and rigorous biblical study so they will be better equipped for all areas of ministry.”

The Bible concentration within the master’s program is a 32 credit-hour program designed to enhance biblical understanding, sharpen exegetical skills and develop an understanding of the theological themes of each book of the Bible. Students gain not only from understanding weighty biblical doctrine, but grow in their passion for God and His word. Master’s students also have opportunity to be more involved in ministry leadership roles and opportunities.

Courses within the Bible concentration include the following:

  • Systematic Theology studies the nature and method of Systematic Theology and the application of a proper Theological method to carefully analyze various theological options on key doctrinal issues.
  • Advanced Hermeneutics builds upon information gleaned either through observation, experience or an undergraduate Bible Study Methods class. In this class, students learn how the New Testament writers used the Old Testament, will understand how dispensationalism and reformed theology play a part in our exegesis, uncover common exegetical fallacies, and know more about how to use today’s technology in light of Bible study.
  • Doctrinal Synopsis is the capstone course in the biblical studies concentration and provides the student an opportunity to write a summative research paper and defend the final product.
  • Advanced Biblical Counseling is designed to give the student a further understanding of ministry through scriptural counseling. All approaches to problems will be based on biblical principles rather than secular, humanistic reasoning and technique.
  • Apologetics and Worldview analyzes different worldviews with which Christians are confronted and provides an apologetic methodology useful in evangelizing people with non-biblical worldviews.

Expert faculty also work closely with both on-campus and online students to make the most of the educational opportunity at hand, especially as some students juggle the responsibilities of family and full-time careers.

  • John Goetsch is the WCBC executive vice president and entered full-time evangelism in 1974. Since that time, he has conducted thousands of revival meetings in local churches, schools and camps around the world. At the college, he is involved in training young people for full-time ministry. Dr. Goetsch has authored several books and continues to preach revivals along with teaching. He will also preach at Lancaster Baptist Church’s Week of Awakening on Jan. 28-31.
  • Mike Lester, associate dean of academic affairs, has been at WCBC since its inception in 1995 and teaches many Bible classes such as Bible Doctrines, Romans, Hebrews and Isaiah. As part of his ministry, he leads a growing singles class for ages 30 and up.
  • Paul Chappell is founder and president of West Coast Baptist College and has been at Lancaster Baptist Church since it was led by 12 members in 1986. God has blessed the church, and the congregation has grown from an average attendance of 20 to become one of the largest Baptist churches in the country. In 1995, under Chappell’s leadership, the church began West Coast Baptist College, which is training students from nearly all 50 states and 17 foreign countries, who will serve in local churches around the world.
  • Rick Houk, chairman of the WCBC Bible department, started Lancaster Baptist School with his wife and was the principal of the school for 11 years before he began teaching at West Coast Baptist College full time. He also teaches the Family Foundations adult Bible class on Sundays at Lancaster Baptist Church.

Additional master’s degree concentrations include education, where instructors will learn the various styles of learning and teaching and how to apply them in their classrooms in relevant ways, which will help shape the future by teaching the next generation how to live for Christ; and music, where students will learn how it can emotionally guide and promote spiritual concepts as well as master its use effectively in church environments to honor and glorify Christ.

Kurt Kopeland, a graduate of the WCBC Master of Religious Education program under the Bible concentration, remarked, “I am thankful for the Ministry of WCBC and the influence on my life. I am especially thankful for the strong Bible-based master’s degree I received from there while still maintaining my ministry. I was challenged by the depth of the classes as well as stretched to grow more. Without a doubt, I am better prepared to serve Christ because of this master’s program.”

Whether residential or online, students are enrolled in the same classes with the same instructors, covering the same material. The WCBC online master’s degree program is not just pre-recorded lectures; the program mimics the full classroom experience. Those interested in the West Coast Baptist College master’s program can learn more here or request further information here.

West Coast Baptist College is an integrated auxiliary organization of Lancaster Baptist Church, where Chappell has served as pastor for the past 31 years. He and his wife of 37 years, Terrie, recently released the new book, Are We There Yet? Marriage—a Perfect Journey for Imperfect Couples,” a travel-themed guide for marriage.

Read more about West Coast Baptist College, Lancaster Baptist Church, “Are We There Yet?” and the Chappells here. For more information on Dr. Paul Chappell and Lancaster Baptist Church, visit or, or connect via social media on Facebook, Twitter or the church’s YouTube or Vimeo.