The following was written by Eli, one of our students this year. Eli relocated from Australia to take a full time gap year with The Shepherd’s Bible College, studying toward a Diploma in Biblical Studies in 2015. Why did he come from Australia, and what did he learn? Read on…
In 2014 I made the decision to enrol in the Shepherds Bible College in Hastings New Zealand. Why did I chose to first of all attend a Bible College, and why did I pick Shepherds over all the others?
My whole life I’ve been blessed with two godly parents who share a passion for learning and understanding God’s word. This passion has been passed on and used as an encouragement to go and study at some stage in life. From an early age, my parents had encouraged me to go and do a years study at a Bible college to cement my faith in a firm foundation by understanding God’s word for what it means. As I transitioned out of High School, I lacked Biblical maturity and integrity. My first decision out of High School was to attend university. This fell through, but the Lord opened up other opportunities to study His word instead.
It was my last resort, to go study at Bible College. So as a last resort, I applied to come to Shepherds. This has been one of the best decisions of my life. Why? Because of the rich Biblical truths that I have learnt throughout this year. Shepherds has a terrific programme running surrounded by many godly men, who all seek to honour and glorify God in every way possible. I knew little about the college to begin with, only that it was attached to Riverbend Bible Church, which is my parents home church. But as I read through their Statement of Faith, I was able to recognise their passion for God’s Word, and their passion to equip the people of New Zealand in a strong Biblical knowledge, and their commitment to Honouring the Lord in all they do, to become faithful servants of our Lord Jesus Christ. This was the motivation behind coming to Shepherds. I wanted to be trained and equipped in God’s word, so that I would become a Faithful servant of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
The Lord has used The Shepherds Bible College to shape and adjust my thinking from a me-centred focus, to a God centred focus. Throughout this year, the Lord has used the faithful lectures to teach me proper Theology, have a greater understanding of the Make up of God, having a high view of who He is. I have enjoyed the struggles of working through sin in my own life, and constantly dying to self so that I can put on the fruit of the Spirit and live to Christ. The in-depth study of the Survey courses have opened my mind to the truths of the Bible. How relevant God’s word is in everyones life today.Each class has been such an encouragement to me, just with the knowledge I’ve picked up, and the personal application which has convicted me to change my life to want to live my life centred around God’s word.
I’m thankful to God everyday for men who have committed their lives to the accurate teaching of God’s word, and equipping of the fellow brothers and sister in Christ so that we can go out in confidence into life and ministry, with the knowledge and training that I’ve acquired through Shepherds Bible college. Titus 2:11-14 I would highly recommend Shepherds as a option to study God’s word throughout a year. The truths that I have learnt this year, will be the foundation that I work off in life and ministry.
If you are considering taking a gap year next year, check out our gap year options.