Today is a “back-to-school” day for me. It marks the beginning of my second spring semester as adjunct online Bible faculty for Faith Baptist Bible College.
My class is the same one that I taught last year—New Testament survey—and it consists largely of high school students who are motivated to get a “jump start” on college, as well as others who are interested in taking the course as “lifelong learners.”
If last year is any indication, I cannot wait to get started on this new semester. Of course, I love my subject. Beyond that, the students are a joy to teach. They are of such a caliber as to energize me to do all that I can to provide a meaningful learning experience for them. I also love the method of teaching online. I was once a skeptic regarding this form of education, but my involvement in it has transformed me into an enthusiast. In fact, I am convinced that—at least in many cases—it can provide an educational experience that is superior to much of what has been offered in the traditional classroom.
Of course, there are trade-offs, and there are advantages to the traditional methods of teaching that are difficult—if not impossible—to replicate online. But there are also benefits to online education, including the use of some teaching and learning methods that would be difficult to reproduce in the classroom. For instance, students in my classes are required to interact with each other and share their own views to a far greater degree than has ever been done in any traditional class that I have attended. They leave the online class knowing far more about each other than most students would in the classroom setting.
When I receive messages, texts or emails from my online students almost literally at any time around the clock, I realize that they are working at their own paces, on their own schedules, around their own challenges, driven by their own motivations. Their continual involvement in the details of the course makes it feel almost as if the class is in session at all times.
Through God’s grace and providence, this class makes this academic year the 18th in which I have been involved in higher theological education as either a student or a teacher on some level. I greatly appreciate all the opportunities I have had both to learn and to serve, although I realize that they come at the price of making me highly accountable for all to which I have been exposed (cf. Luke 12:48).
Perhaps you are not interested in pursuing any more formal education, but all of us as Bible believers should strive to be “lifelong learners” in the realm of Biblical truth. Maybe you need to make a fresh “jump start” to get going in this process.
As dispensationalists, we treasure the words of 2 Timothy 2:15: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Certainly that verse gives us the motivation that we need to pursue our personal education in Scripture.
The beginning of this semester causes me to remember how the goodness of God has been poured out upon my life. It also prompts me to encourage all of us to remain engaged in the study of God’s Holy Word.
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Scripture taken from the New King James Version®.
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