Pensacola Christian College

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Pensacola Christian College (PCC) is an accredited, fundamentalist, Independent Baptist[1][2] college in Pensacola, founded in 1974 by Arlin Horton. It is known as one of the strictest colleges in the U.S. and some claim that it is radically legalistic.[citation needed]


In 1974, Arlin Horton and his wife Beka founded PCC to further their vision of "Education from a Christian Perspective." The school's 4,500 undergraduate students represent every state in the United States and over sixty other nations. Pensacola Theological Seminary, an extension of PCC's graduate school, was founded in 1998.

The school is also an active proponent of fundamentalist Christian education; their in-house publisher, A Beka Book (named after Horton's wife, Beka), provides a K-12 curriculum that is used by fundamentalist Christian schools and homeschooling families.

In 2005 more than 3,500 delegates attended practical clinics and seminars sponsored by the college. The Principal's Clinic provides administrators and teachers with materials, methods, and principles for starting and building a fundamentalist Christian school. They also hold a Summer Seminar that provides faculty and administrators with an in-depth orientation into their perspective on how a Christian school should be operated.


Pensacola Christian College's statement of purpose is: Pensacola Christian College was founded with the purpose of training young men and women for a life of service to Jesus Christ.

Undergraduate programs[edit]

PCC offers over sixty undergraduate programs of study. These programs fall under the oversight of eight academic divisions including the Division of Bible, the Division of Business, the Division of Education, the Division of Communicative Arts, the Division of Music, the Division of Arts and Sciences, the Division of Basic Sciences and Engineering, and the Division of Nursing.[3]

Graduate and postgraduate programs[edit]

Post-graduate degrees are offered through the Graduate school at PCC and through Pensacola Theological Seminary in the fields of Education, Music, Art, Divinity, Ministry, Nursing, and Business Administration.


Pensacola Christian College is received accreditation status as of October 29, 2013 by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools. [4]

Its nursing program is certified by the Florida State Board of Nursing.[5]

Philosophical position[edit]

PCC offers neither coursework nor information of any kind contradicting young Earth creationism or flood geology. This position requires the omission of subjects such as big bang cosmology, evolution (but specifically primate evolution), archeology (i.e. the concurrent existence of Chinese and Egyptian dynasties during the time of Noah's ark, to offer but one example), or the pre-Columbian Americas (i.e. the Cherokee or Clovis civilizations). Additionally, PCC has taken a firm stand against Freudian psychological principles.

Articles of faith[edit]

Below are listed PCC's articles of faith as found on the PCC website:[6]

"We believe that the Bible is the verbally inspired and infallible, authoritative Word of God and that God gave the words of Scripture by inspiration without error in the original autographs. God promises that He will preserve His Word; Jesus said, “but my words shall not pass away”–Matt. 24:35. We believe God has kept that promise by preserving His infallible Word in the traditional Hebrew and Greek manuscripts and that the Authorized Version (KJV) is an accurate English translation of the preserved Word of God.

"We believe there is one triune God, eternally existent in the persons of Father, Son (Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit; these three are one in essence, but distinct in person and function.

"We believe that Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity, became the physical manifestation of the Godhead to mankind. We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood and His bodily resurrection.

"We affirm that the Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Trinity, the Agent of conviction, regeneration, indwelling, baptism, sanctification, and illumination of all who are born into God’s family through Jesus Christ. We are opposed to the charismatic movement and its tongues and other sign manifestations.

"We believe that God created the universe in six literal days and that man was created in the image of God but chose to sin. Hence, all persons inherit a depraved nature and are lost sinners in need of salvation.

"We believe that salvation is a free gift of God for “whosoever will”; it is by grace, through faith, plus nothing, and believers are eternally secure. Salvation is received only by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work.

"We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and lost: those that are saved unto the resurrection of eternal life in heaven and those that are lost unto the resurrection of eternal damnation in a literal lake of fire. We believe in the spiritual unity of the body of Christ and that God has ordained the local church for the perpetuation of His truth and work in the world, and that two ordinances of the local church are baptism by immersion and a regular observance of the Lord’s Supper by believers.

