Students can stay

January 13, 2015

By Jackie Runion - The Marietta Times (jrunion@mariettatimes.com) ,Marietta Times

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Those at Marietta Bible College heaved a collective sigh of relief after news came in Monday that the school would be able to keep its students and its accreditation after months of uncertainty.

 

"We've all been celebrating," said 25-year-old Sailas Stevens, a student from Papua New Guinea. "Everyone is jumping around and hugging each other."

After changes to the U.S. Immigration Service threatened the possibility of having to send most of its population home or to other schools, students, as well as school administrators, were trying to go about their day-to-day activities with a positive attitude up until the good news arrived late Monday afternoon.

 

 

Article Photos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marietta Bible College student Kim Arcega, 20, entertains his classmates on the piano Monday following afternoon prayer groups at the school.

JACKIE RUNION The Marietta Times

 

"It's a big sacrifice to be here, and I don't want to go anywhere else," said Princess Diane Batac, 21. "I study violin here, and they provide everything to me for free, so I cannot imagine going anywhere else."

Batac is a third-year student at the Bible college, and one of about 120 young people whose student status at Marietta Bible College was threatened due to changes to the U.S. Immigration Service.

"There's some things we have to do, but students do not have to go home in February," said pastor and school administrator Myron Guiler.

 

Fact Box

Marietta Bible College

Marietta Bible College was denied recertification by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) under U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in October.

SEVP officials said the college was not properly accredited and did not provide evidence requested to prove the college met requirements for recertification.

The college received news Monday that the SEVP re-approved its program and students would be able to stay.

Under the agreement, Marietta Bible College will have to resubmit some information about its program by Feb. 26 to solidify the re-accreditation.

Source: Times research, Marietta Bible College.

With the Student and Exchange Visitor Information Program (SEVP) under the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office, Marietta Bible College has been providing ministry education to students across the world for more than three decades.

In October, the school was told it was being cut from SEVP because its accreditation source, the American Accrediting Association of Theological Institutions, was no longer approved.

In November, Marietta Bible College was told its international students-who hail from countries like the Philippines and Papua New Guinea-would need to return home or transfer by Feb. 18.

SEVP officials told pastor and Guiler that after approving the re-opening of the school's case that it would return an answer at the beginning of the year, and Monday, the news swung in the college's favor.

"We have all these students coming and spreading everything on Facebook and calling," Stevens said. "It's been a two-month battle, so we got our victory for it and we are so excited."

Stevens said Monday evening that the group was planning an impromptu celebration for later in the evening.

"I'm happy," Guiler said. "I've been under pressure for three months, and I'm glad to get this news."

School staff had been holding off on planning trips and church visits in spring, but now, plans can move forward, and Guiler said the school will just have to prepare the rest of the requirements by Feb. 26.

Students said they were holding off on plans to return home, and some had chosen to wait to tell their families.

"We prepared and paid so much to come here," said senior student Joy Flores, 21, who is on track to graduate in May.

With the approval handed down from the SEVP, Guiler said the school will be required to present its English language program to officials and present the agency with a number of small-ticket items, like a list of institutions that would be accept transfer credits if necessary.

"We already have all of this, we just have to reiterate it," he said. "And as far as an English speaking program, we don't really have any students that don't speak English anyway."

Flores is among many students from the Philippines who would have had to return, but the group entered the new year operating under the assumption that they would get to finish their educations in Marietta.

"If they think we're harmful, we're just not that kind of people," Flores said. "This school is a blessing to us."

Queen Esther Cabobos, 20, is in her first year with the college, and is also from the Philippines.

"I know God won't leave us...and he will be the one to deal with it," she said.

Flores said because Marietta Bible College provides everything to its students for free, it is not a reality to many of them to look for another school to attend.

"Where can we find another college like that?" she said. "I want to be trained here, in this school."

William Payne, 21, a senior from Ravenswood, said he would have been devastated to lose the school's international population.

