Missions grad Charity Buchan (’00) had planned to be a full-time missionary. But instead of heading to Africa or South America or the Middle East, Charity became a homeschooling mother of six in Georgia.
“I wondered why I was supposed to get that missionary training if I weren’t going to the mission field,” she said. “I’ve since realized that my home and children are my primary mission field. It was my good missionary training that has helped me in many arenas of life now.”
While earning degrees in Bible, missions, or another ministry concentration prepares students for full-time Christian service, these degrees also prepare them to minister in daily life: while educating their children, working in a secular field, or just helping a neighbor.
Veteran teacher Dr. Brian Bucy has taught over ten different Bible classes through the years at PCC. “I have had the privilege of teaching students from every major,” he said. “I greatly desire that my students gain a vivid awareness of who God is so that they might know Him and make Him known throughout the earth in whatever vocation God calls them.”
When students gain a Bible degree at PCC, they also gain real-world experience sharing the gospel and ministering to those in the community.
Seminary master’s student Ben Muldoon took the time to minister to the local community this fall, serving up popcorn at Campus Church’s Pensacola Day outreach. “I love the activity of the church because it gives me a way to show Jesus Christ and do what He did,” Ben said. “Jesus never neglected the multitude when training His disciples. When we serve, we get to be like Christ.”
Dr. Dan Rushing, dean of Biblical Studies and Pensacola Theological Seminary, said that the Bible classes and degrees are useful to all students because “they provide a focused study in the Bible, the Book that provides the best foundation for every area of life.”
Youth pastor Kurt Copeland (’93) has used this foundation for over twenty years at Franklin Road Baptist Church. “During my college years at PCC, I really learned to develop a personal walk with God,” he said. “The most valuable part of my training was learning to be genuine and real for Christ.”
As Pastor Copeland works with teenagers, that genuine quality has encouraged them to trust him and share their hearts with him. “What I saw modeled by the administration at PCC was a spirit of excellence coupled with an attitude of service,” he said. “I sensed that from Dr. Horton down through the teachers. It has been a great challenge to me to genuinely love and lead the teens that God has placed in my life.” Throughout the course of his ministry, he has seen over 250 teenagers go to Christian colleges with over 60 in full-time Christian service.
Dr. Dan Troutman, who teaches Youth Ministry classes, strives to give his students a glimpse of “preparing young people for a lifetime of serving God.” His classes focus on preparing students to study God’s Word on their own. “I try to have assignments that teach specific Bible study skills so that all students can see that this is something they can do on their own,” said Troutman. “I’m not just teaching pastors and youth pastors but also deacons, Sunday school teachers, homeschool moms, Christian educators, and so on. They all need tools to study the Bible.”
Nursing graduate Trisha Piero (’13) chose to start a second master’s in Bible Exposition to better aid her understanding of Scripture and help her on mission trips with her husband. “The Lord continues to use my Bible classes to teach me more about Him and to share Him with others,” she said.
As teachers strive to make their classes applicable for students in various majors, they share one common goal. Faculty member Jared Twigg says that goal “is to always break the Bible down into manageable pieces so that students have at least the foundational starting point for a given passage of Scripture.”
While many students do major in general Bible, some students choose to double major in Bible and a specific area of interest. Twigg believes “this double majoring prepares students for a greater capacity to serve the Lord as they engage in their profession. Our philosophy as believers should always be ‘I’m a Christian first and a professional second.’”