What does ‘success’ look like?

We’re at the end of term at IBI. All week there have been many farewells, hugs, thanksgiving prayers, plenty of big sighs of relief among students after an intense last few weeks of study. Staff have a bit to go yet with loads of marking and a 5 year university review coming up … but I ain’t expecting or looking for sympathy!

It’s a double-edged experience, this parting of the ways: On the one hand,  ‘job done’, ‘task accomplished’, ‘year over’, ‘courses passed’. On the other hand, friends departing, goodbyes, a real tinge of loss.

Students have formed communities of friendships with each other and staff – yet by definition this is a transient temporary community. 2009-10 is now coming to an end. We all have been engaged in a common working together for a specific time and for a specific purpose.

We’ve studied, taught, discussed, presented seminars, written papers, debated, reflected, prayed, sang, cried, drank gallons of coffee, encouraged, been discouraged, listened, struggled, worried, risked, worshipped, eaten countless meals together, learnt, laughed, shared lives, been stressed out, rejoiced, served, annoyed others, judged others, repented, forgiven and moved on.

In short, a Christian community; fallible, imperfect, ordinary people,  yet wonderfully marked, in my view, by the presence of the Spirit. A vibrant, diverse mixture of people, touched by the grace of God, for a while walking alongside each other before going different paths again.

So to my question, especially for students  (and I have my own ideas but I’ll hold off on them for the moment):

WHAT IS IT ALL FOR? What does it mean for a course in Applied Theology to have been a ‘success’? What are the unique benefits of a time like this, temporarily ‘set aside’ to study in community?

2 thoughts on “What does ‘success’ look like?

  1. What’s it all for ? Its a marvellous sharing of the Good News. Its the imparting of knowledge and awareness of all things God. Its beautiful and wonderful and the IBI is blessed to have the staff and Tutors it does. One can feel the Spirit flowing during class as debate and discussion ensue. Its all good and we should all praise and thank God for it. (It saddens me that there is not more of this at national and secondary school level) Lets all do more for the Lord !

  2. Romans 12:2 springs to mind: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind..”

    Transformation (metamorphoō) comes through the mind. Thus, specific theological education and training enables students to better become transformed into the image of Jesus Christ.

    This is one of a thousand reasons why believers should seriously consider theological education and training.

    Let no-one be fooled though, Patrick and the faculty at IBI WILL NOT write your essays for you no matter what Dawn tells you when you pay 😉


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