Top 5 resources for understanding the Bible

What do you reach for when you want to better understand the Bible? Are your shelves and devices lacking a certain something that could help you go deeper with Scripture? Would your Christmas wishlist benefit from a dash of inspiration?

Here, five of our academic staff members suggest their top resources for unlocking more of the Bible’s rich treasures:


Shots of Crossway ESV Bible Atlas

5. A Bible atlas, such as the Crossway ESV Bible Atlas

Dr Chris Sinkinson

Nominated by Dr Chris Sinkinson
Lecturer in Old Testament and Apologetics

“One of the best resources we can reach for is a Bible atlas. We sometimes forget how the Bible is rooted in real places. To understand where those places are, you need an atlas. When I’m reading a place name in the Bible, often that’s one of the words that’ll go straight over my head.

Think of the Bible as a time machine. It is set in time and space; in time, we need to know when in history it happened. In space, we need to know where in geography it happened. When Jesus tells a story of a man who went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, we’ll realise that he really did have to go down. Jerusalem is up on a hill, and Jericho is down below. The road from Jerusalem to Jericho is in the wilderness and in the desert; it’s a lonely, dangerous road through the ravines. It’s only really an atlas that can bring alive the place names that the Bible writers knew about.

The Crossway ESV Bible Atlas (John D. Currid and David P. Barrett) not only provides the maps, but Leen Ritmeyer (a Dutch archaeologist and architect) has also drawn state-of-the-art pictures of the locations we read about. They’re based on the contemporary archaeology as he’s looked at where these locations have been excavated, what has been revealed, and therefore how Jerusalem or Bethlehem would have been in the ancient world. These pictures really help bring it to life.”

Crossway ESV Bible Atlas, $50 RRP

 


Screenshots of Logos 7 Bible Software

4. Logos Bible Software

Helen Morris

Nominated by Dr Helen Morris
Acting BA Course Leader

“I always turn to Logos Bible Software. It’s a really useful resource, as it’s got so much information and so many commentary series all in one place, meaning I don’t have to go searching around on my bookshelf. I’ve got a series of commentaries on there, so I can type in the Bible passage and get it on NIV or ESV. You can select a commentary, and it will tell you all about it. There are some really respectable scholars on there who provide a strong, in-depth analysis—all in one place.”

Logos Bible Software 7, from $235.99

 


Cover of New Dictionary of Biblical Theology

3. A biblical theology dictionary, such as IVP’s New Dictionary of Biblical Theology

Alister McKitterick

Nominated by Alistair McKitterick
Lecturer in Biblical and Theological Studies

“A resource that I would recommend somebody reach for is a biblical theology dictionary. The New Dictionary of Biblical Theology, released by IVP, treats the Bible both in its unity and its diversity. It reads the Bible as both as one book with one story, from start to finish centred on Jesus, but also as lots of interesting, unique stories and major themes that run through Scripture and each have a point to make.

Reading the Bible through the lens of biblical theology helps us to see how each passage and book fits in with the whole of scripture, rather than just reaching for the Bible as a ‘thought for the day’.

I recommend reading the Bible as one extended narrative; the whole Word of God.”

New Dictionary of Biblical Theology, £39.99 RRP

 


Elderly hands on closed Bible

2. The Bible

Andy du Feu

Nominated by Andy Du Feu
Acting Vice Principal (Academic)

“The Bible. No jokes. People are not aware about what the Bible says about the Bible. What does the Word of God say about the Word of God? I interpret passages and verses based on what I know of the Bible, reading the passage in terms of its wider context.

The other day I asked some students, ‘Who can tell me anything about Jehoshaphat?’ There was an awkward silence. I went back home to my three-year-old and I read her the story of Joseph. I told her how they dipped the cloak in animal blood and took it back to Jacob. My daughter interjects, ‘No Daddy, it’s goat’s blood.’ Ouch! I was schooled by a three year-old! I’ll take it! How about you come into college with me? There’s a whole bunch of students you need to school!

So, it’s that biblical literacy that people don’t have. For example, let’s look at when Jesus was talking about him being the Son of Man, instead of ‘the Son of God’. If you don’t understand anything from Daniel or Ezekiel then that sort of expression goes straight over your head. For me, before any other book or resource, I reach for the Bible.”

 


Holding open Bible in city centre

And in first place…
1. The Bible. Again!

Ian Coffey

Nominated by Ian Coffey
Vice Principal (Strategy)

“There are lots of good things out there, such as Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology, many commentaries and dictionaries. The usual place I start, however, is by looking at the Bible itself. If you hit a passage that is really puzzling, the first thing to do is to say, ‘Does the Bible shed light on this?’ ‘How do I interpret this in the light of what the Bible says in other places?’

