Online Bible College: Helping Pastors apply lessons learned

Online Bible College: Helping Pastors apply lessons learned


History of Seminaries

Online Bible College Helping Pastors apply lessons learned


In the past ministers would have to take time off to further their education. Seminaries were designed for pastors to take a leave of absence for several years to further their academic training in ministry whether several years to complete an on-Campus Masters of Divinity or weekend intensive classes. The vehicle of online learning has enabled ministry professionals to pursue higher education related to their field without taking time away from their ministry or family life. (Delanarter, Gravett, Ulrich, Nysse, & Polaski, 2011).

Online Bible College

Online Bible College

A recent article in Christianity today highlighted a pastor of a large church that was able to continue fulfilling his pastoral responsibilities while finishing his Bachelor’s degree online. The education could be applied immediately for example sermon prep and other practical skills learned through an online Bible school experience (Eastep, Holloway, Genring, and Quist 2015).

Christian Higher Education

Online Bible Colleges are the redeeming quality for Christian Higher Education. For Bible Colleges to succeed in the future they must be available and affordable. Online divinity, theology, and Christian leadership programs were designed to help people in involved in practical ministry anywhere in the world they are to be in conjunction with on the job experience they are gaining through their current careers and ministry activity (Glader, 2014).


Delamarter, S., Gravett, S. L., Ulrich, D. W., Nysse, R. W., & Polaski, S. H. (2011). Teaching Biblical Studies Online. Teaching Theology & Religion14(3), 256-283. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9647.2011.00719.x

Eastep, A. C., Holloway, A., Gering, R., & Quist, J. (2015). Pressing On Toward the Goal. Christianity Today59(4), 68.

Glader, P. (2014). The Unlikely Innovator. Christianity Today58(8), 60.


Online Bible College. How to Study the Bible Pt. II

Online Bible College. How to Study the Bible Pt. II

IMAGINE That I placed you in a part of the world you weren’t familiar with and told you: “Now do it!” There’s a chance you’d feel confused and helpless.
china_street Photo by: Alexander Synaptic, Flickr

If we’re honest  that’s how it can feel sometimes when we read the bible. Where are we? How did we get here? Where am I supposed to be going? And what am I even looking for? The scriptures can feel like a foreign landscape with an overwhelming amount of subtle and not so subtle nuances.


There’s at least 4 layers that affect how you read the text

1) YOU – the reader(and indirect audience) with your own worldviews, assumptions, presuppositions, predispositions mixed in with cultural, historical and ethnic background and upbringing

2) THEY – The immediate authors of the book(i.e. Moses, Prophets, Paul) with their own worldviews, backgrounds, etc.

3) THEM – The direct audience that the immediate author was trying to reach(i.e. The Nation of Israel, the Jews, the Gentiles, etc.)

4) GOD – the primary author, being God and what he intended to communicate from His heart and mind about His perfect will to an imperfect people.

Stop right there

unnamed That means in some cases the author(Paul for example) was writing to an intended audience(like the Corinthians) and each party had different ethnic backgrounds, cultural backgrounds, educational backgrounds,historical backgrounds, worldviews, and not to mention the purpose behind why Paul was writing to them in the first place..

  • Did the Corinthians warrant a letter from Paul?
  • How or Why does Paul know the Corinthians to write to them in the first place?
  • Was Paul writing the letter simply for the sake of keeping in touch?

I know, I know.

Just thinking about all of those unknowns sounds stressful, but finding these answerswill benefit us tremendously.

With authors we can’t relate too, speaking to an audience we aren’t kindred with, literary devices that are contextual to a culture we’re absolute strangers from, and historical context that we’d need research to understand, getting a grasp of what’s happening in any given book can be an intimidating task.

Needless to say, you’ll need a bit of help.

A good place to start is a study bible, a personal favorite of mine is the ESV study bible.It starts each book with a ‘book introduction’ that touches on:

  • Author
  • Date
  • Place of writing
  • Major themes of the book
  • How the book fits in with rest of scripture
  • Maps
  • Outlines of each narrative
  • Notes from commentaries

Having these handful of questions answered, we can often approach the Scripture with a deeper enjoyment due simply to the fact that we have a better understanding.


