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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.

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.

 

 

Echo Montoya Devotional

 

Echo Montoya Devotional


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     Psalm 23

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.

Psalm 23

“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.

Devotional by Senior Norica Vernon

 

Devotional by Senior Norica Vernon

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             This is Norica Vernon’s devotional. She was born and raised on the island of Jamaica but currently calls North Carolina home. She is a US Army reservist, a mother, a senior at Grace College of Divinity and an active volunteer who devotes her free time to serving the Lord, whenever possible.

The one thing I’ve come to know and understand after more than 10 years in the Army is assignments. My first job as a reassignment clerk was to issue orders for soldiers and ensured that they were properly distributed. A TCS is a temporary change of station also known as a deployment. These were short intense assignments. You stayed where you were but left and came back. A PCS is a permanent change of station, a permanent assignment. These were short or long but you were gone from where you were last not knowing if you were to return there or not. Coming to Fort Bragg I knew it was my last active duty assignment. I felt it, I knew it deep within me and that was 5 years ago. The Holy Spirit told me so.

As Christians we are always on assignment not necessarily places but people. In the Great Commission, Jesus issued our orders. Some assignments are temporary could be a few minutes, months or even few years. Other assignments are permanent these are the people God places in our lives to always intercede for or for us to make a difference in their lives. In the Army we don’t always choose or like our assignments. It is the same when God gives us our orders, we don’t always like or choose the assignments but we have to follow them. And when God gives us an assignment, there is no rejecting or deleting it. I’ve been on probably my hardest assignment to date for a while now and I’ve wanted God to amend or delete it but it’s permanent, so I am going to make the most of it. I encourage you to prayerfully seek God about your assignment and ask Him to give you what you need to make the most of it. After all He did say He would be with you always and nothing can top that.

Be Blessed,

Norica

 

Study tips to survive the semester

 

 Study tips to survive the semester

 

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     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.

Why Bible College?

 

Why Bible College?

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Bible colleges and secular colleges alike focus on a specific area for one’s career, have student life and opportunities for growth, have advising and counseling services, and an overall desire for every student to succeed in their education and in their life. Other than these basic areas, there are many differences between a secular and Bible college. For a school to grow they must have these components; but, the foundation (or the reasoning behind these services) often are different.

 

Why should you choose to go to a Bible college? Several reasons come to mind, but the most important is to get a solid foundation. According to LifeWay Research 70% of young adults stop coming to church regularly. Many other studies have been done that show large percentages of college students who claimed to be Christians before school, claim after college they are no longer Christians. Before heading off to any secular college the student should be able to have critical thinking skills and should be developed in Christian character and spiritual disciplines to stand firm and not be swayed by the difficulties of life, especially college life.

 

At least one year of Bible College can strengthen a student’s belief system and enable them to go to any college and into any career with a solid foundation and faith. Where previously many people would go to Bible College only if they wanted to become a pastor, missionary, or chaplain, now more and more Bible Colleges are offering programs for many more career options.

 

Grace College of Divinity has all the basic college services, but the reasoning behind these services are not only to meet the standard, but to give life, encouragement, and assistance to students in becoming leaders that change the world. Some of the programs offered at GCD are for those who want to be pastors, worship leaders, chaplains, missionaries, but also CEOs, and leaders of any sort. GCD has several different certificates and degrees in Divinity and Christian Leadership. The Christian Leadership programs offer foundational principles for leadership from the Christian perspective, including classes such as Ethics, Foundations of Marketing, Introduction to Organizational Leadership, and Psychology of a Leader.

 

Maybe you think you want to be a lawyer or a doctor. We have alumni who are pursuing those careers now! Before they went to get their education at a secular college they took one year with GCD to build their foundation in their faith, character, and leadership.

 

“The internship helped me to build my faith on a solid foundation. I was unsure of who I was in Christ and whether or not Christ was truly the only way to God. If I had not made the decision to join the internship, I’m not sure if I’d even be a Christian. This decision altered my path in life for the better and I wouldn’t be the woman of faith and strong character I am today without it.” Paradise Flowers, Alumna of GCD’s college internship – theExperience, and currently a Medical Student at Campbell University.

 

If you want to be a Pastor or Chaplain click here to look into GCD’s Divinity programs. If you want to be a CEO, work with a non-profit, lawyer, or anything else involving leadership click here to look into our various Christian Leadership programs. No matter what God is calling you to do He wants all of us to be solid in our faith. To accomplish this, Bible Colleges, and specifically GCD, want to be part of that process in training up today’s world leaders with a solid foundation in faith, character, and leadership!

