Posts

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!  

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!

Student Spotlight: Jonathan Fletcher

Bible College Student:Manna Church teaching pastor

Meet our student spotlight of the week through his answers to a few questions about his life and what he is doing right now.

What is your current occupation?

         “I am the Teaching Pastor and Executive Place Site Pastor at Manna Church.”

How did GCD help you get there?

         “GCD has helped me by providing sound Biblical training to assist in my vocation.”

What was your favorite thing about GCD?

        “My favorite thing about GCD is that we are not just about people learning information. Rather, we attempt to provide sound Biblical teaching that helps people understand more about God, while at the same time helping them use that knowledge in practical ministry experience.”

Experience at GCD.

      “I have taken classes as both an undergraduate and in the master’s program, and I have found both of those experiences to be incredibly insightful. I feel better prepared as a pastor through my involvement at GCD.” 

There you have it, Pastor Jonathan Fletcher everybody. If you want to learn more about our students here at GCD and want to see more about our students’ lives let us know in the comments below.

Adam Terry Devotional

   Adam Terry is a first year student at Grace College of Divinity. He is currently an Experience Intern at Manna Church. He He enjoys ballroom dancing and philosophical debates. He is currently spending his time at GCD seeking God and redeveloping a foundation of faith.

   Do you go the extra mile? I know this is usually the example that Christ used for us when other people make demands of us. That is not today’s focus though. Serving and loving people is important, but the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart.

   Love has no limits. What does our love for God actually look like though? Most of us as Christians have a devotional life where we spend time with God. Love is shown through sacrifice. How much do we really sacrifice for God out of love? Honestly, when I think of Christians sacrificing for God it is because we have to. We can set aside a little time for God in the morning or evening, but have I limited my love for God?

  David was a man who loved God with a reckless abandon. When I look at David’s life I see him spending time with God, but I do not see him setting limits on his relationship with God. David goes above and beyond to please God. David does not just go the extra mile, David is determined to run to God until he reaches him. We should chase God without holding back!  

   I believe that many of us think about our relationship with God in a box. What do I have to do today to not lose my blessings and fall away? We should wake up and think, how can I please my heavenly Father today? When I start to think that way, new ideas of serving, loving, and worshipping fill my mind. My motivation to have devotions is my love for the Father. Devotions are a means to an end they are not the end. If I am going to worship God to the best of my ability I cannot put restraints on how much time and energy I am going to spend on Him. Loving God is not stopping at the extra mile. Loving God is the endless journey with Him into eternity.

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.

Belle Szalkowski Devotional

 

Belle Szalkowski Devotional

Student Devotional

     Have you ever felt completely and utterly out of your depth? Like you are grasping for air and you can’t seem to get your head above water? Finally you wade into shore and you can breathe free and clear again. You look back at the water and realize that no matter how hard it was, you survived. You feel invigorated, you made it! You’ve accomplished something huge by just surviving and smiling! This has been my relationship with God through my life. One of my favorite verses that I keep coming back to is:

Psalm 13:6 I will sing the LORD’s praise, for He has been good to me.”

     I have spent many years of my life simply trying to keep my head above water. College is overwhelming. I’ve had multiple exhausting injuries, and serving in ministry can be draining. It is through God’s grace that I’ve made it as far as I am in life. The reason I keep going back to this verse is because no matter what point of my life I am in it applies. If I am drowning in schoolwork I can still praise God for blessing me with an education. If I am overwhelmed with my ministry work I can praise God for giving me a chance to share His glory.

     I say all this because I have learned that praising God even in the midst of struggle is the best lesson I’ve learned. Even when I was homeless I thought of this verse and that God, no matter my circumstances has been good to me and is worthy of my praise.

     I challenge you to meditate over this. If you truly believe God is good, then doesn’t He deserve our praise even when things aren’t going our way? Even if you feel that you are drowning, God has been good to you and is worthy to be praised.

 

 

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.

Study Tips To Save The Day

Study Tips To Save The Day

 study-tips

     Getting back into the rhythm of school isn’t always easy. With the Spring semester starting and graduation around the corner, some people just can’t wait for spring break. In light of the new semester old habits can come back. Study sessions can look more like netflix and procrastination rather than papers and dissertations. For all the students out there slogging through until May comes around, here are some study tips to save GPAs.

  1. Dedicate a specific place to study

     To get anything done right you have to set the mood. Find a quiet spot where you know you can get work done. Take away all the distractions such as Facebook, Youtube, and texts. If you are a procrastinator you don’t need any more excuses to distract yourself.

 

  1. Prioritize your time

     Setting specific times to study makes sure that your assignments and tests don’t sneak up on you. If you spend an hour or two a day studying you will get more than if you crammed the night before the big test.

 

  1. Find a study group

     Friends can become motivation. If you don’t fully understand the material gather your classmates and study together. You can work as a group to tackle the harder concepts and keep each other accountable. You can even get some of them to quiz you on the material.

 

    4. Take good notes

     A great way to remember the material is to briefly go back over the notes. When in class pay attention and take notes. Don’t write down word for word what is being said, jot down key points. If you don’t write fast enough try typing them on a computer. If worse comes to worse ask a classmate to borrow their notes.

 

    5. Get tutoring

     If you are just not getting the material or need some extra help, get tutoring. There are specific people who are there to help you with tests, papers, and homework. GCD offers both writing and math tutors. If interested contact Ron McBride via email rmcbride@gcd.edu


Studying doesn’t have to be a struggle. Just keep your head up, hit the books, get a tutor, and you will survive the semester.