Christian Cult: A Look At Pensacola Christian College

Pensacola, Florida is not a town that people really think about visiting when they come down south. That’s because there isn’t much going on there. (Although, we do enjoy the National Museum of Naval Aviation, which is really cool and you should check it out if you can).

A little over 10 miles north of the museum, on FL-295 and then up Interstate-110, you’ll find the campus of Pensacola Christian College, a fundamentalist Christian Baptist institution – hey, if you’re going to dedicate your life completely to Jesus and reject every other political or religious philosophy but fundamentalism then you might as well enjoy the sun.

Pensacola Christian College

Arlin HortonDr. Arlin Horton and his wife Beka moved to Pensacola and founded the Pensacola Christian School in 1954. 20 years later, they opened the Pensacola Christian College (unaccredited) to further their vision of “Education from a Christian Perspective.” The school has an in-house publisher which provides a K-12 curriculum. (it’s one of the largest Christian textbook publishers in the USA). Thousands of delegates attend clinics and seminars sponsored by PCC every year.

All students seeking a degree are required to complete Bible study including courses named “New Testament Survey” and “Old Testament Survey”. PCC teaches young Earth creationism and flood geology. (ie: that God created the earth in literally six days). Archeology is taught using a Biblical timeline. This probably means that Adam and Eve rode dinosaurs. The Textus Receptus is considered the “superior Greek text” of the Bible; using this as a basis, the King James version is accepted.

PCC rejects Calvinism, Modernism, Neo-orthodoxy, Pentecostal, and the charismatic movement. They reject liberals. That’s liberal theology, not “liberal” in the political sense. Don’t even ask what they think of liberals in the political sense. If a liberal accidentally wandered on campus the police might be called. If an atheist wandered on campus they would probably be burned at the stake.

To say that PCC’s policies are strict is an understatement. In the blog Restless Wanderings, portions of the 2001 student handbook, which is apparently well-guarded and difficult to obtain by any infidels, include the following rules:

  • Banned music: Current popular music, Jazz, rock, rap, folk, “Nashville” type, or new age, Religious music performed in the folk, western rock, or gospel rock style, “Soundtracks from movies rated PG-13, PG, or below”
  • Pensacola’s 89.5 Rejoice Radio is recommended
  • No internet
  • “PCC reserves the right to check the computer files on any personal computer on campus if, in the opinion of the Administration, it is reported or suspected that said files or related medium may be in violation of the policies and standards of the College.”
  • “For their safety and well-being, women going to [Fort Pickens] beach must be in groups of at least five and must stay together as a group. Each group must be accompanied by a junior or senior chaperone who is an APL or PL and has been a student at least two years at the College. Women are to turn right after the toll bridge and drive west toward Fort Pickens to go to the beach.They may never drive east toward Navarre. Men going to the beach must be in groups of at least three.Men are to bear left after the toll bridge and drive east no more than five miles past the residential area to the open beach space between Pensacola Beach and Navarre. They may never drive west toward Fort Pickens.
  • “For safety reasons we ask our women students not to go to the County Market/Brent Oaks Shopping Center after dark.During daylight hours, women students may go to this shopping area by walking down Brent Lane and over the overpass.Women students are never permitted to walk down the dirt road by the railroad tracks, nor are they permitted to go down Sycamore and cross the tracks under the overpass when going to the County Market shopping center.”
  • Circle K stores and the Boardwalk Mall on Santa Rosa Island are off limits to all students.The Chimneys and Bluffs areas along Scenic Highway are off limits at all times…
  • No “charismatic activities”
  • No Hyper-Calvinism
  • No dancing, no gambling (including the lottery), no renting or watching movies, no card playing, no alcohol or tobacco, no profanity or obscenity, no pornography, no premarital sex, no homosexuality, no “other sex perversions”
  • No fleshly magazines and books, no games that are of the occult, no games with graphic violence or nudity
  • No symbols, pictures, writing, flags, banners, slogans or any “divisive activism”
  • Couples are not permitted to be alone in classrooms or other areas of any building or unchaperoned.
  • No physical contact between members of the opposite sex.
  • Students should never go to the beach as couples, be at a park after dark, or visit in the home of unmarried members of the opposite sex.”
  • Men shall cut their hair so it does not come over the ears, eyebrows, or collar. Sideburns should be no longer than the middle of the ear. “Styles related to counterculture…are not acceptable.” No beards or mustaches. Socks always.
  • Women’s Dress and skirt lengths and slits should come no higher than the top of the kneecap when sitting and standing. No sundresses or spaghetti straps. “Anything immodest, tight, formfitting, scant, backless, and low in the neckline is unacceptable.” No pants or shorts. ” Young ladies should dress in a manner that others will focus on the face and particularly the eyes, for some say, the eyes are the mirror of the soul”