One of the modules I teach is Preaching and Communication. I try to avoid letting students sit down and say, ‘I’ve got a great passage, let me go and find a great commentary, and I’ll work a sermon from that.’ The difficulty is that all they’re doing is reproducing what the commentator has written. Work with scripture, and when you feel that you’ve done enough, start to look at external resources. A phrase I often use is, ‘Write yourself empty, read yourself full.’ You write yourself empty by looking at the passage of scripture and comparing it with other passages of Scripture until you’ve got nothing left. So, you’ve written yourself empty, and then you can read yourself full. That way, you allow Scripture to speak rather than you looking into Scripture through someone else’s lens.

However, there are certain passages which are really difficult to understand. At that point, I tend to go to certain kinds of commentaries where I have learnt confidence over the years. For me as a pastor, one of the best series that has come out is The Bible Speaks Today, usually written by people who are both theologians and pastor-preachers. Often when you’re a working minister or preacher, you need good theology—but you also need to know how to apply it to a local congregation.”

 


How about you? What do you reach for when you need a deeper understanding of the Bible? Tweet us your thoughts and share your ideas.

Graduation 2017

Over 90 BA and MA graduates from Moorlands College recently celebrated the completion of their Applied Theology degrees. In the tranquil setting of Christchurch Priory, more than 70 per cent of the undergraduates were awarded with a 2:1 or First Class Honours degree. Our graduates, their guests and the Moorlands College staff team joined together to celebrate the success of its student community.

Dr Paul Nyquist, President of the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and guest speaker at the celebratory service, spoke of the impact the graduates would have in the world today. Reflecting on recent news and current affairs, he asked, “How does God want us to walk out in a world like today? He wants each of us to have a heart that is totally His.”

The Class of 2017 was the biggest year we’ve had so far, with students from all three of our regional centres coming together to celebrate the completion of their studies. We also celebrated the success of our Midlands Regional Centre, which was originally set up in 2014 and saw its first group of students graduate this year.

Above: A few of our Midlands Regional Centre graduates with Sharon Prior (Senior Tutor/Lecturer), Rachel Retallick-Cheel (Centre Manager) and Colin Bennett (Vice Principal of Development).


At each graduation service, we present an outstanding student with the Academic Prize to commend them for their efforts. Jonathan Senior, who graduated with a BA (Hons) First Class Honours in Applied Theology, won the prize this year. When discussing the achievement, Jonathan said, “I am thrilled to have received the academic award at Moorlands College. It was thanks to the quality of teaching and student feedback. After initially getting in trouble for using unnecessarily big words like ‘expostulate’ I never looked back and very much enjoyed engaging with God’s word!”

Above: Academic Prize winner and Christchurch campus-based graduate Jonathan Senior (centred) with his parents.


Many of our graduates will now take up roles as church leaders, children’s and youth pastors, teachers, evangelists, charity workers, missionaries and church planters across the UK and beyond.

Megan Barrett graduated with a First Class BA (Hons) Applied Theology (Youth and Community Work). She is now beginning her career working with Message Wales, a project working with schools, prisons, communities and local churches to share the good news of Jesus.

Above: One of our Class of 2017 graduates, Megan Barrett.


Megan shared, “My experience studying at Moorlands College was challenging and hard, but also incredibly fun and life transforming. It not only continued to stir up my passion for studying the Bible, but it also equipped me with the tools to be able to study God’s Word at an even deeper level. I am so thankful that God called me to Moorlands College and I cannot wait to see Him continue to do amazing things in my life, and in the lives of the young people that I’ll meet in my role with Message Wales.”

The 2017 graduates, from both undergraduate and postgraduate courses, were as follows:

BA (Hons) Applied Theology: Daniel Alcock, Rachel Bate, Christopher Benbow, Anna Boorman, Michael Britton, David Brock, Rebecca Brown, Sophie Canfield, Amy Capner, Damien Chambers, George Cook, Emma Cribben, David Duche-Ruilova, Debra Durrant, Daniela Eisentraeger, Matthew Evans, Giles Fairman-Bourn, Benjamin Fitzsimmonds, Zoe Gorton, Simeon Grimshaw, Graham Hayes, Maren Hedermann, Jonathan Hillman, Amy Hitchmough, Melissa Hobbs, Joshua Hooker, Christopher Humphries, Ruth Jones, Thomas Langston, Nathan Leigh, Mark McEvoy, Linnea Madeleine Murray, Paul Muzzall, Lee Pollit, Jonathan Schnarr, Alexander Scott, Jonathan Senior, Matthew Smith, Lucy Stone, Paul Sutton, Craig-Sweeney-Essex, Jodi Thomas, Clarissa Vanstone, Peter Wallace, Daniel Warren and Jessica Williamson.

