The FAQs Behind the Announcement


What will the Institution be known as officially?
Maranatha Baptist University

When will the name change from Maranatha Baptist Bible College to Maranatha Baptist University become official?
The name change was officially recognized by the State of Wisconsin on November 11, 2013, following approval by Maranatha’s Board of Trustees. The name change was made public on December 13, 2013.

What was the process behind this decision?
Careful study has been a major aspect of the entire decision-making process. The administration studied the structure and governance of 17 similar small-to-midsized colleges and universities, investigating everything from their financial status to their student capacity.

Maranatha engaged an outside firm to research every nationwide Baptist college and Bible college for breadth of program, size, structure, and accreditation. Our administrators conversed with the executive administration from three newly minted universities regarding the pros and cons of transition and how to best manage a transition.

We reviewed all the HLC standards and practice guidelines related to institutional change and explored the legal aspects of a name change. The President approached faculty and staff first and then extended the circle to include alumni, partnering pastors, influential leaders, other institutional leaders, and student leaders on campus.

What other names were considered?

Three years ago the Board of Trustees adopted a new strategic initiative: “Make the message plain: intentionally improve recognition and understanding of who we are.” Since that time, we can safely say that nearly every option and alternative was considered, including “Maranatha Baptist Bible University” and “Maranatha Baptist College.”

The name “Maranatha Baptist University” was selected above other options for several reasons.

  • The name “Maranatha Baptist University” does not downplay our Bible foundation. With Scripture being our only rule of faith and practice, the Bible is central to our Baptist heritage. Identifying as “Baptist” includes the belief in biblical authority for all that we believe and do. For this reason, most Baptist churches are content to leave “Bible” and other descriptors out of their names.
  • To many, “Bible college” implies a specific and limited curriculum. Maranatha, because of its breadth of programs, size, and structure, has never easily fit into the Bible college category.
  • To retain “Bible University” in the new name would perpetuate, rather than clarify, the misunderstanding about the breadth of our mission.

Will the change of name to “University” change Maranatha’s mission?
No. Maranatha’s mission—to develop leaders for ministry in the local church and the world “To the Praise of His Glory”—will remain unchanged. Maranatha’s core mission and identity as a Baptist institution will not change. Maranatha’s curricular programs and Bible and liberal arts core curricula remain untouched by this change in name.

The Institution continues to train pastors, missionaries, educators, business professionals and other professionals, and nurses. Maranatha will continue to develop ministry leadership qualities in its graduates.

Primarily, the change to the university name more clearly identifies what Maranatha already is and has been for some time. The natural process of growth in either a college or a university results in adjustments and enhancements to course offerings. Such changes are often related to changes in enrollment, program popularity, and curriculum improvements. No specific changes are currently being considered, and any changes that do eventually occur will not be related to a change to university.


What are the expected benefits of the University name?

  • University nomenclature aligns well with current breadth and depth of course offerings. Less time and treasure will need to be expended to explain the college’s educational opportunities.
  • Prospective employers, agencies, and recruiters will have a better understanding of Maranatha’s academic programs.
  • Interested students and agencies will more accurately perceive Maranatha’s academic character.
  • Faculty recruitment, especially for qualified liberal arts instructors, may be facilitated.
  • Student resumes and transcripts will communicate more accurately the quality and rigor of academic programs.
  • Tent-making opportunities to minister in countries closed to traditional missionary activity may be facilitated by the change.
  • As Maranatha is involved in more overseas education and activity, the university nomenclature will be better understood and received.

What practical changes will occur?
Maranatha Baptist University has made careful plans to implement this change. It will take some time for a complete transition to take place, and you will still see “Maranatha Baptist Bible College” on some items. We will work to make changes in the most efficient and cost effective ways possible.

Will Maranatha be changing its logos, colors, seal, and mascot?
Maranatha has engaged the services of a professional design firm to assist with the development of a new design language, but the core elements will provide a recognizable continuity in the transition.

The brand will be refreshed and the primary colors of navy and gold will remain.

Changes to graphic elements like our stationery masthead and executive seal will take place to incorporate the change to Maranatha Baptist University. The mascot will be changed through a public solicitation process that incorporates feedback from all of our stakeholders. The new mascot will reflect our mission to develop dynamic leaders.

Will Maranatha Baptist University have a new web address?
Yes. Maranatha has acquired the new web address which will become the permanent new home for our website. During the transition, will continue to serve as our website.

Will current students be graduates of Maranatha Baptist Bible College or Maranatha Baptist University?
All current students will graduate from Maranatha Baptist University beginning with Commencement in May of 2014 (which includes December 2013 graduates). Any student desiring to receive a diploma from Maranatha Baptist Bible College may request one from the Registrar’s office as part of the usual graduation application process.

If I am a graduate of Maranatha Baptist Bible College, can I get a new diploma that says Maranatha Baptist University?
Yes. Alumni who request a new diploma will be able to order a replacement after January 1, 2014, that says Maranatha Baptist University. A discounted cost of $35 is available if the order is placed to coincide with bulk orders that are placed by the University. The deadline to order is February 10 (diploma will be received in May). If you would like a diploma with a new Maranatha Baptist University hard cover, there is a $10 fee for the cover.

If alumni wish to order a diploma after the February 10 deadline, the replacement fees are as follows:

  • $50 for diploma only (including postage).
  • $60 for diploma with new Maranatha Baptist University hard cover (including postage).

Replacement diplomas will include your original date of graduation and will be signed by the current president.

How should we refer to Maranatha Baptist University on a resume?
Because of the time needed for external agencies to update reference materials, we recommend that you indicate “Maranatha Baptist University (formerly known as Maranatha Baptist Bible College and Seminary).” Ultimately, that decision is up to the resume owner.