PCC Building

The Demerit system is complex and throrough. 1 to 3 demerits for tardiness, littering, improper dress, chewing gum, etc… That’s grade school stuff. But you could get 10 demerits for “horseplay” or “bad attitude”, 25 demerits for “borrowing automobile” or going off campus without a pass. “Improper social behavior” gets 50 demerits. 75 to 100 demerits for cheating, unauthorized possession of firearms, possesion of tobacco, going to the movies (!), watching porn. You’ll earn 150 demerits for meeting the opposite sex off campus or having alcohol, sexual misconduct, “immorality”, “Involvement with witchcraft, séances, or any other satanic or demonic activity” or gambling (Accumulation of 150 demerits gets you expelled)

The “Optical intercourse” Incident

source: TBogg

One student told of how a group of men and a group of women from the college happened to meet at a McDonald’s last spring. Both groups were returning from the beach (they had gone to separate beaches; men and women are not allowed to be at the beach together). The administration found out, and all 15 students were expelled.

Even couples who are not talking or touching can be reprimanded. Sabrina Poirier, a student at Pensacola who withdrew in 1997, was disciplined for what is known on the campus as “optical intercourse” — staring too intently into the eyes of a member of the opposite sex. This is also referred to as “making eye babies.” While the rule does not appear in written form, most students interviewed for this article were familiar with the concept.

Check out the following clip which comes from an informational VHS, containing facts about PCC. After the short introduction, there is a seminar/sermon given by the VP for Administration Dr. Greg Mutsch, who comes right out and says that they are fundamentalist and that they don’t like anybody else and that they preach a doctrine of separation from all infidels (yes, he actually uses the word “infidel” in his speech). He blasts the “New Evangelicals” and their attempts to try to accommodate those who don’t believe stuff like God literally created everything in 6 days only a few thousand years ago. Those people also have the indecency to listen to Christian rock and Christian rap music. Sacrilegious. Also have a chuckle when he refers to Mormonism as a cult. He’s got spirit though – and he kinda sounds like Casey Kasem.

You may be a bit confused about all these disciplines that Mutsch refers to. First off, remember that when he says “liberals” he doesn’t mean Michael Moore; he’s talking about Liberal Christianity, which keeps a more open mind in regards to Biblical interpretation. Peter Ruckman is a Baptist pastor who started the Pensacola Bible Institute (not the same as Pensacola Christian College). Ruckman calls the King James Bible an “advanced revelation” and considers it the final, preserved word of God for English speakers. Brother Jack Hyles from Indiana also believed in the KJ, once saying “Don’t come to me with your stinkin’ ‘only the original is inspired’! You’re not intellectual… you’re retarded!”

Just remember, prospective PCC Students: The #1 measurement of your spiritual condition will be how well you obey the rules, and secondly, how much you turn in others who don’t obey the rules.



26 Comments on Christian Cult: A Look At Pensacola Christian College

  1. Just an update since this is Obviously an old post. The “game” here has changed a lot at PCC. the rules are less strict still strict by any ones personal standards but there are more strict schools that don’t enforce their policies by religious standards. The eye babies story you heard is a myth. While everyone knows the term no one has been kicked out for participation in that activity. However people that do get kicked out generally have multiple counts against them including drug use and being drunk on campus but they leave that portion out and rather mention they were simply off campus in a mixed group. Not a college for everyone but any Christian that believes the Bible is the word of God (regardless of translation) would do well to attend this college in order to learn to defend their faith and learn self-discipline.
    Graduating in may this year 2011. After 4.5 years proudly still human and will resume normal life activities living by my own standards in a house with my wife who I met here. And we will touch… A lot :-)

    • Yea Harry! You got it right!

      I am a sophomore at PCC, and the “strict” rules are only in place to keep everybody honest, safe, and accountable. Sometimes they may be slight inconvenient, but the real world isn’t always convenient, is it?