BA (Hons) Applied Theology (Youth and Community Work): Christopher Adams, Christopher Bancroft, Megan Barrett, Daniel Bennett, Adam Brown, Tabitha Crawforth, Fiona Cursiter, Samuel Dallimore, Israel Douglas, Hannah Fenton, Samuel Hughes, Daniel Knight, Timothy Ogutu, Amie Ramsden, Scott Rushby, Ruth Slade, Joshua Taylor, Jessica Walker, George Wortley and Alison Wright.

MA Applied Theology: Nicholas Arkley, Carelle Begley, Clair Bent, Simon Burin, Derek Dayman, Simon Ellis, James Findlay, Robin Gerrard, Andrew Gaudion, Aaron Griffin, Wayne Hadley, Mark Macklin, David Sharples, Neil Tinson, Steven Watson and Michael Wildsmith.

MA Applied Theology (Youth and Community Work): Emma Holland

Certificate of Higher Education Applied Theology: Mikael Blacklock, Daniel Connold, Thomas James, Emmie Mwembo and Joshua Soal.

Postgraduate Certificate Applied Theology: Joshua Butler, Maureen Pimenta, Andrew Smallridge and Thomas Ward.

Postgraduate Diploma Applied Theology: Kimberley Dean, Darlington Machingauta and Greg Whittick.

Above: More of our grads from the Class of 2017.


 

High praise in latest National Student Survey

Latest government findings show that our students at Moorlands College are among the most satisfied in the UK, ranking in the top 15% for overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey (NSS).

The results released this summer reveal that Moorlands College scored highly for student satisfaction, with an overall 92% of students agreeing with the survey’s 26 positive statements. This overall satisfaction percentage been maintained since last year’s results.

In addition to the satisfaction ranking, Moorlands College were successful in many areas, particularly those relating to course teaching (95%) and learning opportunities (96%). A further handful of specific scores included: 96% satisfaction for opportunities for students to apply what they learn; 95% satisfaction for students’ ability to contact staff; and 98% satisfaction for the course’s intellectual stimulation, placing us in the top 6% of the 458 institutions whose students participated in the NSS.

When discussing the recent satisfaction results, Ian Kirby, Vice Principal (Academic) at Moorlands College, shared: “Our students have spoken clearly about the excellent teaching and learning opportunities at Moorlands College. Our staff are delighted to see that their partnership with students is working effectively to equip them for their future.”

And so we begin!

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.


Joy Giritharan

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.

Joy Giritharan
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!


Nigel Bailey

I feel driven to plant new churches and to disciple and mentor people who wish to grow in their faith.

Nigel Bailey
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.


Suzanne Magee

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.

Suzanne Magee
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.


Jonathan Phipps

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.

Jonathan Phipps
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.


Zoe Elsdon

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.

Zoe Elsdon
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.


Rosie Graham

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!

Rosie Graham
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!)


Pete Graham

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.

Peter Graham
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.


Matt Towler

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.

Matt Towler
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.


Freya Hargreaves

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?

Freya Hargreaves
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!

 

Friends, Winners, Scholars and Wolves: Highlights of 2016–17

It’s the end of the 2016–17 academic year for our undergraduate students. During the final week of celebrations at our Christchurch Campus, we asked some of our students and staff, “What have been your highlights of 2016–17?”

The end of summer term marks a time where students from all years can come together, celebrate the end of deadlines and say farewell to our leaving third year students.

The week kicked off with our students getting involved in various UK-based mission trips. Our college tutor groups partnered with churches to help at church-based events and got involved in community projects across the country. Upon their return, Helen Morris’ tutor group hosted a chapel service featuring student testimonies and gospel band.

2017 leavers (Christchurch Campus)

2017 volleyball

The Manor (Christchurch) hosted us later that evening for the annual Summer Ball, with the Shakespearean theme of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. The sun shone for the entirety of the week, allowing our staff and students to take to the grounds for endless volleyball matches and five-a-side frisbee.

Helen & Tony’s Tutor Group: Aladdin

Chris Sinkinson and Tony Thomson

In the annual staff versus students volleyball match, the students finally beat the staff’s seven-year reign and were victorious! The inter-tutor volleyball match was Disney-themed this year; highlights included Chris Jack (Director of Postgraduate Studies) dressing up a wolf from The Jungle Book, Tony Thomson (Head Librarian) as Rajah from Aladdin, and Chris Sinkinson (Lecturer in Old Testament and Apologetics) as Captain Hook from Peter Pan. You’ll find more photos from the week on our Facebook page.

