FOA has three phases to its program.
The first phase consists of an eight week Bible course created by Rev. Richard C. Barth simply called Basic Bible Doctrine Course. There are eight studies with five lessons in each study. Each lesson builds upon the other to give the student a basic understanding of the Bible, the Triune God, and certain doctrines of God's Word that will enhance the student's knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and the provisions He has made for each of us to live the Christian life. Each man is referred to as a "student" as we spend at least 112 hours of Bible study during this eight week cycle which we call a term. Daily lessons are a requirement to complete and an open notebook test is given on Friday morning after the last class of the week. We also desire that each man memorize the books of the Bible during his stay.
FOA operates an in house center where our students come for this eight week course. The students reside in the main house where we average about 36 men. We have semi-private rooms with two men in each room. Bible study is not the only thing we focus on although it is the most important part of the day. We also require each man to participate in our work program as we operate a farm type environment. There are daily "chores" that must be accomplished each day to just be able to reside at the ministry. These chores include house cleaning, kitchen duties, laundry duties, grass cutting, gardening, livestock care, general maintenance, cutting wood, carpentry, plumbing, auto mechanics, etc. I cannot begin to list all the jobs we have to perform during the course of a particular day.
After completing the 40 lesson course the student has a choice to make concerning his future. He can choose to graduate from the program and leave the ministry or he can choose to go through another term (eight weeks). He will go through the same material the second time picking up more information that he might have missed the first time through. After completing the second term he has another decision to make. He can graduate and leave the program or he might decide to attend the second phase of our program.
The second phase is a more advanced set of classes with a new environment. It is called our Romans House program. The conditions include: (1) The student must be a believer. (2) The student must complete two full terms of the first phase. (3) The student must commit to spend another eight months in the ministry. While residing in the Romans House the student is involved in more personal Bible study from a book of the Bible with the opportunity to present that material to the class. Each of these students have added privileges but also added responsibilities. After completing the full one year committment that includes the first and second phases, the student needs to make another decision. He can graduate and leave the program with the tools necessary now to live the Christian life or he can transfer to our third phase of our program.
The third phase consists of transferring to an aftercare house called the Philemon House. We refer to it as the Philemon House as we take it from the book of Philemon, verse 14 which says, ". . .but without your consent I did not want to do anything, so that your goodness would not be, in effect, by compulsion but of your own free will." We desire each man to make godly decisions because he sees the importance of living the Christian life rather than being made to do it. This house is what some would refer to as a halfway house or three quarter way house. The individual must have a job in place and preferably have some transportation. He can stay an indefinite period of time and be accountable to the house manager. He must pay a minimal amount of rent and transportation costs if he doesn't have transportation to and from work. There are no guarantees that each man will live the Christian life but we want to give them the best opportunity available to enhance their understanding of this marvelous life