skip to Main Content

Frequently Asked Questions

When do classes begin?

Undergraduate classes will begin in Spring 2020; Graduate classes will begin in Fall 2020.

What is the cost to attend CBI?

CBI classes will cost just $100 per unit, which is significantly lower when compared to other Bible colleges and universities which charge anywhere from $800 to $1400 per unit for the same classes.

I'm ready to attend! How do I sign up?

You can apply via this website beginning September 15, 2019.

Will classes be transferable to Bible colleges?

Yes, they will! CBI is working out agreements with select Bible colleges.  Classes taken through CBI will transfer into accredited Bible colleges with whom agreements have been established.

Who will be teaching the courses?

In addition to the Compass Bible Church pastors, residential CBI professors will include Compass church plant pastors (Tustin, HB, etc.) and local Bible college professors.

Additionally, CBI will host adjunct faculty members from other Bible schools and seminaries who are known nationally and internationally for their biblical, theological, and ministerial expertise.

Is CBI an accredited institution?

Compass Bible Institute is intentionally unaccredited. While we value accredited institutions and accreditation agencies, we believe there are certain advantages to remaining unaccredited at the present time. This will allow us to operate and teach according to our convictions and not those of an accreditation authority. Furthermore, by remaining unaccredited we can keep the costs as low as possible. Our unaccredited status has not prevented us from partnering with accredited institutions, nor prevented them from validating and accepting transfer units.

Is student housing available?

Compass Bible Institute does not offer student housing. 

Do I have to go through the entire program?

No. Students can take individual courses within any of the programs as long as any pre-requisite courses have been fulfilled.

How long will it take to get through the entire program?

CBI will offer all of the courses required for the Associates of Biblical Studies within three semesters. This means that a student could complete the A.BS in 1 ½ years.

A student could get the majority of the classes completed for the Bible Core Program within one year.

Students seeking the bachelor’s degree can take community college courses simultaneously with CBI courses. How quickly the degree is earned is dependent on the student’s schedule.

Should I really have my son/daughter take a gap year?

It is becoming increasingly hard to live faithfully as a Christian in today’s society. Secular college campuses and work-places are dangerous environments for Christians with weak theological foundations. The Bible Core Program at CBI has been designed to prepare people for this exact scenario. Every class in the program is strategic. CBI believes that the spiritual benefits of the Bible Core Program outweigh any inconveniences or delays in furthering your child’s education or career.

What kind of work is expected for the courses?

The classes at CBI mirror those of accredited colleges and institutions. Students can expect a normal college-level workload. Most classes are 3-units, which amounts to 3 hours of classroom instruction and 6 hours of student preparation per week. For a 16-week semester this equals about 45 hours of classroom time and 90 hours of homework/study time.

Will CBI offer online education?

The courses offered at CBI are in-classroom only. The reason for this is largely driven by an effort to create the kind of hands-on, church-based education that CBI believes is so important. If students want theological lecture material online, there are numerous options. CBI classes are going to do more than communicate information; the in-class experience will target transformation and application of classroom material to real-life scenarios.

Exceptions might be made for students at out-of-state sister churches who have a church “home-base” similar to Compass OR local students who want to take two classes offered at the same time. 

I just want to watch the lectures; do I have to take classes for credit?

All students attending CBI courses will be expected to engage in all of the required coursework and assignments associated with each class. There is no “auditing” of regular CBI classes. While students might benefit from auditing, we want to create a classroom environment where all students present are committed to participating and completing all of the assignments. The only exception is when a visiting/adjunct professor is teaching a weekend intensive course. Students will be allowed to audit intensive courses taught by out-of-town professors.

Can I get a degree from CBI?

Absolutely! Students can get an Associate of Biblical Studies degree (A.BS) or a Bachelor of Biblical Studies degree (B.BS) from CBI. The bachelor’s degree is simply a combination of CBI’s associate degree and a general education degree from a community college. Students seeking the B.BS need to transfer their (54-unit minimum) general education courses into CBI.

Certificates will be awarded to students who complete the Bible Core and Residency Programs.

Do I have to get a degree or can I just take classes?

Students can take as many or as few classes as they like, they do not have to be on a degree track in order to take classes.

What does an unaccredited degree do for someone?

Broadly speaking, we believe all students benefit from a CBI degree by receiving ministerial and theological education. We trust that classes will help students to grow in their Christian faith, develop deeper theology, and increase ministry skills and aptitude.

Though CBI is unaccredited, it is licensed by the state of California as a private post-secondary institution. Therefore, the degrees we offer are “real” degrees, though unaccredited by a third-party accreditation agency. If a student receives a bachelor’s degree from CBI, he or she can put it on a resume when applying for a job.

Through the agreements that we have with select seminaries, students with a bachelor’s degree from CBI can get accepted into master’s level programs. For example, if a student wanted to pursue an M.Div from a school like Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Talbot, Moody Seminary, or Southern California Seminary, he or she could get accepted into the program with a B.BS from CBI.

Who is overseeing CBI?

Pastor Mike Fabarez is the President of CBI and oversees the vision and direction of the school. Pastor Mark Kelley is the Director and functions like a Dean of Academics and Operations.

Can I check out books from the CBI Library?

Currently, books are available for reference use only within the CBI Library. Students and congregants are welcome to use the library at their leisure, but the books need to stay on campus.

How can I give to CBI?

As CBI is still in its infancy, giving to the establishment and operation of CBI can be done through the Compass Bible Church 2020 Initiative

How is CBI connected to Compass Bible Church?

CBI was launched by Compass Bible Church and exists as a ministry extension of Compass Bible Church. Though based out of the church, CBI is not limited to Compass Bible Church congregants. CBI is a Christian institution that is open and available to Christians from across the country and beyond.

Are there academic advisors to make sure students are taking what they need at CBI and community college?

Yes. Contact Tracy Wineke in Student Services at for any questions you might have. She or one of the faculty/pastors will be happy to meet with students who have questions or need guidance regarding their education path.

Will financial assistance be available?

Fees and tuition at CBI are extremely low compared to Bible colleges and seminaries, both local and out-of-state. For this reason, we are not offering financial assistance at this time. Students who are able and eligible to be “Teacher Assistants” will receive a free class.

What are the admissions requirements?

Our application asks for a high school diploma because we are offering classes at a college level and want to maintain that standard. We do plan, however, to admit current high school juniors and seniors who are able to handle college level classes.

Fill out my online form.