First Year Reflections (Reuben and Andrew)

Monday, 15th November 2021
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First Year Reflections

We asked two of our new first year students, Reuben Russell and Andrew Moorcroft, how they were finding College so far. Here is what they said:


1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Reuben: My name is Reuben Russell, I’m 23 years old and engaged to Katie. I am from Ballymena and a member of Ballymena Baptist Church. My parents are called Angela and Stephen and my three brothers are James, Joshua and Jared. I missed out on the alliteration! My interests largely consist of being a sports fan; I play rugby, watch football and surf. I also like to spend my time reading and drinking coffee at the North Coast.

Andrew: I’m Andrew, I’m 23 years old and I’m from Portadown. I have 4 siblings; 2 brothers and 2 sisters (and a dog called Teo). I have attended Killicomaine Evangelical Church all my life, it’s where I came to faith, where I was baptised, and in 2017 I became a member of the church. I love all things sport; I’m an Arsenal fan (which at times is embarrassing) and I have been known to try my hand at golf which hasn’t always gone well! I also enjoy spending time at the North Coast with friends whatever the weather.


2. You did a degree before, what was it? And why did you choose to do another one here at the Irish Baptist College?

Reuben: I studied Geography at Ulster University in Coleraine and I really enjoyed both the course and my time there. Christian ministry had been on my heart and mind throughout my studies and over those three years I was given a number of opportunities to serve God in church, CU and on summer mission teams. These allowed me to explore my gifting and led me to apply to the College. I chose to do the Preparation for Ministry course because I feel it will help me to grow in my knowledge and love of God and equip me for Christian service in the future.

Andrew: After leaving school, I studied law at Queen’s University. To practise law, you need to complete further legal training after your undergraduate degree, but I felt that the Lord was leading me to get involved in Christian work instead. I spoke to my pastor and some of the elders in the church about the prospect of studying at the College so that I might pursue some form of Christian work in the future. When I graduated my church employed me for a year to give me some experience of Christian work. The internship involved preaching, helping with the youth group, visitation and leading a midweek home group. There is no doubt that this experience encouraged me to think more deeply about theological training and so I decided to apply to study at the Irish Baptist College.


3. How are you finding first year so far? What is the best bit and what has been the most challenging?

Reuben: I have found first year to be both rewarding and challenging so far. The best bit for me has been the opportunity to dig deeper into the Bible during Biblical Theology lectures and to learn from the wisdom of the tutors in general. The sense of fellowship at the College has also been brilliant and being a part of the evangelism team to Newcastle was a particular highlight. The most challenging aspect has been returning to study and writing academically.

Andrew: First year has been great so far! The work and the essays have been tough at times, especially Greek, but the learning has been very enjoyable. Last year, I worked from home most days so getting to know and interact in person each day with fellow students who love Christ and wish to serve him has been deeply enriching. 

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