"I would hate to see something happen to the place I've grown to love, and they're like brothers and sisters to me," he said.

 

Source: http://www.mariettatimes.com/page/content.detail/id/568840/Bible-College-celebration--Students-can-stay.html?nav=5002

 

 

THE NEWS CENTER

UPDATE 1/13/2015 12:00 PM

The Marietta Bible College says they are here to stay.

Marietta Bible College leaders say they received a notice from immigration Monday afternoon that their re-certification was approved.

They were reinstated in the Student and Exchange Visitor Program and the current students do not have to leave the country.

Myron Guiler with the Bible College says the whole college is overjoyed.

In November, Marietta Bible College was denied its re-certification because of paperwork and SEVP claimed the college failed to properly respond to their request for evidence.

The college must still submit requested information to SEVP prior to Jan. 27 to make the re-certification official.

Source: http://www.thenewscenter.tv/home/headlines/Marietta-Bible-College-Students-Facing-Deportation--283285821.html

FGGAM

A few months ago, I shared Marietta Bible College’s trials with you regarding the foreign missionary students being told the school was out out of compliance and they would be ask to leave the United States or find other accredited schools to transfer to. Their hearts were broken, as was mine and the staff of Marietta Bible College. It’s a college of humble means, solely supported by churches and ministering the gospel to thousands upon thousands through previously trained missionaries who have returned to their country. Well the journey took a swift, joyous turn yesterday when we received word that our application for reinstatement had been accepted. It’s still a work in progress, some more papers to file and rules to follow, but we’re rejoicing in the news! Join with us!!!!

Source: http://www.fggam.org/marietta-bible-college-celebrates/

Bible College

Celebration

January 13 2015

MBC Status

Reinstated

January 12 2015

* Video Credits to Christer Dave Cabrera

* Video Credits to Orlando Jong Briones

* Video Credits to Orlando Jong Briones

Pray for MBC

The Parents of the students joined together to pray and support MBC

1/2

Support MBC with your Testimonials

Larry Walker · Pastor at West Hills Baptist Church

 

I am a 1982 graduate of Marietta Bible College. The Lord has taken me to several states to pastor wonderful churches, and I am presently pastoring in Pennsylvania. Marietta Bible College was/is a blessed place of learning the Scriptures and how they apply to this lost world in which we live. A large percentage of the graduates are in full-time ministry literally around the world heralding the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ! May God grant them the blessing of continuing to deliver Christian education to foreign students!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marietta Bible College's future uncertain

International students may have to return home

November 21, 2014

By SAM SHAWVER , The Marietta Times

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MARIETTA - For 34 years Marietta Bible College near Devola has provided a Christian education for hundreds of students from around the world who return to their home countries to start churches or help build ministries.

 

But recent actions by the U.S. Immigration Service could spell the end of the institution.

"There just won't be any school if they don't allow us to proceed," said Myron Guiler, pastor and administrator of the Bible college that's attended by 120 students from countries that include the Philippines, Papua New Guinea and Africa.

Guiler said the school has always been part of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information Program under U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Participation in the program authorizes institutions to issue documents permitting international students with legal visas to come to the U.S. to attend school.

But in October the school was told by immigration officials it was being cut from the program and would have to send its 120 students home or have them transferred to another accredited institution by February.

"Most of these students are from Third World countries," Guiler said. "They're poor and can't afford to transfer to another school. And they don't want to go home until their schooling is finished. They receive an education here then return home to start churches or work with ministries in their own countries."

Aren Dizon, a 20-year-old student from Manila in the Philippines, said he's in his second year at the Bible college.

"I want to go four years and receive my bachelor's degree in pastoral studies, counseling and theology," he said. "After I graduate I plan to return to the Philippines where I can apply my education to minister there."

Asked how he felt about the possibility of being sent home before his four years are up, Dizon said it's in God's hands.

"If it's the will of God I'll go back home, but we're hoping and praying that U.S. Immigration will let us stay," he said.

