Study Tips, Pt 2

photograph and post by Rachel Choi

We know studying isn’t always easy or enjoyable, but we aim to help you minimize that! This post will address our top curated tips on studying for tests and exams. If you missed part one on good study habits and tips for writing papers/discussion posts, be sure to check it out here.

Studying For Tests & Exams  

Teacher Knows Best

Professors emphasize what they think is most important… The most valuable things to commit to MEMORY are the things emphasized in class. Sometimes you feel overwhelmed by all the things you could study, but your teachers already told you what was important. Go there.

Make Your Own Study Guide

Cross reference your study guide with other people for accuracy, but making your own study guide is pivotal to retaining information. A large part of the learning comes from doing the work yourself.

Write Notes By HAND!

This cannot be emphasized enough. Yes, computers and phones are nifty and save us a world of time and trouble, but nothing beats writing out study guides and notes in your own hand. Trust all those who have gone before you: you will remember better this way.

Enjoy Study Time

Trick your brain into enjoying study time by incorporating things you like. Try eating your favorite snack, going to a nice coffee shop, or listening to your favorite music. Then give yourself a small break every hour.

Freebie: everyone has their own taste in music, but research shows that classical/instrumental music provide the optimum level of concentration and energy for your brain.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask

Don’t be afraid to ask professors questions in order to clarify assignments. They want you to succeed! There’s nothing wrong with making sure that you are studying the right information.

Work The System

If you have an open-book, at-home test, invest in a digital copy of the book. Use the search tool to look up keywords and terms. This really comes in handy, even when writing papers!

Exercise!

At least 20 minutes of cardio/day during finals releases endorphins and makes you less cranky and more productive. This is also great if you’re falling asleep.. Wake yourself up with a quick round of jumping jacks!

Use Mnemonic Devices

Acrostics and acronyms are a great way to remember lists of information. For example: TULIP, Every Good Boy Does Fine, Good Boys Do Fine Always, etc.

We hope these tips have been helpful!

Thanks for reading this list of study tips. We hope they help make your study time effective as well as fun. But make sure you remember that these tips aren’t the secret potion to good productivity; how much you get out of studying is largely based on how much you put in. Don’t overcomplicate it. As Amelia Earheart says, “The most effective way to do it, is to do it.”

Study Tips, Pt 1

photograph and post by Rachel Choi

Studying — like anything else — might not always seem fun. Studying takes grit and perseverance, and it has to be done whether we feel like it or not. After interviewing students, professors, church leaders/pastors, and educational researchers, here are some of the top study tips that will make your studying both more effective and fun!

Study Habits

PLAN Time To Study

If you don’t make studying a priority and actually plan time to do it, it won’t happen! Dr. Elmore addresses this in his principle “Big Rocks First”; there are always a million other things you could be doing, so be sure to prioritize what’s most important and then build your schedule accordingly.

Focus Where It Matters

If you can get an A in one class even if you get a C on the final, then focus on another class.

This might make you cringe, but remember that doing your best often involves prioritizing where you invest your time. Look at your assignments objectively to see what needs the most attention and prioritize accordingly.

Eat, Sleep & Pray

  • Eat an apple or banana. They provide the healthy sugar your brain needs to function at its best.
  • Sleep on it. Besides the obvious benefits of a good night’s sleep, research shows that when you sleep, you “turn off” your conscious brain and allow your subconscious to connect information in new ways.
  • Pray and relax your soul. Seriously, ask God to help you study productively, remember important information, and test well!

Work First, Play Later

When Thanksgiving or Spring Break comes around, it’s easier to push through one or two extra days of homework first and then take the rest of the week off. It’s much harder the other way around.

Writing Papers & Posts

Teach Someone

Teaching someone is proven to be linked to how well an individual retains information. Especially if you’re an external processor, talking with someone about your thesis statement will help you process what you want to say, and then writing it down will be that much easier. Afterwards, be sure to change the vocabulary/style to be academically appropriate.

Outline Your Paper

When reading and researching, keep your paper and discussion post in mind and type up any quotes/notes you might want to use. Go ahead and include the author and page number; this way, when you go to write your paper, a lot of it is already written!

Get A Second Set Of Eyes

When writing your final paper, get a second set of eyes. No matter how good you are, you may have missed a comma splice, misspelling, horrible sentence, or even the paragraph that doesn’t have a link to your thesis statement. Get someone to help you.

P.S. When editing for grammar and spelling, read your paper in reverse. Reading backwards messes up the flow of your paper and helps you catch more errors — it’s what the pros do.

