Would you recommend that a mn w/ a wife and 3 kids go to Bible College?

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Paul1611, Aug 24, 2005.

  1. Paul1611

    Paul1611
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    I am a 24yr old man with a wife and 3 kids. I have been saved for 3 yrs now and have felt God's call on my life to preach for about 2.5 years. I am confused about Bible college. Should a man with a family quit his place of employment, root up his family and go off to Bible School? I have many brothers in Christ who say that Bible School is great and highly recommend it. And I have other brothers who are against any kind of Bible training other than that of sitting under the Pastor. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks.
     
  2. PastorSBC1303

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    Yes get training.
     
  3. Convicted by the Spirit

    Convicted by the Spirit
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    Paul,

    Can I add just a side note. by all means go to bible college and get trained. Even Seminary if you feel called that far. but please keep in mind that your wife and child are your first priority over your ministry. I used to sit under a pastor who had 4 kids and his salary at our small church was very minimal. His wife could not work because she had to take care of the kids ... but when he went to college she was forced to work because he needed to spend the time in school. I have not spoken to this gentleman in a while but last I told he was stressed out to the point that he had a minor heart attack because was pastoring a church full time, going to school full time and trying his best to raise 4 kids as best as he could. He had trouble balancing the 3 things all at once.

    Just sitting under a Pastor can be limited but that depends on the Pastor you are sitting under. Bible school can be very rewarding depending on how you apply yourself.

    Couple of questions for you to ask yourself.

    Can you or your wife support the family while you are in school?
    There are a lot of good scholarships out there to help people like yourself ... how are you planning on paying for school?

    Just curious what schools are you currently looking into?
     
  4. PatsFan

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    I think Bible College is a good idea, as well. You might consider some distance learning alternatives if you want to avoid uprooting your family. Couple that with some training from a solid pastor and you'll be well-prepared for ministry. Luther Rice has a good program:
    www.lrs.edu
     
  5. Convicted by the Spirit

    Convicted by the Spirit
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    I agree with Patsfan ... Luther Rice has a great program. Charles Stanley went there.
     
  6. preachinjesus

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    first off, God be with you and may His grace be evident in your ministry.

    now I believe that plenty of people can go to Bible College with a family. I have plenty of friends who have done this and their ministries afterward are wonderful. Couple things you need to answer for yourself first are:

    1. Do you already have a degree (undergraduate) and what is it in?

    This is important because if you have an undergrad degree already from an accreditted institution there is now real reason to go back to college to get another degree. You've already invested 120 hours (or so) in getting an undergrad no need to do that again.

    I would suggest going to seminary if you already have an undergrad degree. Pursue your MDiv (with languages) and be blessed.

    2. Are you called to go to Bible College or Seminary?

    Personally I believe that even if people go to Bible College and get a religion degree (like I have done) they should also consider going to seminary and getting an MDiv. Most seminaries offer advance standing in their MDivs for those who have already gotten a religion undergrad degree and that defers some courses (particularly in the language areas.)

    If you aren't called to go to seminary that's fine. Get your B.A./B.S. in Biblical Studies and have a fruitful ministry.

    3. Is accreditation an issue for you?

    I know around here some people object to accreditation standards for some seminaries/Bible Colleges. Its an issue that is important. Some Bible Colleges are simply not accreditted and that means many graduate institutions (i.e. seminaries) won't accept degrees from them. This will limit your options if you feel called to go to seminary.

    just a couple of questions to think over. I agree with the wise posters above that your family comes first. Never neglect them, never neglect your calling. In that order. Many blessings to you!
     
  7. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson
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    Here are two "family" friendly schools,
    Maranatha Baptist Bible College and Seminary, Watertown, Wisc.
    International Baptist College, Tempe Az.
    Both are accredited schools.
     
  8. Convicted by the Spirit

    Convicted by the Spirit
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    Squire,

    I notice that you post those colleges alot when someone askes of a good bible college. What makes those 2 schools great schools?
     
  9. Pronto

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    Considering your profile and your name, there should be plenty of IFB type "colleges" around that you could attend right there in Florida. Distance education should be a real consideration for you in my opinion.

    What type of job do you have, a good one, making good money? Could you get a similiar job making similiar money if you went off to college?

    Lots of ways to get an education
     
  10. Johnv

    Johnv
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    The first obligation of a husband and father is to his family.

    I think that you may do so only if you have your wife's full agreement and support, and only if your doing so does not compromise your first obligation.
     
  11. StefanM

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    Distance education would be an excellent option for you. That way, you could keep your job and continue to provide for your family while getting instruction for the ministry.

    Distance education has advanced significantly over the past few years, so the time is ripe!
     
