Founded in 1991 by Dr. Rick Walston, Columbia Evangelical Seminary offered a high-quality, reputable, low-cost, and remote learning option for Christians at a time when offerings like this were rare or non-existent. The school faithfully delivered this mission in partnership with dedicated faculty mentors, board members, generous donors, incredible students, and supportive spouses.
With changing times and circumstances, such as all schools now offering remote learning due to COVID-19 pressures, the CES Board, in conjunction with President Emeritus Dr. Walston, is starting the process of closing CES. The decision was made in part to preserve the excellent past history and reputation of all those who have been part of CES since 1991. Over many years in adult education, Dr. Walston and others have both seen and experienced the consequences of quality schools being handed over to new administrations with disastrous results. When this unfortunate situation occurs, it tarnishes not just newly enrolled students, but also all those who have previously taught at or received degrees from the institution. We decided it would be wiser to not hand the school over to a new administration, whose future performance during uncertain times would always remain a risk for past faculty and graduates, instead choosing to close CES at a point in time when all faculty and students can forever remain proud of participating in the work God accomplished through CES over the years.
Closing CES is a multi-year process. While we are no longer accepting new or returning students, we are committed to a teach-out plan for all current students according to their original schedule. However, after 2022, we will no longer be offering extensions. The transcript request process will remain the same as it is today until such time as the closure becomes fully complete, at which point we will have transitioned to a transcript service.
While we are naturally grieving this change, we are celebrating the work God has done through all of our faculty and students since 1991. The benefit of the education offered and received through CES does not end with its closure. Everyone who applies their CES learning in future education, ministry, sharing of the good news, discipleship, and raising future generations perpetuates this work of God. We give God thanks for the blessing of being used to accomplish his will through CES and the ripple effects yet to come.
Thank you and God bless,
Eric Odell-Hein, Ph.D.