Stay tuned for Part 2: Tips on studying for tests and exams!  

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving for Leadership

Today we are in need of leaders who can think critically and effectively solve problems. This may seem elementary, but in reality it’s hard to find. According to Garrette, Sibony, and Phelps at Forbes, “Organizations need effective problem solvers, but they’re telling us our business schools and universities are failing to meet this need. Such training is critical because, for most of us, problem solving doesn’t come naturally.” We, at GCD, have decided we want to actively attack this subject-matter by training our students, today’s leaders, to think critically and actively solve problems!

How do we do this? One, by integrating these topics within our current classes; two, by having instructors that are skilled in these areas; three, and newly added, have a class that specifically addresses this need. We are offering a NEW class in fall of 2018>> Critical Thinking and Problem Solving for Leadership. This course emphasizes the development of skills to include creative thinking, problem solving, decision making, strategy formation, and effective analysis for effective leadership in both the marketplace and social sectors. Students will also learn to evaluate their own ideas and to develop skill in communicating their points of view effectively.

This course will be taught by Marcia Johnson and will be offered both live, on-campus at our main campus, and online. Mrs. Johnson has over twenty years of experience in the development and implementation of employee training programs, designed to help both the individual employee and the overall organization be successful at meeting the many demands on their time and energy, through becoming better, more efficient leaders, supervisors, and individual contributors.

It is time for us as leaders to be effective problem solvers, and this may mean to change our thinking. Albert Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Come and join other emerging leaders as we discover new viewpoints and learn how to develop these skills to maximize our influence with others!

To register for Critical Thinking and Problem Solving for Leadership click HERE.

Or if you are not a student at GCD but would like to take this course, click HERE to start an application.

Author: Stefanie Ertel

GCD Student Spotlight – Christina Reed

Mom, Hair Designer, Student

 

What do you do all day? This is a question that makes many people cringe when they hear,  because we all feel busy in our everyday lives, but can’t always recall exactly what they did all day. I know that I felt absolutely overwhelmed with the things going on in my life and wondered how people could ever add the task of school to their lives when they already worked numerous hours a week and were raising two kids, like in my case. Yet the tug at my heart would not cease the gentle but constant tug to enroll at GCD. “Me, God? Are you sure you weren’t talking to the person next to me and I just overheard?” This was a question I kicked around for a while before enrolling here at GCD. I am a hair designer and have been for 19 years. This job suits my ADD quite well and my need for instant gratification from something that doesn’t lose my attention easily. I was sure I couldn’t focus long enough to make it through a class and actually pass it. I talked myself out of enrolling for some time. I had all kinds of excuses but the biggest one was that I did not have enough time. Time is something we all get the same amount of and choose to use in the way we decide is most important.

 

I finally quit ignoring the gentle, consistent tug at my heart to enroll at GCD and took the plunge. Thank God there was an amazing person that answered the other end of the phone and literally walked me through every aspect of the process; I’m sure she was tired of seeing my number pop up on the caller ID but she always answered the phone with grace and guidance. I was ready to quit the first week of school and another student there talked me out of it, how grateful I am now for these two people that helped usher me into a new era. I now have a much more positive outlook on my journey and have earned high marks so far in all my courses here at GCD. Every single day I am proving myself wrong; there is no place for the previous negativity that once controlled my thoughts.
I am still a hair designer and raising two beautiful kiddos and have somehow found time to add in school and still go the park with my sweet babies and not miss out on the life God had planned for me. God has a plan that involves me trusting Him and letting Him manage my time. So, what do I do all day? I am walking out God’s plan for me, one step at a time.

Grace College of Divinity was named one of the top colleges for Online Bachelor’s degree in ministry

Grace College of Divinity was named one of the best colleges for online ministry degrees by bestcolleges.com.   Bestcolleges.com examined multiple colleges with Online Bible College programs and ranked them nation-wide.  The rankings were based on courses offered, student outcomes, and other institutional metrics. Grace College of Divinity’s Bachelor of Divinity degree was ranked as the second best online Bachelor’s in Ministry in the country!

GCD From A Student’s Perspective

Grace College of Divinity is a unique Bible College that puts emphasis on preparing emerging leaders to change the world. GCD accomplishes this through dedicated staff and professors who work to change students lives.

I interviewed several students so that future students can have an understanding of GCD from a personal perspective that is relevant to them. The students’ answers are honest to each individual and help gain insight to the heart of GCD.