"We believe in the imminent, pre-Tribulation return of Jesus Christ for all believers. This Rapture of the saints will be followed by a seven year period of Tribulation, after which Christ will return in glory to judge the world and set up His millennial reign on earth."

PCC's Articles of Faith reject the teachings of Calvinism, Modernism, Neo-orthodoxy and the modern day charismatic movement. PCC specifically states that charismatic students will not be permitted to participate in or promote speaking in tongues, and would be better served attending elsewhere.

PCC also states that they believe the Textus Receptus is the superior Greek text of the Bible and upon this basis use the King James version of the Bible for all their pulpit ministry and classroom Bible instruction. (See King James only debate below.)

Student life[edit]

Fine Arts Series[edit]

Every semester the college invites well known performers unaffiliated with PCC to put on productions and performances in either the Dale Horton Auditorium or the Crowne Center on the campus of PCC. Prominent artists that have performed at PCC include the late Jerome Hines of the New York Metropolitan Opera, the Atlantic Brass Quintet, Christopher Parkening, the Vienna Boys' Choir and the Gregg Smith Singers. Every semester the staff and students of PCC also put on plays and operas which in the past have included Shakespearean plays and Gilbert and Sullivan musicals.

Concert and Recital Series and plays[edit]

PCC senior Communicative Arts students and graduate students are required for part of their course work to perform in either a concert or recital according to their concentration. These concerts and recitals are open to the public, and provide opportunities for PCC students to experience musical and dramatic productions.

In addition to these concerts and recitals the Dramatic Arts department puts on small plays in the experimental theater located in the Communicative Arts building. Due to the grassroots nature of these plays, directed and performed by PCC Speech and Dramatic Arts students, these productions generally sell out for every performance and many students consider them a highlight of the semester.


All PCC students are required to participate in on campus societies called Collegians. Every fall semester the PCC Collegians hold Greek Rush which includes a parade of every collegian through campus and provides collegians the opportunity to recruit new members from the incoming freshman class. All collegians are identified by a series of three Greek letters. All men's collegians end with the Greek letter Delta "Δ" and all women's collegians end with the Greek letter Rho "Ρ". Collegians provide opportunities for PCC students to hone leadership skills, to serve in on campus capacities, provides opportunities for off campus group excursions and provide a venue for on campus activities including intramural sports. Collegians meet Wednesday mornings twice monthly.

On campus sporting events[edit]

PCC participates in the National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association (NCCAA) for intercollegiate sports. Eagles Basketball games played in the Arena level of the Sports Center provide a great deal of excitement for PCC students during the basketball season. The Lady Eagles Volleyball team also competes at the intercollegiate level. Starting in 2008, PCC will have a women's intercollegiate basketball team.

In addition to intercollegiate athletics, PCC students are also afforded the opportunity to play intramural sports through their Collegians. Collegian sports are known for intense team rivalries and expressions of team spirit. Sports offered through collegians include Soccer, basketball, softball, volleyball, and broom-hockey among others. Every fall Collegian Soccer culminates with the winners of the playoffs facing each other in the annual Turkey Bowl held over the Thanksgiving weekend. In the spring students enjoy softball and basketball which provided athletic opportunities to PCC students.

PCC also hosts a number of invitational high school sporting tournaments and camps.

Free time recreation[edit]

The campus of PCC offers opportunities for non-organized individual or group recreation during free time. On the lower level of the Sports Center, students can ice-skate, bowl at PCC's 12-lane bowling alley, play racquetball in one of 6 courts, play miniature golf, play table tennis, or work out in one of the weight rooms. There is now an extension to the Sports Center which includes: rock climbing, a water park, a volleyball court, several badminton courts and also a inline skate rink. Also available on campus is the Field House in which students can play basketball, swim in the Swim Center and play tennis in the tennis courts. On east field students can utilize out door basketball courts, a soccer field, an eight lane running track, softball fields, and additional tennis courts. There is also an indoor running track in the upper level of the Sports Center. Although it is some distance from campus, students willing to make the 30 minute drive can enjoy West Campus, where students can sail in catamarans or go kayaking.[7]

