Is SBC Worth The Time And Money?
Is SBC worth the time and money? This is the question I wrestled with for 3 years after I graduated high school. I was worried: What if I would waste a bunch of time and money and I wouldn’t end up using my education? What if it wouldn’t be worth it?
These are legitimate questions and worries, and maybe you’re facing the same worries now. If you’re eager to start your career, the time and money spent at SBC would set you back. If you’re eager to jump into vocational ministry or mission, the time and money spent at SBC might be holding you back from pursuing that calling.
In any case, attending SBC (or any post-secondary education) requires you to sacrifice two hot commodities – time and money. I am currently in my 4th year at SBC, and I can say that, although it has required sacrifice, it has been more than worth it.
Here’s why it could be worth it for you:
1. Become Equipped
For The Workplace
You might be thinking, “Why do I need a bible college education if I’m heading into the workplace?” Good question! While the workplace is not vocational ministry, it is ministry nonetheless. God has called each of His followers to be salt and light right where they are (Matthew 5:13-16). So, if you’re wanting to become an accountant, a tradesperson, a nurse, an artist, an engineer, or anything else, you can be engaged in ministry, and you can make a difference for the Kingdom. Beyond just being skilled at what you do, you can make an eternal impact in people’s lives. And it is in these fields that you can impact people that pastors and ministry leaders often cannot.
While the possibility is exciting, you can also expect opposition as a follower of Jesus. That is why having a solid, biblical foundation is so important. In the secular workplace, you’ll encounter people who live and believe differently than you. You’ll encounter ethical issues where you’ll need to choose between the values of the world and the values of Jesus. SBC equips its students with biblical knowledge and discernment skills to live for Christ in the workplace – a place where resistance to Christ and His Kingdom might be more experienced.
In addition to the spiritual benefits, SBC has many practical benefits if you want to pursue a career. Through my time here, I have developed many transferrable skills such as effective teamwork, communication (written and verbal), time-management, problem-solving, and flexibility. On top of that, I have grown in integrity, resiliency, courage, and willingness to serve. These are all skills and character traits that employers long for in an employee.
Now, if you’re planning on entering vocational ministry or missions and are eager to get going, SBC might seem like a bit of a detour. You might be thinking, “Wouldn’t it be easier to learn on the job? Why waste time in school when I know God is calling me to this ministry? I could make a difference now!” Again, all valid thoughts, but let’s explore that a bit.
Times of equipping for ministry are nothing new. When God called the apostle Paul to a life of ministry, he prepared and studied for 14 years! And Jesus himself lived 30 years before starting his 3-year ministry. That ratio itself speaks volumes to the importance of preparing before you enter ministry.
I was talking to a recent graduate from our 3-year BA program who is just about to begin long-term overseas missions. Here is what she had to say about her time of equipping:
“There were times at SBC when I got impatient with the “Christian bubble”; I just wanted to get out into the world already and actually live the things I was learning. However, looking back I can see that each of my three years at SBC were crucial to forming the person I am today. Because the “bubble” is actually more like a greenhouse; where your character, knowledge, and faith are nurtured and strengthened in community, rooted in Christ. Spending time in preparation for ministry is such an important investment, you will definitely not regret it!”
The desire to jump right into ministry or missions is admirable. However, there is incredible value in taking the time to be equipped for the role. Ministry is hard work after all! Time spent investing in a biblical foundation, growing in your skills and gifts, and deepening your relationship with God will be such a blessing as you enter vocational ministry or missions.
2. Environment for Growth
Another reason SBC has been worth the time and money for me (and many others) is because I get to live in a supportive environment that is tailored for growth and transformation. There are not many times in my life where I will get to say that.
The staff and faculty are genuinely kind, incredibly wise and intelligent, and always down to chat about life and faith. They have supported me through my doubts, struggles, and questions, have empowered me to take risks, and prayed for me as I consider where God is calling me. At SBC, they create a safe space where we are invited to try out different ministries and explore our gifts while still being surrounded by a support system. Throughout all this, they consistently model what it looks like to live a life for Jesus.
Living in a community of like-minded, yet unique, peers has also been part of the transformation process. I have learned to love and be loved, to serve and be served. Journeying together with people who have become my closest friends has made all the difference.
I can confidently say that I am not the same person I was 4 years ago, and I mean that in the best way. It may have required time and money to get to this point, but I wouldn’t change it and I definitely don’t regret it. I know that the person I have become, the person SBC has helped me become, it was worth the investment.
3. Lifelong Impact + An Eternal Perspective
While there are certainly many reasons to attend SBC and find out for yourself why it’s worth the time and money, it can be so easy to lose perspective. We often lose sight of the long run, especially when facing the pressures of society (usually to get a good job and make lots of money, ASAP!)
This was the dilemma I faced as I was deciding whether or not to come to SBC. A lot of the people around me didn’t understand why I would spend so much time and money on an education that wouldn’t necessarily lead to a career. Even though I was really stoked about SBC, these doubts got to me after a while.
Of course, I did end up coming to SBC, but those doubts come back every now and again. As I have invested 3.5 years and many dollars into my SBC education, I find it helpful to remind myself of the eternal perspective: resources invested into the Kingdom are never wasted. It may seem foolish to others and sometimes we ourselves even wonder how God will use our sacrifice.
If you’re unsure of your future…you’re in good company!
Maybe you just don’t know what you want to do yet, and that’s okay! SBC can still be worth it even if you’re future is unsure. This is the category I find myself in right now. I feel a tug towards vocational ministry, but also see the appeal in a career. Even in my uncertainty I know that wherever God leads me, SBC has equipped me. If I end up pursuing a career, I have the biblical foundation, experience, skills, and support to flourish the same if I would enter vocational ministry.
Even looking beyond that, I know that SBC has equipped me for the calling that supersedes whatever work l will end up doing and that calling is to live a life of active faith in Jesus Christ. Whereas an accountant might only use their career education in their work life, a graduate of SBC will find their education applicable in every aspect of their life.
So, what now?
Whether you’re wanting to pursue a career, enter vocational ministry or missions, or you just don’t know where God is leading you yet, I would truly invite you to consider SBC. It is an amazing place to:
- be equipped for the next stage of your life,
- to be surrounded by warm, supportive community,
- to grow in your faith, confidence, skills, and gifts, and,
- to invest in an education that will have a lifelong and eternal impact.
If you’re feeling the nudge to experience SBC for yourself, I encourage you to reach out to Kaylene Buhler: e-mail at email@example.com or call/text at 204-371-8103. She’s our Admissions Counsellor, and she’s amazing. You can ask her about program info, upcoming Campus Visits, community life, or whatever else you’re wondering about.
Judy is SBC’s student blogger for 2021-2022. She is currently in her 4th year of studies at SBC with a Ministry Leadership focus.