While sitting in class in America, a young Ruth Tulabot (B.A. ‘94, M.S. ‘96, Ed.S. ‘09, Ed.D. ‘10) realized what she wanted to do with her life. Having come from a missionary family, she knew she wanted to work in the ministry, but it was seeing the servant’s heart in her high school principal that inspired her to take up serving in Christian education.
It wasn’t long before someone recommended that she go to Pensacola Christian College. “‘Well, if you want to teach, you better go to the best Christian school in the country that produces the books that you will be using,’” Ruth recalled being told. “At PCC, I saw that your educational attainment can be used for God, and you can show a Christlike spirit. It’s a ministry. It’s not an accomplishment. It’s not a ladder that you climb, but it’s just a place for you in God’s vineyard. That servant spirit really defines people from PCC.”
After receiving her master’s degree in elementary education in 1996, Dr. Tulabot returned to Tarlac Christian School where she has created and maintained academic programs as well as curated and taught materials. The school reorganized, becoming Tarlac Christian College which has an elementary (including preschool), a high school department, as well as a college department. Since then, she’s seen the student attendance grow from 150 to over 1,800, with 700 students in the college department. “The Christian education ministry poses many challenges. But these challenges are minute in comparison to the blessings, because the Christian school is a unique ministry where God allows individuals to minister to young people for several hours a day,” Ruth said.
Looking back, Ruth sees PCC as the tuning fork of her life, allowing her to be focused and well-prepared to minister to students. “It really set the tone for my current work at Tarlac Christian College, because really, I had no clue what Christian education was,” she said. “For many [schools in the Philippines], ‘Christian’ is only in the name, but at PCC, I learned that in everything in every class, you have to understand the biblical perspective on how to teach a particular class.”
Ruth’s leadership at Tarlac Christian College is only part of her ministry, as she also serves as a missionary alongside her husband Arvin in the Metro Manilla area. “The Lord enabled us to start Bethesda Independent Baptist Church, Timothy Bible Institute, and Jesus Loves Me Children’s Home in Quezon City, Philippines,” she explained. “The area that is most heartbreaking is the feeding ministry in a depressed community in Quezon City and in the children’s home. We feed around 500 children every Saturday. My husband Arvin often reminds me that most of the struggles arise because the children are broken, and their very condition led them our way. Because of their brokenness, God enabled us to minister to them. I have seen the Lord’s grace abound richly through these ministries.”
Dr. Ruth Tulabot has served to mold individuals to be better equipped to glorify God in their chosen professions. Although her road has been difficult to follow, she has found fulfillment in God’s calling for her life. “Growing up in the ministry, with my parents as pioneer national missionaries, I was exposed to the difficulties and challenges in Christian service both in the field and in the U.S. The criticisms and persecutions affected me and my siblings deeply. Personally, the Lord has used all the struggles and even humbling experiences for me to understand that it is an honor just to have a place (no matter how lowly) in God’s vineyard,” she said. “His grace alone makes us worthy to serve Him.”