Meet our student spotlight of the week, Daniel Colby.
Belle Szalkowski 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.
GCD’s School of Worship
The School of Worship offers a Certificate in Worship Leadership. This certificate is a one-year program that includes thirty credit hours of academic work and an extensive music practicum in the students’ area of specialization. Students may choose either instrumental, vocal, or dance specialization in this school. The students involved in this program will be required to participate on a Worship Team at a local church at a designated time. This program puts in place the musical talent of our students. Also, students will be able to minor in worship if interested in a Bachelors of Divinity degree.
We are working to make our worship program better with updated courses that include even more practical experience in production, sound, and real-world worship leadership. These new courses and practical experiences will begin in the Fall of 2016.
Student Experience: Gideon Holman
“Once I graduated from theExperience with a certificate of Christian leadership, I decided to go to the School of Worship at GCD. What made me want to go into this branch of GCD was the fact that their School of Worship seemed more well-rounded than that of other Christian colleges I’ve researched. At other colleges, their worship program included two Music Theory classes, a worship class thrown in there that mainly focused on stage presence, and some music lessons. While GCD does have Music Theory and Worship Leadership classes under their curriculum, they also offer a leadership class based off of Tim Elmore’s Habitudes book series, multiple theology classes, cultural anthropology, and a practicum that’s focused on learning how to use your vocals, how to direct the band, how to use the top tech gear for modern worship, (ableton, logic Pro X, and Looptimus) both leading the worship team onstage and offstage. I’ve only been through this program for a year now, but because of how well-rounded the program is and because of the dedication of the teachers I have, I feel like I am more equipped to lead a group of people in worship to Jesus through the vehicle of music. Although going through a worship program is good on its own, I would strongly suggest to anyone that, while going through the School of Worship, you join a worship team at a local church. Doing this will give you extra credibility, because not only will you have the knowledge of the worship leader, you will also have practical experience.”
Tips for Refocusing
Spring Break is here and we are all ready for it. The semester has been long and tedious for most and everyone is ready for a chance to kick back and relax. Before heading back to class we should take this time to refocus ourselves.
With the semester soon ending and Spring Break providing an opportunity to relax, we must all shift our attention to the final stretch of the semester. How do we refocus our attention? Start with these three tips to help you get by.
With all the tests, assignments, activities, and events of this past semester it is easy to lose sight of where God is. Acknowledging God is the center is the first step in putting him back into focus. Also putting God at the center gives you a chance to step back and take some of the weight off your shoulders.
2. Make a plan
The end of the semester is around the corner, do you have an idea of how you’re going to get there? Plan out your homework and study times so that you can have less stress as exams come up. Make a definite decision to excel in these last few months. By planning out the rest of the semester you will be more likely to follow through and keep the goal of graduation in mind.
To refocus you need to take some time to rest. Spend the remainder of the spring break trying to refocus your goals and plans for the semester. Even after spring break ends find times to rest so that the day to day tasks do not become overwhelming. Not taking time to rest can make you lose focus and feel overwhelmed. Rest doesn’t always mean sleep. Simply make time to relax or do a hobby you enjoy. Find peace in the things that you love.
Refocusing is about recognizing God in all things, planning for where you are going, and taking time to rest and recuperate. Don’t waste time running around frantically with no direction or energy. Take advantage of the time you have to improve and move forward towards graduation.
Grace College of Divinity Spring Banquet
Grace College of Divinity is hosting its Third Annual Spring Banquet on Saturday, April 23rd at 6:30 pm. The theme is Chocolate and those in attendance will be served a multi-course chocolate infused dinner. The Banquet will feature Tom Johnson as a speaker and he will share insights from his many years as a missionary, teacher, and pastor. There will be a raffle at the event for a valuable prize package. The proceeds will go to GCD and its efforts to prepare emerging leaders to change the world by advancing the Kingdom of God through sound biblical training, practical ministry and personal development.
This is a wonderful event for those wishing to help GCD advance today’s emerging leaders and to experience great food and atmosphere! Tickets are $20 in advance and are available at the GCD administrative offices, on the website, or by calling 910-221-2224. Tickets will also be available at the door for $25.
Meet our student spotlight of the week, Adam Yow.
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.
“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.”
Echo Montoya Devotional
Today I will be sharing about Psalm 23, some people call it a classic that all church goers must know. All I know is, that once I truly understood this verse it changed my life! I just wanted to share with you what I have learned through studying this chapter almost my whole life as a Christian.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
The starting verse of Psalm 23 is such a beautiful reminder that as Christians, we will always have provision through Christ. “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.”
After a reminder about the Lord’s provision; the verse going into talking about how God leads us for our good. “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.” Not only does He calm us but He leads us there. The third verse says, “He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His names sake.” A reminder to us that He is the only one who can truly bring back to life our soul. It is nothing in us, but God himself and who He is.
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” The verse starts out my saying God protects us from evil. When the writing says ‘Valley of the shadow of death.’ It means that through the lowest of lows God is walking right there with you. Many people get scared or worried when they hear ‘rod and staff’ but the Shepard has both for a purpose. The rod is not to beat the sheep, but to protect when wolves or bears came near. The staff is for guidance, another example of God leading our steps. Imagine the last part of the verse saying: ‘your protection and guidance, they comfort me.’ What a beautiful image God is giving to us! “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” The beginning part speaks on how God blesses us abundantly. How even when my enemies are near He wants me, and He wants me front and center. He anoints us with oil as a sign of promotion in His eyes. What a powerful thing to even be seen if even a little bit worthy to God! For him though, to anoint us with oil, to the point where our cups overflow! What a powerful picture!
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” If you choose to trust Him, these promises prevail. Know that God wants to bless us! Sometimes it is as easy as recognizing that He wants to do this for us, He never had to.
Dawn Galloway (featured on the right) was a woman of great character. She had a servant’s heart and always looked to help others. She volunteered in the library while she was in school pursuing a degree in organizational leadership. Dawn was a key person in getting accreditation for Grace College of Divinity. She helped along with Mike Morgan to get accreditation for GCD in only 3 years. She was president of the Protestant Women of the Chapel and influenced many lives internationally. Dawn was very passionate about leadership and leadership development in all areas- church and business. In June of 2010 she died of breast cancer. Her parents and friends formed a special fund in her memory to help people come to GCD especially those who are being trained in leadership in some way. The scholarship is in place to continue the leadership development she was so passionate about. Applicants interested in the scholarship can fill out the scholarship form and apply online at Gcd.edu
Theological Studies Journal
Grace College of Divinity’s Journal of Contemporary Theological Studies has been approved for indexing in The Christian Periodical Index of the Association of Christian Librarians. It has been published by the Association of Christian Librarians. This index provides access to over 150 journals written from an evangelical perspective or of interest to the evangelical community. A majority of the journals indexed are unique titles to this database.
Grace College of Divinity’s Journal of Contemporary Theological Studies was created by GCD to aid others in their pursuit of knowledge in theology. Article topics range from practical theology, to historical, biblical, or exegetical theology. The journal is to benefit students, staff, and the general public. GCD hopes that the journal would be an encouraging way to grow and collaborate on theological issues. If you enjoy writing or have written a paper that would be of interest to the evangelical community submit it to email@example.com