 

  1. What are the classes like?

The classes are engaging and the professors encourage questions. It is always cool to learn about God and the classes help with the practicality of it.” – Patrice Parkinson, Senior

The classes are great because they help prepare you for ministry in life. Destiny and Calling really helped me to think about the future. It also helped me to understand ministry doesn’t always mean working for a church.” – Zach Barefoot, Freshman

 

  1. What are the professors like?

The professors are very open and personal. They encourage questions and seem down to earth.” – Jeff Deitz, Freshman

The professors are interested in our lives and really want to help us learn.” – Daniel Colby, Senior

 

  1. What is your favorite part of GCD?

My favorite part is how close knit and family-like the students and classes are.” – Alexander Wilson, Sophomore 

I like that it isn’t a traditional setting and that the people care about other’s views and opinions.” -Jeff Deitz, Freshman 

  1. What is the environment like at GCD?

The environment is very positive and welcoming. The staff and faculty want people to succeed.” -Alainya Pierce, Sophomore

It is very warm and friendly, it’s like another home for me.” -Zach Barefoot, Freshman

  1. How has GCD helped you?

GCD has helped me to succeed in college and gain a better understanding of my weaknesses and strengths.” -Alexander J. Gael, Freshman

I have been better equipped for ministry and life. I have learned communication skills and how to teach myself and others.” -Daniel Colby, Senior


Grace College of Divinity has a passion for emerging leaders. GCD develops students to go out and become world changers. The open and inviting atmosphere of GCD is reflected in all that it does. Grace College of Divinity is a striving force in Biblical Education and continues to support its students and empowers them to succeed.

GCD School of Leadership

 

GCD School of Leadership


This school consists of the Certificate in Church Leadership, Certificate in Christian Leadership, and the Associates, Bachelors, and Masters of Christian Leadership. This school focuses on equipping students who are interested in leadership in any context, whether that be in the church, non-profit organizations, or wherever the student feels called to lead. The courses for this school are aligned in four specific disciplines: Biblical and Organizational Leadership, Biblical Studies, Theology, and Practical Ministry. Students interested in this specific school will be required to complete 30-120 credit hours depending on their program and they will be required to fulfill GCD’s Christian Service requirement. Some of the Bible and theology courses in the undergraduate School of Leadership include Introduction to Theology, Hermeneutics and Old and New Testament Survey, but also this school includes more specific classes on leadership such as Collaborative Teams and Innovation, Social Entrepreneurship, Ethics, Mentoring and Coaching, and Introduction to Organizational Leadership.

 

Student Experience: Rossana Allup

Bible College Stuednt

“Leadership is a complex and passionate process that involves the influence of a leader on a group to achieve a common goal. The leader has to employ his time in working for a present that builds the future. This level of understanding requires the ability to look beyond the horizon and to consider the skills, tools and changes that are required to reach that vision of the future. There are not a specific set of traits and abilities to be a leader, these varies depending on the circumstances. Leadership is a process that is getting more importance with the time. In my opinion, all the changes that are having place in the world are demanding leaders with character and emotional intelligence.”

      “Also, I am passionate about the issue of emotional intelligence. I remember several occasions when I thought how useful it would be if a certain leader realized the power of doing things with the rest of the group, leaving behind his ego and personal interests. At the time, I did not have the knowledge of the ‘right way’ of doing things, but I thought there had to be another way of leading a team. The world would be quite different with spiritually mature leaders. I feel fortunate to have the opportunity of being in GCD Master Program because it is giving me the tools and the knowledge to go further and to become a better individual and an effective leader who works and acts in a way that honors God.”

 

Church Growth Course

 

Church Growth Course

Grace-college-of-divinity-online-bible-college-church-growth-class

 

     Grace College of Divinity offers a unique course centered around the principles of church growth. It is from a sociological, psychological, and theological point of view. The course is designed to cover elements behind church growth.

     In the class they look at 2-3 models of churches at a systemic level to discover what they have in common. The class looks at successful churches and links the key differences to see how to best impact change in a community.

     The class looks to the early church in the Bible and asks the questions “What makes a movement?” “What would happen to the community if the church disappeared?” The class also recognizes that it is Jesus who grows the church but reaches beyond to see how the church can impact a community.

     Some of the required reading material include Viral Churches by Ed Stezer and Warren Bird and Exponential by Dave Ferguson and Jon Ferguson. The assignments are made relatable to everyone. The class is not designed to only appeal to those who are called to plant a church. The class is for anyone who has a heart for understanding their part in the local church or how the church can obtain optimal healthy growth.

     The early church made a movement that spread the word of God all around the world. That movement has not finished. This class helps individuals find their place in the movement. God fills the seats but our role extends beyond just that.

