What Business Are Schools In?

If McDonald’s is in the fast food business, what business is the Antioch School in?

Most people answer by saying that schools are in the education business, even though they may use different words, such as training or development. However, I think that schools are in the degree-granting business. Let me try to prove it.

Reflect back on the experiences of those you know who have earned a degree from a school. Do you think that most people would have sought the same experience, gone to the same campus, jumped through all the same hoops, paid all the tuition, etc. if they knew that they weren’t going to get a degree? Most people say “no” they wouldn’t have pursued the education if it didn’t also come with the academic credential.

I think that this suggests that schools are not just in the education business, but they are in the business of providing cultural currency in the form of credits and degrees.

The distinction is subtle between being in the education business and being in the degree-granting business, but let me explain it a little further because we think it is very important. Your church, church network, or church planting team is in the education business. You are responsible for developing leaders. BILD is also in the education business. It provides resources to support church-based theological education.

The Antioch School is in the credit and degree-granting business. We don’t provide the “education” or “training,” you do using BILD resources. The Antioch School provides cultural currency in the form of academic credentials for those being “educated” by you. Our strong outcomes-oriented assessment process allows us to award credit and degrees for education that is aligned with the Antioch Tradition of the Early Church rather than the Western schooling paradigm. Contemporary higher education itself is moving in this direction and the Antioch School is positioned at the forefront of this movement as a fully-accredited institution.

We recognize that the church is God’s primary agency for the education of His people, including leaders. BILD provides the resources to support churches doing it and the Antioch School provides the academic credentialing to accompany it.