|Location||Crown Point, Indiana, United States|
|Postal Address|| 8400 Burr Street|
Crown Point, Indiana 46307
|Faculty||38 full time|
|Colors||Green and White|
Hyles-Anderson College is an unaccredited Bible college in unincorporated Crown Point, Lake County, Indiana, with a postal address at 8400 Burr Street, Crown Point, Indiana. The college is a ministry of the First Baptist Church of Hammond. It focuses primarily on training pastors, missionaries and other church workers. It also trains Christian educators to work in K-12 Christian schools. The partially-wooded 100 acre (40 hectare) campus includes a lake, football field, bowling alley, and a variety of school and entertainment resources.
The Hyles' boyhood home, a 384 square foot (36 square meter) shack in Italy, Texas (30 miles (48 km) south of Dallas, Texas) was purchased in 2001 in order to create a museum to honor Hyles. The home was shipped from Texas to Hyles-Anderson College. The home was planned to house Hyles' writings, photographs, and other relics on the 2,700-student campus. Ray Young, a close friend of Hyles, said, "We have 5,000 to 7,000 independent Baptists who come here each year for conventions. Pastor Hyles was adored and venerated by independent Baptists across the country. It should be a major attraction for them.
The school does not want accreditation for various reasons outlined in a sermon by Jack Hyles entitled, "Accreditation.
The 2007-2008 course catalog lists 39 full time educators and administrators. All but a couple of the faculty at Hyles-Anderson are listed with at least one degree from Hyles-Anderson College or Hyles-Andeson Seminary, and many of the faculty are listed with multiple degrees from the school. A few of the faculty members have received bachelor's degrees and advanced degrees from traditional accredited universities and colleges, while a number have received degrees from various other accredited and unaccredited Bible colleges as well.
Hyles-Anderson College does not maintain a doctoral program. However, it usually issues one or more honorary doctorates every year at the main graduation ceremony in May. The recipients are usually pastors or other ministry workers who have distinguished themselves in the ministry and do not necessarily need to hold an earned degree from the college. Hyles-Anderson offers Bachelor of Science degrees (not accredited) in the following major concentrations: Pastoral Theology, Pastoral Assistant, Media Management and Graphic Design, Youth Pastor, Missions, Elementary Education, Secondary Education, General Studies, Music Director, and Music Education. The college offers Associate of Science degrees in Education and in Marriage and Motherhood.
Hyles-Anderson's catalog notes that the degrees it offers in education are not be construed as training for public school teaching. To teach in public schools, most states require that teachers graduate from an approved and accredited school. Therefore, Hyles-Anderson's degrees in education are intended to train teachers planning to teach at private Christian schools.
To remain enrolled, students must comply with the college's policy that female dorm-students may not go off-campus unchaperoned. Unmarried men and women are not allowed to date alone in cars. Absolutely no hand holding or other intimacies are allowed between unmarried students. The college provides chaperones and bus transportation for date nights.
All faculty, staff, and students are required to go "soul winning" weekly, by participating in the evangelistic ministry of the First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana. The college catalog claims that 10,000 new baptisms are performed each year at the Church.
As part of the college's separatist tradition, it has strict rules that forbid what it believes are immoral acts. Therefore students are not allowed to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, dance, attend Hollywood movies, play cards, or participate in "other questionable amusements". Hyles-Anderson is a supporter of the King-James-Only Movement. The college believes that the Textus Receptus (the source manuscripts for the King James Bible) were inspired word for word. The college also teaches that The Scripture is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch quoted ex-Hyles follower and later critic, Robert Sumner, who said "Jack Hyles, runs his church in an authoritarian, almost 'cultist,' manner." Sumner's paper "The Biblical Evangelist, published in Ingleside, Texas, devoted the lion's share of a 24-page issue this month to what it headlined as "The Saddest Story We Ever Published" detailing Nischik's charges and editor Robert Sumner's contention that Pastor Hyles has strayed from biblical teaching and into cultlike mind control. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch Sumner's article had over 100 allegations. Among the various allegations was that Hyles had "sex satellites" in Petersburg, Beaumont, Texas; and Anniston, Alabama".
This matter also came up again in 2001 when WBBM-TV The Channel 2 News at Ten on May 24, 2001 reported the actions of former Hyles-Anderson student William "Andy" Beith age thirty one was arrested in Las Vegas, NV after a nationwide FBI search pursued kidnapping and rape charges involving Beith's eleven year old student. The report noted "Former fellow Beith church members say Beith has been exposed to unorthodox religious training." When Beith was convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison "The judge said Beith's strict upbringing may have been a factor in his sexually deviancy."
On May 28, 1989 The Chicago Tribune reported "former associate Victor Nischik has accused Hyles (President of the college at the time) of having an affair with his former wife Jennie" and questionable financial dealings. Pastor Hyles replied by saying the charges were "false" and "he has given 'hundreds of thousands' of dollars to needy friends over many years but has kept no records of the transactions. The article also explained former deacon of the First Baptist Church, Victor Nischik accused Jack Hyles of committing adultery with Nischik's wife and Hyles' long time assistant, Jennie Nischik.
Hyles also claimed Nischik was "an immoral man." Hyles said that Nischik 's wife discovered him alone in his pajamas with another woman and soon after Nischik's wife divorced him. Hyles also responded to the charges of financial impropriety by pointing out that his annual salary was only $18,308. He said, "I'm not a wealthy man...I could have been, but I have chosen not to be." Hyles pointed out that the Nischiks and other workers and needy friends regularly received many gifts from himself, including new cars.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that WJBK, a Detroit, Michigan news team, in 1993 following up on allegations in five different fundamentalist churches of children molested by church workers, traced each alleged perpetrator back to Hyles-Anderson college. This news team produced a 30-minute documentary called Preying from the Pulpit for the Detroit Michigan Eyewitness News program. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that Hyles "disputed the latest reports point by point in a speech to Midwest ministers and businessmen, brought together by COMPASSION - Churches Organized & Mobilized for Preservation and Safety for Sunday Schools in Our Nation." Hyles also claimed that one of the people in the report said to have attended Hyles-Anderson College had not really attended the school.
Pastor Joseph Combs and his wife, Evangeline Lopez Combs were members of First Baptist Church of Hammond and Combs was also a professor at Hyles-Anderson College. The two had signed an adoption agreement for, but never legally adopted, Esther Combs, who experts say was tortured for nearly 20 years. "The 410 scars she accumulated from curling iron burns, baseball bat beatings and other abuse went undetected because she was in the care of a minister and his wife, who used a cloak of religion and home schooling to isolate her. While one babysitter testified "that they suspected Esther was mistreated but didn't want to contradict Combs, who had been their Bible professor at Hyles Anderson College." Furthermore, another babysitter testified she "reported her suspicions to the college president, but apparently nothing was done, she said." In 1986, Combs moved to Florida to start a church. After accusations of abuse, they moved to Tennessee. There they were charged in 1998 and convicted in 2000 of kidnapping, child abuse and aggravated assault.