Sheena Lumibao, 18, from Nueva Ecija, Philippines, agreed with Dizon.

"I'm starting into my second year. I came here in September 2013," she said. "I'm learning a lot and it's a great experience. I'll go four years here and then go back home where I can help with our church where my father is a missionary."

Lumibao noted her aunt and uncle also graduated from Marietta Bible College.

"So I would like to finish," she said. "There are a lot of good people here."

Jon Layner, a teacher, choir director and administrator at the Bible college, said the school was contacted by U.S. Immigration in 2013 and told the institution was up for its annual re-certification to continue in the SEVIS program.

"We sent in the necessary forms and they said they had everything they needed from us," Layner said. "We heard nothing more until June of this year when they said our accreditation service didn't meet their criteria."

He said that accrediting service, the American Accrediting Association of Theological Institutions, had provided the school's accreditation for the last six years, but unknown to the Bible college, the association was no longer approved by the U.S. Department of Education as a viable accrediting agency.

"All of a sudden they said that's not acceptable," Guiler said. "Then they told us we couldn't join another accrediting service now and our students would have to be sent home or transfer to another institution by February. They said we had abandoned the program."

Carissa Cutrell, public affairs officer with the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, said the school has no other choice at this time and students will have to be sent home or transfer.

She said if a school does not have an accrediting agency approved by the U.S. Department of Education the institution has to provide additional documentary evidence that it meets the education department's accreditation standards.

"We submitted multiple requests to (Marietta Bible College), asking for more information and they were given a temporary pass in 2013 to stay certified for several months, to give them ample time to respond with the requested information," Cutrell said.

But she said the school did not provide the requested information

"Marietta Bible College was denied re-certification for failure to properly respond to SEVP requests for evidence. This is what we call a summary denial for abandonment (or SDA)," Cutrell said via email Tuesday.

But Guiler and Layner said the school did everything it was asked to do in providing the evidence, including the submission of letters from three other institutions stating they would accept students who wanted to transfer from Marietta Bible College.

Guiler said, though, Bible college students have never transferred because their goal is to finish their four years at the college and then return home.

But Cutrell said the program did not receive the requested information and has therefore denied re-certification for the college due to abandonment, a decision that cannot be appealed by the Bible college, although she said the school can start over with a new initial petition for certification.

Still, "If the school has active students, these students must either transfer to another SEVP-approved school or depart the country," she said. "Students at Marietta Bible College have until Feb. 18, 2015 to do so."

Guiler said he's enlisted the services of a Cleveland immigration attorney, Margaret Wong, to help the school retain its certification.

"They have to prove we didn't abandon the program and that we provided the evidence requested," Guiler said.

 

 

* These media and articles are gathered from different news sites all over the world.

WTAP News Update

 

 

UPDATE 11/20/14 6:00PM

 

New developments in Marietta Bible College's fight to survive.

 

Fallout, from yesterday's report from the Student and Exchange Visitors Program that the college failed to properly respond to their request for evidence.

 

The college says that is completely false.

 

Marietta Bible Church's Pastor and College President, Myron Guiler says back in September 2013 the college received a letter stating SEVP received their complete information for re-accreditation.

 

The college says they did not hear anything after that until June of 2014 when SEVP told them the agency they've been accredited through for years, is not on the list of accredited institutions any more.

 

Guiler says over the summer they went back and forth with the program through phone calls and emails.

 

On October 9th, a field representative with SEVP came to the college and said instead of accreditation they needed three things.

 

"Three colleges that will accept our credits. Which we did and also supplied other things. For the representative from immigrations to indicate that we have sat here and done nothing and lost our status is absolutely an untruth," said Guiler.

 

Guiler says they sent all the information on October 23rd and on October 24th they received an email stating SEVP received the information however, it was not acceptable and was also past the due date.

 

The church has a team of lawyers fighting this case.

 

Guiler says they feel like they're fighting for their life and they have the paperwork and emails to prove it.

