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The “CBC Experience”

If you talk with alumni, faculty, and staff from Central Baptist College, you will most likely hear them talk about the “CBC experience.” Especially in response to the question, “Why do you love CBC so much?” or “Why should I consider CBC?” So, this begs another obvious question. What is the “CBC experience”?

Dr. Dusty Bender, the Social Studies and Literature and Language Arts Department Chair at Central Baptist College, beautifully articulated what the “CBC experience” is in chapter 8 of his book about the college, titled She May Be Small…But There Are Those Who Love Her So: The History of Central Baptist College, published in 2001. Dr. Bender details all the reasons for this distinction since the existence of the college in 1952. He sums it up into “three vital ingredients – the founding spiritual principles, the campus environment, and the people.”

In 1956, President Reddin stated, “Although you will find at Central many of the same things found at other colleges and universities, I think you will soon realize that Central is different. That difference is not easily defined, but our students and alumni often refer to it as the “CBC experience.”

In 2018, the “CBC experience” at its core is no different. Students fall in love with Central Baptist College because of the strong Christ-centered environment, the family atmosphere, and the personal attention lead by President Terry Kimbrow, faculty, and staff.

The mission statement has further developed the “CBC experience.” It states, “Central Baptist College, is committed to transforming lives through education that integrates Christian faith and academic excellence in a Christ-centered environment.” In addition, the action steps are to foster continually a challenging, engaging and inspiring atmosphere.

Challenging The foundation of the college since 1952 has been its strong Christ-centered focus in the classroom and in campus life. The goal is to raise up next generation Christian leaders to make an impact in our world now and in the future.

Academic program excellence is the vehicle by which CBC delivers the Christ-centered mission and is taken very seriously. CBC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and ranked as a “Best Regional College in the South” by US News & World Report. In addition, it is listed as a “Best Online College in Arkansas” by the Center of Online Education for the post-traditional and flexible PACE programs.

Engaging The CBC campus is known for its family atmosphere because of the personal attention that students receive from faculty, staff, and even President Kimbrow. The 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio means that if a student needs and wants extra help then he or she will receive it, not from a graduate student but directly from faculty member themselves.

Campus programs from the Student Services Office seek to provide activities that are not only fun but also prepare the student to serve, lead, and compete in the world. Because of this type of student development along with the in class learning environment, so many of our students graduate equipped and with a passion to serve God in the career field of their choice.

The City of Conway has always been, and continues to be, a tremendous blessing to Central Baptist College. Conway, “The City of Colleges” was built on education, specifically higher education. Our students engage with the community by attending churches, serving with a non-profit organization, and interning with a business. This often produces Conway residents once our students graduate.

Inspiring All students get to take 9 credit hours of Bible courses and attend an amazing weekly chapel service. The Gospel is boldly proclaimed, and the student led Chapel Band leads students, faculty, and staff in worship.

The physical campus, academic offerings, and alumni network continue to grow to support our student development. Students are prepared for the work force and are being accepted into graduate schools. Whether that is in full-time, bi-vocational ministry, volunteer ministry, or in their chosen career field.

From the time students begin the admissions process, experience orientation week, “M.U.D. week” – Mustangs Under Development, and make the legacy walk march to the Ratliff Bell Tower on their graduation day, the CBC family invests in them. In fact, it doesn’t stop there. They become a part of the CBC family network that spans across the globe and are Mustangs for life.

Dr. Bender identifies the response of Central Baptist College students well in the conclusion of his book. “This “CBC experience” manifested a faith in the future of the College. Students who have sensed the “CBC experience” now appear eager to pass it on to other students in the future.”

To learn more about the “CBC experience” and how to become a part of its legacy, visit

Written by Vice President for Enrollment Management, Ryan Johnson

Credit to Dr. Dusty Bender, She May Be Small…But There Are Those Who Love Her So: The History of Central Baptist College. Melvin E. Bender, 2001.



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