GCD Alumni Student Experience

 

GCD Alumni Student Experience

The Expereience Student Ministry Internship

During my time in the Experience internship with GCD, most of my classes took place in class rather than online. I remember having a hard time becoming acclimated to the online courses because they were structured differently. After the internship, I moved back home to Roanoke Rapids, NC and continued my education completely online. Immediately, I ran into an issue – I was unable to find all my required courses in online form. Because of the issue, I had to call GCD to find out if any of my electives could substitute for a required class. Luckily, a couple of my previous classes substituted for prerequisites.

Year 1! So on the top left of the picture, you will see some of my friends I grew up with. These guys were my life, and still are. But after a series of God moments and a lot of tears, the Lord directed and CONVINCED me to do theExperience internship with GCD. I didn’t want to do it, but I’m glad I did. After a series of events, God broke my will, and I quickly fell in love with the people and ministry at GCD and Manna. The people in the second photo are the interns I now call my lifelong friends. They mean so much to me. God took us to Costa Rica (bottom left picture) and showed us what he was doing over seas and brought us together as a team. Then after a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and coffee, we made it through our first year of the internship and we were radically changed people. When I look back on this year, I clearly see that this year was a time of building foundations! God took everything I had built my life upon beforehand and completely shattered it. Then He built a new foundation in me and taught me that you can only grow as tall as you are deep. These words end up being the basis of all to come in the future, because little did I know of the terrors that lay ahead of me in the next year of my life! More on that in the next post! To be continued…! @captainseaturtle #internship #theexperience #changed #neverthesame #ministry #friends #coffee

A photo posted by Grace College Of Divinity (@gcdivinity) on

 

Year 2! So this was the year I dread and love them most. After wrestling once again with God, He convinced me to do the second year internship, which means more responsibility, school, people, and gallons of coffee. The years set up was pretty much the same as before, but the challenges were different. You know the story when Jacob and God wrestled? Do you remember how God touched Jacobs leg and it came out of socket? Well during this time, I was wrestling with God, and He touched me in a sensitive spot. He touched my identity which left me completely and utterly a wreck! I had no idea who I was anymore and I could hardly make it through the days. But I learnt so many things that year, and it became by far the most important year of my life thus far. So here are a few tid bits I learnt. The first lesson is that no matter how lost you are, you are always a child of God first, and the rest second. The second lesson is that where you have been and who people say you are does not define you, God defines you. The third lesson is that you can either let brokenness control you, or let brokenness humble you so God can lift you up through His power and Grace instead of opposing you. Matthew 23:12. The last lesson is that even if you are as lost as an Easter egg, and your identity is unsure, the Lord our God who knitted you and fashioned all your parts together knows who you are exactly. And that, my friends, is a solid rock you can rest on. You don’t always have to know the answers. But you do have to rest in Gods truths. And in that place God will reveal who you are. #theexperience #internship #year2 #important #jesussaves #redeems #heknowsyou #helovesyou #restinhim #pureunabridgedmajesty

A photo posted by Grace College Of Divinity (@gcdivinity) on

 Online Bible College

I cannot say that doing four to five classes online every semester has been good for my health, especially early on. The process is very stressful and time consuming. However, after two semesters, I got the hang of online study and was able to reduce my study time by a couple hours. Because of the similar course patterns in almost ever class, I began to find a rhythm, and work became easier as I became a better student. My grades have been better through online classes, and that is important to me. I believe the online courses have forced me to study and pay attention more to detail as opposed to being in class with people. I realized that I do not retain information being spoken to me as well as information read and written about.

 

Year 3! So, after I graduated the internship the Lord opened the door for me to move back home and take over as the youth coordinator. So I did, and I continued to work on my bachelors degree online. But I'll tell you what, online school is hard!! I've spent more hours reading and writing in one year than I did in two years in campus! Sometime I just want to jump off a cliff, but I refrain 😬. But in the end, all the hard work is worth it! I have fallen in love with the youth in the Church and they make my life awesome! I pretty much have the coolest job in the world. I get payed to have fun and teach kids, plus the occasional road trip! But the year has also had its challenges as it should. God really challenged me to step out my comfort zone and to do more adventurous things. So as a result I have gotten into hiking, long boarding and I even took a group of 30 from the youth group skiing practically on my own! That was tough! And as you can see, I have a lot of pictures of only a few of my adventures from that year. But through it all, I learned the most about Gods timing. I watched a lot of my friends gain things I have been desiring for a long time. And it's been a challenge to not get jealous, but I know that jealousy doesn't get you anywhere. My patience and trust in God has grown tremendously, and the biggest lesson I've learned is that a good thing at the wrong time becomes a bad thing. Therefore you must wait for the right thing in Gods timing, whether that be love, marriage, career, kids, purpose, promotion, (insert desire here). Isaiah 40:31 "but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." Just wait on him, and He will carry you. #waitonhim #helovesyou #jesusissustainingme #year3 #worklife #pureunabridgedmajesty

