Nipawin Bible College preps young adults for Christian life journey

Faculty inspires students to know and live Word of God every day

NIPAWIN, SK—Nipawin Bible College (NBC) has been undergoing a cultural change in recent times that has shaken the divide between education and discipleship.

The small college set in heart of the Prairies brings discipleship into every aspect of student life by encouraging staff and students to truly live out their faith.

NBC offers scholarly teaching through its diploma and bachelors programs in Christian Ministry, Biblical Studies, and Christian Leadership. But the focus on discipleship prepares students for their Christian life journey.

“We aim to inspire students to live out the word of God, not just to know it in their heads,” says Adam Yadlowsky, dean of student life. “We are trained not just to share information but to impart knowledge and inspiration—to know and live the word of God.”

He says Bible college offers a unique setting where people can immerse themselves in following Jesus for three or four years. “It is the closest thing we have today to the Acts Church,” he says. “There is no dualism between education and discipleship.”

The shift in the college culture has meant first changing the mindset of faculty and staff.

“It’s about living life with our students,” Yadlowsky says, adding staff do more than teach because they are engaged in their students’ everyday lives, helping them to grow academically and spiritually.

“We want to avoid having students view school as authoritative,” he explains. “We push the staff to invite students over [to their homes] because it shows that discipleship is a walk.”

While the curriculum at NBC involves heavy reading of the Bible and textbooks, students are also assigned practical projects that involve serving.

Student ministries, such as worship and drama teams, visiting seniors’ residences, teaching Sunday school, and helping at the local Salvation Army, go on throughout the year so students can apply what they are learning.

In addition to daily chapel, students meet weekly with three of their peers and one staff member to build trusting, personal relationships that stretch their faith. Students are encouraged to ask tough questions and to be honest about their temptations and struggles.

Second-year student Jay Steppan, who is studying to be a pastor, says the emphasis on discipleship has helped him be upfront with his faith.

“In class and in discipleship groups, there are many times where I have questioned or asked myself what I believe and to search out proof from Scripture,” he says. “It has humbled me in making me realize that I need to constantly keep learning and applying God’s Word in my life.”

In addition to teachers spiritually mentoring students, NBC also encourages older students to disciple younger students.

Steppan is a residence assistant in the college dorm. “I am there to talk with the guys in the dorm and to listen to what they need to talk about.  We are also there to be an example, and to lead by following the example of show others Christ, who is within us,” he says.

“Discipleship is at the core of what we should be doing,” says Yadlowsky. “If we’re followers of Jesus we should be able to say ‘I have three or four people I’m discipling. Discipleship really happens when someone pushes you closer to Christ.”

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View the full-page PDF of this story: SOM Nipawin 11-2013

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