Uncategorised — 14th October 2019
My BA journey.
Denise Ridyard BA (Hons) Theology (Youth & Community)
I became a Christian at the age of 10 and began reading the Bible that I had won at Sunday School for memorising verses. I found it so amazing; it was as though God was speaking to me through what I was reading!
At that age, I would read something and then have questions: “How come Matthew, Mark and Luke tell the same stories but there are differences?” “What’s Revelation all about?” and “Why is Psalm 119 so long?”
I remember wondering whether there was something like a Bible school to help me learn more about the Bible and help answer my growing number of questions. By the time I was 12, I had heard about Bible colleges and decided that when I was old enough, I would attend one.
Due to life circumstances, it was not until my late 40’s that I began to explore the possibility of going to Theological College. After attending several open days at various colleges around the country, Nazarene Theological College (NTC) came up on a Google search. I attended the open day and just knew that this was the place for me.
The most important lesson I have learnt is to always keep Jesus central in my life, as He is the reason that I have been at NTC.Denise
Having waited so long to go to ‘Bible School,’ I was excited. At the same time, having left school at 16 with very few qualifications, I was petrified at the thought of starting my first degree at the age of 50! However, there was no need to worry: my first day arrived and I immediately began to make friends with several people of all ages and backgrounds. Some of my favourite classes have been Story of God, Spiritual Formation, Jesus and the Gospels, Psalms and Wisdom and Pastoral Care – it’s hard to choose! As well as being a student, I have had the privilege of serving NTC in many ways (Student Ambassador, Chaplaincy team, Student Body President, assisting in Pastoral Care Groups and Assistant Warden), all of which has served in developing and shaping me for all that God has for me in the future.
I would certainly recommend NTC to anyone thinking of studying theology. You leave with a University of Manchester degree, which means the academic standards are very high. However, the campus is small enough for everyone to get to know each other. The lecturers and fellow students offer great support in your studies every step of the way. The most important lesson I have learnt is to always keep Jesus central in my life, as He is the reason that I have been at NTC. In one of the weekly chapel services I attended, 1 Thessalonians 5:24 was quoted: “The one who calls you is faithful, and He will do this.”
During the three years I have been at NTC, especially during hard times, I have been able to stand on God’s promises. He is the one who is faithful, the one who calls us, and the one that will help us, equip us and give us all that we need to do this. It has been a long time coming, but as I look forward to graduation this year (2019), I give God the glory and can honestly say that he keeps his promises.
In my last year it has been great seeing God opening doors. I have been ministering in a church in Thornton Cleveleys and was recently commissioned as a Local Minister. So – I will be continuing to serve my church. Also, my placement this year has been as a Pioneer Chaplain in a primary school. Having been the first school in Wigan to try out a Chaplain in a primary school, they have decided to employ me as the part-time School Chaplain! As a qualified Teaching Assistant, they have also offered me some TA hours. I came to NTC to get a degree, but have come away with so much more. God is so good!
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