About BLI

Preparing for a life of calling

Biblical Life Institute has a history of preparing men and women for a lifetime of service in the kingdom of God. Our goal has been to help you clearly define what you believe, live what you believe, and give you the tools needed to minister to others. Now through Kairos University, you will not only learn the Bible and related studies, you will learn how to lead a disciplined Christian life whatever your future life plans.

We are an approved contextualization partner of Kairos University. We provide local mentors, learning resources, and support for Kairos students.

Life of Calling
quote back



Drawing from over 80 years of training men and women in faithful ministry and Christian life, BLI continues to educate those called into ministry or who desire to deepen their discipleship to Jesus Christ through Kairos University. For those who want to learn the Bible, live faithfully, and minister God’s love and redemption to the world, there is no better place to be.

Our History

Dr. Henry Shilling, founder of Transylvania Bible School (now Biblical Life Institute) was no stranger to biblical studies or to walking by faith. He received his Bible school training at God’s Bible School, then his high school diploma, and finally his college degrees. Although a college education is needed for many vocations, he felt his training at the Bible school grounded him firmly in holiness background and doctrine. Our Bible school began with seven years of faith (1938-1945).

By faith, Dr. Shilling purchased White Oak Camp which was operated as a service station, dance hall, and tourist camp. Through God’s direction this parcel of land was turned into a camp meeting , youth convention, and finally a Bible School.

The name Transylvania was changed to Biblical Life Institute, but the concept of providing a strong biblical foundation remains the same. The beautiful three-story building, built by Dr. Shilling and the students, still remains surrounded by many of the original white oak trees.

In February 2020, the BLI Board of Trustees unanimously agreed to enter into an integrated partnership with Sioux Falls Seminary and the Kairos Development Network. You can read more about this kingdom-minded partnership here.



Pray a definite prayer for a definite need. Meet definite conditions peculiar to that need. Exercise a definite faith for that need. God will answer with a definite answer.


Mission Statement

Biblical Life Institute is a school of biblical higher education that prepares students for faith Christian thought and life, in order to transform lives and build the Kingdom of God.