This is part two of a three-part series from Angela Burtis about why she decided to send her three children to Word of Life Bible Institute, and why she would encourage other parents to do the same. If you haven’t read part one, read it here. Angela continues with her thoughts on all that her children learned at the Bible Institute- outside of the classroom.
Well equipped kids = thankful parents
I never thought my husband and I would be “that parent” who would decide where their children would go to college, but because of our oldest son’s positive, maturing experience, it sort of just happened. I have three children in total. Three years after our first graduated from WOLBI, our next son was finishing high school. Like his brother, he didn’t really know what he wanted to do with his life yet or what course of study to pursue.
My husband and I basically said, “No problem. You can go to Word of Life for a year and figure it out.” Because he had grown up camping at The Ranch, The Pines, and The Island, and also worked at The Island for two summers, he was all for it.
His start at WOLBI provided him with skills not taught or emphasized in many liberal arts colleges, Christian or otherwise.
He has since completed two years with a very similar experience as his brother, which resulted in a well-equipped, more disciplined student and two happy, thankful parents. He is now studying at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and planning to graduate in 2018 with both a Bachelors and a Masters degree in Pastoral Ministry. His start at WOLBI provided him with skills not taught or emphasized in many liberal arts colleges, Christian or otherwise.
He learned work ethic. At Word of Life, study hours are a part of the schedule. Every weeknight, all students are in their dorms and at their desks for a few hours of quiet, uninterrupted time to work on class assignments.
I shudder at the seemingly uncontested cultural message that one goes to college first to party, second (or later) to study. Can I just tell you how it feels as a parent to know my child isn’t completely on their own in creating this discipline for themselves amidst countless distractions for their time and attention? Because let’s be real, if your student is not already an honor roll, type-A, driven academic workhorse, this could be a real struggle to nail down.
I shudder at the seemingly uncontested cultural message that one goes to college first to party, second (or later) to study.
No problem. Word of Life has it built in, and I, for one, am very grateful.
Speaking of work ethic, all students are also assigned a job on campus. These vary in responsibility and frequency. Quite unconventionally, while required, they are not paid positions. It’s more like in a family when parents opt out of allowances/don’t pay their children to help keep the household running well.
While it would be helpful for students to have the opportunity to acquire income while attending WOLBI, I appreciate the more important benefit of service as a volunteer, if you will. I certainly hope my own children will not require remuneration for every good work presented to them as an adult. I believe this is best passed down through experience.
Disciplines for life
Work ethic established in study and campus jobs is important, but my favorite example of what a young adult will take away from a year at WOLBI in this area is the discipline of quiet time. If you are a Christian, you’ve no doubt been taught that spending time every day with Jesus in prayer and Bible reading, seeking to grown in intimacy with Him is very important, crucial even. Well, again, Word of Life is doing what no other college is doing, which is including a reasonable amount of time every day after breakfast before class to make this a commitment that can last a lifetime when mastered. Not only is every student given the time and space, but also a well-written devotional to assist. So good!
Word of Life is doing what no other college is doing, which is including a reasonable amount of time every day after breakfast before class to make this a commitment that can last a lifetime when mastered.
Lest I’ve led you to believe a year at Word of Life Bible Institute is all about work and study, next time we will talk about all the fun and joyful experiences waiting to be had.
Check back next week for the final part in this series!