Maranatha Makes Historic Announcement: Maranatha Baptist University


It's about

time for West Point-on-theRock-River to state the obvious.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Other Names Considered

I like the name change and I'm glad they kept the name "Baptist" in it.


Rumor has it other names were considered, but eventually rejected . . . . .

     Maranatha Northland International University South (MNIUS)

     THE Maranatha Baptist University  (THE MBU)

     University of Wisconsin at Maranatha  (UWM)

     Maranatha Baptist State  (MBS)

     Watertown State University  (WSU)

     Maranatha Fighting Fundamentalist Baptist Bible College  (MFFBBC)

     Maranatha A&M University  (MA&M)

     Maranatha Institute of Baptist Technology  (MIBT)

     Bob Jones University North  (BJUN)


     Harvard University of Baptists at Maranatha  (HUBM)


  • The international academic community defines a college as a two-year institution and a university as a four-year institution. A number of our students are pursuing tent-making occupations as they assist mission work in foreign countries, and it is important that their degrees are well regarded

This was the same point a number of us made with regard to Northland's change to "university" a few years back, which didn't seem to make much of an impression on certain critics, even here on SharperIron. Maybe they'll listen now?


Name Change


Grand Rapids Baptist Bible College-CHANGE=Grand Rapids Baptist College-CHANGE=Cornerstone University.

Maranatha Baptist Bible College-CHANGE=Maranatha Baptist University-CHANGE=? Time will tell.  Seems to follow the example of many.

I suppose it is no longer required that ALL students be a Bible  major. NOT the Cedarholm philosphy so matter how much artificial flavoring is coated on it.

Mascot change?  Do I hear politically correctness?  You betcha ya.

I was and ALWAYS will be A CRUSADER!!!

I do not mind the name of University, but the Holy Scriptures which live and abide forever is something I am proud of.  I detest removing the word

Bible from my place of graduation.


I know, we are supposed to smile and act as if all is okay.  I was never politically correct when I was a student, and remain unchanged.

DO NOT tell me Maranatha is the same, it IS NOT.

Don't like change of mascot either.  Must be folowing the example from "Marquette Warriors" to "Marquette Golden Eagles".  Real boldness there I tell you.




Bert Baker wrote:

Bert Baker wrote:

I suppose it is no longer required that ALL students be a Bible  major. NOT the Cedarholm philosphy so matter how much artificial flavoring is coated on it.

Someone asked Dr. Oats on Facebook if the Bible core requirements would continue for all students, and this is what he said,

No change in the Bible requirement for any department. The Bible core was modified several years ago and set at 24 hours, but there has been no discussion of changing the core in all the runup to this announcement.


Your pessimism toward the changes at MBU aside, it would seem that your supposition concerning the Bible requirements is incorrect.



pvawter, I very much appreciate you sharing this with me.  I am happy to be corrected on this.

Larry Oats is a good man, I am sure this will be okay.  I will always desire "Bible" to be in the name.

My concerns however, are a DNA implanted inside me by MBBC.  Us old schoolers understand this.  We were trained to be skeptical.

Having said that, does not mean we cannot go forward.

A rose by any other name...


Not being an "old schooler" maybe I just don't understand, but it seems that MBU has gone to pretty great lengths to be transparent regarding this change, informing their constituency far in advance of the official announcement, so I don't see any basis for continued skepticism. The FAQ at the new website explains that keeping "Bible" in the name would simply be redundant.

I certainly don't claim to speak for anyone else, but this school is kind of in my DNA, so to speak, and I continue to expect great things in the future, following this long-overdue change.


Love this!

mmartin wrote:

     Maranatha Institute of Baptist Technology  (MIBT)

     Harvard University of Baptists at Maranatha  (HUBM)

I would love to have MIBT on my diplomas.

I Understand

While I am not a Maranatha person I understand your point of view about dropping "Bible" out of the name.  It appears to me though a tremendous amount of thought, prayer, & consultation with key stakeholders went into this decision.  With the recent train wreck fiasco at Northland still fresh in everyone's minds I would fully expect the leadership at Maranatha to be especially careful with their brand refreshing process.

Regarding the mascot, to me I don't see it as a political correctness thing as compared to the name "Crusader" being old-fashioned, stale & rather blah.

Seriously, much ado about

Seriously, much ado about nothing though part of me is glad to see them drop the Crusaders as a mascot. Why would anyone want their mascot to be named after thugs? Good for them on that I guess.

RE: Crusaders

And Roman Catholic ones at that.

GregH wrote:

Seriously, much ado about nothing though part of me is glad to see them drop the Crusaders as a mascot. Why would anyone want their mascot to be named after thugs? Good for them on that I guess.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..



So choosing the name "Crusaders" was Dr.  Cedarholm's way of being a thug?

A lot of Christian schools in our country dedicated to training young people for Christ are thuggish as well since many have the name "Crusaders" attached to them.

