I am currently just about to go into my third and final year at RTC. I am very happy to say that God’s grace has gotten me through the first two years! The studying aspect at Regents is vital – it’s one of the main reasons people apply, and I enjoy studying.
I do think one of the essential things to know in going to a Bible college is that the studying and getting a degree is important, but it is certainly not the only reason to go. The most important reason (in my humble opinion) is to learn and understand more about God – Father, Son and Spirit; you may be thinking – surely that comes with the degree, right? Yes, it sure does. However, God is so incredible, the Bible reveals Him to more wonderful than we can imagine, and He works in so many different ways.
God certainly uses people to teach us more about Him, I was warned of this before coming to Regents! However, I don’t think I was actually prepared to do more learning outside of the classroom than in it! Learning from other people, even in the most mundane conversations, is one of my favourite things about the ‘Regents Life’.
All the lecturers and faculty members are staff that are dedicated to the students and their welfare, as well as their academic progression; they make themselves available to students, always going the extra mile.
From the national restrictions, I have had to do half of these two years I have just completed from home, and let me just say – it has been a challenge; especially having to write a 4,000 word paper without access to our library! On the other hand, all the lecturers have been very aware of this and were all available over a video call or emails which was always useful.
The last halves of both my first year and second year have been affected through Lockdown, and students were sent home; this was not only disrupting my social life but also my studies.
We always have an end of year celebration, something we call ‘Bash.’ In my first year, we couldn’t have one due to the Lockdown. However, in my second year, we were allowed to finally have one. At ‘Bash’, we have something called ‘End of Year Devotions’, which is essentially a service where we can reflect on the last year and say goodbye to those in third year about to leave.
The person who led this year’s devotions used the word “robbed” quite a lot; he said how it may feel as though a big part of our Regents journey has been robbed, but we have to choose not to see it that way. If I’m honest, the two main areas where I have felt robbed these past couple of years at Regents is: 1. My studies, and 2. The life I thought I would have at Regents.
This being said, the amount of effort all the lecturers threw into our online lecture weeks (yes we had twenty hours of lectures in four days every five weeks) really blew me away and made me realise that God can still use the online as much as the in-person. I realised that just because I felt limited with how much I could do, that doesn’t limit what God can do, and how He could use the online teaching and interactions.
Probably the most obvious thing about studying Theology is how much I’ve learnt about God. I’m not sure if this is the same for everyone that goes to Bible college, but I certainly have learnt an equal amount about God in the classroom as I have done out of it with the people around me.
What I have learnt about God in my studies makes me want to know even more! You may think that three years is a long time to learn about God, but it’s not even a scratch on the surface and it has just fuelled a fire within me to know Him more.
One of my all-time favourite modules that we’ve done is History and Doctrine of the Church because that is where I learned so much about what I believe and why I believe it. It taught me just how incredible God is that not even a lifetime of learning would be enough to fully understand the Trinity and their plan. That is why I love it – because every day in the classroom there is something new, something new to understand and to comprehend.
With studying theology, I get to study my biggest passion – God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit! This is what gets me through the hard lectures and challenging papers. I have to remind myself that I am learning about the Creator, the Saviour, the Transformer. In saying this, it can be challenging to have every belief questioned and transformed, but it’s also the best part!
As a result of my studies at RTC, I have been able to interact with teachings and sermons more because I actually understand what the speakers are on about. I am also able to understand my Bible more, and I am able to question myself in faith-affirming ways!
There is a certain humility, I think, that comes with being able to question oneself because it is admitting that you don’t know it all, especially when it comes to learning about God!
Finally, if I were to leave you with anything, it would be an encouragement to want to know more about God. I have found that learning more about Him doesn’t have to be in a formal setting such as lectures. I am able to go deeper in my relationship with the Lord. I feel I am even equipped to teach others about Him and this is not because of my abilities on their own, it is also because of His Holy Spirit who guides me.