Question: "What is Bible Study Fellowship?"
Answer: Bible Study Fellowship (BSF International) is an in-depth, structured, interdenominational Bible study program. Their mission, stated on their website, is to provide “global, in-depth classes producing passionate commitment to Christ, His Word and His church.” The courses are 30 weeks long and guide the participants through an in-depth study on a book of the Bible. Their statement of faith is readily available for review on their website.
Bible Study Fellowship has a four-step approach to Bible study: 1) Students are encouraged to answer daily lesson questions from Scripture. 2) Attendees meet to discuss their insights in a discussion group. 3) They listen to teaching that explains what was studied. 4) Participants can gain additional insight by reading lesson notes that further elaborate on the Scripture.
There is no cost to join Bible Study Fellowship—either for the class or the materials. The program is highly organized and uses an expository method of Bible study. BSF also offers children and youth programs.
Bible Study Fellowship began in San Bernadino, California, in 1959. Audrey Wetherell Johnson, a missionary to China, was speaking at a church when five women asked her to lead them in a Bible study. Johnson agreed to teach them, but with one condition: “I will not spoon-feed you.” Johnson’s class quickly outgrew the home and moved into a church. New BSF classes began springing up through southern California, and eventually the ministry began reaching people internationally as well. Over 50 years later, BSF serves more than 1,100 classes on six continents.
As with any Bible study program or ministry, we encourage all participants to compare the teaching of Bible Study Fellowship to what the Bible says (see Acts 17:10–15).