Online Bible College: Creating quality in advertising by marketing to the target audience

Online Bible College Courses Taught by Experienced Professionals

Online Bible College Courses Taught by Experienced Professionals

Online Bible College Courses Taught by Experienced Professionals


Advantages to Online College

The advantages to online learning allow students to attend college while still engaging in everyday life. Online college enables students to accommodate their found that online students are more likely to participate intellectually in their courses, participate in a broader world view about different cultures, have better discussions within their major, and gain use better learning practices in their learning experience compared to the classic on-campus experience. The advantages of online college apply to online Bible Colleges as much as it does to any other college. pastors, teachers, or people have other functions within the church are able to benefit from practicing what they are learning in the online classroom from wherever they live.

 Online Professors

A critical component to the online college experience is the online professor. An article in The Huffington Post discusses the importance of using instructors that are able to teach in the online learning environment. Similar to how not all students are not the best for online colleges; the same is true for professors. Pastors, church staff members, chaplains, and other professors with similar experiences teach the majority of the classes taught at Grace College of Divinity. This helps the online classes to have a more pracademic (practical and academic) than academic emphasis. These classes were built to help students practically implement what they are learning into their everyday lives.


Online Bible College on How to Study the Bible


Online Bible College on How to Study the Bible

How to: Study the Bible Part I




Lets start with the elephant in the room: “I don’t WANT to read my bible”




Personal Confession:

It wasn’t until the last year or so that I actually developed a desire to read the bible – and even still it’s a discipline. But even after having walked with God for 4-5 years, I felt this undeniable magnetic pull away from reading, it felt like a chore. At a certain point I told God:

I know I should read your Word but I don’t want too…help me, give me the desire”.

It wasn’t until multiple prayer deposits later that I began to develop an affection and craving for the Scripture. Even still it’s something I have to hold myself responsible for. However after making myself carve time in my schedule for it and praying that God would change my heart to be affectionate for his Word – like a muscle that was being exercised I began to notice a change in my appetite for wanting to read God’s Word and a satisfaction in spending time there.


  If that statement resonates with you, don’t lose heart!






Here are some videos on Bible Study that encouraged me personally, enjoy!


God Wrote a Book

Don’t Ignore Your Bible

 The Bible is Not a Map for Life

 Read Your Bible Cover to Cover

 Should you force yourself to read the Bible?

 The Importance of God’s Word


Reach Out Celebration 2014

<h2>Reach Out Celebration 2014</h2>

Grace College of Divinity was a highlighted ministry partner during Manna Church’s 2014 Reach Out Celebration. This video highlights GCD’s involvement in training Brazilian leaders for church planting.

Bachelor of Divinity Degree

<h2>Bachelor of Divinity Degree</h2>
The Bachelor of Divinity program is a four-year course of study suited to the student who desires extensive training for the purpose of leadership in the local church. The program consists of 96 credit hours of required courses and 24 credit hours of elective study, relevant to leadership and educational ministries. Courses have been aligned in three specific disciplines: Biblical Studies, Theology, an Practical Ministry. In addition in the 120 hours of academic studies, student are required to complete a practicum in their fourth year of study and fulfill the Leadership in Action requirement.
<h3>Program Objectives</h3>
This program will:
<li>Confront the student with the Word of God proclaiming humanity’s alienation from God and God’s work of redemption in Christ (Bible) and to explore ramifications of this Gospel for the student’s personal life and the work of the Church in the world (theology);</li>
<li>Equip the student with the tools to communicate clearly and effectively;</li>
<li>Bring about the student’s increased understanding of the world in which one lives, including history and philosophy;</li>
<li>Give the student a sense of preparedness by providing practical ministry experience.</li>
<h3 style=”padding-left: 30px;”>First Year Program</h3>
<p style=”padding-left: 30px;”>BIB 101  Old Testament Survey                   3hrs
BIB 103  New Testament Survey                 3hrs
BIB 104  Hermeneutics                                  3hrs
CLG 101 Destiny &amp; Calling                           3hrs
HST 101 Church History I                             3hrs
THE 101 Intro to Theology                            3hrs
ENG 101 Effective Communication             3hrs
ENG 102 Writing and Research                   3hrs
PHL 101 Philosophy &amp; Worldview               3hrs</p>
<p style=”padding-left: 30px;”>Elective</p>
<p style=”padding-left: 30px;”><strong>Total Credit Hours:</strong>                                       30hrs</p>

