Walk Through Our New Building
Posted On November 13, 2019
On March 8, 2017, Dr. R.C. Sproul broke ground on the southern end of our campus in hopes of giving Reformation Bible College more room to flourish, continuing as a place where students will be equipped with the knowledge of God and commissioned to make Him known in whatever vocation to which they are called.
On October 25, 2019, Dr. Stephen Nichols led the college community in dedicating this completed building to the Lord. We are grateful for the thousands of generous donors who have made it possible to achieve this debt free, and we’re overjoyed to share this new building with you.
The breathtaking exterior of our new building displays Spanish Mediterranean architecture of archways and columns, spanning more than 21,000 square feet with the peak of its roof reaching 42 feet high. The heart and center of this building is its main hall, flanked by parallel wings on the east and west side. The east wing is home to the faculty suite, and three new classrooms, including Simpson Hall. The west wing contains our new library, the Hanson Rare Book Room, and the student commons. In many ways, this new building equips RBC with a whole new campus, complete with a new quad and a stunning, central fountain thanks to the generosity of Mrs. Peggy Helmerich.
Our spacious main hall draws your eye upward to the cypress wood ceiling and wood-encased steel beams. Clear-story windows bathe the hall in natural light, assisted by four chandeliers for evenings and events. This space serves as a gathering place for the entire RBC community, with generous seating, a reception area to welcome visitors and guests, and a café for students to connect between classes. Here we’ll also host a variety of future events, from lunches and dinners to small conferences. Make yourself at home.
In the building’s east wing you’ll find our faculty suite. This space contains six faculty offices, a conference room, the faculty lounge, and two additional offices for staff. Affording the faculty ample room and privacy to maintain their research, this wing is purposefully designed to bring them together in one place to cultivate scholarly collaboration. The suite also grants our students a place where they can meet with their professors outside of class, both for academic advising and ongoing discipleship.
As you enter the classroom suite, you’re immediately met with the striking backlit map of the world that adorns the wall. This serves as a daily reminder to our students of our global task of making God and His gospel known. Like Calvin’s Academy in Geneva, RBC exists to send out generations of articulate Christians who understand their faith deeply and will live it out in their various careers and callings.
This wing provides us with three new classrooms, including Simpson Hall. Featuring custom built-in woodwork, wooden tables, and an academic lectern, this space was made possible by the generosity of the late C. Jeffrey and Mary Baird Simpson.
Across the main hall is our library, lined with rows of custom-built bookcases that hold our carefully curated collection of more than 24,000 volumes. The focal point of the library is formed by the circular bookcases at its center. With wooden pillars stretching to the ceiling, encircling a chandelier, these shelves contain the works of eminent figures of classical and Reformed Christianity—names such as Athanatius, Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Turretin, Edwards, Hodge, Warfield, Machen, and R.C. Sproul.
Emanating outward from this central hub, the remainder of our collection contains distinguished volumes in the fields of Old and New Testament studies, theology, church history, apologetics, philosophy, and the literary classics. Our library’s collection supports RBC’s curricular emphasis on biblical studies, theology, and the Great Works of philosophy and literature.
The new library also contains our librarian’s office with a pass-through window, a workroom with database-laden computers and a copier, and a group study room for students. Old-World style reading tables, complemented by classic lighting, leather seating, and reading nooks throughout, provide students with a fittingly academic setting in which they can thoroughly engage the crucial texts of the historic Christian faith.
The Hansen Rare Book Room was made possible by Susan Rhoda Hansen. Its entrance is guarded by heavy wooden doors that form a Gothic arch. This doorway was modeled as a replica of the entrance to the Black Cloister in Wittenberg, the former monastery where Martin Luther and his wife Katharina made their home. In many ways, the Black Cloister functioned as headquarters for the Reformation, providing refuge for Luther’s students, traveling ministers, and local orphans.
The vaulted ceiling in this room hosts an impressive chandelier, perched above an octagonal boardroom table with commodious seating. Each wall is lined with custom-built shelves, housing early books from the Ligonier Valley Study Center library. These shelves also feature a collection of rare books generously donated by Rev. William S. Cain, which include a 1611 King James Bible, a 1546 Erasmus Greek New Testament, a 1602 Geneva Bible, a Torah scroll, medieval manuscripts, and writings by John Bunyan.
Finally, we reach the student commons. Marked by vintage mailboxes, a kitchen with breakfast bar seating, and plenty of tables, couches, and lounge chairs, this wing is especially designed for our students. While other segments of the building serve the purpose of creating an atmosphere for formal study, this space exists for students to share everyday life with one another.
In God’s kindness, we’re growing as a campus and as a student body, but it has always been our intention to keep RBC small. Our size enables us to effectively foster true and genuine community as one of the hallmarks of the RBC student experience. As we study closely together, disciple one another, and grow together in the Lord, it is our hope that we may pass on the cherished truths of the historic Christian faith to every student the Lord brings to RBC. Ultimately, we welcome our students in so that we may send them out, equipped and prepared to serve Christ’s kingdom wherever He calls.
See our new building come together in this time-lapse video containing over 59,000 photos taken throughout its construction.