Angela Burtis is a wife, mother, grandma, and blogger living in Speculator, New York. She has a burden to see young people grow in their love and knowledge of God’s Word—starting with her own family. In today’s post, she explains why a Bible Institute was a perfect launching pad and first step for her kids’ college careers. Grab some coffee, get comfy, and listen to one mother’s heart about why she wholeheartedly recommends a Higher Ed Bible education, from one parent to another.
“If you are a parent who is against or on the fence about your child giving a year of their life to an intense study of God’s Word, I’d love to spend a few minutes telling you why I, a fellow concerned and caring parent, absolutely, wholeheartedly, without reservation recommend you send your child to a Bible Institute for a year (or two).”
What is the right response to our high school graduate who expresses a desire to attend a Bible school for a year?
“It has nothing to do with your career choice.”
“It will set you behind schedule for your degree.”
“We can’t afford an extra year of college.”
In essence, it’s a waste of time and money.
No, a Christian parent wouldn’t actually say out loud that a year of studying the Bible is a waste of time, but aren’t all the above responses actually reflecting that sentiment to some degree?
Maybe it simply doesn’t make sense to us. After all, we aren’t expecting our child to be a pastor or a missionary. Why prolong a different desired path?
With two kids in college and a third graduated, I get it. Often times we just see dollar signs when considering our kids’ futures. Whether we’ve set aside money for their education or not, the ever increasing tuition fees and subsequent debt load are frightening. We literally can’t afford any more than is necessary.
I have great news that you might not be aware of.
A great place to start
At many Bible institutes a one-year Bible program is transferrable to most other Christian colleges. There is no losing time. It all counts, and in my experience, these programs are actually less expensive than spending a year at any of the mainstream Christian colleges/universities, making that first year of study quite a bargain. Please don’t let any of those above notions hinder your consideration.
That’s not the reason I’m writing today, though. If you are a parent who is against or on the fence about your child giving a year of their life to an intense study of God’s Word, I’d love to spend a few minutes telling you why I, a fellow concerned and caring parent, absolutely, wholeheartedly, without reservation recommend you send your child(ren) to Word of Life Bible Institute for a year (or two).
When my firstborn was a senior in high school, the yearbook committee asked for a verse to put with his picture. The verse we chose is one we hoped would be in front of him for his whole life.
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to His Word.” Psalm 119:9
Because does anything else really matter? Though not always easy or popular, we’ve resisted the American cultural temptation to wish our kids’ goals to be progressive jobs, increasing salaries or security in anything this world has to offer.
Quite the opposite actually.
A growing desire to increase their faith, a hunger and thirst for righteousness (right living), and giving their lives in service to God through serving others is what would scream success to us. Namely, as their father has often prayed, “that our children would do greater things for God than we ever could.”
“… as their father has often prayed, “that our children would do greater things for God than we ever could.”
It was a given that our boy’s next step would be college. The only problem was that he didn’t know what he wanted to do. I don’t think many 18-year-olds are really ready to commit to one career path. As a family, we discussed him spending that first year at Word of Life. Having camped there for years, we were very familiar with the ministry.
And the thing we especially love about Word of Life is that no one, and I mean no one, is doing what Word of Life does.
Word in. Service out.
- Nine months of studying God’s Word only.
- Three months of putting in practice (summer ministry at one of many camps as both counselors and work supervisors).
- Open Air Evangelism training.
- Trip to New York City to witness on the streets.
- Counseling/Sharing Faith training.
- Eight weekends of Snow Camp (ministering to youth groups on retreat).
I jokingly, but affectionately, have been known to say that at Word of Life, you get the Bible pumped through your veins for a year!
Who couldn’t benefit from that? I was thrilled our boy was leaning in that direction. No matter the cost or sacrifice to us, we believed by faith that our son would be in the perfect environment and posture for him to listen to God and discover the next step in the path He had in mind.
“No one, and I mean no one, is doing what Word of Life does.”
About half way through the year he called with a strong desire and future college major locked. Eventually, after two years at WOLBI, he would transfer to Clarks Summit University as a junior. No time lost. Less than half the cost.
More importantly, he fell in love with the Bible. What he learned transferred all that he was taught in our home and a childhood of Sunday School classes into a working Biblical worldview that laid the foundation for his adulthood.
In our current culture’s hostile environment toward anything Christian, may I gently encourage you that this understanding alone is the most important ‘skill’ a young man or woman can learn at the beginning of their academic or work career? In my humble opinion, there’s no price too high for what is gained in just one year at Word of Life.
“No matter the cost or sacrifice to us, we believed by faith that our son would be in the perfect environment and posture for him to listen to God and discover the next step in the path He had in mind.”
And that’s only one of the reasons! Looks like we are going to need another visit.