What is SouthWest School of the Bible?
SouthWest School of the Bible is neither a college nor a seminary, although the classes offered are taught at the college level. Our course work consists of a directed and systematic study of the Bible, the Word of God, as a means of preparing the student for Christian service. We offer courses in the individual books of the Bible itself, appropriate methods of Bible Study, and other Bible-related courses that enable us to better prepare disciples of Christ for service in His Kingdom.

We have four objectives:
First, to ensure that each student is established in a living and growing relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ;
Second, to help each student develop a mature Christian character;
Third, to assist each student in discerning God’s will and direction for his future; and
Finally, to prepare each one for more effective service in the Church and especially in the ministry of winning men, women and children to Christ.

How did SouthWest School of the Bible originate?
SWSB grew out of a vision that several pastors and laymen in this area have had for a number of years, to establish a Bible School in the Southwestern United States. This (2015-16) is the first year of operation of SWSB.

We carry on in the tradition of Lutheran Bible schools that have gone before us; the first of which was the Lutheran Bible Institute, which started in 1919 in Minnesota’s Twin Cities. Other Lutheran Bible Schools followed in Los Angeles, California; Seattle, Washington; Teaneck, New Jersey, and Omaha, Nebraska. Some of these schools still exist, while others, having accomplished their purpose for that generation, have faded away. The largest Lutheran Bible Institute still operating as a Bible School is the Association Free Lutheran Bible School (AFLBS) in Plymouth, Minnesota. AFLBS is a ministry of the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations (AFLC). The teachers as SWSB are all Lutheran pastors who have graduated from one of these Bible Schools.

There is a great need in our day for Christians in every church who know the Word of God and who humbly live as disciples of Jesus Christ. The natural state of the human race in rebellion against divine authority has been swept into a powerful wind of “cultural change” that threatens the Christian Church in our day. We are called by God’s Word to “earnestly contend for the Faith that was once and for all delivered to the Saints.”

Who directs and controls the operation of SWSB?
SWSB is a ministry of Calvary Free Lutheran Church, which is a part of the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations (AFLC). As such, we are committed to the clear teaching of the Word of God in all its truth and purity as the only rule and norm for the Christian’s faith and life. We operate under the direction of the Leadership Team and the Congregation of Calvary Free Lutheran Church.

Who constitute the Administration and Faculty?
The main teacher for the courses offered this first year is Rev. Daniel Giles, a pastor of the AFLC. Other faculty members are Rev. Allen Monson, Senior Pastor of Calvary Free Lutheran, and Rev. Ryan Tonneson, an AFLC Home Missions Pastor at the Gateway Gathering in Mesa.

Who can benefit from SWSB and how?
Any Christian would benefit from a deeper knowledge of God’s Word. We have particularly noticed two groups in our area. Many Winter Visitors (affectionately known as “Snow Birds”) come to the Phoenix area every year. Many of these are retirees who missed the opportunity of attending a Bible School earlier in life but now will have another chance to do so. We have also seen that many who have grown up in this area find the idea of going to the Frozen North for Bible School a daunting prospect. We would like to serve both of these groups and others with the clear teaching of God’s Word as it applies to our Christian lives.

How is SouthWest School of the Bible supported?
This Bible-teaching ministry exists and continues as a direct answer to prayer. We operate completely on donations given by interested individuals and congregations who believe in the work we are doing. Salaries for our faculty and provision for all ongoing expenses are an ongoing miracle of God’s provision through His people.

We don’t want to turn away students who earnestly desire to deepen their Christian walk and understanding of God’s Word. Instead of charging tuition for our classes, we encourage our students to make a nominal “suggested donation” to the Bible School. We suggest a donation of $20 per credit hour. Donations are not to be considered payment for services rendered, and the suggested amount can’t begin to cover the actual cost of presenting the classes or the value of the material taught.

Tax-deductible donations can be made to Calvary Free Lutheran Church, and designated for SouthWest School of the Bible.

More information is available on this website under “Finances.