      • I went to a secular college where we were allowed to drink and have sex on campus. Everyone there turned out to be an honest, safe, and accountable human being…so I’m kind of confused about why some people still think that young adults need to be treated like children just to keep them “Godly”.

        • Arthur, your “confusion” is based on the faulty idea that if you compare yourself to others like yourself, you are fine. Consider this, say your 18 year old daughter decided to go to a secular university where getting high and fornicating were perfectly “OK.” Would you bless and condone her “life-style” should she choose to go that way?? Even if it meant a possible Over-Dose?? (Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Paul Gray, Steve Clark, et al) Or HIV?? Or Herpes?? Are you NUTZ?? Just because you and some of your friends lived through the “sex, drugs, & rock n roll” and survived does not mean squat! Last time I checked “sowing and reaping” is still an immutable law. Chickens do come home to roost. And yes, I did live through it. But I had a little different take on the whole mess. I trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour. He led me in a much better way, for which I will eternally be thankful. No, I was not “forced” to be “Godly.” I chose that way to live because it was RIGHT, and because I saw the long-term effects of the whole doping and screwing scene. My bride of 46 years and I are very thankful for God’s blessings on our lives. And keep in mind, God’s love is extended to all who will come to Him through Christ. But if He is rejected in favor of some other “way”…. Well, sweet dreams.

    • Wasn’t there a student who was expelled recently for consoling his grieving girlfriend by patting her on the back at a funeral.

  2. Doctor Ragnarok // May 20, 2011 at 10:26 pm // Reply

    Dude, the simple fact that you have been there for four and a half years really makes you seem… Like an unreliable narrator. Lots of Christians believe those very things you stated, and can indulge in those beliefs and build discipline in many ways, without resorting to measures that (after reading the handbook- Both student and employee) as orwellian.

    Grow up, stop dreaming, and join the real world.

  3. Doctor Ragnarok // May 20, 2011 at 10:27 pm // Reply

    *can only be described as

  4. I wish I could meet a wife from there.

  5. Wow. This post must be pretty old. I’m a first semester freshman at PCC and I love it here. Everyone knows what they’re signing up for when they come here, so there’s really no reason to complain. All you have to do is read the Pathway.
    No atheist would be burned at the stake for coming here. The term “reject” used by PCC (not in the context in the article) simply means that they believe that the other doctorines are wrong, and therefore, don’t teach it. And, hey, the liberals and Pentecostals think we’re wrong, too. The author of this article makes it seem really one-sided.
    As for the rules: You know what kind of music you can and can’t listen to when you come here. If it bothers you that much, don’t come. It’s that simple. Yes, we do have internet (obviously).
    Some of the rules say “for the safety of”. That’s why the rules are there. For our safety. I’m not from around here, so I appreciate it that PCC tells me that some places are dangerous and to stay away from there.
    Most of these rules are just “duh” things for Christians. If we’re Christians, why take part in things of the occult? Etc.
    Other things are personal convictions, I know. Going to the movies for example. I go to the movies at home, but I’m not “allowed” here. It’s no big deal to me. I’ll just see the movie when I get home.
    You just really have to have a bad attitude to really dislike some of these rules. Honestly, it’s a little petty to complain about them. Like guys having to have their hair cut and shave.. It’s really not that big of a deal. PCC just wants us to look nice. Hose on Sunday morning? I can put up with hose for three hours a week (Sunday school, Sunday morning church, and lunch). I’m not going to let hose ruin my view of the college.
    I’ve had a lot of fun in my first semester of college! They have special events for the students to keep us busy and out of trouble. They have our best interest at heart. They schedule dating outings, symphony/choral concerts, there’s basketball, soccer, volleyball games, and I’m even going to a Freshman Midnight Madness event at the Sports Center not too long from now.
    You won’t ever find the perfect college unless you start one yourself.

  6. By forbidding beards, Pensacola Christian College discriminates against Jews. It is a part of Jewish culture for males who do any religious studies or are rabbis to have beards.

    The original Jewish apostles including Paul who gave the Gospel to the world would not be permitted to attend Pensacola Christian College, nor would Yeshua (Jesus) the founder of Christianity, Saviour of the world and Son of God!

  7. Even a Muslim Arab who faces being tortured and murdered by his own people for converting to Christianity will not be permitted in Pensacola Christian College because his culture requires him to have a beard as a man.

    Therefore Pensacola Christian College is exalting Western culture above the oracles of God.

