The roots of Manna go all the way back to 1982 with the founding of American Christian University under the leadership of Dr. J. Mark Hollingsworth. There was a merger with Patriot University and Arkansas Bible College and then International Bible University emerged under the ministry of Mutual Missions.
Dr. J. Mark Hollingsworth has been involved in higher Christian education since 1973 when he started teaching in a major Christian University and since has been involved in the administration and founding of several Christian colleges and Universities, as well as their External Studies Divisions or as some call it today, “distance learning programs.”
We have been in Christian correspondence school ministry for 37 years and have served thousands of Christian students. We started American Christian University in 1982, which merged with another Christian University in 1985 and have developed distance learning programs for several other Christian schools since then. We have developed and/or secured competent course publishing and delivery systems. We have diligent record keeping, professional financial practices, a debt-free institute, and accurate grading systems.
Everything we do at Manna is an expression of our mission statement: Manna exists to support the local church by providing Scriptural knowledge and practical training to dedicated Christians that they may be equipped to serve God and minister to the spiritual needs of others.
We serve a niche of God’s children that want to be equipped for ministry at an affordable price without having to cease employment or relocate. We aren’t for everyone but if the Lord directed you here, we might be the school for you.
Manna Seminary stands for the fundamentals of the faith described as:
The verbal inspiration of the Bible, the deity of Christ, His virgin birth, His blood atonement, His bodily resurrection, salvation by grace through faith in Christ and the bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ to set up His eternal kingdom.
Statement of Faith
1. We believe the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, infallible, authoritative Word of God and is the all sufficient rule in matters of faith and practice.
2. We believe in the historical accuracy of all Biblical accounts including: special creation as it occurred during six literal days, the existence of Adam and Eve as the progenitors of all people, the fall and resultant divine curse on creation, and the worldwide flood.
3. We believe in the triune God, existing in three persons: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-eternal and co-equal from all eternity, each with distinct personalities but of one essence. God is sovereign, unchangeable and perfect in all His attributes. He is worthy of honor, adoration, and obedience.
4. We believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, born miraculously of a virgin, sinless in His humanity, and complete in His deity as the second person in the Trinity. His suffering and literal death was a substitutionary sacrifice for the sin of the world. He was buried and rose again bodily and ascended into heaven.
5. We believe that man is totally depraved and salvation from the eternal penalty of sin is provided solely by the grace of God through personal faith in His person and work.
6. We believe in the personal work of the Holy Spirit which includes conviction of sin, regeneration of sinners, and indwelling believers.
7. We believe that Satan is a fallen angel, the archenemy of God and man, the unholy god of this world, for whom the place of eternal punishment was prepared, where all who die outside of Christ shall be confined in conscious torment for eternity.
8. We believe in the bodily return of Christ to establish His literal eternal Kingdom.
The Bible informs us that the Holy Spirit is our Teacher and that He dwells within the born-again Believer. This is why we require a profession of faith by all Preachology Bible Institute students.
The Bible teaches us that the ‘natural’ man will not understand the Truth of the Bible and will even scoff at it. 1 Corinthians 2:12-14, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
Manna Seminary is an external studies mission of Mutual Missions and our local churches. The administrative staff for the Manna Seminary ministry consists of Dr. J. Mark Hollingsworth, President of our Online Ministry and Dr. Jim Fryer, President of our partner On-Campus Ministry, as well as other Administrators and Consultants behind the scenes.
It is often said that one can measure the credibility of a school by its faculty. It is recommended that a prospective student make inquiry into the school’s faculty and their qualifications. We agree, this is very good advice, IF you are planning to attend a traditional school.
However, Manna’s courses are self-directed online correspondence studies and as such do not employ professors, other than our administration. It is curriculum-based learning rather than professor-based classroom teaching. Our courses are assembled by and under the direction of Dr. J. Mark Hollingsworth, President of Manna Seminary, a division and ministry of Mutual Missions.
Every course requires the use of the best book of all – the Bible. No other textbook or reference book approaches the depth and richness of the Bible.
The Bible was written by 40 men over a span of 1500 years as prompted by the Holy Spirit. The author is God – eminently qualified. The teachings of Jesus are prominently featured. The words of the Bible are Spirit and truth.
Much of the student’s learning requires research and reading of the Bible. The resource books used by PBI students are authored by notable Christian scholars and preachers. These resources are squarely based on the Bible – not human reasoning.
Online correspondence courses allow the student to study anywhere. Coursework combined with weekly church attendance and daily Bible study culminates in a complete ministry-equipping education for the Christian worker. Study time is self-directed and self-paced.
It is the purpose of Manna to contribute to the development of our students in the areas of Christian character, academic skills, subject mastery, Biblical understanding, and practical wisdom.
We believe that Christian character and practical wisdom are best achieved through a cooperative effort with the local church.
Academic skills and subject mastery are accomplished through clear explanation and responsive repetition, such as that found in our workbooks. There is no beneficial understanding apart from a Biblical understanding (Eph. 4:17-24). All of our curriculum is written from a conservative Biblical viewpoint.
We firmly believe that conclusions about life and reality must be based on the Word of God above all other experience and research.
We believe study methods should be individualized: (You study to show thyself approved…), and if all possible, directed by the pastor/teacher (II Tim 2:15).
We believe the product of higher education should be a Christian servant, skilled in the Word of God, trained in a God called area of service, and able to effectively utilize his education to the glory of God.
Our mode of teaching is:
Predominantly self-directed study with open book comprehension reviews and tests of your readings of the Holy Bible as well as specific textbooks on the subject. As you seek an Associate, Bachelors, Masters, or Doctorate diploma, you may be required to take quizzes and tests, do projects, write a thesis and a dissertation as well as completing practicum. Each course you take is graded by the institution and your grades are recorded.
Our educational purpose is:
To teach the Bible and then teach how to apply it to today’s world. To educate and raise up a new generation of biblical leaders and business owners for the coming times. To promote Manna students communicating the gospel through effective publishing, distribution, and preaching skills.
Our vocational purpose is:
The student must study to become approved workmen so that they will not be ashamed in their service to the Lord. Chosen men of the OT such as Joseph, Nehemiah, David, applied biblical living to secular work and it was seen that God was with them. They were given grace that lifted them above all others. Success comes from the Lord and is given through the favor with our ‘masters’.
Our definition of student success:
Success comes from how you apply your education and not what the accrediting agency has certified your education. Manna educates you and teaches you how to succeed with your education in the marketplace. The Manna Seminary student will be able to communicate to the prospective employer that he/she has the character and skills to apply their education successfully for the organization in which they work.