Oh yes, the name is old fashioned huh?  What should be done with, 'Wolverines, Fighting-Irish,Buckeyes, Badgers, Spartans, Bears, Packers, Colts, Lions, Tigers, Cubs, Yankees,Red Sox, Golden Gophers,Steelers, Eagles, Bulls, Heat,Pacers,Pioneers(woops),Giants,Hawkeyes,WildCats,Red Wings,Blackhawks,Bruins,Canadians,Maple Leafs etc. 

Did you know all those names listed, except the (woops one), have been here longer than the Crusaders?  Maybe two or three of the NBA teams as well.  Oh well, forgive me

for getting a couple wrong, I am old fashioned.  Just humor.  Except for the comment about its founder.  Oh yes, almost forgot, I have no dought thought and prayer went into this

decision.  I wonder  however, why they think leaving off the name "Bible" honors God more than keeping it.  To me, this is serious, but I am old fashioned you know.  Just serious.



Greg didn't impugn Dr. Cedarholm in any way.  But the historical crusaders were, in the main, not really heroes.  I think my alma mater has done the right thing in this regard.   And done no damage to the memory of Dr. Cedarholm by it.

No problem here . . .

I am very pleased with the name change. 

TylerR is a former Pastor. He lives with his family in Olympia, WA. He blogs here.

Crusader Mascot

I certainly do not speak for the university in any capacity. As an alumnus (soon to be 3x over) and a Wisconsin pastor with several students presently enrolled, I'd like to make a couple comments about the mascot change. 

  • When I was a student, a good friend and fellow-student led an initiative to see the name of the mascot changed. His efforts and rationale were met with strong support from most of the faculty and staff. Point being, this is certainly not a new discussion around the campus. 
  • MBU has a substantial Global Encounters program, which sends students to minister in many foreign countries, some not even listed on the linked page above — countries that would not welcome "Crusaders." The veracity and significance of the historical claims regarding the importance of the crusades aside, the proposed change seems like a clear-cut and fair-minded application of 1 Corinthians 9, i.e. "becoming all things to all men for the sake of winning some."
  • The mission of MBU is to develop leaders for ministry in the local church and to the world — all to the praise of His glory. Since the world has a large Islamic population (increasingly here and certainly abroad), and since a significant present mission strategy is to send men and women to use their vocations/degress in an unreached context, it makes little sense for the university to retain "crusader" for the sake of their graduates' resumes alone. Further, from a Christian leadership perspecitve, I want to see young people trained, who are willing to sacrifice a liberty (i.e. referring to oneself as a "crusader") for the sake of gospel ministry. 

This alumnus couldn't be more pleased with the changes. Maybe someone will read this and secure me one of those new t-shirts for Christmas? So long as it's not one of those short or shrinky ones, I wear an XL :) 

Nor Here

In fact, in my day (77-81) the crusader logo was a knight on horseback in a St. George v Dragon pose.

TylerR wrote:

I am very pleased with the name change. 

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

"Bible College" a specific identifier

My alma mater retains the name "Bible College" in its title. Here is their rationale:

The mission of FBBC is to provide an intensive biblical, vocational, and general education on the college level with the goal of preparing students to minister effectively in Christian service through leadership positions in and through fundamental Baptist churches and other organizations of like convictions.


As a Bible college, Faith purposes that its students evidence a comprehensive working knowledge of the Bible and of the great systematic truths of Scripture. We insist that all of our four-year graduates complete a Bible major. At Faith, we firmly believe that this Bible major is at the heart of the college curriculum and that it should be taught by the core of the college faculty. We believe in the sufficiency of Christ and of the Scriptures for Christian living, ministry, and a worldview. We stress the need for a biblical and doctrinal ministry instead of mere personal and relational wholeness. We celebrate the gospel of Christ as the great message of the Bible, and so we desire to share this good news with the lost and invite them to make a personal decision to trust Christ as Savior. We hold to traditional dispensationalism and to a non-charismatic position. We interpret the Bible literally, and we believe that God created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them in six days (Exodus 20:11). We value our daily chapels and annual Bible conferences because they provide additional opportunities to enhance the biblical education of our students. We believe that the Bible is inspired by God and inerrant, and so we seek to indoctrinate our students in its truth because the Bible is divine in its origin and truthful in its content.

This is not to criticize Maranatha or any other institution that calls itself something other than a Bible College. I do think that Maranatha's mission and programs are broader than Faith's, and the name change makes sense if they are going to have that wider kind of focus, and train for work in areas wider than Christian vocational ministry. 

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN



Greg, I very much appreciate  what you  have shared with us about FBBC.  A couple of years ago, when I was filling in as an interim principal, we

took our young people to Faith and I must tell you I was impressed with everything I saw.  Faith is a school I would send young people to attend and

be trained for Christian work.  MBU is also one I will always recommend regardless of my stance on both issues.

