From One Parent to Another: Why I Sent My Kids to WOLBI (part 1)

taylorhurlbertCollege Resources2 Comments

from-one-parent-o-another-why-i-sent-my-kids-to-wolbi-1

 

Angela Burtis is a wife, mother, grandma, and blogger living in Speculator, New York. She has a burden to see young people grow in their love and knowledge of God’s Word- starting with her own family. In today’s post, she explains why the Bible Institute was a perfect launching pad and first step for her kids’ college careers. Grab some coffee, get comfy, and listen to one mother’s heart about why she wholeheartedly recommends the Bible Institute, from one parent to another.

“If you are a parent who is against or on the fence about your child giving a year of their life to an intense study of God’s Word, I’d love to spend a few minutes telling you why I, a fellow concerned and caring parent, absolutely, wholeheartedly, without reservation recommend you send your child to Word of Life Bible Institute for a year (or two). “

What is the right response to our high school graduate who expresses a desire to attend a Bible school for a year? The Word of Life Bible Institute high, high, high in the Adirondack Mountains (middle of nowhere) to be precise. Or, perhaps, in good old, sunny Florida!

“It has nothing to do with your career choice.”

“It will set you behind schedule for your degree.”

“We can’t afford an extra year of college.”

In essence, it’s a waste of time and money.

No, a Christian parent wouldn’t actually say out loud that a year of studying the Bible is a waste of time, but aren’t all the above responses actually reflecting that sentiment to some degree?

Maybe it simply doesn’t make sense to us. After all, we aren’t expecting our child to be a pastor or a missionary. Why prolong a different desired path?

With two kids in college and a third graduated, I get it. Often times we just see dollar signs when considering our kids’ futures. Whether we’ve set aside money for their education or not, the ever increasing tuition fees and subsequent debt load are frightening. We literally can’t afford any more than is necessary.

I have great news that you might not be aware of.   

A great place to start

The one year Bible program at Word of Life is transferrable to most Christian colleges. There is no losing time. It all counts, and in my experience, this program is actually less expensive than one year at any of the mainstream Christian colleges/universities, making that first year of study quite a bargain. Please don’t let any of those above notions hinder your consideration.

That’s not the reason I’m writing today, though. If you are a parent who is against or on the fence about your child giving a year of their life to an intense study of God’s Word, I’d love to spend a few minutes telling you why I, a fellow concerned and caring parent, absolutely, wholeheartedly, without reservation recommend you send your child(ren) to Word of Life Bible Institute for a year (or two). 

When my firstborn was a senior in high school, the yearbook committee asked for a verse to put with his picture. The verse we chose is one we hoped would be in front of him for his whole life. 

“How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to His Word.” Psalm 119:9

Because does anything else really matter? Though not always easy or popular, we’ve resisted the American cultural temptation to wish our kids’ goals to be progressive jobs, increasing salaries or security in anything this world has to offer.

Quite the opposite actually.

A growing desire to increase their faith, a hunger and thirst for righteousness (right living), and giving their lives in service to God through serving others is what would scream success to us. Namely, as their father has often prayed, “that our children would do greater things for God than we ever could.”

… as their father has often prayed, “that our children would do greater things for God than we ever could.”

It was a given that our boy’s next step would be college. The only problem was that he didn’t know what he wanted to do. I don’t think many 18-year-olds are ready to commit to one career path. As a family, we discussed him spending that first year at Word of Life. Having camped there for years, we were very familiar with the ministry.

And the thing we especially love about Word of Life is that no one, and I mean no one, is doing what Word of Life does.

Word in. Service out.

  • Nine months of studying God’s Word only.
  • Three months of putting into practice (summer ministry at one of many camps as both counselors and work supervisors).
  •  Open Air Evangelism training.
  • Trip to New York City to witness on the streets. 
  • Counseling/Sharing Faith training.
  • Eight weekends of Snow Camp (ministering to youth groups on retreat).

I jokingly, but affectionately, have been known to say that at Word of Life, you get the Bible pumped through your veins for a year.

Who couldn’t benefit from that? I was thrilled our boy was leaning in that direction. No matter the cost or sacrifice to us, we believed by faith that our son would be in the perfect environment and posture for him to listen to God and discover the next step in the path He had in mind.

No one, and I mean no one, is doing what Word of Life does.

About half way through the year he called with a strong desire and future college major locked. Eventually, after two years at WOLBI, he would transfer to Clarks Summit University as a junior. No time lost. Less than half the cost.

More importantly, he fell in love with the Bible. What he learned transferred all that he was taught in our home and a childhood of Sunday School classes into a working Biblical worldview that laid the foundation for his adulthood.

Prayers answered.

In our current culture’s hostile environment toward anything Christian, may I gently encourage you that alone is the most important ‘skill’ a young man or woman can learn at the beginning of their academic or work career? In my humble opinion, there’s no price too high for what is gained in just one year at Word of Life. 

No matter the cost or sacrifice to us, we believed by faith that our son would be in the perfect environment and posture for him to listen to God and discover the next step in the path He had in mind.

And that’s only one of the reasons! Looks like we are going to need another visit. 

Check back next week for part two! 

 

2 Comments on “From One Parent to Another: Why I Sent My Kids to WOLBI (part 1)”

  1. I just read what you posted and thank you. My daughter is in her first year at WOL and called a few weeks ago to tell us that she feels that God wants her to stay there for a second year. This was not part of our original plan because she can transfer the first year credits with no problem at a Christian college. We would love for her to stay the second year but, we do not have the money to have her stay a second year unless the credits can be transferred and used toward a degree. Yes a Christian college may accept all the credits but will they go toward the requirements that are required in order for her to graduate? Does she have to Major in Ministry something in order for them to be worth anything? We are so on the fence on what to do or how to guide her in the right direction. Any ideas? We truly want her to do what she feels she should do but we need to justify the money that is being spent toward a degree.

    1. Darla, thank you for your comment. As an admissions counselor, that is a question I have been asked many times. It’s difficult to answer your question without knowing exactly what your daughter is looking to major in and what school she is looking to attend. Much like how Angela’s son was able to transfer to Clarks Summit University as a junior after doing two years at the Word of Life Bible Institute, I was able to transfer to Liberty University Online as a junior as well. My major was Religion, so that was a big part of my being able to transfer in as a junior, as many of the required courses were of biblical nature. For me, it was a tremendous savings for me to do two years at the BI before transferring to Liberty and I have seen many people walk the same path through Liberty and other Christian colleges. I would encourage you to sit down with your daughter and determine what degree she may be looking to pursue. From there, take an in-depth look at the degree completion plan of the school she is looking to transfer to and see how our second year courses could transfer in. You can find a comprehensive list of all of our second year courses here: http://wordoflife.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/29/2016/07/Sophomore-Year.pdf. Many Christian schools are familiar with handling WOLBI transfer students, so I would also encourage you to ask them directly what that may look like specifically for your daughter.

      Something you and your daughter may not be aware of is we have a few scholarships specifically for second year students that may be a help to you if she decides to take that option. One is an academic scholarship and another is committing to work at the same summer camp their second summer. Both scholarships are worth $1,000, but financial aid and other scholarships are available as well, much like for first year.

      I know my time in second year was a tremendous time of growth in learning how to practically apply the things I had learned during my first year, and I know many former students can say the same. If you would like to discuss this further with an admissions counselor or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-331-9673. Thank you again for posting!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *