4 Reasons to Take a One-Year Certificate in Biblical Studies

Studying the Bible in-depth is one of the most essential things a Christ-follower can do with his or her life.

When Jesus calls his disciples to build their lives on a solid foundation, He worded it this way, "Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock." (Matthew 7:24-25 NIV)

Jesus gives us two options: to build our life either on sand (an empty ideology) or on Him (the rock). This passage is clear. We must build our lives on Jesus and both be hearers and doers of the Word of God.

Renegotiating Faith, an extensive study conducted on what makes mature and passionate followers of Jesus, revealed that the number one behaviour was reading the Bible on their own time. The Bible is vital to our walk with God, and we must learn to ground ourselves by studying it, reading it, and putting it into practice.

Although reading the Bible is essential in every season of life, has it ever crossed your mind to study it in-depth for an entire year?

Here are four reasons why doing a one-year Certificate in Biblical Studies at Briercrest College is worth it.

1. You get to study the Bible under some awesome people.

There is nothing like studying the Bible in-depth under incredible people who have studied the Bible for a long time. I like to think of our professors as Rabbis. Rabbi is just a Hebrew word for ‘teacher’—one who helped the Rabbis-in-training (students) grow in their understanding of God's word.

One of the best ways you can spend your first year out of high school is intentionally choosing to dive deeper into your faith by studying God's Word under some wise ‘Rabbis.’

Personally speaking, I have been deeply moved by what I have learned from our excellent Biblical Studies professors. The latest insight in the Bible that has blown my mind comes from Wes Olmstead through my Gospel of John class. In John 18, when Jesus is about to be taken captive before death, it reads:

"Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met   there with his disciples. So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons. Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, ‘Who is it you want?’ ‘Jesus of Nazareth,’ they replied. ‘I am he,’ Jesus said. When Jesus said, ‘I am he,’ they drew back and fell to the ground." (John 18:2-6 NIV)

At this moment, you may be wondering, what exactly is so special about this?

When Jesus said, "I am he," hundreds of soldiers fell flat on the ground simply from Jesus speaking.

Just think about how powerful that would have been to experience.

Here is my point, I likely wouldn't have encountered this passage if it wasn't for my ‘Rabbi,’ Wes Olmstead pointing this out in my class.

Spending a whole year studying the Word of God is such an amazing way to spend your first year out of high school. Especially when you can be discipled by wise leaders along the journey.

2. A biblical foundation at Briercrest is an investment in spiritual growth for life.

One of the first things I realized while doing my year of the Certificate of Biblical Studies is that I knew way less than I thought.

I am now in my fourth year (I ended up switching over to a BA in Christian Ministry), and I have realized that my first year was just a beginning of a lifetime of growing with the Word of God. And the more I learn, the more I see how relevant the Bible is for us today.

I believe that coming to Briercrest will set your foundation in God's Word, serving you for life.

3. Not only do you get amazing classes at Briercrest, but you also have an amazing experience.

From going to Chapel every day to a community where discipleship is highly valued, the experience you get at Briercrest is so valuable.

Choosing to study at Briercrest isn't just for academics but also for the experience. Briercrest is ranked #3 among the happiest students and #1 among the most involved students in all of Canada:

The 2018 aggregate report of Campus Rankings, National Survey of Student Engagement, and Briercrest’s 2018 Alumni Survey.

4. Your first year of doing the certificate in Biblical Studies transitions smoothly into ANY program at Briercrest.

Suppose you're done at the end of the year and have found a 4-year program of interest at Briercrest: Business, Psychology, English… more Bible & Theology! In that case, the news would be good. Everything you took in your first year can transition perfectly into any degree program offered at Briercrest.

The year you spent studying God's Word is also transferable to many other colleges and universities.

Even if you don’t transfer the courses, studying the Bible for a whole year is an opportunity to grow in your faith and build a solid foundation on God's Word.

I personally started my degree planning to spend only one year studying for a Certificate in Biblical Studies. Partway through, I found a call in life and expanded it to a BA in Christian Ministry. Looking back, the time I spent at Briercrest in my first year was amazing. I grew a lot in my faith by studying the Bible, and I feel so blessed by that. 

But what else was awesome was I easily transferred into my 4-year degree from my first-year certificate without retracing my steps.

Last words

The famous evangelist Billy Graham once wrote that he had three significant regrets. The first on his list? Not studying more.

A man looked up to by so many wishes he had studied more. Let that sink in. Graham stated further that he wanted to study the Bible more so he could become more like Jesus.

Doing one year of studying the Bible could be life-changing, and these four reasons barely scratch the surface of how fruitful a choice this could be.

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