To be a little snarly, I feel that some  now for their support purposes of the mascot change, are justifying it to the point of unintentionally stating

those of us who actually enjoyed being "Crusaders", were all wrong.  I willl never agree with that.

My heart beat as a Crusader was to crusade for my Redeemer.  Anyone who will remember me would agree with that.  I used to take guys soul

winning with me through the town of Watertown.  Had the privelege of leading both folks who lived in Watertown and athletes I played against to

Christ.  I looked at it as a Crusader for Christ.

I also do not believe in this political correctness now being used as their reasoning.  I know we are all pragmatists at times, but pragmatism was

highly criticized back in my day.  I know, I am old school.  So be it.

Again, thanks Greg for your comments.  I used this to vent otherwise.  I also am a team player, I can strongly disagree and still wholeheartedly

support.  Back in my day, I hated some of the rules, I obeyed them all and I know I was considered different, but if I broke one, if I was not

turned in, I turned myself in.  Many thought I was a little over the edge, but since I was a leader there, I did not feel I was above the law.



I like the changes.  I even

I like the changes.  I even told the former president that I thought "University" better suited the current mission of the school.  As far as "crusaders" goes, a good course in dispensationalism will do away with that name.  MBU is a very good school.  I wish them well.

Pastor Mike Harding

Breadth of Coursework

I am a distance learning Seminary grad from Maranatha. I've been to campus exactly three times (and one of those times was to grab some books from the library for a research paper topic my professor later made me change! Wasted trip . . . !). I didn't do my undergrad there, live in the dorms and "grow up" there, so I suppose my perspective is different. I didn't even know what their mascot was until it was mentioned in this blog thread. 

For me, the name change makes sense because of their course offerings. They are more than a Bible College. They offer more than a Bible College. There is nothing wrong with being "just" a Bible College; nothing at all. But a name ought to accurately describe a place. "Bible College" doesn't describe Maranatha today, not with distance learning, a Seminary, regional accreditation and a whole host of other degree programs, all with a strong Bible core. "University" does describe them. That is why it makes sense to me.  

TylerR is a former Pastor. He lives with his family in Olympia, WA. He blogs here.

Bert Baker wrote:

Bert Baker wrote:

I also do not believe in this political correctness now being used as their reasoning.  I know we are all pragmatists at times, but pragmatism was

highly criticized back in my day.  I know, I am old school.  So be it.

I am all for a little political correctness when that side is the right one. It is funny that conservatives are very often on the wrong side of the political correctness battles. 

Personally, I think mascots of Indians, etc should all be done away with and eventually they will be. It is offensive and it is right to make that change. But the issue here is not political correctness. It is more about whether the historical Crusaders were worthy of being emulated and with a few exceptions perhaps, they were not. I would not die on that hill and can't say I care very much but to imply that this is just about bowing to political correctness is wrong though I think the point about needlessly offending Muslims is a valid one.



If it helps, as a Fundamentalist institution, they are trying to distance themselves from Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) and the Billy Graham Crusades... Wink

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

No Not That

Greg, believe me on this, Campus Crusade for Christ and the Billy Graham Crusades had totally nothing to do with the name Crusaders.

Okay, this is my final say on this.  I will always desire my family members and anyone I can influence to attend MBU to do so.  I do however totally believe in what I have said.  Positional change usually comes gradually, NIU not with standing.

How many of my brethern call themselves Fundalmentalists?  We ALL know that name or term is totally offensive to almost everyone in this world for

obvious reasons.  Will you who call yourselves that change and that includes Maranatha?  If you do not want to offend, you cannot call yourself a

Fundamentalist institution.  We must not offend the muslims you know.

Interesting that no  body wishes to impugn Dr. Cedarholm, but he is (Fundamentalist, Crusader, Bible).  I know, I know, I know, when it comes to what

we believe, we are right, even if we are not.

Anyway, brethern, I did enjoy this discussion with you all and you were very respectful. Thank you for that.  I was telling one person last evening

that regardless of the positions we all took, it was respectful.  We will just agree to disagree.  I remember Mike Harding once at Bethel in Schaumburg

at an FBF meeting telling how he had the chore of reprogramming his young people after they would return home from those Bible colleges.  We all

just do the best we can, right?


In Christ,

Bert Baker,  Eph. 1:12

Forever a CRUSADER FROM A BIBLE college. 




I understand why you want the term Bible to remain in the name. My guess is that "Baptist" covers that concept, since one of the first Baptist distinctives is that the Bible is our sole authority for faith and practice.  My second guess is that "Maranatha Baptist University" is easier to say than "Maranatha Baptist Bible University".  It sounds a little awkward.


As far as the term crusaders, I think you need to let that one go.  I know many Christian Schools have used that name, but ushering in the KOG via armies is not something the Christian church should ever have been involved in.  Of course, with the eschatology of the RC church I understand why they did. As far as the comment, I don't remember saying that or in what context; nevertheless, I appreciate the job our schools are doing and wish them well.

Pastor Mike Harding

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