Bachelor of Divinity Journey Reflection
I am overjoyed to be here after this educational milestone. All praise and glory to God! I am so grateful for what I have learned in these courses and what God has laid on my heart during this Bachelor of Divinity journey. Having the opportunity to learn and grow in my faith and my biblical knowledge has been invaluable. I am looking forward to learning more as I continue into a Master’s degree at Ohio Christian University, and I will continue to take CLI courses in the future. I am a CLI student for life. I would recommend this CLI Bachelor of Divinity program to anyone. Every Christian would benefit from this program and grow in their knowledge of Christianity and in their faith and understanding of what it means to be a follower of Christ.
Collectively, all that I have learned from my CLI courses has been evident to my close family and friends – especially for my husband. He can see more personally how these courses have grown my relationship with Christ and him. There was a lot of content in the courses that gave important pointers for having a healthy, God-centered marriage. I also have found that I have so much more confidence to share about Christ or answer biblical questions. For instance, when my friends asked me about various Bible topics and the views Christians hold on homosexuality, sex before marriage, and other important topics. Furthermore, the courses personally have prepared me greater for becoming a mother this coming June. Most importantly, I have seen my awe and wonder of God increase and my passion for serving in ministry for as long as the Lord gives me breath.
Many of the courses have had a strong impact on me, but a few stand out as I reflect. Christian Ethics, Prayer, Biblical Interpretation, and Evangelism Presenting Grace were some of the courses that moved me most. Christian Ethics was one of the last courses I took at CLI, and I was blown away by all I learned in this course. Christian Ethics took on some of the toughest questions and how to handle them. I also loved how this course went over the 10 commandments in depth. I was thrilled that the course had me memorize some scriptures, including these commandments. As the Bible says, “I have hidden your word in my heart so that I might not sin against you.” When studying the 10 commandments, especially in reflection with what Jesus says, we are reminded how we can’t on our own stay faithful to what God has commanded us to do. It was a humbling course as it revealed some sins I have to continue working on in this sanctification process through Jesus Christ. This course also asked tough questions like how to handle life support situations, swearing, spousal abuse, divorce, body modification, gambling, sexual immorality, envy, pornography, and much more. I learned how to deal with these situations in a Godly way. We come across these sorts of issues all the time in our own lives and with those we love. Lastly, this course had 4 units dedicated to battling spiritual warfare. These powerful sections resonated profoundly in my heart. We can easily forget that the devil is prowling around like a lion looking for someone to devour, but we do not need to fear. We have access to the full armor of God. We can put on the belt of truth and stand on the truths we know from God. I have never felt more inspired by what the armor of God means. What I have learned will have a lasting impact.
Prayer had an impact on me that I cannot put into words. I would say after all the courses I have taken, this was perhaps my very favorite. Dr. Feddes did such a wonderful job teaching me as in all of his courses. I loved the readings Praying like Puppies and Never Give Up. I definitely did not understand prayer as I should’ve until taking this course. In regards to growing my personal relationship with God, this course brought some of the greatest fruit. It helped me know even more about my God, who I am praying to. I didn’t fully comprehend how we have the special privilege to talk to the creator, our Heavenly Father, and the almighty God. Wow, I can come before my Lord in prayer. I learn more clearly the power of prayer and the importance of fasting – which I hadn’t given thought to. I took this course during the beginning of COVID-19, and it could not have been a better time for me to become rooted more firmly in my prayer life.
Biblical Interpretation I and II were some of the most engaging courses I have taken at CLI. Ray Vanderlaan took me through the promised land and walked us where Jesus had walked. It was amazing to hear Professor Ray share such profound truths from the Bible in the places these truths were most likely actually spoken. Beyond how much fun and educationally enriching these classes were, they also moved me emotionally and spiritually. One of the moments of my Bachelor’s journey I will remember most intimately was listening to Biblical Interpretation II’s last video on the fifth cup, and I was sobbing. I was able to feel just slightly what Jesus was going through in the Garden of Gethsemane and what it meant by the fifth cup. I would encourage anyone to watch that video. It was one of the most powerful reminders of what Jesus did on the cross and the pain He endured for me. Biblical Interpretation I and II will have a lasting impact on me.
Finally, Evangelism Presenting Grace was a course that showed how the Holy Spirit will give us the power to be a vocal witness for Jesus Christ. As soon as I started watching the first video of the Evangelism: Presenting Grace course, I felt the Holy Spirit stirring. I felt convicted especially when Ren talked about how 90% of churchgoers have never led someone to Christ. That made me think of myself. I am not sure if I have led anyone to salvation in Christ, which hit me hard as I heard the truth that I am not as strong of a vocal witness for Christ as I am called to be. Many key lessons impacted me greatly while taking this class. Some of these key lessons were being a thoughtless witness, reaper mentality, overcoming good objectives, joy for Father, others, myself, and the grace of God. Hearing how we have to really be vocal and thoughtless witnesses for Jesus can feel a little overwhelming. Still, as I went through this class, the Holy Spirit gave me such peace and excitement to share more and more the resurrection of Jesus to my many unbelieving friends. And as Ren reminds us, His Holy Spirit will give us the words to say in each witnessing situation we find ourselves in. There is no need to be afraid! As 2 Timothy 1:7 says, God did not give us a spirit of timidity but of power, love and self-control.
Some of the most challenging courses were Christian Philosophy and Early Church History and Doctrine. Christian Philosophy was challenging because it focused on how there is a divinity in every theory, which was a completely new thought for me. Philosophy is all about thinking in a depth that can be hard to comprehend. This course was very academically heavy in the readings. The quizzes were some of the most difficult I have experienced at CLI. That being said, I enjoyed being mentally challenged by this course and loved professor Roy Clouser. Early Church History and Doctrine was a fantastic course, and I learned many new things about the early church. I especially loved studying the martyrs of the early church. So inspiring. I found this course hard only because the quiz questions could be more challenging to understand questions formatted differently from most quizzes. So it took some adjusting. All that being said, I still loved these two courses and appreciated being challenged that better prepared me for my further education.
These studies have greatly impacted the work I do at CLI, CLI, and CLA. I feel even more equipped to serve the Lord as His ambassador. There are countless areas of this ministry work that I can apply to this ministry training. I can apply all the amazing truths I shared I learned in Christian Ethics, Prayer, and such. And as I said, there are many ways these courses will be helpful in my personal life. We each face many challenges, disagreements, injustice, and evil, but through the Holy Spirit’s power, I do not have to be overcome by any of the struggles life throws at me.
This Bachelor’s degree journey has had a deep spiritual impact on me. I will continue to stay in the habits of Christian growth these courses have instilled in me. God has been so good to me and has opened the eyes of my heart to see just a little more how wonderful our God is. I will always be grateful for what I have learned in each course required for this Bachelor’s degree. I am forever thankful to my amazing husband, Mitchell, my family, friends, and my CLI family, who have supported me every step of this degree! Please lift me in prayers as I take on the immense blessing of becoming a mother, pursuing a dual master’s at OCU, and continuing to serve the Lord at Christian Leaders Ministries. May I glorify and honor the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in all that I do.