September is upon us! We’re so excited to welcome back our returning students and meet all of those who are just beginning their journey here. We thought we’d find out a bit more about a handful of our new students, their testimonies and passions, and how they have been led to study at Moorlands College.
I wasn’t born into a Christian family because my parents were Hindus and Joy wasn’t actually the name given to me at birth; I was named after a Hindu goddess.
First year BA student, Christchurch campus-based
I was born and brought up in Barnet, but my parents are originally from Sri Lanka! I wasn’t born into a Christian family because my parents were Hindus and Joy wasn’t actually the name given to me at birth; I was named after a Hindu goddess. It was in 2009 when Christ revealed himself to us and showed us his grace and unconditional love when helping us through some difficulties we were facing as a family. The year after, my family and I got baptised and that was the day I was given the name Joy. I chose to change my name completely because I had a new identity and that was in Jesus. Since then I have never failed to thank God for his great mercies and faithfulness towards me and my family. At my church, I have been involved with helping out in Sunday school with younger ones and I’ve had so much fun doing it!
When I failed the first year of my A levels I literally felt like my world was going to collapse. I had no clue on what to do next and whom to turn to. I felt like a disappointment and failure. That was the time when I truly asked God to show me his plan for my future. Even after becoming a Christian, I still believed that I could do things by myself. All those years I was planning my own life but when I asked God to show me his plan I knew he would open doors for me. And he did! He opened the door of theology and he also helped me do better in my A levels! Over the past two years I’ve grown to obey Christ more and more and slowly understand his will for my life and that going to Bible college is part of his plan. I’ve learnt that the plans that God has for us are greater than the ones we make ourselves.
I’m very excited to see God mould me into the person he wants me to be during the next three years at Moorlands College!
I feel driven to plant new churches and to disciple and mentor people who wish to grow in their faith.
First year BA student, Christchurch placement-based
An atheist until age 18, my life was changed in 1981 when I was dragged to church by a girlfriend at Methodist Central Hall, Plymouth. Coming from the ‘outside’ meant that I have never felt bound by denominational constraints. This has manifest itself in my pursuing the work of helping Methodist churches and the Pioneer Church Network partner in projects around the UK. I have experienced a deep sense of calling to ministry but do not feel that this is to be found through a conventional Methodist presbyteral ‘candidating’ journey. I have served in many ways in the church; administratively, in Sunday school, in leadership, but for the most part through music; I sing, play guitar, lead a worship band and am also a Methodist Local Preacher.
God has planted in me a desire to raise up new leaders, to equip the Church with people who are so excited and passionate about Jesus and so filled with the Holy Spirit, that they cannot help but give their faith away. I feel driven to plant new churches and to disciple and mentor people who wish to grow in their faith. In 2016 I started New Song Café in Southampton, a worship community that meets monthly around sung worship, coffee and cake; it is designed to be accessible and interdenominational; a place to which believers can confidently invite those who are un-churched. Also in 2016 I launched CATCH (Creating A Transformational Church)—a young adults discipleship group; the name nicely states its purpose. I am Godfather to two of the group members and have shed tears of joy as they have made baptismal promises. Outside of church I am a keen photographer and videographer; a hobby I combine with wild camping and a YouTube vlog of my expeditions. I am so looking forward to building new foundations for my faith through the BA at Moorlands College. There is always so much more that God has to reveal to us and he has blessed me with a hunger to come to know him ever more intimately. That is what this three years is about.
I went on to attend Soul Survivor, where I was filled with the Holy spirit. I left my job and went on a few missions trips, mainly to Africa
First year BA student, Midlands placement-based
I come from a non-Christian family, although I was encouraged to attend Sunday school. I didn’t have a personal relationship with God until I was 19 years old. I was introduced to Chawn Hill Christian Centre, by a friend who I attended college with, where I first became aware of God’s presence. I went on to attend Soul Survivor, where I was filled with the Holy spirit. I left my job and went on a few missions trips, mainly to Africa and after some time I went on to attend a Discipleship Training School with YWAM (Youth With A Mission). God then led me to attend a Christian counselling school in London and through these experiences, I began to understand God’s heart for me and what it means to be ‘community’ and ‘family’.
I’m from Stourbridge, West Midlands and have been married for ten years and have two children of primary school age. Since becoming a homemaker and stay-at-home mum, I have been volunteering and serving at church. This has included doing family work, opening our home to people and facilitating coffee mornings for new mums. Through the people I have met and the conversations I’ve had and praying, I have realised there is more for me to learn: “there’s always more with the Lord”. My husband and church are in full support of me and I’m really excited to be starting a family ministry within my home church. I’m looking forward to being challenged, to grow and meet new people at Moorlands College.
I told my friends I was going on a date, but really I went to an evening church service with my friend and her family.
First year BA student, South West placement-based
I grew up in South Devon but have lived in North Cornwall for the last six years, and since then my wife and I have become part of an awesome little community.
I became a Christian through a friend at university in Bath. I told my friends I was going on a date, but really I went to an evening church service with my friend and her family. It wasn’t really until six months later, when I moved to a little village in Cornwall called Polzeath, where I really started to have a deep relationship with God and fully delve into my new-found faith.
At this point I met the co-founders of a project called the Tubestation, which is a church set up to share the gospel with the surfing community. They invited me to join a band they played in called the Grenaways, and a few months later I got the job of running the Tubestation café. Whilst I was part of this amazing project I was mentored by the pastor of the church and discovered the hope that we have and share as Christians. This inspired me to create projects to help people get closer to God, bring people together and to show everyone the importance of a life filled with faith. My favourite projects were the caravan chapel, a project set up to be a Christian influence in a seasonal workers’ campsite, and the Tubestation community garden.