    Too many missionaries forced their culture on Africans and other nations and caused Christianity to be identified as the White Man’s Religion!

    Muslims now take advantage of this and market Islam to the Africans as the black man’s religion.

  8. To add, Yeshua (Jesus) studied in yeshiva (Jewish equivalent of Bible college) before being ordained as a rabbi.

  9. Hey Guys,
    I worked there for 25 years. It is true that students were expelled for watching movies on their laptops. It is true that students were expelled for “being out of harmony” with the institution. Yes, the ‘eye baby’ story is true. Students were socialed for gazing into each other’s eyes. One spring, they were prohibited from sitting in public on campus and reading the Bible together. Couples walking from chapel or church were not allowed to stop on the sidewalks or pause when they separated to go to their dorms. They have relaxed a bit. But, the guiding philosophy is that if you know that someone has done something wrong and you do not report it, you are guilty of that offense. Telling on your fellow student is considered the ultimate Christian duty. I am sorry to say that many of their students experience stunted social growth during the college years. I personally know of two students who committed suicide after leaving the institution. They were expelled at the end of the senior year for not turning in a fellow student. They were young and fragile. They equated PCC with God. When PCC kicked them out, they felt as if God had kicked them out.

    • Are you the Mrs. Hicks who taught seventh and eighth grade science on video? I think your videos were my science teacher in the A Beka school I grew up in! Oh, wow!

    • @Pam Hicks Call me a skeptic, but I find it hard to believe that the real Pam Hicks would be posting about the wrongs of PCC in a forum. If you are the real Pam Hicks, the following questions should be cake.
      1) Which states did you live in as a child?
      2) What is the name of your daughter?
      3) Your daughter once got something wedged in her ear, what was it?
      4) I recall a memorable story about you giving your son something during a car ride. How does the story end?

  10. Michael-John Paparella // April 8, 2013 at 4:53 pm // Reply

    Pam, I had a Mrs. Hicks when I went to the school many years ago. Some of my worse nightmares happened at the elementary school. I was wondering if you were were related to the teacher I had back then. I was quite fond of her.

  11. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear

    John 16:13 KJV

    Question – is PCC allowing the Holy Spirit to teach, reprove and convict? Or is this a type of legalism…which is just as bad as liberalism. Hmmmm?

  12. To the freshman who says “not going to the movies is not a big deal, I’ll just see the movie when I get home,” you’d better hope none of your fellow PCC students figures out who you are in this post, or (God forbid) actually SEES you going to the movies while you’re at home on break. Engaging in any of the “forbidden” activities at home carries the same penalty with PCC as if you had done it during the school session or while on campus. Therefore, yes… you CAN be expelled from the school for going to the movies while home on break, if someone sees you and reports you.

    What I took away from my time at PCC was not how to be a stronger Christian, not how to better defend my faith, and not how to grow in a personal relationship with Christ, but rather how to always read people to determine if they could be trusted enough for you to let down your guard and speak to them about (literally anything) honestly, and also how to mask your behavior, circumvent the rules, and do your best to live life like an actual adult in the real world while appearing to abide by the ridiculous and oppressive rules. Ifyouneed a college to tell you when to get up on Saturday morning, when to take out your trash, when to go to bed and shut your lights out, and what media you should or should not utilize, then I’m afraid you may not yet be ready for college life, much less the real world.

    I went there with a vibrant faith and a true desire to learn a lot in my field of study. I didn’t listen to rock music, smoke, drink, or engage in physical activities with the opposite sex. I had even attended and graduated from a fundamentalist Christian K-12 Academy, and I barely made it out of there after one semester without being expelled. My offenses included the heinous crimes of sleeping past 8 am on Saturday morning (AND refusing to empty my garbage can before 8 am), skipping/missing 2–yes 2!–whole classes in 4 months, and my refusal to attend Thanksgiving dinner on campus. Truly rebellious and unruly, I know. I left there with a batman-esque ability to hide, appear compliant, and be deceitful in a great number of ways, just so that I could maintain some semblance of humanity and not become a drone incapable of independent thought.

    Best wishes to you in your training to either retain or surrender your independent will. In these crazy times, that may just be the most valuable education you could receive anyway.

  13. Frank Norris // December 23, 2013 at 6:05 pm // Reply

    I am an independent Baptist missionary, and this school has sickened me for years.