On campus work assistance program[edit]

PCC students who would otherwise not be able to afford a college education are given the opportunity to work on campus through PCC's Work Assistance program. Unlike in a typical workplace, students are assigned jobs rather than interviewing for them. Through work assistance students can maintain a part time job on campus in a number of areas including security, print-shop, housekeeping, food service, grounds and facilities. A Beka Book's workforce is composed mostly of PCC students whose wages are transferred to their college accounts. Because PCC's strict rules pose many logistical problems that make it hard to obtain a job off-campus, most PCC students who have jobs are in the work assistance program.

For students who choose to do so, PCC also offers a specialized work assistance program whereby students can sign a contract to work on campus for a six year period while taking classes. Upon completion of their contract these students graduate from PCC completely debt free. The work assistance program also provides a means for PCC to keep their costs down because instead of hiring full time staff to run the day to day operations of the campus, under the supervision of qualified staff the campus is largely run and maintained by PCC students.

Rules and regulations[edit]

Rules at PCC are strict; the college maintains, "attendance at PCC is a privilege not a right." This phrase is printed in all of PCC's administration and registration publications including course catalogs, student handbooks, and information sent out to prospective students regarding attendance at PCC.

Regulations govern many aspects of the residence hall students lives, including dress, hairstyles, cleanliness of residence hall rooms, styles of music (PCC only permits its students to listen to classical music, traditional Christian music or Sacred music), borrowing, off-campus employment, and internet access.

PCC also has strict policies regarding mixed-gender interaction. Physical contact between members of the opposite sex is not permitted under any circumstance. Written permission of the dean’s office must be procured for all off-campus meetings between members of the opposite sex. In addition, all mixed-gender meetings (off-campus), must have a PCC chaperone present(unless you are over 23 AND have a fastpass).[8] All stairwells and elevators on campus are segregated by gender (as of 2010 the Library stairs are not segregated [but that does not matter anyway because guys and girls are to never look at or talk to each other in the college library] ). In the absence of being able to have physical contact, a fad has developed among dating students on campus where couples stare deeply into each other’s eyes. This practice by students is variously called "eye kissing", or "optical intercourse" and is jokingly called "making eye babies."[8] This activity however is discouraged by the administration.

Other violations of PCC policy include the use of language considered profane or foul by the college administration, visiting movie theaters, patronizing unauthorized area businesses, being off campus after hours and being in another residence hall room after hours. Additionally, being in a residence hall belonging to a member of the opposite sex, the use of alcohol, or tobacco products, gambling, possession or use of pornography, engaging in any form of pre-marital sexual activity or any other actions considered by the college to be immoral, and engaging in social activities with members of the opposite sex as a group while off campus can result in immediate dismissal. The administration of PCC also reviews any reports brought to their attention of students behaving in a manner unbecoming of PCC ideals who are at home or away on school breaks while enrolled at the college.[9]

Demerits and punishments[edit]

At the beginning of each semester students are required to sign a waiver stating that they understand "attendance at PCC is a privilege not a right" and that they therefore agree to abide by all regulations and guidelines set forth by the college. Students who are found to be in violation of this signed agreement are subject to administrative review by the Discipline Committee (members of the college administration selected to review alleged infractions of college policies), during which time demerits are assigned or canceled corresponding to the degree of the infraction or circumstantial conditions surrounding the incident in question. Although nearly all students acquire demerits at one time or another, historically one-third of the PCC students do not accumulate enough demerits (over 25) to be retained on their records. As a result, one-third of PCC student records reflect 0 demerits per semester, and most other PCC students records contain a very minimal number of demerits.[10]

For students who do acquire demerits, PCC has four levels of punishment; students can be "campused", "socialed", "shadowed", or expelled. An accumulation of 75 demerits results in being campused for two weeks. Campused students are not permitted to leave the campus grounds or speak with any other student subject to discipline. The punishment of being campused reoccurs with every new accumulation of 25 demerits.

PCC prohibits physical contact of any kind between members of the opposite sex. Students caught violating this prohibition are subject to being socialed. Students who have been socialed are not permitted to speak or interact with members of the opposite sex for a period ranging from one day to two weeks, depending on the severity of the offense.

Upon suspicion by the Dean's office that a student is in great violation of college policy that student may be subject to being shadowed. Individuals who are shadowed are assigned to a Floor Leader (a fellow student who is selected by PCC to provide leadership in the residents hall and to enforce college regulations) and must remain with the Floor Leader at all times. This includes being required to attend the Floor Leader's classes, and moving to the Floor Leader's room.[8] During the duration of being shadowed the student is prohibited from speaking with any student other than the Floor Leader. The purpose of shadowing is to provide the administration time to review the case against the student and to assess the seriousness of their infraction. Infractions that result in being shadowed are usually deemed to be severe enough to result in expulsion from PCC, but not all students who are shadowed are subsequently expelled from PCC. [citation needed]

The final form of punishment is expulsion or forced withdrawal from the college. Expulsion is often used in conjunction with shadowing, to provide a time frame for arrangements to be made for the student to leave campus and return home. In certain circumstances, students have been required to leave campus within the 24-hour period after expulsion without arrangements being made. Students who have been expelled or who withdraw from PCC on poor terms are often banned from returning to the campus for a cooling off period determined by the Administration. If seen on campus, PCC security will escort them off college property. The PCC security office keeps pictures and information on all former students and other individuals banned from the campus. [citation needed]

Concerns regarding punishment at PCC[edit]

It should be noted that concern has been shown by many people for the punishments handed out by PCC, especially shadowing. "There is an implied 'presumption of guilt.' Any student is vulnerable to having his life severely interrupted, possibly suffering exceptional emotional and spiritual distress as he is isolated, pressured, and scared, being made to feel guilty even when there is no reason."[11]

Furthermore, any one student is able to write up another student, giving them demerits. The Student Voice, a website designed to discuss such concerns about PCC, says, "It is also inherently unfair to sanction a student for something when the individual doing the sanctioning is unknown. What check is there against prejudicial charges? If anyone believes that prejudice is not present at PCC, they are very naive. [...] The process arbitrarily takes one person's word over another's. Why is this the case? Why is it that if you accuse another student of something, you automatically receive the benefit of the doubt over the accused simply because you have made an accusation? [...] There are a multitude of reasons why one person's word may not be accurate: prejudice, incorrect perception of surrounding circumstances, incorrect information, etc."[12]

Notable alumni[edit]

Controversies involving PCC[edit]

King-James-only debate[edit]

Pensacola Christian College supports the exclusive use of the King James Version of the Bible, a tenet of the King-James-Only Movement. However, PCC simply considers the Greek Textus Receptus that forms the basis of the King James New Testament to be superior to other available New Testament texts; it does not espouse the "advanced revelation" or "re-inspiration" views of some KJV-only groups (such as those of fellow Pensacola area Christian leader Peter Ruckman).

In 1996, Dell Johnson, who would later become the dean of Pensacola Theological Seminary, gave two chapel messages advocating the exclusive use of the King James Bible and the Received Greek text. In 1997, the school released a video featuring Johnson, Michael Bates, and the late Theodore P. Letis entitled "The Text Is The Issue." The following year, Letis and Johnson presented a history of textual criticism in American Bible seminaries, blaming Benjamin B. Warfield and his followers including A.T. Robertson in the Southern Baptist Convention, Lewis Sperry Chafer at Dallas Theological Seminary, and Charles Brokenshire at Bob Jones University for what they considered undesirable changes.

At the end of the video, Johnson attempted to steer clear of being lumped with certain King James Only advocates such as Jack Hyles, Peter Ruckman, and William Grady, who hold a stricter view on which versions are acceptable.

Politics, taxation and religion[edit]

The school has an active Anti-"Tax Rebel" stand and will report anyone who they feel is breaking the tax laws of the country. They will also prevent any student from associating with anyone they feel has an anti-taxation stance.[citation needed]

Senior vice president Rebekah Horton feels that it is her duty to report anyone she feels is breaking tax law. In the mid 1990s, after she learned of Kent Hovind's anti-tax stand said "'We know the Scriptures do not promote (tax evasion),'" during testimony against Hovind during his 2006 trial, "'It's against Scripture teaching'.... Horton believed it was the college's duty to report the misleading doctrine. 'I didn't want to see innocent people get led astray,' she said. Pensacola Christian College then decided its students no longer were permitted to work with Creation Science Evangelism."[13]

The Student Voice[edit]

Main article: The Student Voice

In 1996 two PCC alumni started an electronic newsletter entitled The Student Voice. This newsletter voiced opposition to various rules and policies of the college. During this time The Student Voice also bought out advertising space on a large billboard adjacent to the campus of PCC to advertise its website. Dr. Arlin Horton and the administration of PCC responded to the newspaper's first issue with a speech in the campus chapel, calling the newspaper "an attack from Satan", [citation needed] reminding students that when they registered for enrollment at PCC they agreed to follow all rules and regulations of the college, that they were not forced to attend the school, and that anyone involved with the newspaper would be subject to expulsion. The following semester PCC banned all devices which would allow an individual to connect a personal computer to the Internet. Later, The Student Voice was moved to The Student Voice released new issues regularly for two years and continued to release their newsletter irregularly through their website until 2003. As of 2007, their website still keeps an archive of the issues of The Student Voice, but it has not been updated since 2003. In light of claims by former students it is possible that The Student Voice was not the sole reason for loss of Internet access at PCC. These former students have stated that the same year a ring of students were intercepted while involved in surfing Internet pornography.[citation needed] Internet access on the campus of PCC was severely limited until the summer of 2004 when a new, heavily filtered, wireless Internet service run by the college became available to all students on campus.

PCC response to anti-PCC activities by current students, former students and alumni[edit]

It has been alleged that alumni who criticize the college are removed from the college mailing list and are put on a blacklist. In March 2006, the college banned several alumni from returning to campus because they had criticized the college on the popular website MySpace. Students are eligible for expulsion if their MySpace profiles contain material the college considers inappropriate, such as unapproved music or pictures. The PCC administrative staff monitor the MySpace and Student Voice websites regularly to review what current and former students are saying about the college. [citation needed]

Faculty credentials[edit]

According to Pensacola Christian College's 2007 Student Handbook, fewer than one in three professors holds the terminal degree in his or her field. Additionally, the majority of PhD-equivalent professors possess D.Div. or Ed.D degrees granted by PCC.[14]

Other ministries of PCC[edit]

The Campus Church[edit]

Pensacola Christian College, hosts a "local church" in the main auditorium on campus, the Crowne Centre, called the Campus Church. Most PCC students are required to attend the Campus Church, which PCC feels is an integral part of each student's spiritual growth.

On December 10, 2006, Dr. Arlin Horton announced that Dr. Neal Jackson would be the pastor of the Campus Church. Dr. Jackson received his Bachelor of Arts degree and Master of Arts degree from PCC. He also has a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Luther Rice Seminary.[15] In addition, Lloyd Streeter, formerly the pastor of the First Baptist Church of LaSalle, Illinois, has accepted the position of co-Pastor. The position of Pastor of the Campus Church had previously been held by Jim Schettler who resigned that position in May, 2006. (as of sept 2009 Dr. Joel Mullenix is now the Interim Pastor and Joe Shakour Assistant Pastor.[16] )

Since the inception of PCC and of the Campus Church, critics have pointed out that college's Campus Church may not be a true local church. One example of how the Campus Church operates differently is the recent selection its current pastors. Traditionally local churches of the Independent Baptist persuasion (as the Campus Church claims to be) form a pulpit committee which presents pastoral candidates to the congregation for a yes or no vote. Upon a majority yes vote of the congregation a call is extend to the candidate to become the church's pastor. In the case of Dr. Neal Jackson and Dr. Lloyd Streeter becoming the Campus Church co-pastor in January of 2007, Arlin Horton personally selected them without either a pulpit committee or congregational vote. [17] PCC however holds that as an independent church they have the right to operate the Campus Church according to their interpretation of what is scriptural.

Rejoice in the Lord[edit]

Main article: Rejoice in the Lord

The Campus Church of Pensacola Christian College records its Sunday services for weekly television broadcast of Rejoice in the Lord. The programming of Rejoice in the Lord consists of musical numbers performed by the Rejoice Choir, various PCC musical ensemble groups, congregational singing recorded in the Campus Church and preaching by the one of the two co-pastors of the Campus Church (Neal Jackson and Lloyd Streeter).

Rejoice Radio[edit]

Rejoice Radio, also known as the Rejoice Broadcasting Network and sometimes referred to as RBN, consists of the main station WPCS 89.5FM in the gulf coast region and numerous satellite stations located throughout the United States. The content heard on Rejoice Radio consists primarily of inspirational music, and syndicated Christian radio programming.

A Beka Book[edit]

A Beka Book is a publisher affiliated with Pensacola Christian College that produces K-12 curriculum materials that are used by fundamentalist Christian schools and homeschooling families around the world. It is named after Rebekah Horton, wife of college president Arlin Horton. A Beka Book and Bob Jones University Press are considered the two major publishers of fundamentalist Christian-based educational materials in America.

A Beka Book has been criticized by The University of California and National Center for Science Education for publishing information contrary to accepted scientific consensus, especially regarding the theory of evolution. A Beka Book takes a firm Biblical literalist and young earth creationist position in its science curriculum, portraying Biblical creation as a theory of origins that does not contradict science. These institutions have criticized A Beka Book for selling works that are contradictory to the mainstream scientific consensus regarding the origins of the universe and the origins of life. The University of California has deemed books by A Beka Book and BJU Press as "inconsistent with the viewpoints and knowledge generally accepted in the scientific community."[18]

For a short period A Beka Book held tax exempt status because its profits were channeled into PCC as a tax exempt religious organization or educational institution. In January 1995 the U.S. Internal Revenue Service ruled that the college's publishing arm was liable for taxes as a profit-making entity. The IRS further ruled that since the profits of the publishing arm benefited the organization as a whole due to the fact that both A Beka Book and PCC were run under the same organization and that all of the profits of A Beka Book went directly to PCC constituting 60% of the college's income.[19] The effect of this ruling rendered the publishing company ineligible for future tax exempt status. Although PCC was ultimately cleared of any liability for back taxes, PCC paid the estimated at $44.5 million, and A Beka Book paid another $3.5 million dollars.


  1. Soulforce Information on PCC
  2. PCC's Articles of Faith
  3. PCC: Majors Index
  5. Florida Board of Nursing Nursing Programs June 2006
  6. PCC: Articles of Faith
  7. PCC: West Campus. Pensacola Christian College. Retrieved on 2007-08-08.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named bartlett
  9. Student Voice Rule List
  10. Taken from an Alumni Association letter dated Tuesday, April 24, 2007, sent out by PCC President Dr. Arlin Horton
  11. The Student Voice,
  12. A Call On The Administration To Revise The Discipline Committee Procedures,
  13. Fail, Angela, "Christian College leader says taxes are part of religion: Hovind argues God's workers are exempt", Pensacola News Journal, October 20, 2006. Retrieved on 2006-10-20.
  14. 2007 PCC Student Handbook
  15. Dr. Jackson previously served along side his father as co-pastor of Belmont Baptist Church in Conyers, Georgia.Bio of Pastor Jackson
  16. [1]
  17. Sharper Iron Forums - View Single Post - UPDATE: Neal Jackson Pastor, Lloyd Streeter Co-Pastor of Campus Church
  18. "Creationist lawsuit against UC system to proceed", National Center for Science Education, August 10, 2006. Retrieved on 2006-10-20.
  19. "College Pays Millions in Taxes", Christianity Today, October 28, 1996. Retrieved on 2006-10-20.

External links[edit]