 

SEVP stands firm with their statement that the school was given many chances and was notified multiple times.

 

SEVP says the school failed to get the necessary information in on time.

 

SEVP PIO Carissa Cutrell issued this statement Thursday.

 

"The Student and Exchange Visitor Program accepted Marietta Bible College's motion to reopen on November 18, 2014. SEVP is currently reviewing the school's case file." 

______________________________________________________

Students at Marietta Bible College may have to transfer schools or go back to their home country after the college is denied its recertification with US Immigration.

 

"We are trusting the lord to fight this battle for us," said Caroline Tom, Marietta Bible College Student from Papa New Guinea.

 

Marietta Bible College and it's 120 students are praying for a solution.

 

"She is taking good care of the ministry while I am away. Thinking that because of those paper works, the sacrifice will just be in vain," Jayson Ofrecio, Marietta Bible College Student from the Philippines.

 

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) through the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement has denied the college their recertification.

 

The college says they were told this year the accrediting association that they were a member of for years, is not accredited anymore.

 

"We were notified in the summer and we went back and forth on this but they told us not to seek to join another accrediting association at that time," said Myron Guiler, Marietta Bible Church Pastor and Marietta Bible College President.

 

The college says a man from US Immigration came to the college and told them they needed three things: three institutions that are accredited and will accept their credits, a financial report and a statement that the college was a ministry of the church.

 

"We gave it to the man, that's what he asked for. He said the deadline was not until November first but October 24th we were notified that we were dropped," said Guiler.

 

Dropped from the SEVP, which gives the college the ability to bring international student to the United States.

 

"So we went to Cleveland and we hired immigration lawyers and they have put together a package requesting that we be reinstated and it is now in the hands of immigration, they have got to make the decision," said Guiler.

 

A representative with SEVP says the school failed to properly respond to their request for evidence.

 

"Can't confirm that they provided anyone with anything, as far as the information I have is that the evidence was not submitted to us," said Carissa Cutrell, PIO for Student and Exchange Visitor Program.

 

SEVP says the students can transfer schools or they will be forced to leave the country if they do not leave on their own by February 2015.

 

"It's not a small paperwork issue, this is a huge part of being certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program. We certify schools to make sure they are bona fide schools so when you do not respond to request for evidence or re-certification that leads us to believe that there might be other issues," said Cutrell.

 

The college says it will not only be the students who are affected by this but their families who sacrificed to sent them here for an education.

 

The school has students from Papa New Guinea, the Philippines and Africa.

 

FOX NATION

Starnes: Why Are 120 Christian College Kids About to Get Deported?

 

 

By: Todd Starnes

Myron Guiler wept.

I held the telephone receiver in my hand and listened as the Ohio pastor became overwhelmed with emotion.

“It’s heartbreaking,” he said. “I can’t stand to see these 120 children go. It’s my heart. I’ve poured my life into it.”

CLICK HERE TO JOIN TODD ON FACEBOOK FOR CONSERVATIVE CONVERSATION!

Guiler is the president of Marietta Bible College, a small unaccredited school that provides Bible training mostly for impoverished international students. The college is a ministry of the Marietta Bible Center Church.

On Sunday – Pastor Guiler delivered the bad news to his congregation – the federal government had denied their recertification for a program that allows foreign students to attend American schools.

The 34-year-old college may no longer accept international students and those who are currently enrolled in the Bible school must either transfer to another college by February or face deportation.

“They are a lovely bunch of kids who love the word of God and they love to pray,” Guiler told me. “And now the government wants to us to close.”

He said all of the students who attend the school come from impoverished, third-world countries – places like Kenya, Togo, and New Guinea.

“These are people whose fathers and mothers work in rice paddies making $100 a month,” he said. “Some sold their automobile, land so they could send their children over here.”

