Kaua‘i Bible College graduated its first class of students last Sunday. Less then a year ago this outdoor learning facility opened on the Calvary Chapel property on Kapa‘a bypass road. Like Calvary Chapel, the college campus is in a makeshift phase of development. Classrooms are held in open-air pavilions and the student body, roughly 24 out-of-state students between the ages of 18 and 21, live in tents on church property.
“These are luxury safari tents,” said College Director Josh Turansky, who moved here from Murrietta, Calif. where he taught at the Bible College main campus. Turansky said he had the tents designed like ones he had slept in while doing missionary work with his family in Kenya, Africa.
The tents stand on platforms that afford resident students a generous lanai. Each tent houses four male students who sleep in bunk beds. Women live in a house near by. This modest campus overlooks Kapa‘a Town and sports an ocean view.
“After teaching from a cement building that looked over the desert and traffic — I’m hooked on the outdoor setting,” Turansky said.
While the college does have two local residents attending, Turansky hopes more youth will apply.
“Students just out of high school who don’t know what to do next can come here,” he said.
Classes are modestly priced. $3300 a semester covers all classes, text books and on-campus housing — or tenting, as the case may be. Kaua‘i residents receive a kama‘aina discount on tuition. To apply go to kauaibiblecollege.com.
“We have an easy application process,” Turansky said.
The campus is one that embraces cross-denominational education. Eight ministers from all over the island teach courses: Merv Walker from Kaua‘i Bible Church; Harold Kilborn of Koloa Church; and Steve Thompson of North Shore Christian Fellowship, to name a few.
While the school does have plans for accreditation, which would expand classes and make federal financial aid possible, presently Kaua‘i Bible College offers only an Associates Degree in theology.
There are four components to classes offered: core classes, electives, practicum and student life. The core classes cover the five books of the Bible; electives vary, but classes offered for the summer session starting June 17 are on the “Book of James” and “Second Corinthians”; the practicum are in the interest of Christian community service and the student life class is one day a week, a morning chapel service.
Other requirements include four hours a week working on campus and two hours a week doing community service.
“Right now our students are helping at the low income housing project down the road,” Turansky said. “So far we have put in 1500 man hours helping clean out houses that have stood empty — houses just sitting there unused.”
Turansky estimates that with the community service, students have saved the state over $100,000. Besides maintaining and renovating the low income houses, students have invested in the families. Turansky said the best part of service has been the trust developed with the kids in the area.
“One mother called the college when she was running late from work and wanted someone at her house when her kids returned home from school,” Turansky said. Two women students went over to help.
As a facility for adult education, residents can also attend classes.
“Over this last year we have had over 60 students take classes from at least five different churches,” Turansky wrote in a recent e-mail.
To learn more, visit the church’s Website to fill out an application, kauaibiblecollege.com