Dr. Douglas Wheeler felt the call of God to begin a new Christian College and Seminary that would place strong emphasis on the importance of applying scholarship in the areas of Hebraic culture, language, history, archaeology and geography to the study of scripture. So in 2014, Kidron Christian College and Seminary was begun with the three-fold idea of building Christian leaders who follow the leading of the Spirit of God, rightly dividing the Text of God, and loving the people of the Land of God.
The Lord gave Dr. Wheeler the name "Kidron Christian College and Seminary." He thought it was interesting that the Lord would give him that name since "Kidron" means "obscurity, depressed, low" and was the area of the Garden of Gethsemane. This was the site of much anguish and suffering in the last days of Jesus' life. However, when in the Kidron, a person could look up and see the Eastern Gate to the Temple. In other words, a person would merely need to look up to see the represented place of atonement. This going up from a low place to a high place in Hebrew is known as aliyah, to ascend to a higher level.
The Kidron Christian College and Seminary logo (above) shows the three valleys around the Temple Mount area/City of David area. These three valleys are known as the Kidron, the Tyropoeon (Valley of the Cheesemakers) and the Gehenna (hades). These three valleys form the Hebrew letter shin (ש), which is a letter for the name of God, El Shaddai. This is what is meant when the Lord told Israel to "take your tithe to the place that I choose to set My Name." That name is symbolized by the letter shin.
It is believed that the Temple Mount area is the place where God took dirt (adama) and formed the man before placing him eastward in the garden known as Eden. It is also the place where Abraham took Isaac for sacrifice. It is the location of the threshing floor that David bought to offer sacrifice to God. It is in this location that Adam was buried. It is in this place where Jesus was crucified, where the place of death became the place of life, and all one has to do is to look up to Jesus as the author and finisher of their faith.
It is our belief that in order to rightly divide the Word of Truth, five areas of discipline are needed. The foremost is a proper understanding of the culture and language of Jesus (Yeshua). This area includes a proper understanding of the events in Jewish history from the destruction of the first temple until the ministry of Jesus. Life at the time of Jesus was not conducted in a vacuum, but rather by many years of the development of Judaism from the first temple period through the exile and to the return to the land of Israel. It is inconclusive to develop cultural ideas in the life of Jesus only by studying first century Christianity. Jesus did not come to establish a new religion but to supply for us the redemptive process prophesied in Old Testament Scripture, which would provide for us an intimate walk with God. Christianity did not replace the Jews or the nation of Israel; we were grafted into them. Therefore, the branches must understand the root.
In addition to this understanding, a student needs to be able to handle the Word of God in the original languages. It is not possible to transmit culture across a linguistic line. Therefore, in order to understand culture, we must understand the languages of the Bible. It is for this reason that each student must become familiar with and be able to work with both Hebrew and Greek. It is not the intent of Kidron to make one fluent in either language, but to bring them to the point that they can effectively use these languages as an interpretive tool.
It is often said that a trip to Israel is like studying a fifth gospel. While it may not be possible for each student to make a study tour to Israel, a proper understanding of geography will bring the biblical text to life. Many interpret the Bible thinking that Israel is as large a country as the country in which they personally live. It must be remembered that many of the events that took place in the biblical text happened in a country the size of the state of New Jersey. When a city was destroyed, they built on top of the destroyed city. Over the centuries, the rebuilding of destroyed cities on top of themselves developed what is known as a tel. A tel is a large hill created by layers of civilizations built on top of each other. For this reason it is also equally important that a student understand the archaeology of the Holy Land.
Dr. Wheeler has always felt that it does a student a great disservice to neglect any of these five areas. At the same time, it must be understood that these five areas only form the foundation. Just like civilization, other areas of study must be built on top of these foundations. It has been his goal to graduate students, not to build experts. It should be the goal of each person that walks with the Lord to become a student (disciple) of Yeshua. It is for this reason that in Hebrew, the word for student (talmid) and heart (lev) are linked together. To develop knowledge without application is destructive. It is the goal of Kidron Christian College and Seminary to develop students, not only of the Word of God, but also of the Lord Himself. How we walk is equally as important as what we know.
Very few institutions develop degree programs that take advantage of guided research. It is through guided research where the student does the work under the guiding hand of a professor that there is an intersection of faith and works. The guided research format also allows for the education of each individual student by allowing the faculty to help the student overcome weaknesses in his or her areas of interest and enhance areas of strengths. In addition, it allows students to work at their own pace. Therefore, whether a person is in full-time ministry, works a full-time job, or is raising a family, this type of education is practical, effective and doable. Any person who desires to learn can find a place at Kidron Christian College and Seminary.