Lizzie's Real Life Story
Bible college was not on Lizzie's agenda, but something happened to change that. Dave Newton explains more.
“I thought Bible College was a place where everyone walked around in dog collars, praying and reciting the bible to each other.”
Studying theology in a Bible college was never on Lizzie’s agenda. Growing up in a Christian home and attending a Church of England church in Abingdon meant that Christianity was never too far from her mind. However, after a stable upbringing in her late teens she hit a difficult time, battling with an eating disorder and trying to make sense of life as a teenager she struggled to understand where God fitted in.
It was during this time of brokenness and wandering within her Christian life, that God presented her with another chance and she was accepted on a gap year in Equador with Latin Link. On the other side of the world, away from distractions and with a different perspective on life developing, she found herself beginning to encounter God again.
Developing a good rhythm of devotions and surrounded by eight other Christians who loved and cared for her, Lizzie found ‘the key moment for me was when I realised that I couldn’t fix myself and I needed to surrender again to God’.
On return to England, Lizzie began a course studying International Politics but found that it was not an environment she wanted to be in. The pressure was mounting for her to discover and decide what was next. Her gifts in music, singing and creativity were being recognised in her local church and eventually she stumbled across the Performing Arts and Theology course at Regents.
God continued to put little reminders in her way, bringing her to Malvern for a music recording, seeing adverts for Regents in her church, attending a wedding reception and being placed on a table called ‘Malvern’!
Eventually, she took the hint and went to check out Regents, but there were one or two barriers she had to overcome.
"I didn’t want to become the next big leader! I felt that people would look down on me, for not knowing enough or not being holy enough".
Now on the brink of graduating from three years of study Lizzie says, "I now realise that Bible College is for normal people who are called by God".
Lizzie describes her years at Regents as head stretching and heart shaping; discovering that whilst she was accepted for who she was, she wasn’t allowed to remain the same.
The benefit of early morning devotions, Holy Spirit encounter nights and interaction with other students, has meant her learning is not restricted to only her head.
"Even the lectures are tailored for reaching your heart and equipping you practically. One stand out course for me was studying the Gospel of John being focussed on one book allowed me to study it in depth and understand its relevance to my life".
Whilst at college Lizzie made a significant contribution to the community by helping to establish the REACT group, which seeks to engage students with the world around them. This group has raised awareness, finance and changed the mindsets of many students. As Lizzie reflected on three great years of training and preparation, she is committed to make a difference out in the world.
She is considering ministry and further study opportunities but ultimately wants to know Gods leading on her life. ‘I thought Bible College was a place where everyone walked around in dog collars, praying and reciting the bible to each other.
"I found people prepared to take risks, put their faith into action and rely on God rather than themselves".
Why not check out for yourself if Regents could be for you. We run a range of flexible course from one day, one week to 3 years or more. www.regents-tc.ac.uk.
Question: What are your perceptions of Bible college? How could Bible college help your next steps? Leave a comment below.