Who We Are
Cherith Bible Institute is a correspondence Bible training program offered throughout the world through the internet and mail. The Program is Baptistic in nature and reflects the doctrine and distinctives of Independent Baptist beliefs. The course of study is a thirty unit Diploma of Biblical Studies program designed to help local church pastors, workers, missionaries, church planters, and Bible teachers. The program advances from basic Bible survey courses to selected subjects concerning personal and local church development. Cherith Home Bible Institute provides a wealth of both theological and practical information contributed by a group of sound Bible preachers, teachers, and writers.
History of Cherith Bible Institute
Cherith Home Bible Institute was organized in 1986 by James L. Jones. He surrendered to full-time service in the field of Missionary Evangelism in 1979 and began conducting revival meetings and evangelistic campaigns throughout the Eastern states. In 1983, the Lord led Him to concentrate on reaching souls in the coalfield area of Southern West Virginia. It was during this phase of his ministry that God began to burden his heart with the need for Bible study material. The Lord used the Biblical account in I Kings Chapter 17 where Elijah was fed by the ravens at the Brook Cherith during a time of great drought. If God used ravens to deliver bread, He can use a teaching ministry to deliver the Bread of Life. In 1986, he shared the burden with his wife Sharon, and they both dedicated their lives to the production and distribution of practical Bible study material. They named the ministry after the brook, and Cherith Bible Institute was born. Soon, the ministry grew, and several pastors began to recognize and support Cherith. James began to seek the help of pastors, authors, Bible teachers and missionaries to give the studies a broader degree of practical value. The contributors to this program are too numerous to mention.
As courses were developed, classes were offered in local churches to test the material. The program was tested in local churches until 1995, when property was donated at Lindside, West Virginia. A course testing building was built and classes were offered to local church members in West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, and South Carolina. For seven more years, the Bible study material was further tested in actual classes conducted at the Cherith Center and extension schools using guest professors and local church pastors as instructors. When the thirty unit program was compiled and testing was completed in 2003, the classroom building was converted into a print shop and offices in preparation for worldwide promotion and distribution. The courses are continually being updated and revised to provide a more thorough and richer content. The goal of the Cherith program is to offer a Biblical and practical course of study that will enhance the local church service, and personal growth of the student. Today, Cherith Bible Institute has graduates serving as pastors, missionaries, church planters and Bible teachers around the world.
Plans of Study
Access to the Cherith plan of study comes through two programs: Cherith Bible Institute Online and Cherith Home Bible Institute.
1) Cherith Bible Institute Online- An online Bible institute campus was constructed where people could attend classes and receive training who would be otherwise geographically and economically hindered. Hundreds, including students, missionaries, and pastors from Mindanao, Nigeria, India, Italy, The Philippines, Africa, Greece, Canada, South America, throughout Europe, Japan, Australia, and many other areas are able to attend classes weekly at the Cherith site. At present 46 states in the U.S. are represented by students online.
2) Cherith Home Bible Institute- Students receive courses through the mail. Students in the United States receive printed courses while students abroad receive their studies in the PDF format.
Cherith is a Missionary Outreach
Because Cherith Bible Institute is a local church supported missionary outreach, Cherith is blessed to be able to offer these quality Bible study programs at no cost to the student. However, with the ever growing number of students, the cost to maintain this ministry also continues to grow. Cherith seeks opportunities to present this missionary ministry in independent local churches. Cherith welcomes the support of doctrinally sound churches or individuals who can share the vision of this work.