Thursday, April 02, 2009

California Baptist College

It began as a small school on the grounds of the First Southern Baptist Church in El Monte, California in 1950.  In 1955 an old folks' home in Riverside opened and it became the campus of California Baptist College. For years, they offered only Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in a number of subjects. After about thirty years in existence, they offered a Bachelor of Music degree (known as the LBM, the Long Bachelor of Music program, since most students couldn't do it in less than five years.)
After dropping out of college in 1978, spending seven years in the US Army, I entered Cal Baptist (CBC) in Spring Semester 1986. I graduated with the Bachelor of Music degree in Tuba Performance in 1989. I believe I am the last person to have earned that degree. It was eliminated a few years later. 
For years the college had been trying to get bigger. We always seemed to have an enrollment of 666 students, not a good number for a Christian university. In the 1990s, a new president was elected to head the institution and eventually the name was changed to California Baptist University. Today there are over 4,000 students and, while it does not offer a Bachelor of Music, it does offer a Master of Music degree... and about 20 other graduate degrees.
As far as the changes, for a family man struggling to get through college, I liked the older school better. It helped me to grow up with a small, tight knit community, with whom I wasn't always so afraid to make mistakes.  
I didn't go to CBU. I went to CBC.


  1. Interesting that you would say that. I am a Cal Baptist University student and I think that what Dr. Ellis has done with the school is amazing. More people at CBU means more people that will get to hear about Christ, and more people that will get to truly experience Christ's love. More Majors and minors and degrees, both graduate and undergraduate, bring the program more prestige. More prestige means the more that your degree is worth, and when you pay so much to go to a private school your degree better be worth something. Aside from that CBU's mission is being met to the fullest. This year CBU sent 35 different teams to 21 different countries to help spread Christ's love. Taking bibles to countries where Christians are persecuted, rebuilding houses where natural disasters struck, and much more. The program is called ISP, International Service Projects, and I encourage you to check it out, and as a CBC Alumni you can go along on a trip if you feel the calling to. In its 12-year history, ISP has sent out over 1,300 participants on 146 teams to 39 different countries.

    If you ask me, the university is doing what God put us here to do...

    "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

    I'm not here to take a hack at what you said. I'm simply just writing to let you know that CBU is a lot more than just a university with 4,000 students. And for the record, less than half of those actually stay on campus, and more than a quarter are adults in the evening program. So CBU is still pretty small as far as the on-campus community, but we will continue to grow, and while we continue to, I see nothing wrong with it.

    Thanks for reading.

    George Navarro

  2. To each his own. There's something to be said about tiny schools.