Moving for Bible College

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.

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