Welcome to the Heartland/Pacific Coast Alumni Association website!  We’re glad you’re here.  Feel free to explore the site and contact any Alumni Association officer or representative if you have any questions.

As I talk with students, graduates, pastors, and other ministry leaders about the Heartland Baptist Bible College Alumni Association, one line of questioning comes up more often than any other: “What is the Alumni Association about, exactly? Why do we need an Alumni Association? What can the Alumni Association do for Heartland that Heartland cannot already do for itself? Why should I invest resources into an Alumni Association when I could just invest them into Heartland?” Ultimately, these questions are all forms of the same question: “Why should Heartland Baptist Bible College have an Alumni Association?”

This is a fair question, and it deserves a direct and substantive answer. After all, if we cannot concretely explain what an organization does and why its work is beneficial, we probably shouldn’t spend any more time or energy continuing it.

The Heartland Baptist Bible College Alumni Association has a pulsing, thriving reason for existence, and that purpose flows out of the very definition of what an association of Heartland/Pacific Coast alumni would be and should do.

According to Webster’s 1828 dictionary, an association is “a connection of persons; a society formed…” Applying this definition to our setting, the Heartland Baptist Bible College Alumni Association is a society of Heartland/Pacific Coast graduates and other interested parties. Take a moment to think about the caliber of society that definition describes. Without arrogance and with all praise appropriately directed, God has guided hundreds of wonderful people through the halls of Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College and Heartland Baptist Bible College, and now these people are doing God’s work all around the world. God has also drawn countless others to be joined in fellowship to Heartland (even if they were never enrolled as students)—parents, pastors, ministry leaders, and church members. It only makes sense that such a group of people would “associate.”

However, to justify an association’s existence, it is not enough that it merely be comprised of the right kind of people. Webster’s complete definition says an association is “a connection of persons; a society formed for transacting or carrying on some business for mutual advantage.” To be a worthy association, the association must conduct worthy business. To evaluate that heightened standard, consider what an association of Heartland/Pacific Coast graduates could accomplish for mutual benefit and the glory of God. Considering who we are and what we can accomplish leads to the natural, four-fold purpose of the Heartland Baptist Bible College Alumni Association.

The graduates of Heartland Baptist Bible College and Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College should associate in order to do these four things:

CONNECT…to truth. While students are enrolled at Heartland Baptist Bible College, they have the privilege of being engulfed in an environment of well-presented truth. Powerful preaching in church and chapel services, as well as strong teaching in the classroom, continually sharpens and stabilizes students. Once graduates depart into ministry, though, they are often no longer immersed in the same readily available environment of truth. Of course, many graduates are working under godly pastors. Yes, leaders at Heartland are just a phone call away. Ultimately, the Lord and His Word will always be there to help. However, God designed us to need the kind of sharpening that is only provided by qualified peers. Unfortunately, strong communities espousing other doctrines are readily available online, and brotherhoods of other ministry philosophies are all too welcoming of Heartland graduates. While we are not trying to compete with or mimic such groups, we must acknowledge that the absence of sharpening Bible truth and the presence of subtle error can be a toxic combination for some young ministers (seasoned ones, too). The graduates of Heartland/Pacific Coast should associate in order to remain connected to truth. Providing this kind of content and fellowship to graduates is outside the scope of Heartland’s mission statement, but it is the very business that a society of graduates should undertake. This is the philosophical foundation for the Heartland CONNECT—a regular online publication of biblical, sharpening articles on a host of ministry-related topics. These articles are written by Heartland graduates and respected ministry leaders and are assembled and sorted in archives on a new content-driven “wing” of the Alumni Association website. Heartland/Pacific Coast graduates have been entrusted with a wonderful body of truth; we should associate in order to remain intentionally connected to it.

ENCOURAGE…others. Some who have graduated from Heartland have not remained true to the doctrines delivered to them, and this should alarm us and drive us to prayer. However—to God’s glory, the majority of graduates are faithfully serving the Lord all over the world as pastors, missionaries, schoolteachers, youth pastors, music ministers, Sunday school teachers, deacons, and faithful soul-winners. Knowing that so many are in the right places doing the right things, the primary currency of our transactions should be encouragement. Regrettably, encouragement as a communication style has fallen on hard times. Many take encouragement to mean little more than moaning alongside someone’s bad day or providing excuses for ongoing depression. In contrast, biblical encouragement prods others to be tough and to fight. Hence, to “en-courage.” Graduates and other Heartland-loving people should associate in order to foster action-driven energy and passion for God’s service. The major obstacle to this objective, though, is that many graduates do not realize opportunities for encouragement are available all around them. In fact, as Heartland graduating classes continue to filter into ministry, numerous Heartland graduates labor near each other without even knowing each other or knowing the other is there. The Alumni Association is the most logical organization for remedying this missed opportunity. To this end, we have begun enlisting a small army of regional representatives who will systematically contact fellow graduates in their regions—simply to inform and to encourage. Regional representatives will host annual meetings, which college leadership (Bro. Davison, Bro. Copes, etc.) will attempt to attend in order to fellowship with graduates. Assembling ourselves for biblical encouragement at the local level—both digitally and personally—only makes sense.

INVEST…in HBBC. Alumni Associations are typically known for their fundraising contributions to their parent institutions, and Heartland is certainly deserving of an association that would include financial investment in the college as part of its mission. As an Alumni Association, we have the opportunity to make strategic contributions to the college that the college would not likely make to itself. Think about it—even if Heartland were to receive a significant donation without direction as to its use, the administrators would feel obligated to dispense the money into regular operations, building plans, and efficiency upgrades. However, many other projects could be done for the college that would directly improve the daily lives of students, staff, and faculty. Two prime examples: 1) campus beautification/enrichment projects, and 2) staff and faculty Christmas bonuses. Again—to emphasize—even if we give more money to Heartland directly, the funds would not likely be directed to projects like these; the administration would feel bound to fulfill more practical, less personal obligations. In the absence of other supportive organizations, the Alumni Association should associate to improve the campus experience of staff and faculty (who invested in us) and future students (who merit investment). This is not a high-pressure appeal to give to the Alumni Association—at all. Rather, investing in Heartland through the Alumni Association is simply a natural, secondary component of the business we should associate to accomplish. Truly, it is our privilege to invest in such deserving people and such a deserving place.

PERPETUATE…biblical ministry. The passage of time allows us to see a remarkable cycle developing—a cycle in which Heartland Baptist Bible College is privileged to be an important participant. Here’s the cycle: 1) students are sent from local churches to be trained at Heartland Baptist Bible College, 2) Heartland graduates go out to do Great Commission work in local churches, and 3) local churches invigorated by Heartland graduates send ministry-called students to be trained at Heartland Baptist Bible College. It is a continually reinforcing process that strengthens all of the people and institutions involved; most importantly, though, it is making a systemic difference in ministers and ministries around the world. The Alumni Association’s ultimate business should be to contribute to this larger cause of perpetuating biblical, local church ministry. How? By strengthening the cycle—by strengthening the bonds between Heartland graduates, as well as strengthening the bonds between Heartland and its graduates. Doing so will deepen and more firmly establish the powerful, generational cycle we see developing, which will only further refine and embolden the preeminent work of local churches. To be clear—no Bible college and no alumni association can be the single-handed organism designated for perpetuating biblical ministry; that place belongs exclusively to the Christ-commissioned, local, Baptist church. However, if the Heartland Baptist Bible College Alumni Association successfully accomplishes its first three points of business—connecting graduates to truth, encouraging others in continued passion for God, and investing in the well-being of Heartland—it will have powerfully contributed to a perpetuating cycle of worldwide biblical ministry.

Connect. Encourage. Invest. Perpetuate. This is the four-fold purpose of the Heartland Baptist Bible College Alumni Association, and combining this “worthy business” with the opportunity to co-labor alongside other God-called, Heartland-loving people is more than sufficient cause to associate.

Rick Williams

Alumni Association