    The main reason for this is that Arlin Horton is a crook who ran Peter Ruckman and his Church (Brent Baptist Church) off their land so that they could build this college. They did this by spreading derogatory stories about Ruckman (who didn’t miss a beat and established a new Church in a different location). (By the way, Peter doesn’t believe in “double inspiration” of the Bible. All the English versions except the King James are riddled with evil alterations, and all he does is to point this out, and the fact that the King James has no errors.)

    If anyone looks cultish, it’s the staff and students of this college. They look and act like odd clones. And the halloween costumes worn by their choir are terrible.

    Much of what the speaker in the video says is true, even though he is annoying and way out of touch with ordinary people. Mormonism IS a cult (started by a criminal who fled from Missouri to Utah). He only used the word “infidel” when quoting a Bible verse, not as his own word for a non-believer.

    This college is an embarrassment amongst believers. I am horrified that so many Baptist Churches send their young people to it.

    Lol, they wouldn’t have accepted me, because I used to have a mustache. And, horrors, Jesus wouldn’t have been welcome there, because he had a beard.

    Anyway, as Jesus said, “Let the dead bury their dead.”.

  14. a sister in Christ // May 17, 2014 at 5:47 am // Reply

    You guys this is embarrassing! I am a current student at PCC but that has nothing to do with what I have to say!

    As believers we are supposed to edify each other. We are supposed to correct each other is love. The greatest of Christ commandments is to love one another. Have the things that have been said been said in love? Have they been said in an attempt to help other believers recognize areas in the lives that could be more Christ like?

    Why is it that as believers we are always trying to destroy each other rather than build each other up? How do you think the World views what has been said in previous comments? I know that the Hortons love the Lord, and I know that the Shoemakers do as well. They are human, they will make mistakes. Just because your mistakes don’t affect as many people doesn’t mean that you don’t make them. If you have a problem with the school why don’t you write them and confront them using scripture to show them where they are disobeying or dishonoring our God. Quit being such cowards and talking behind the schools back, you got a problem address it.

  15. AnneLovesTheGraceOfGod // June 3, 2014 at 2:22 am // Reply

    @sisterinChrist
    First of all, I don’t see your real name listed. Second, Paul spoke pretty plainly and sometimes to ears like yours it would sound unloving. It is never unloving to expose legalism. PCC is an extreme example of legalism. Having to report other students for these minor infractions sounds more like Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union. I went to a Christian college, we have curfew but feeling we had to tattle on anyone for some minor legal activity or else suffer being blamed for not doing so is bizarre and certainly not Christian.

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  17. shawn ruth // July 4, 2014 at 9:45 am // Reply

    I was going to attend pcc 13 years ago. When I arrived from Minnesota as an older student (I was 26) I was not prepared for how controlling and oppressive it was. I was not allowed to freely come and go on campus. I was planning on finding a job in a restaurant in the area. When something in the pit of my stomach told me to withdraw from the school I was met with manipulation and brainwashing and finally total rudeness. I started to feel an extreme urgency to get out of there. I was afraid that if I didn’t leave then I would not be allowed to. It has many hallmarks of an abusive church at best and a cult at worst.

  18. Hmmmmm.. Last time I checked No One is forced to attend PCC! If a person does not like the standards in place there, that person is perfectly free to GO SOMEWHERE ELSE (where sex, booze, drugs, abortions, and “free-thinkers” are all in abundant supply; and the writings of Karl Marx are held in highest regard).

  19. This is a great school I visited the college and stayed on campus for a week, I was with church members we were there for training concerning our church day care. The rules are strict and it is a bit legalistic no one should control you like that. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom! That is what the Word teaches!

    • Elizabeth, I agree with most of what you said. It is a great school, and I would be proud if my grandsons would go there some day. The verse about LIBERTY is also correct. But the freedom we have in Christ is to do right; not license to do wrong. The policies of the university are to guide, teach, instruct, and condition young Christians in proper living after they leave the school. There is a verse that says in essence that the “law was our school master to bring us to Christ…” There is nothing wrong with high standards. And as I said in a previous post, no one is forced to attend PCU. And no one is forced to stay at PCU if they do attend. If the kitchen is too hot, get out of it! I agree it is not for everyone. But is sure is a different world from the humanistic, athiestic, communistic, socialist, et al environment a young person would get into at just about any state or secular school.

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