Posts

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.

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.

Refocus

Tips for Refocusing

Tips for Refocusing

Grace-college-of-divinity-online-bible-college

     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.

     1. Realize God is the center of everything

     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.

Matthew 6:33 ESV  But  seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

     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.

     3. Rest

     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.

 

Echo Montoya Devotional

 

Echo Montoya Devotional


grace-college-of-divinity-online-bible-college

     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.

Study tips to survive the semester

 

 Study tips to survive the semester

 

study-grace-college-of-divinity-online-bible-college

 

 

     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.

Step Away From The Student

 

Step Away From The Student

backpack

flickr photo from Melissa Maples

INTRODUCTION:

So after you’ve finally created a relationship with your students, the next step is this: Step away from the Student!

Do you feel your leadership isn’t having the impact it should?

Do you feel like you’re not connecting with your students deeper than a surface level?

Does it seem like your group is with you because they’re checking off the “religious duty” box or the “make my parents happy” box?

That’s because it’s not…and you’re not…and they are.

So do us all a favor and step away from the student. Do it now – I mean like right now.

 


HERES WHAT I MEAN:

Inherent in the term “student ministry” or “youth ministry” is the problem with how we conduct it.

Your students aren’t just students, they’re an individual with several factes of life that happen outside of their student life. They’re someone’s child (possibly somone’s parent!), friend, sibling, employee, boyfriend/girlfriend, aunt, uncle, relative, etc.

Youth aren’t just youth, they’re a person with a soul, heart, emotions, thoughts, dispositions, beliefs, stances. All of which are repeatedly confronted by their entire life, not just their student life. Youth is a term that’s simply being used to designate their current age demographic. However your “youth” is so much more than just young.

2 Action Steps to Effective Student Ministry

Step 1: Your “student” has a life outside of being a student, engage them holistically.

Step 2: Life exists outside of your designated meeting times and location, invite them into it

When I was in an after school club with my mentors in the faith, the most important thing they did for me was invite me to hang out with them oustide of that club which was held in a school classroom. Stop meeting with your students JUST in a classroom or small group setting and start doing life with them. Get away from the “student” classification of their life and begin to invest into who they are holistically in every part of their life. Invite them to the movies, out to eat, to play ball at the park, to hang out while running errands, anything in addition to that more-than-likely mundane classroom session you hold once a week.

Engage them(when they’re comfortable) about matters of home life, future aspirations, fears, curiosities, disagreements, etc.


What I mean is get away from the “student” part of who they are and engage them as the person they are that holds these different roles, invite them to be more than someone who listens while you teach bible study and someone who just gets to talk about their school life. Engage them as a person whose an entire life to live and not just the life as a student sitting in your weekly bible study.