Bible courses I have taken
With being a Sophomore, I have taken a total of two Bible courses prior to the two that I am currently enrolled in. Those were Biblical Interpretation and Spiritual Formation and Old Testament. I am currently in New Testament and Foundations of Christian Thought which are courses that I am really grateful to be enrolled in, because despite the fact they are required, these courses build the foundation of a typical Biola Bible minor education. Coming in as a Freshman, I began with Bib. Interp. taught by the one and the only, Dr. Harris. I got a lot out of that class and with it being my introductory Bible course for Biola, it was very informative in how it built the groundwork for what to expect in my other Bible courses. In that class, we had discussions on the Trinity, practices with fasting and meditation, and papers on breaking down scripture. In that class, my fellow First Gen Cohort was tasked with writing a Hermeneutics Paper on a Bible passage and felt a lot of great things came out of it, especially completing it at eight or so pages. Here is an excerpt from a reflection I did from that class:
“Going back through the first SIMS that I completed for this class of Biblical Interpretation and Spiritual Formation, I have really seen developmental growth in my biblical structure of writing. Looking back on SIM#2, It was a mere two pages and even though it contains some insight, the only part of the paper that stands out to me is the big idea sentence which most likely took me longer to craft than the entirety of the paper. I feel that my growth in biblical interpretation still has a long way to go but from looking at the SIMS I have completed, what the completed ones should look like now, and the ones I’m still currently working on, there wasn’t structure in my earlier ones. I have followed the template more intently now which is proper cause for why the newer SIMS took me a while to write and deconstruct the verses. Going through the previous MGRS as well, because they were typically in conjunction with the SIMS process; I have seen insightful growth in how I practice mediation and time with God from abiding with the prompts, ie. Thanksgiving, Hospitality, etc. Through that time spent I think God wanted to relate with me through his love and companionship. When the opportunity arises outside of school, I wish to express to others that it's okay to not completely understand what the Bible is saying all of the time. That's when we read in a context that's not “of this world,” we put on a new pair of lenses so that we may comprehend more closely. Sharing the good news comes from understanding and interpreting God's word correctly so others may be spiritually transformed by the wonders of His love.”
With Bib. Inerp. being a class that encourages such a positive learning environment, I learned that it is okay to not know everything and anything about the Bible, because as we grow in our faith, we will cover more ground but we have to be sure to be in the word daily. In my Old Testament class during the second semester, I had the privilege to look back on the creation story along with other elements of new beginnings found in Genesis. Old Testament for me and my fellow classmates were taught by the man, the myth, the legend, Professor Volkmer. My professor for this course made the class enjoyable despite having a three-hour class on a Friday with weekly quizzes that we had reading and notes for. When going in for a quiz, to be more optimistic, our professor would address the quizzes as “celebrations of learning.” These quizzes challenged me to be on top of my readings so that I didn’t miss anything on any of the questions. In this class, we broke down the story of creation piece by piece and it was no surprise that we spent pretty much the whole semester in Genesis alone. All in all, I really enjoyed that class because it reviewed a lot of what I have already learned through Bible stories taught in Sunday school but more developed and established coming from a lecture-style vs. just presented in songs.
The courses I am currently in
This semester, I am enrolled in three Bible Courses, the most I’ve taken in one semester but I am enjoying each one. I am currently in Foundations of Christian Thought taught by Thaddeus Williams, New Testament with Professor Petitifils, and my Missions Leader Course taught by Baba Adam. With having a packed schedule this semester it’s been somewhat difficult managing the course load from all three classes but I felt I have learned a lot so far. Learning the basis of Christian ideologies, understanding the importance of learning and assimilating into cultures different from our own to best share the gospel, and how much of the New Testament lays out how to live out the purpose Jesus has set out for us. With leading an upcoming missions trip to Ukraine, I am really excited for all that the Lord is going to teach me to best prepare for such an adventure. I was blessed to go on a missions trip this past summer to Athens, Greece and really experience a brand new culture with a brand new set of lenses to take back home with me. So now with God calling me to this role, I can see how much he’s teaching me through what I am learning in my other Bible courses. In the hecticness that is the rest of the semester, I don’t take for granted the immense privilege I have to be taking these Bible courses and to be attending Biola. I love learning more about the Bible and have learned to be more comfortable with praying and talking to God that it becomes an honest conversation vs. a scripted conversation; I owe that growth and development of my faith to my Bible courses, time with God, and in community because they have fortified what I have read and prayed about. I’m thankful to be where I am and I continue to pray for an open-mind when learning from my Bible professors to best teach me more about culture, the word, and how to love on others wholeheartedly and genuinely.
“Dear God, I pray that you relinquish any doubt I have in myself and my inability to be successful in these courses. I pray for motivation, energy, peace, and rest in this stressful time of the semester. In every season, your grace has been enough for me so I just pray for what you still have left for me to learn to best prepare for my upcoming missions trip. I know you don’t call the prepared, but prepared the called. Continue to sustain me and encourage my team to be open to whatever you will have us do. Thank you, God, for all that you are to us.”
I hope you guys felt inspired by this and I hope you have Thank you guys, see you around!