SAN DIMAS — Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College Administrator Larry Stonebraker says parents from out of state sometimes ask him: "Do I really want to send my child out to Los Angeles, the seedbed of all sin?
"You have to re-educate them," said Stonebraker, a preacher from Kansas. "We tell them, 'You can be in Tulsa, Okla., and get in just as much trouble as here.' "
In fact, there seems to be very little trouble on the well-manicured campus.
Strangers get a wave and a friendly small-town hello from students, teachers and staff. Scrubbed young men and women speak with enthusiasm of church work and serving Jesus Christ. About the biggest threat, if you can call it that, is being duct-taped to a tree--this year's favorite campus prank.
Students say they are happy to be with like-minded, Christian classmates. And no one seems offended by an old campus joke--that many women come to get their MRS. degree. After all, at least a dozen campus couples get married each year.
There's a strict code of behavior students must follow on campus: No dancing. No kissing. No holding hands. And no "excessive familiarity"--cuddling or leaning on boyfriends or girlfriends.
During school hours, women must wear skirts and nylons and men long pants and ties. Shorts are forbidden, even after school. Curfew is midnight during the week and 1 a.m. on weekends.
Chuck Aden, 21, a sophomore from Huntington Beach, is sweeping leaves after missing curfew.
Sometimes, he said, the rules are a little tough. But, "you are going to have rules all your life. If you can conform to these rules, the rules of life will be a lot easier."