Settling in

Hello Everyone

I’ve now been at Spurgeon’s College for 4 weeks and I’m starting to understand what I am doing. So I thought it was time I gave you an update.

College started with an orientation week which helped us to get to know each other. Spurgeon’s has a number of different types of theology course so not everyone there is training to be a minister and not everyone who is training is training the same way I am. Neither is everyone there Baptist. There are a number of Pentecostal students and some Anglicans too. However, everyone is friendly, christian and enthusiastic about theology. That makes it a very nice environment to be in.

At the moment I’m studying: Biblical Greek; the history of the Bible; mission; worship and preaching skills; practical ministry; and christian doctrine. They are all interesting but I am particularly enjoying learning about worship. There is a lot to think about in planning worship and I’m looking forward to putting what I’ve learnt into practice. In all the subjects its great to hear and read the range of different views on the topics. Due to the diversity of the students it means we can have some really good discussions. The lecturers are all really knowledgeable so they’re guiding us to think from many different view points. The library is also full of good books. We are learning Greek very fast and intensively; we’re already translating the introduction to John’s Gospel! It’s fascinating how much meaning it pulls out to study the scriptures in their original language and I’m looking forward to when I can actually read them properly.

The college has worship time in the chapel every day and all our lectures begin with prayer and a bible reading. So God is really kept at the centre. This is great because it has been a bit confusing and being reminded to reconnect to God is important. It is remarkably easy to study Theology and not think about God. Apparently there are many non-christians who study christian theology just out of interest. But at Spurgeon’s the emphasis is on studying theology out of a love for God; We are trying to understand more about the God we love.

But I am not just doing a Theology degree; I am training to be a minister. Therefore there is a practical side to my training. I am now starting my placement with South Norwood (‘Holmesdale’) Baptist Church. It seems to be a nice church and Peter Leveson (The minister) is supportive. It’s smaller than Perry Rise but that is helpful for my training. It also seems to have a family/community feel to it so I’m hoping to settle in well. As I will mainly be there, you won’t see me much at Perry Rise. But I will try to come from time to time and I’ll be asking Andrew for regular updates. I also keep you in my prayers.
Thank you for all your prayers and support for me. Some of my fellow students had to face difficulties to get here. I have had nothing but support and I thank you and God for this.

Rachel Jeffreys

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