How has God used your training from BJU in your life and ministry?
When I was considering a school for my training preparation, an older preacher pointed out that a primary purpose for going to Bible college and seminary was to get the tools needed for ministry. He pointed out that a man can dig a ditch with a teaspoon or a with backhoe, and that a wise man who wants his life to count for God will choose the best tools to do the job. BJU provided me with the essential tools for preaching and teaching the Word of God, but also saw the importance of the necessary tools relating to ministry with people. I thank God for His grace in leading me to an institution that truly equips the servant of God for the work of the ministry.
Bob Jones University and seminary prepared me for pastoral ministry by giving me the multiple tools that I would need in ministry. But, more importantly, BJU concurrently set my heart aflame with the vision of the fields that were already white unto harvest. While fearful and oftentimes overwhelmed by ministry demands, my preparation at BJU equipped me for the demands that I have faced, and for that I am eternally grateful.
My ministerial training at BJU provided a thorough theological foundation and a biblical worldview that have shaped our work on the mission field. The emphasis on character development and one’s walk with the Lord have been so appreciated.
The training I received at BJU prepared me for ministry by building character and values. There is no way any training can prepare you for every disappointment or demand, but I do believe that the professors taught me HOW to study and WHAT was important. Church planting and small church ministry can be very demanding and at times discouraging. Tenacity is critical to staying the course. Most of the BJU graduates that I meet who are in ministry have demonstrated a discipline and dependability over many years. I believe that during my years of training at BJU I received a love for the Lord and His Word that sustains me in ministry today. My instructors showed a genuine interest in my understanding the material and doing my best. I have not been able to forget the lessons of “It is a sin to do less than your best” and “do right.” BJU campus, administrators, faculty, staff, stand all are very dear to me because I feel like they are a part of me.
I enrolled in BJU in 1968 to study cinematography. During my 6 years at the University, I received Christ as my Savior, met my wife (now of 35 years), and discovered that God's will for my life was full-time ministry. At BJ God seeded my heart with my personal responsibility to fulfill the Great Commission, my duty to do right no matter what consequences might result, and above all, the joy that can be mine in getting to know God. My three children have attended BJU and are now serving God. I have also had the privilege of visiting the campus almost every year of my 34 years of ministry. Though I can say that BJU has wonderfully influenced my life, I should more accurately admit that BJU is my life.
What do you observe in the quality of ministerial students and training at BJU today?
When I graduated from BJU, approximately 25% of my ministerial classmates went on for seminary training. Today that percentage is much higher, reflecting a growing demand for formal education for the ministry. While I am not convinced that the spiritual consecration of the individual is enhanced by furthering his education, certainly today’s graduate is better equipped to face the challenges of the ministry because of his committing himself to an advanced program of study.
I continue to recommend BJU and seminary for our ministerial students. The well-rounded liberal arts expierence in addition to the thorough ministerial training is a dynamic duo.
The great thing about those being trained for the ministry at BJU is that they have balance, solid theology, and zeal for the Lord. The majority of such young people are faithful and reliable, and I know the Lord will use many for His glory.
I have had the opportunity to observe men trained in other schools and at times have seen a lack of focus on what is important. The young men from BJU always seem to be sharp and centered. I have enjoyed on a couple of occasions speaking to ministerial students and seeing their zeal for Christ. One thing I will always appreciate about BJU is reverence for the Lord and His Word that I learned there. That sense of awe has carried over into my own philosophy of ministry. Schools that have a casual feel rarely produce men who have structure and desire for holiness. Over 25 years have passed since I graduated, but I still see the same values in young men graduating from BJU today.
I often work in church planting with men who have been trained at BJU. Though some may be young and inexperienced, I have found them to have an unusual balance . . . that is, a balance of a sober attitude toward accurate communication of God's Word and a love for souls and people. Apparently influenced by their teachers and chapel speakers, they evidence a willingness to serve and learn, but also a determination to obey God. BJU works hard to teach them to love, study, and communicate the Bible from the pulpit and in the marketplace. Through the teaching ministry of Godly men on campus and input from numerous experienced visiting speakers, BJU preacher boys are given all the tools they need to become men of balance.