The Christchurch Class of 2017

The week came to a close with our Thanksgiving Service as we came together to worship and celebrate all that God has done through our students.

The week was fun-filled, community based and a great way to wind down after the assignment deadlines. We commend the Student Council and the Mission Weekend team leaders for their effort in making the week all that it was.

Celebrating the Christchurch Class of 2017

Above: Rev Dianne Tidball addresses a packed-out auditorium


“Our calling is not to be great names or great personalities, but to be men and women of Godly character who enable Heaven to be seen through us, around us and amongst us.”
Rev Dianne Tidball

At our Christchurch Campus Thanksgiving Service this month, we spent time celebrating our student’s efforts as the academic year drew to a close. Rev Dianne Tidball, President of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, gave an inspirational message that focused on our role as Christians, how to see ourselves in light of Christ, and what this means in ministry. She shared: “Our role is to not get people into Heaven; but to depend on God, to be part of his plan, and to get Heaven into people so that we can shine with the light of Jesus Christ and build his Kingdom.”

The Charge
A leavers’ commission, known as The Charge, was spoken over our leaving students by Vice Principal, Dr Ian Kirby, encouraging them to apply what they’ve learnt during their studies into the working world or further study. The final paragraph of The Charge, presented as a scroll, reads: “We send you out with the words of the Commission from the Lord Jesus Christ, who said: ‘All authority has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you to the very end of the age.’”

Prize winners
Year group prizes were awarded by Principal Steve Brady. The Foundation Year prize went to Elaine Galliot (donated by Christchurch Baptist Church); the First Year prize to Jacob Tyers (donated by On Track Ministries); the Second Year prize to Ebow Essel (donated by Doug and Sue Barnett) and the Third Year prize to Fiona Cursiter (donated by Immanuel Church, Bournemouth).

Community prizes were also awarded to Enoch Adekoya for Preaching (donated by Christchurch Baptist Church); to Scott Rushby for Communication (donated by YMCA Bournemouth); to Daniel Alcock for Evangelism (donated by Blowing Your Cover); Alice Fenning for Contribution to College Life (donated by the College Principal); Israel Douglas and Dan Bennett won the joint prize for Contribution to Local Community (donated by Mike Yates).

Alice Fenning collects her prize

Above: Alice Fenning collects here Contribution to College Life prize from Dianne and Rev Dr Steve Brady, College Principal


Student testimonies
Several students shared heartfelt testimonies and spoke of the ways in which God had worked in their lives.

Elaine Galliot (Foundation Year): “The best thing I have learnt in my time so far has been discipline, discipline, discipline; in studies, in my home and personal life, in lectures, and in reading God’s word. I have found that to be the core of my year, meaning that I have a great foundation on which to build on.”

Joshua Clark (First Year): “Two weeks before I started this year at Moorlands, my family received news that my Dad’s cancer had developed into his brain and he had weeks to live. And so I came in the knowledge that this would be the most difficult time in my life. At one point I said to Dad I wasn’t coming; that I wanted to stay with him and look after him. Instead he told me, ‘If God has given you a calling, then God will give you an equipping. I would rather see you off to Moorlands where I know you will get that and where I know you will grow.’”

Enoch Adekoya (Second Year): “Apart from various matters outside college, I have the role of chair of Student Council here and delightfully, I got engaged to a wonderful lady. Amidst it all, the Lord Jesus has been so faithful. And he has reminded me so frequently that he is the Lord, He never changes and he is faithful till the end, even when my love for him fluctuates, he remains constant – ever faithful. In the Lord, I’ve found an unchanging, dependable Father, and in Christ a Saviour and friend who will never abandon His own.”

Jessica Walker (Third Year): “Moorlands has given me a new dream a dream to live in a poor and broken community working every day to see the beauty of Jesus work through the lives of the precious people on Thornaby estate, Middlesbrough. My understanding of a life well lived and a life worth living has been stretched. A life that is soaked in scripture, aided by in-depth study, a life in continual conversation with our Father in heaven, and a life that embraces the Holy Spirit.”

Enoch Adekoya

Above: Second Year student Enoch Adekoya shares his testimony


Our thanks go to the student band for leading us in times of sung worship; to the staff team and student stewards who all played a part in the success of the event, and to the kitchen team for serving vast amounts of cream teas for guests’ enjoyment.

We are now looking forwards to our Graduation service in November where we can formally commend our graduands for their achievements.

Leaving students

The Christchurch Class of 2017

Above: The Christchurch Class of 2017