Church leaders have been wringing their hands about the epidemic of biblical illiteracy for years.
Here’s just a small sampling of the headlines:
- “The Epidemic of Biblical Illiteracy in our Churches” (Christianity Today, 2015)
- “Bible Literacy Crisis!” (The Gospel Coalition, 2020)
- “The Scandal of Biblical Illiteracy” (Albert Mohler, 2016)
- “The Crisis of Biblical Illiteracy” (Biola Magazine, 2014)
- “Biblical Illiteracy is a Big Problem—for Christians” (Patheos, 2019)
The rise of Postmodernism in our culture has been matched with a decline in theologically rich preaching in the evangelical church.
“Sermons have gotten more practical and less doctrinal,” says Bill Giovannetti, pastor, author, and founder of Veritas School. “At the same time, our worship music has gotten more emotional and less theological. We are stimulating an appetite for the wrong things.”
As Giovannetti puts it, “Seminaries tell pastors to ‘put the cookies on the bottom shelf.’ They mean to keep it simple because people aren’t smart enough to get it.”
This view flies in the face of both Scripture and church history, he says.
Jude, writing to the everyday people of God, “…found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3).
Do not miss that “the faith”—in this context, the doctrinal content of Scripture—had been delivered to the saints. Not the popes, priests, pastors, or preachers, but to all the people of God. That deposit of theology is the heritage of the pews equally with the pulpit. It is a strategic blunder for pastors to reserve theological meat for church leaders only.
Even more importantly, it is the job of the saints, as custodians of this doctrine, to know it so well they can “earnestly contend for it.” They must be so theologically informed they can raise a defense, they can answer critics, they can tear down misconceptions, and correct preconceptions against the truth of God. They can stand toe to toe with atheists, agnostics, post-modernists, modernists, romantics, Hindus, Buddhists, and anyone else who would debate God's Word.
God has ordained that his deepest truths be diffused throughout the body, not concentrated at the top among leadership.
This is not happening.
A New Kind of Seminary
Giovannetti says, “This is something I’ve worried about, prayed about, and whined about for a long time. I finally felt it was time to quit talking about it and to do something.”
Veritas School of Biblical Ministry is the result.
Having grown up in Awana clubs, Bill memorized hundreds of Bible verses as a child. Later, when he became a young children’s and youth pastor, he started at the very church that launched Awana. “I was mentored by the founders of Awana,” he says. “It was an incredible privilege.”
There, he learned to focus on grace and truth. He learned never to shy away from teaching the deep truths of God’s Word to all the people of God.
Later, as a seminary student, he felt like he had found a treasure. And he wanted to share it with the world. “Why should the deep things of theology be reserved for crusty theologians and clergy?” he asks.
Veritas School is designed from the ground up as a seminary for all God’s people. All the learning of theology and Scripture with none of the hoops. A student can earn a Master of Ministry Certification* without sacrificing their family, without quitting their day job, and without breaking the bank.
“Most Christians learn the Bible in bits and scraps. It’s like a giant puzzle without the box top. Theology provides the box top,” Giovannetti says. “And Veritas provides theology.”
Choose Your Adventure
Students can work at their own pace. No due dates. No required homework. Low tuition paid monthly. A mixture of live events and online courses. The full realm of theology and biblical studies is offered from a theologically conservative perspective, with intensity, depth, and clarity.
The program is surprisingly affordable, costing only a fraction of what other online and traditional seminaries will charge.
Students love the program and give it rave reviews. Many say that the Bible is becoming clear to them for the first time. One lifetime Christian said, "My excitement about studying the Bible has been elevated to a new level!”
Another student, a medical doctor said, "Step above your fears and excuses, if I can do this, so can you!”
A youth ministry volunteer agreed. “Amazing. Better than I could have imagined because I feel like I actually understand,” she said.
Maybe Veritas School and others like it can do just a little to cure the epidemic of biblical illiteracy once for all.