After four years of running the café I felt my life being pulled into a different direction that included church leadership and pastoral work. Over this time I have found a passion for studying the Bible and teaching what I have learnt to anyone that will listen. This has lead me to where I am now, and I am super excited for the future and for being part of Moorlands College in the South West.
I was brought up being taken to church. My parents thought this was the right thing to do… Things haven’t always been easy since then but God has continuously been my rock.
First year BA student, South West placement-based
I grew up in Torbay, Devon, and although I was raised in a non-Christian family, I was brought up being taken to church. My parents thought this was the right thing to do, as they too had been taken to church as children. When I was 11, I went to Devon Christian Youth Camps (DCYC) for the first time and that was where I gave my life to Christ. Things haven’t always been easy since then but God has continuously been my rock.
Since leaving school I have had various jobs in social care and retail settings as well as volunteering with youth clubs and uniformed organisations. However, in 2016 I felt God calling me to change my direction towards working with Children and Young people. In the September, I started studying with South West Youth Ministries (SWYM) on their ‘Be Transformed’ course with a placement in Children and Families work. It has been a challenging year in which I have learnt so much, I have grown deeper in my relationship with God and I have gained so much valuable experience.
I’m excited to be starting the BA with Moorlands College as I know God can only build on all that he has done through me this past year.
I felt God was prompting me to start my Master’s degree. It was something I had thought about before, but had neither the time nor the means to do it. Within a week, he had provided everything!
First year MA student
I was born in London and grew up in a strong Christian family, with a Pastor for a dad, and became a Christian at a young age. When I was 11 my parents felt it was right to leave London, so we moved to Essex where my dad continued to be a pastor at a new church and where I regularly got involved with the various things going on. When it was time to go to university I found God sending me to Moorlands College to do my BA in Applied Theology, something I had never considered but absolutely loved.
I am now still in the Essex area but with my husband Pete, whom I met at Moorlands College back in 2010. I work for a schools work charity that go into all the primary and secondary schools in and around our town taking lessons, lunch time clubs, assemblies and support groups or one-to-ones. I am also involved in various things at our church from running the women’s prayer and breakfast events to youth sessions and family services.
At the beginning of this year I felt God was prompting me to start my Master’s degree. It was something I had thought about before, but had neither the time nor the means to do it. Within a week, he had provided everything! I am excited to further my studies in Applied Theology, with an emphasis on Christian Leadership and am open to learn all I can. I am looking forward to meeting others and sharing in discussion and fellowship and to take what I learn and study into my day to day work to glorify him. I am so grateful to have this opportunity and cannot wait to begin! (Let’s hope I remember one or two things about essay writing in the few years I’ve been away!)
I was born in Jersey, Channel Islands… I had a desire to go to Bible college and soon began my BA in Applied Theology at Moorlands College. I met my wife at Moorlands and we now live in Essex.
First year MA student
I was born in Jersey, Channel Islands, and whilst I grew up in a faithful Christian home it took me some years to come to Christ in relationship. As I became more interested in the Bible, I had a desire to go to Bible college and soon began my BA in Applied Theology at Moorlands College. I met my wife at Moorlands and we now live in Essex.
Today I work for a church that is very active in the community, and am involved in projects ranging from Foodbank and prayer meetings for the elderly, to youth group sessions and men’s groups. I have found my degree helpful in both preaching and teaching, as well as and serving Christ in the community. I am excited to begin the MA in Applied Theology to further my knowledge and understanding, and to equip me in bringing theology into people’s everyday lives and struggles in a relevant way.
I have really grown in my faith and never would have thought of going to a Bible college, but I feel like God has led me this far.
Foundation Year student
I grew up in a Christian home but lost interest when I became a teenager. It was only when I was invited to go to a Christian youth festival where I fully became a Christian. I gave my life to Christ and ever since, my outlook on life has been changed. I have really grown in my faith and never would have thought of going to a Bible college, but I feel like God has led me this far. I now go to Bransgore Community Church and have been involved in many church projects, including helping with a dementia café and the church youth group. I have come to know God and that He wants a relationship with us, so that is why I’m drawn to learning more of the Bible. I am very excited for the future and my walk with God.
God made it clear to me that he wanted me to become a youth worker, not a nurse. I suddenly found myself faced with a choice: My way? Or God’s way?
Foundation Year student
I was born in Portsmouth, where I lived for three and a half years before moving just outside to Waterlooville, where I have lived for the past 15 years. I was raised in a Christian home and don’t remember a time when I haven’t known God and his incredible love for us all. Over the years, particularly my early teenage years, my faith has wavered. I’ve questioned it and doubted it, but always came back to the conclusion that God loves me and I couldn’t do life without him. Ever since I can remember I had always planned to become a nurse. However, I have since realised that God’s plan for my life is very different, and better, than mine.
When I finished my GCSE’s in 2016, I really felt like God wanted me to take a Gap Year serving in my church. As I started working in my church I experienced God in a way I never have before. I learnt one of the most important lessons I think I could ever learn; ‘to let go and let God.’ Throughout this year, God has completely changed my life. I have been pushed as far outside my comfort zone as I think it is possible to get, but I have loved every minute of it and have seen God working in amazing ways. On top of this, half way through the year, God made it clear to me that he wanted me to become a youth worker, not a nurse. I suddenly found myself faced with a choice: My way? Or God’s way?
After a lot of thinking and prayer I chose to go God’s way and applied to study at Moorlands College. I am now a very different person to at the start of this year, and have a much stronger, deeper faith and knowledge of God’s presence in my life. I am so excited to find out what else God has planned for my life, especially as I take this next step and start studying at Moorlands College!