  12. Squire Robertsson

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    Because I am a graduate of MBBC and a have a good working knowledge of and relationship to IBC. I don't want to desparage other schools. But these two are the ones I know best. Further,(in no particular order):</font>
    • I am a Westerner, so I am not all that familiar with schools back East.</font>
    • I am a Regular Baptist (of the Northern Persuasion). In other words, my spiritual DNA runs through the NBC not the SBC. Me and Mine separated from what became the SBC in the 1830s when the Triennial Convention broke up. So, I have very little knowledge of SBC schools.</font>
    I hope these answer you question.
     
  13. UZThD

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    ===


    I agree with Stefan. Consider a school which offers distance learning. Hopefully it will either be accredited or will have substance and rigor equal to that. There are many fine DL schools which offer BAs or even MAs in ministry wholly by DL. There are also many DL shams which are substandard , so choose wisely and avoid these.

    Then co incidental to that find a church environ with a capable pastor that will let you serve as SS teacher, do visitation and/or occasional preaching.


    One CAN both work AND attend classes if it is required. I for eight or nine years both taught school and studied in seminary / univ.

    God's best to you.

    Bill
     
  14. superdave

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    These two are not or should not be mutually exclusive, you should do both!

    I second Squire's rec. for Maranatha. I attended there, and knew many many folks who did exactly what you were considering.
    Many of them older than you with larger families, and they recieved not only a great Bible and secular education, but were involved in local church ministries where they had the opportunity to develop their training and gifts into real ministry experiences. Several of these men made real spiritual impact on my life as I was growing up in a church near MBBC with many of these students families in our church. Most of them are now in full time vocational ministry.

    There is a strong community of married student families as well for support and encouragement, and there are many different job opportunites in the immediate and regional area depending on what job skills or training you have, there is probably something that would work for you, and allow you to attend school.

    I finished my senior year (year#5) as a married student, working full time on 2nd shift, and my wife was a student teacher in the small town outside watertown where we lived.
     
  15. Martin

    Martin
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    I agree with those who recommend Distance Learning. You can earn an entire MA or MDiv online/distance from Liberty University. www.lbts.edu

    Liberty is fully accredited by TRACS and SACS.

    Martin.
     
  16. gopchad

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    Try the Spurgeon School of online studies at Piedmont Baptist College. Piedmont is TRACS accredited, and would fit your need of not uprooting your family. If you have a secular undergrad degree, you can complete a Master of Biblical Studies in 52 hours. By all means, get training.

    Chad Fletcher
     
  17. TexasSky

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    If the Lord calls, answer.
     
  18. FundamentalDan

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    Brother,

    Here is my $0.02 for what it is worth. I believe that everyone should either go to Bible college or have some type of intense training for the ministry ahead. The people that God will call you to pastor deserve a pastor who studies and listens. You also probably need to have some preparation time for you and your family before launching out into full-time ministry. I also believe that Bible college is a time of spiritual maturation, which you probably desperately need if you have only been saved 3 years. Consult with your pastor and seek his advice. If you are looking for an accredited school, I personally am not familiar with too many IFB schools that are accredited. However, I would recommend two schools that are unaccredited.

    Heartland Baptist Bible College http://www.heartlandbaptist.edu

    and

    Crown College http://www.go4thecrown.com

    May God bless you.
     
  19. Brother Ian

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    You must consider distance learning.

    You didn't give a lot of background as to your specifics. Here are some questions.

    How will you pay for school? How will you pay to support your family. How will you pay to move to a school? What are your long term goals? Why do you want an education? Do you want a degree or an education? Many pastors have no formal education.

    As I posted in a different thread, I personally think distance learning is really the only way for an adult with a family to get an education. You can work at your own pace and keep the job you have while staying in the same house. You don't uproot the wife and kids, etc. As a career Navy man, there is tremendous value in establishing roots.

    All my education (except my A.S.) have been through distance learning. I currently attend Andersonville Theological Seminary working on my D.Min.
     
  20. Broadus

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    I would also encourage you to do distance learning, with my suggestions being either Luther Rice or Liberty University.

    I have seen more guys than I wish to remember who sacrificed their families to uproot and attend college/seminary on campus. Now, if you have some money laid aside to supplement a part-time job while attending on campus, then do it. That's what my family and I did when I went back to seminary. We sold our house, had some equity, and I pastored a bi-vocational church and the equity supplemented my income for a couple of years until I went part-time at the seminary plus the bi-vocational ministry (plus PhD) studies. My wife did not work outside the home---she homeschooled our three daughters. My family didn't have much of the extras, but they always had what they needed.

    So, assess your situation, but don't sacrifice your family's well-being. Anyone who says that your family is called to poverty so you can receive training doesn't understand how to discern the will of God. With distance learning options available, you can still well take care of those dependent upon you.

    If it is the will of God for you to study on campus, He will clearly show you and provide your needs.

    Blessings,
    Bill
     

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