 

 

United Event

 

Student Ministries

United Event

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Hey guys just wanted to talk to you about a great event Manna Church had this past Sunday called the United Event. You may ask, what is a United Event? Well, a United Event is when students from all the Rush clubs and Conversations from Manna come together with their families for a night of games, worship, a message and just a lot of fun. But what is a Rush club or a conversation? These are different small groups that meet either at the different high schools, middle schools, and colleges during the week or during the evening on a Sunday at a Manna Church location. This event took place at Manna Church, our next door neighbors. We had the privilege of getting involved with it by having our own table to talk to students about our degrees and certificates by giving them general information about GCD. Other groups that were involved were College internship-theExperience, Angel’s Kitchen, and the Fayetteville Dream Center.At this event we had the honor to have the Mayor of Fayetteville, the Mayor of Hope Mills, the Superintendent of the Cumberland County Schools, and Nicole Carr from our local news. Many important people from our state attended and spoke great words of wisdom to our students. One of our very own interns, Belle Szalkowski, gave a great testimony of how God has worked in her life and how she got to where she is now. She spoke amazing words of wisdom to our younger students and parents, it was great to see her up there.

           Let’s talk a little bit about how GCD relates to Manna Church and how the Christian internship relates to us.

Grace College of Divinity is a Bible college in North Carolina that shares the same property as Manna Church on Cliffdale Road. Many GCD students are involved with Manna Church. GCD as a whole is very involved with Manna Church, and vice versa, many of the outreaches for example that we plan are assisted by Manna Church staff. Also, many of the faculty and staff here also work at Manna Church, which means we are like a big family. On the other hand, Manna Church has a program called theExperience Internship which is a Christian internship where young adults get the opportunity to have a year only focused on God. The “interns” at the end of their first year receive a certificate called the Certificate in Christian Leadership and after their second year they receive an Associates in Christian Leadership.With all this being said, I hope many of you attend our next United Event going towards the Holidays. God Bless you all.

 

Student Spotlight: Annie Fletcher

Student Spotlight: Annie Fletcher

INTRODUCTION:

This week we are featuring Annie Fletcher for our Student Spotlight and Instagram takeover.

Take a second to visit Annie on her Instagram:

IG: Annie Fletcher

IG: Grace College of Divinity

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About Annie:

Annie is a Bachelors of Christian Leadership Student with Grace College of Divinity. She is also the Marketing Coordinator of theExperience Internship with Gen Ignite Student Ministries. Annie has a heart for ministry and is “passionate about seeing students come to realize their full potential in who God has called them to be.” Her hobbies include: photography, adventuring and making music.

 

Photos from Annie’s Instagram Takeover

 

 

Hey, party people! My name is Annie, and I am a senior here at GCD. I will graduate in the spring with my bachelor's in Christian Leadership. This being my first post, I just wanted to share a bit about me. I love taking pictures and doing what I can to try to capture what I perceive to be beautiful. Photography, to me, isn't entirely about capturing the memories, but it's about capturing, just a bit, of the beauty God created. I'm one of those kinds of people who feel the most connected with God when I'm in nature. It's when I get to experience some of the Majesty of God. So to me, pictures are about saving snapshots of the incredible Being that is Christ. #IGTakeOver #StudentLife #GCD #WhatElseDoIHashtag? #OhWell

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

 

 

 

Well, people of Instagram, it's the last post of my #InstaTakeOver. Much to my mother's chagrin, I am not afraid heights. Hanging off of cliffs(and sitting at the edge of parking garages) are things that I greatly enjoy. But for all you moms out there, I am very careful. Also, one last thing you might not know about me, I have lived in Fayetteville, NC all of my life. I absolutely adore traveling, but I always love coming home. Fayetteville may not seem like much to most people who have lived other places, but it's home. No matter where I end up in the future, I will always love coming back home. Well, that's all from me. Thank you for putting up with me! It's been my pleasure to take over GCD's Instagram for a day.

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

 

 

Online Bible College: Annie Fletcher’s Experience

Online Bible College: Annie Fletcher’s Experience

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Annie Fletcher is Senior at GCD who has had experience with online Bible courses. She completed two years of theExperience Internship and is working on her Bachelors of Christian Leadership Degree. After all the discussion about Online Bible College, in this blog you will learn more about her experience with GCD as an Online Bible College.

How did the Online Bible College help you with your daily responsibilities and time management?

For Annie, taking online Bible courses helped her with her diligence by letting her divide her assignments however she wanted to, which made it easier to get the work done. Annie is a person who loves working independently and taking classes online made that happen. She said that it was easier for her to manage her time this way because she could get everything done on her own time.

What is your favorite thing about online classes?

The fact that she did not have to sit in class for hours was something that made her life easier and more productive because sitting in a class, believe it or not, it was harder for her to stay focused compared to doing the lessons on her own. For Annie it was hard for her to sit in class for hours, it was easier to get distracted and not pay attention, but when she was able to do her work and lessons by herself it was easier to concentrate because she was able to divide her work in sections and do it with her own style.

What is your least favorite thing about online classes?

There was only one small thing Annie did not like, and it was the fact that she did not have face to face interaction with her teacher. One fact about online classes is that you can interact with the professor almost all the time, but rarely in person. For her, it was difficult at times because it is easier to get instructions in person.

 

Online classes are a great opportunity to get your degree and be able to manage your time how you would like to. If you are interested in taking online classes here at GCD visit our website www.gcd.edu.