Looking Backwards and Forwards Part 1

Monday, 20th May 2024
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Looking Backwards and Forwards Part 1

By Reuben Russell, Adam Riley and Glenn Gilmore


How have you found the College over your 3 years?

Reuben: The past three years have been both rewarding and challenging. As I reflect on my time at College, I am grateful for my fellow students who have played a vital role in my personal and spiritual development. This has emphasised for me the importance of learning in community and from the experience of others. I am sure that the friendships I have made during my three years here will continue for many years. 

Adam: Studying at the College has provided three major lessons: 1) It has helped foster several friendships as fellowship between students is greatly encouraged; 2) It has reemphasised the importance of maintaining a rich personal and familial devotional life; 3) It has stressed the necessity for good time management. All of these are essential skills that translate from the classroom into pastoral ministry. 

Glenn: I found my time at the College has been one of the busiest and most challenging times for myself and my family. Keeping on my job part time, having a young family and going into the demands and commitments of the Preparation for Ministry course seemed an impossible task. However, my wife Naomi and I can testify to the incredible provision of God throughout it all. We would not change a thing and have loved everything about the College family. We have learnt that God will sustain and equip His people throughout whatever He calls them to.  


Would you recommend it to others? Why?

Reuben: Yes – for me, it has provided a firm foundation to build upon in terms of serving God in full time ministry. In particular, the second year church placement was of great benefit to me as I was able to gain invaluable ministry exposure and experience. The opportunity to learn from someone already in pastoral work and to take part in ministry tasks throughout the year was very beneficial. 

Adam: The Irish Baptist College's focus on fellowship and faith is a joy to experience. This combined with an academic degree is worth exploring, especially with the availability of part-time and full-time studying. Furthermore, the partnership with local churches, both in the practical placement of students and in the classroom helps concretise lessons. Ultimately, IBC provides a useful blend of academics in an accessible, but practical manner. Knowledge is accumulated and is then put into action. 

Glenn: I would absolutely recommend the College to others, and already have! This course has to be the best practical/theological training on the island of Ireland. With a complete commitment to the power and sufficiency of Scripture, wise and experienced lecturers, practical opportunities to serve and great fellowship with those who will become lifelong friends, I’d say that’s not a bad place to be.  


What does life after College look like for you?

Reuben: In September I will be starting a new role with Coleraine Baptist Church as their Pastoral Assistant. I am really grateful for the opportunity to serve God in this way and look forward to getting stuck into pastoral work. 

Adam: During my third year, I have been balancing full-time study alongside pastoral duties at Magherafelt Reformed Baptist Church (MRBC). With a slightly freer schedule, I will be able to commit myself full-time to the ministry at MRBC. On another note, my wife and I have just had our first child (apparently I can say goodbye to sleep..?), and so we are excited about this chapter and all the changes and responsibilities it brings. 

Glenn: Firstly, 3 years’ worth of jobs Naomi has wanted me to do around the house. Then I hope to be given the opportunity to serve in a church as an Assistant Pastor for a few years continuing in my development alongside an experienced Pastor, and then God willing have a pastorate of my own. 

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