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Our History

A Scottish phrase meaning “Mountain of Trust,” Ben Lippen School was founded in 1940 by the Columbia International University (CIU) board of trustees under the guidance of CIU’s first president, Robert C. McQuilkin. The evangelical boarding school for boys was located at CIU’s Ben Lippen Conference Center on a mountain near Asheville, NC. The school became co-educational in 1952 and flourished as a school for missionary children. After a fire destroyed the main building in 1980, Ben Lippen moved its high school program to its current location in Columbia, SC in 1988 to be on the campus of CIU. An elementary program was begun in 1990 and currently boasts two campuses.

The Crest Online School Initiative was launched in 2021 to expand our mission by providing a virtual education taught from a biblical worldview.

The Crest Online


The Crest Online, as a ministry of Ben Lippen School, seeks to glorify God by educating students from a biblical worldview to impact the nations with the message of Christ and by assisting the family and church in equipping students spiritually, academically, socially, and physically under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.


To provide virtual education identified by its intentional discipleship of students and varied college preparatory academic programs taught from a biblical worldview to impact the nations with the message of Christ.

Our Core Values

  • Authority of Scripture

    The Bible is the ultimate foundation and the final truth in every aspect of our lives. We concentrate on mastering God’s Word, learning to understand its meaning, and apply its teaching.

  • Victorious Christian Living

    Victory in Christ comes to those who yield humbly to the Holy Spirit who makes us more like Him in our daily lives.

  • World Evangelization

    “For God so loved the world He gave…” We prepare each student to have an impact as part of the “missions team,” whether in a “sending church” or as one sent. The Holy Spirit dispenses blessings and works through us so that we are a blessing ourselves.

  • Prayer & Faith

    The CIU community seeks joyful reliance upon God for material provision, victory over sin, growth in Christlikeness, and fruitfulness in ministry. Our relationship with Him is expressed in daily prayers of a loving and needy heart.

  • Evangelical Unity

    Evangelical unity means accepting other Christians of evangelical conviction, regardless of denominational or theological affinity, for purposes of fellowship, encouragement, edification, and ministry.

Statement of Faith

The following, together with other Christian principles of doctrine and practice, including the affirmation of the full trustworthiness of Scripture, which in its original writing was verbally inspired and without error, shall be the basis of the faith and doctrine of The Crest Online:

  1. The Bible is the inspired Word of God, the written record of His supernatural revelation of Himself to man, absolute in its authority, complete in its revelation, final in its content, and without any errors in its teachings;

  2. All men in their natural state are lost, alienated from God, spiritually dead: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23);

  3. Salvation is only by grace, a free gift of God, through faith in the Lord Jesus, who died for our sins according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:3); Those who thus receive Christ by faith have their sins forgiven (Eph. 1:7), their hearts cleansed (Acts 15:9), are born of the Spirit, become children of
    God (Jn. 1:12,13), and are made new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17);

  4. God is One God, Who reveals Himself in three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ,
    as the Scriptures affirm, is the Son of God and Son of man, was born of a virgin, and is Himself
    very God. The Scriptures also declare the deity and personality of the Holy Spirit;

  5. Our Lord Jesus rose from the dead in the same body that was laid to rest in the tomb (Jn. 20:25-27); The bodies of all believers who die will be raised from the dead, and they will receive an incorruptible body like unto His glorious body (1 Cor. 15:53; Phil. 3:21). All other men shall be raised unto “the resurrection of judgment” (Jn. 5:28,29);

  6. Christians, born of the Spirit, are to live the new life in the present power of the Spirit. “If we live by
    the Spirit, by the Spirit let us also walk” (Gal. 5:16-25; Col. 2:6). The Christian’s responsibility and his normal attitude of life is to yield himself to God (Rom. 6:13), trusting God to keep him;

  7. Christian “living” includes Christian service, the winning of souls around us, and the preaching of the Gospel in the uttermost parts of the earth. In carrying on this work there is needed the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit which is granted to every believer as he yields and trusts (Acts 1:8; 1 Cor. 12:7; Eph. 3:20; Acts 5:32). And in all of this service, prayer is to have the central place (Jn. 14:12-14; Eph. 6:18-19);

  8. Jesus Christ will come again to earth a second time (Heb. 9:28), personally (Acts 1:11; 1 Thess. 4:16), bodily (Acts 1:11; Col. 2:9), visibly (Mt. 26:64; Rev. 1:7). His coming will precede the age of universal peace and righteousness, foretold in the Scriptures (Mt. 24:29,30,42; 1 Thess. 2:7,8; Rev. 20:1-6).