Dear Friends of Piedmont,
Effective January 1, 2012, Piedmont Baptist College and Graduate School is planning to change its name to Piedmont International University. Acquiring university status is only the latest in Piedmont’s steady progression from our original name of Piedmont Bible Institute. The institute progressed to become a college (Piedmont Bible College for most of our history), and the college progressed to the point of adding a graduate school (eventually being called Piedmont Baptist College and Graduate School). Over the past decade Piedmont has doubled in enrollment, added a nice variety of new graduate and undergraduate degree programs (including a PhD in Bible), launched branch campuses in two other countries (one is still a teaching site), created an online Spanish version of our Master of Arts in Biblical Studies, developed a world class online school, and restructured Piedmont with four distinct academic schools.
- School of Bible (with undergrad and grad degrees available)
- School of Ministry (with undergrad and grad degrees available)
- School of Education (with undergrad and grad degrees available)
- School of Arts and Sciences (music and various general education classes)
All of this has propelled Piedmont into the exciting position where we can now obtain university status. The university label should also be less confusing to prospective students from other countries where “college” is synonymous with high school.
Speaking of other countries, Piedmont has historically placed high priority on missions and world evangelism. Scores of our graduates serve our Lord Jesus Christ in gospel ministry on every inhabited continent, and more and more nationals from around the world are enrolling via our world-class online school. Our graduates who desire to serve in Restricted Access Nations (where Christianity is illegal or missionaries are not allowed) and nationals who would enroll from those countries have repeatedly told us that any religious sounding name is detrimental to their efforts or even dangerous. Terms like “Baptist,” “Christian,” or “Biblical” are wonderful to us, but they are not very endearing to an immigration officer in some place like North Korea or Saudi Arabia.
Just today I spoke with the gentleman who gives oversight to our teaching site in Bangladesh. He was elated by the fact that he would no longer have to explain the term “college” to people who think it means high school, and he was very excited about not having to worry so much about having the government coming after him if they found out he was connected to a Baptist/Christian school. Piedmont International University won’t raise the red flags like a religious name might.
Although Piedmont International University does not sound religious, it is very important to our Board, Administration, Faculty, and Staff that everyone knows our passionate desire not to stray from our original mission of quality Bible teaching and effective ministry training. We will continue to require a Bible major for every person seeking a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline.
Piedmont’s theological foundation is more important than ever, and we have every intention of equipping our students to interact with a constantly shifting and pluralistic world by anchoring them with a literal, grammatical, contextual, historical hermeneutic for accurate Bible exegesis resulting in sound theology. In short, we will honor our Biblical heritage and Baptist distinctives while tenaciously contending for the faith.
With some of those ideas in mind, our governing Board of Trustees voted to approve our new name, Piedmont International University.
- PIEDMONT – Because of our stellar history and rich heritage
- INTERNATIONAL – Because of the all-nations priority of our mission* and vision**
- UNIVERSITY – Because it represents more accurately what we are
Finally, please join us in prayer for Piedmont International University.
Because God Alone Matters,
Charles W. Petitt
Piedmont International University
* Piedmont’s Mission Statement: “Piedmont International University is an established provider of quality, Bible-centered higher education for effective lifetime ministry. We are driven by our love for students and alumni and are committed to their success. We serve churches by equipping leaders to obey the Great Commandment and fulfill the Great Commission.”
** Piedmont’s Vision Statement: “We will grow in influence to become an internationally recognized leader in innovative, Bible-centered higher education for effective ministry in a constantly changing world."