Bible college may lose student body

One student’s viewpoint: ‘It’s in God’s hands’

November 19, 2014

By Sam Shawver - The Marietta Times (sshawver@mariettatimes.com) , Marietta Times

Save | Post a comment |            

 

For 34 years Marietta Bible College near Devola has provided a Christian education for hundreds of students from around the world who return to their home countries to start churches or help build ministries. But recent actions by the U.S. Immigration Service could spell the end of the institution.

 

"There just won't be any school if they don't allow us to proceed," said Myron Guiler, pastor and administrator of the Bible college that's currently attended by 120 students from countries that include the Philippines, Papua New Guinea and Africa.

Guiler said the school has always been part of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information Program (SEVIS) under the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office. Participation in the program authorizes institutions to issue documents permitting international students with legal visas to come to the U.S. to attend school.

But in October the school was told by U.S. Immigration officials that it was being cut from the program and would have to send its 120 students home or have them transferred to another accredited institution by February 2015.

"Most of these students are from Third World countries," Guiler said. "They're poor and can't afford to transfer to another school. And they don't want to go home until their schooling is finished. They receive an education here then return home to start churches or work with ministries in their own countries."

Aren Dizon, a 20-year-old student from Manila in the Philippines, said he's in his second year at the Bible college.

 

Fact Box

At a glance

Marietta Bible College denied re-certification:

  • Marietta Bible College has been denied re-certification by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) under U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

  • SEVP officials say the Bible college was not property accredited and did not provide evidence requested by the agency to prove the college met requirements for re-certification.

  • Loss of the re-certification means the 120 international students attending the Bible college will have to return to their home countries or transfer to another SEVP-certified institution in the U.S. by Feb. 18.

  • Marietta Bible College administrator and pastor Myron Guiler has hired a Cleveland immigration law firm to help the college regain its certification from SEVP.

Sources: Times research, Marietta Bible College and SEVP.

"I want to go four years and receive my bachelors degree in pastoral studies, counseling and theology," he said. "After I graduate I plan to return to the Philippines where I can apply my education to minister there."

Asked how he felt about the possibility of being sent home before his four years are up, Dizon said it's in God's hands.

"If it's the will of God I'll go back home, but we're hoping and praying that U.S. Immigration will let us stay," he said.

Sheena Lumibao, 18, from Nueva Ecija, Philippines, agreed with Dizon.

"I'm starting into my second year. I came here in September 2013," she said. "I'm learning a lot and it's a great experience. I'll go four years here and then go back home where I can help with our church where my father is a missionary."

Lumibao noted her aunt and uncle also graduated from Marietta Bible College.

"So I would like to finish," she said. "There are a lot of good people here."

Jon Layner, a teacher, choir director and administrator at the Bible college, said the school was contacted by U.S. Immigration in 2013 and told the institution was up for its annual re-certification to continue in the SEVIS program.

"We sent in the necessary forms and they said they had everything they needed from us," Layner said. "We heard nothing more until June of this year when they said our accreditation service didn't meet their criteria."

He said that accrediting service, the American Accrediting Association of Theological Institutions, had provided the school's accreditation for the last six years, but unknown to the Bible college, the association was no longer approved by the U.S. Department of Education as a viable accrediting agency.

"All of a sudden they said that's not acceptable," Guiler said. "Then they told us we couldn't join another accrediting service now and our students would have to be sent home or transfer to another institution by February. They said we had abandoned the program."

Carissa Cutrell, public affairs officer with the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), said the school has no other choice at this time and current students will have to be sent home or transfer.

She said if a school does not have an accrediting agency approved by the U.S. Department of Education the institution has to provide additional documentary evidence that it meets the education department's accreditation standards.

"We submitted multiple requests to (Marietta Bible College), asking for more information and they were given a temporary pass in 2013 to stay certified for several months, to give them ample time to respond with the requested information," Cutrell said.

But she said the school did not provide the requested information

"Marietta Bible College was denied re-certification for failure to properly respond to SEVP requests for evidence. This is what we call a summary denial for abandonment (or SDA)," Cutrell said via email Tuesday.