A photo posted by Grace College Of Divinity (@gcdivinity) on

Bible College Student

Because of my experience with online courses, I do not believe online classes are for everyone. Some people learn much better through lectures, and others learn better with reading and writing assignments. If you are like me and learn by reading and writing, then online classes are for you. But, if you learn by listening to a teacher, then online courses may not be the best decision for you. However, you have to do what must be done in order to obtain your education. If you work hard no matter what your learning style is, then online classes are worth the extra work.

 

Year 4! So this year is my last year of college, and in many ways it has been the most challenging. It is not that school or even the work is the challenge, but it's the loss of friends… Sort of… Many of my closest friends have ventured off into their first year of college and I have been left here at home, lonely at times. But as my friends have left to start their own adventures, I have gained a whole new generation of kids in our youth group and I have learnt the value of adding value to others. And the biggest challenge is to help transport the culture that made the previous group soo amazing into these new youthees. But it's a good challenge. Yet, as I am coming to an end in this part of my journey, I am nervous and yet excited about the next steps. I don't have a clue what those steps are, but if I have learned anything in the past 4 years is that what ever God leads you to, it will always be great and worth it. I also feel a strong need for Gods wisdom because I need it. So I've dedicated this year to gaining wisdom with my whole heart. As a matter of fact, the scripture tells us to seek wisdom "Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth." And I know that the wisdom of God is going to direct my steps in the coming future. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6 God has got me! No worries 😁 #wisdom #timing #friends #growing #proverbs #trustinthelord #helovesyou #pureunabridgedmajesty

A photo posted by Grace College Of Divinity (@gcdivinity) on

 

Final post! So this has been a fun ride, but all good things come an end! I just want to give a couple final thoughts to end the night. So I'm playing my favorite guitar, her name is Nessa Rose. (Don't judge). I call her Nessa Rose because Nessa means pure and Roses are beautiful. So the name means Pure and Beautiful. 😁 I like that picture and I strive to find the pure and beautiful things in this world. They come in many shapes and are in each person. But the most pure and beautiful things are the workings God does inside of you. The question is can you draw them out? The hearts of man are like deep waters, and it takes work, patience, love, and the Holy Spirit to draw them out. So my final advice to you is to seek out the pure and beautiful things that God is doing inside of you and others, and capitalize on those deep workings. Be aware of what God is doing in you and others and always ask yourself how you can participate with God in what He is doing. Selah. Alright! Enough from me! God bless you all and continue to seek God in all you do! #gcdtakeover #fun #selah #Jesussaves #Jesuschangesus #gcd #pureunabridgedmajesty

A photo posted by Grace College Of Divinity (@gcdivinity) on

Online Bible College: What to Expect

Online Bible College: What to Expect

 

online-bible-college-what-to-expect

 

We are half way through the year and a lot of students start thinking about where they should attend next year or what courses should they take. Here I will talk about why taking online Bible courses at Grace College of Divinity could be a great opportunity for you and what you should expect from taking these courses.

What should I expect from an  Bible College Online

Taking online college classes is a great opportunity for students who like to do independent work and have a busy schedule. When you have a busy schedule sometimes it is hard to go to college. Well, here is your solution. Online Bible Colleges give you the opportunity to finish your career in ministry and leadership. Online Bible Colleges do not only provide courses for ministry, but also for any leadership role in the workplace.

Students should expect a more flexible schedule. Which means that it will be easier for them to get their work done while accomplishing other responsibilities they might have. The student should expect to use the Internet for class discussions, assignments, and overall communication. Also, online classes are often available in an 8 week format compared to a full sixteen weeks.

To turn in assignments GCD uses Populi, which is an online classroom where you can turn in your assignments and keep up with your grades. This website is also used to communicate with professors and staff, check your financial status, register for classes, and much more.

All students are able to use our library. Distance students are able to use the online components available in the library and can also ask for a book to be sent to them via mail. Another online feature that is available is our Writing Center, which helps students with writing, formatting, math, and theology. For more information about our library go to our website dev.series5technology.com/gcdtest .

If you are interested in taking classes with GCD online click here to see our programs.