My wife and I recently had a newly married couple to our home for dinner. They also happen to both be students in our Bachelor of Theology program. It was wonderful to hear more of their story, talk about their first couple months of marriage, and see them interact with our children.
As an instructor in the Bachelor of Theology program at Bethlehem College & Seminary, I am privileged to work with a wide range of students who come to take our evening classes to earn their Bachelor’s degree. Not only do we have newlyweds in this cohort, but we also have grandparents and everyone in between. Each of them have different goals that they hope to achieve by being at Bethlehem. Here are a few:
- Become a church planter in Utah
- Go into the mission field to minister to unengaged people groups
- Teach women’s Bible studies more faithfully
- See more of Christ and have greater assurance of faith
- Read the Bible confidently
- Witness to children and grandchildren on the value of knowing more of Christ
I could go on.
These goals do not come without a cost for each student. Learning Greek is hard and time is limited, but the reward far outweighs the cost. Seeing more of Christ and being equipped to serve the home, church, and world is worth the countless, mind-numbing hours it takes to learn Greek paradigms and write lengthy papers. Time and time again, I continue to hear graduates say, “It was worth it.” Time and time again, I am reminded through the steadfastness of these students to study the Bible and that God’s Word is “more to be desired…than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb” (Ps 19:10).
The goals these students have and the cost it takes to achieve them could be said of each of our programs, which is why we need much prayer. Utah, the mecca of Mormonism, is not exactly a place to plant a church. Going to unengaged people groups doesn’t happen overnight. Those who teach the Bible will be judged more strictly (James 3:1). Assurance of faith and faithful witness to Christ are only accomplished through the gracious working of God (John 6:29; 1 Cor 3:10). Life skills, like time management and diligence in study, must be forged by students from dependence on God and not themselves.
God is at work, and he knows his plans for each of these students; pray with us that he would graciously equip each of these students for the tasks he has laid out for them.
Instructor of Bible and Theology
- Please pray that students finish strong over the next week or so. Most students are in the process of studying for midterms.
- Pray that God would continue to give each student a clearer vision of how God will use them after Bethlehem and that God would grant each student endurance in their studies as they seek to achieve those goals.
- Pray that God would show himself to our students through the long hours of study they endure, even in subjects they’re less interested in.
- Pray for our Bachelor of Theology students who are especially feeling the burden of balancing work, family, and school. Many of these students are in the middle of their first semester of this program after years of not being in school.