But Guiler and Layner said the school did everything it was asked to do in providing the evidence, including the submission of letters from three other institutions stating they would accept students who wanted to transfer from Marietta Bible College.

Guiler noted, though, that Bible college students have never transferred because their goal is to finish their four years at the college and then return home.

But Cutrell said SEVP did not receive the requested information and has therefore denied re-certification for the college due to abandonment, a decision that cannot be appealed by the Bible college, although she said the school can start over with a new initial petition for certification.

Still, "If the school has active students, these students must either transfer to another SEVP-approved school or depart the country," she said. "Students at Marietta Bible College have until Feb. 18, 2015 to do so."

Guiler said he's enlisted the services of a Cleveland immigration attorney, Margaret Wong, to help the school retain its certification.

"They have to prove we didn't abandon the program and that we provided the evidence requested," Guiler said.

 

Amnesty for 5 million illegals-but 120 poor, international Christian college students here legally get the boot?

by Jennifer Kabbany - Fix Editor on November 19, 2014

 

 

The Obama Administration is apparently set to grant amnesty to some five million illegal aliens, but meanwhile the feds are gearing up to boot 120 poor, Christian college students back to their homelands – students who are in this country legally.

This infuriating story comes by way of Todd Starnes of Fox News, who reports that the Ohio-based Marietta Bible College, a small unaccredited school that provides Bible training mostly for impoverished international students, has had their recertification to allow foreign students to attend American schools denied by the feds.

The tale Starnes weaves is a he-said, she-said bureaucratic red-tape nightmare between the feds and school administrators. Campus officials said they’ve filed all the proper paperwork. The feds deny it.

But the bottom line is this: Why can we grant amnesty to 5 million people who flouted our laws, but not give a little leeway to 120 poor college students from Third World countries who actually went through the proper channels and are simply here studying the Bible?!

“The 34-year-old college may no longer accept international students and those who are currently enrolled in the Bible school must either transfer to another college by February or face deportation,” Starnes reports.

“They are a lovely bunch of kids who love the word of God and they love to pray,” the college’s president told Starnes. “And now the government wants … us to close.”

 

 

Bible Students Are Getting Threatened with Deportation. So How Fair Is Obama’s Immigration Policy?

 

 

BY CHARLES SAMUEL (1 DAY AGO) | EDUCATION, HEADLINES, LEGAL, NATION, POLITICS, RELIGION

 

Getty - Jewel Samad

 

Ohio’s Marietta Bible College doesn’t get much press. Their website is modest, and their goals are straightforward: they prepare international students from third world countries for work in churches or Christian schools in their homelands. The school is a ministry of Marietta Bible Center Church.

Sounds simple enough. But the college is in the news this week, and their situation raises questions about just how fair Obama’s immigrationexecutive order is.

According to a Fox News opinion piece, “U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement [is] about to send 120 Christian [of the school's] students back to their homelands.” The reason? Missing paperwork.

Because the 34-year-old school is unaccredited (they declined State licensure in 1988, because they wanted to maintain a religious governing body), it is required to produce additional evidence along with typical paperwork to prove it’s a legitimate entity and operating under the law.

Marietta Bible College has successfully applied for recertification for the past ten years, but, this year they apparently made a misstep. Marietta Times reports that the ICE has:

“… denied re-certification for the college due to abandonment, a decision that cannot be appealed by the Bible college, although she said the school can start over with a new initial petition for certification.”

While the school has hired an immigration attorney to fight this, the fact that this is an unappealable violation looms large: this might be a battle they’ll lose.

On Twitter, some are taking up the fight:

 

Outside of government lenience in the matter, the options for the students—who are mostly impoverished young people from third world countries—are two-fold: either go back home or find a school that will take them in as transfers for the Spring 2015 semester.

One person on Twitter is saying what’s on a lot of people’s minds:

 

Many are hoping that the President’s desire for illegal immigrants to remain in this country will extend to these students, who came here legally to study so they could return to their countries to serve in Christian ministries.