Occasionally there will be something I read which pulls me out of my rut and makes me want to blog. This is one of those times… over at Cyberpunk and Blue Twin Tamie has recently blogged about her reflections of choosing to go to Ridley Bible College over BCSA
As many of you may know, hubby and I are going to be heading east next year to study full time at Ridley. Apart from my pride being a little hurt by Tamie’s post (as if she was thinking about me when she wrote it!), over the last few months we have also been asked by many people: ‘Why Ridley?’ and ‘Why move for bible college at all?’. So here are some of our reasons:
Courses offered Hubby is planning to do a Masters of Divinity to extend his Grad Dip Div. At the moment, and during a lot of our planning this was not offered at BCSA. While they are hoping to offer it in 2012 and beyond, Chris is keen to be doing this in a well established course with plenty of others around who are studying at the same level.
A bigger studying community Both hubby and I have studied at BCSA already and while we cannot criticize their teaching, we are keen to do our further study in bigger class sizes to hopefully enable a larger variety of discussion. It is particularly important for Chris’ learning style that he has more opportunities for vigorous class discussion, something he hasn’t been able to make the most of at BCSA, primarily due to the small class sizes. Ridley may not be perfect, but we are feel that it would suit us better to have more people around to challenge our thinking and have extensive debate with.
Closer to family While this was not the primary motivation of moving to Melbourne, we are really excited about being able to live in the same city as some of our family. I’m particularly looking forward to living near my grandparents, an opportunity which may not present itself again.
Ministry planning We are hoping to go into cross-cultural ministry in the future, but we are still unclear what that may look like. In moving to Melbourne we are excited about the opportunities to meet new people, get involved in some different ministries and explore various pathways for future work. While we could certainly do that in Adelaide, there is a sense that moving for a limited time will give us the chance to make a fresh start and open opportunities we might not have thought of here.
Moving states is not a big deal We both love Adelaide, we have a strong church family and many many close friends. We even own a house here. But we don’t have the family and heritage ties that many others have, having not grown up here and not having any biological family here. We know we are unlikely to settle down in Australia in the long term so we feel quite mobile. As a result it feels almost natural to move now, although we will miss all our friends and church family deeply. Also, having moved states before and having lived in the east (even in Melbourne) the cultural divide between Adelaide and Melbourne hopefully won’t be a barrier in our learning. The coffee won’t hurt either!
It’s the place God has put in our hearts Keeping all these things in mind, we are both really aware that God is the one sending us to Ridley. There have been many different options and considerations along the way. 5 years ago Chris probably would have had a heart attack if anyone had suggested he study at bible college with the aim of going into full time gospel ministry, and I could never quite work out where bible college would fit in with my life plan. But, the path God has been taking both of us make moving to Ridley the appropriate next step in serving Him.
So, we are both really comfortable with our decision to move to Melbourne for bible college. It will be hard in many ways but what change isn’t! Ultimately we are both aware that it is such a privilege to have the background, resources and time to be able to go to bible college and be sent by our Christian family into a lifetime of ministry. Our decision may not be what would work for everyone but it certainly seems best for us. So, God willing we will be packing up and moving over next year.