<h3 style=”padding-left: 30px;”>Second Year Program</h3>
<p style=”padding-left: 30px;”>THE 201  Systematic Theology I                   3hrs                      <em>(prerequisite: THE 101)</em>
THE 202 Systematic Theology II                   3hrs      <em>(prerequisite: THE 101 &amp; THE 201)</em>
CLG 201 Spiritual Formation                        3hrs
CLG 211 Church Life                                     3hrs
CNS 201 Counseling I                                   3hrs
BIB  201 Writings of John                              3hrs
HST 201 Church History II                             3hrs
MTH 211 Math                                                  3hrs
MIS 201 World Missions                                3hrs</p>
<p style=”padding-left: 30px;”>Elective</p>
<p style=”padding-left: 30px;”><strong>Total Credit Hours:</strong>                                        30hrs</p>

<h3 style=”padding-left: 30px;”>Third Year Program</h3>
<p style=”padding-left: 30px;”>MIS 301 Cultural Anthropology                      3hrs
GRK 301 Greek I                                              3hrs
BIB 301  Synoptic Gospels                            3hrs
BIB 303 Book of Romans                               3hrs
MIS 308 Communicating the
Relevance of God’s Story                                3hrs
HST 301 History of Music                               3hrs
SCI   301 Creation Science                            3hrs
THE 301 Kingdom of God                              3hrs                           <em>(co-requisite: THE 101)</em></p>
<p style=”padding-left: 30px;”>Elective                                                               3hrs
Elective                                                               3hrs</p>
<p style=”padding-left: 30px;”><strong>Total Credit Hours:</strong>                                          30hrs</p>

<h3 style=”padding-left: 30px;”>Fourth Year Program</h3>
<p style=”padding-left: 30px;”>BIB 401  Book of Mark                                       3hrs               <em>(prerequisite: GRK 301)</em>
CNS 402  Marriage and Family in Society     3hrs
CLG 401  Pastoral Ministries                           3hrs
CLG 410 Homiletics                                           3hrs
CLG 480 Church Growth                                   3hrs
ENG 495 Senior Seminar                                 3hrs
Elective                                                                 3hrs
Elective                                                                 3hrs
Elective                                                                 3hrs
<p style=”padding-left: 30px;”><strong>Total Credit Hours:</strong>                                            30hrs</p>

<h3>Graduation Requirements</h3>
For the Bachelor of Divinity degree program, a total of 120 credit hours plus four approved Christian Service projects, total. (1 per semester, no more than four total projects) of Leadership in Action are required for graduation.


Reach Out Celebration 2014

Reach Out Celebration 2014

Grace College of Divinity was a highlighted ministry partner during Manna Church’s 2014 Reach Out Celebration. This video highlights GCD’s involvement in training Brazilian leaders for church planting.

TheExperience Internship

TheExperience Internship

“theExperience” is a one-year college internship with GenIgnite Student Ministries. A collaborative effort between Manna Church and Grace College of Divinity covering two semesters. theExperience consists of 30 accredited college credit hours, a full-time internship, weekly mentoring with Manna Church Senior Pastor and mPact Churches President Michael Fletcher, and other top ministry leaders, an international mission trip, conferences, regional networking and more. theExperience serves to lay a firm foundation of Character, Faith, and Leadership that empowers you to thrive rather than just survive in life.