The following was written by Stephanie, a 2015 graduate of the Shepherd’s Bible College. Stephanie left a career in teaching and relocated from Christchurch to study toward the Diploma in Biblical Studies. Was it worth it?

Having reached the end of myself I decided to take a ‘year off’ in 2015. As it is not socially acceptable to sit around and do nothing I decided to study something… something for me, not more professional development. I had done a couple of TSBC courses in Christchurch and knowing their theological viewpoint was similar to mine I decided to complete the Diploma of Biblical Studies. This year was to have been a year of time out, of relaxation and a few interesting moments before I returned to the life I was very comfortable living.

10 months later my life is taking a very different path than what I envisaged. Instead of returning to my comfortable teaching job in Christchurch, I am moving to Papua New Guinea to teach with New Tribes Mission. The teaching and experiences I had at TSBC have changed me. My dreams, goals and desires have been slowly shaped and flipped from being self-centred to Christ-centred. I have been challenged to see how short our lives are in light of eternity. How important the great commission is, and how all of us should be conducting ourselves in light of what we know is coming next.

The reverence and respect that God’s Word is given by the lecturers and staff at TSBC has caused me to take its instruction more seriously and see it as the only handbook I need for life. I have been taught how to study it, how to apply it and how I can use it to solve any and every problem that I may encounter.

Studying full time again has not been easy but has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life thus far. Taking Expository Greek has opened my eyes to the richness and depths the Scriptures contain. The Survey courses have given me a framework and overview of the whole Bible that helped to see the significance and interconnectedness of the Bible stories I grew up with. Hermeneutics gave me an opportunity to experience in depth Bible study and the Theology courses helped put all the puzzle pieces together.

Some of the most valuable learning I did however didn’t happen in lectures. The Discipleship Lab and Internship Programmes allowed me opportunities to put into practice all the ‘head knowledge’ I was acquiring. Having an opportunity to serve and bless others and yet be reminded that I was more than the tasks I could accomplish, helped me to correct the work imbalance that I had developed over the last few years.

Attending a Bible College such as TSBC is a privilege and the most wonderful opportunity to grow and strengthen your faith. But is not a decision that should be made lightly as it will, most definitely, change your life!

If you are thinking about Bible College for 2016, our students consistently testify that studying at TSBC is a powerful way to accelerate your growth in Christ. Want to know more? Take a look at our study options, and consider enroling! Applications to study at TSBC close at the end of January (after that there will be a late application fee) and courses start Feb 9. We hope we can serve you this year!