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Bible School Students and Oswald Chambers Part III

Oswald Chambers, Oswald Chambers' students, Bible Training College, BTC, Moody, Biola, Concordia, Bible, what to do with Bible school degrees, missionariesWhat happened to Oswald ChambersBible School (BTC) students?

What do modern students do with their Bible school training?

Many people, then and now, argue that studying the Bible is an important grounding for whatever you want to do with your life. If you know the basic truths of God’s word and how to apply them, you can take that knowledge into any study and career.

Students attend Bible school for a variety of reasons (see previous post), often in preparation for ministry or just spiritual discernment.

Many came to the BTC over four and a half years for that training. (The school ran from 1911 to 1915 when it closed because of  WWI).

Five students in particular are worth considering:

Phillip Hancock was sent by a missionary board.

Jimmy Hanson felt a call to overseas missions.

Gladys Ingram dreamed of a missionary’s life.

Eva Spinks was at a crossroads with no clear vision for her future.

Gertrude Ballinger arrived for a few weeks of “spiritual refreshment” and decided she, too, had a calling to serve Christ.

Then what happened to them?

All five students ended up following Oswald and Biddy Chambers to work among the ANZAC troops in Egypt during World War I.

They slaved in the desert heat, serving tea, encouraging soldiers, traveling to YMCA stations in far-flung locales and pouring out their service for the sake of the Gospel.

Once the war ended, they all ended up in Christian ministry.

Like many young people attending classes together, Phillip Hancock and Gertrude Ballinger fell in love. They became engaged while in Egypt and married there. They served as missionaries in

Oswald Chambers, Oswald Chambers' students, Bible Training College, BTC, Moody, Biola, Concordia, Bible, what to do with Bible school degrees, missionaries

Phillip and Gertrude Hancock

Persia for many years.

Gladys Ingram met an Anglican minister and married him in 1919. A week later they sailed to China where they served with the West China Mission for more than 50 years. They are buried in Hong Kong.

Jimmy Hanson married fellow BTC alum Florence Gudgin and they raised their family in a grimy East End London missionary station among the worst of the worst. (The hall once was a notorious bar!) Jimmy also played a major role in later years as chairman of the Oswald Chambers Publications Association and helped Biddy Chambers produce Oswald’s books.

Eva Spinks, a charming pianist married another Anglican rector and lived her life as a pastor’s wife in England. She and her husband Stephen Pulford met in Egypt while he served as a soldier in the British Army. Stephen became a Christian as the result of Oswald Chambers’ YMCA ministry in the desert.

Their time at the BTC was well spent personally as well as spiritually. Their roles were birthed out of their love of God.

Other resident students became missionaries in, among other places, the Belgian Congo, India, Canada, France, South Africa, the United States, China, Australia, and all over the United Kingdom.

How about modern Bible school graduates? What do they end up doing besides becoming pastors?

Among the seven I interviewed, all are still faithful Christians who have taken their training in different directions:

A Deaconess in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, married to a pastor.

A computer systems administrator married to a pastor.

A CPA  who teaches Sunday school.

An overseas missionary.

A novelist.

An international energy expert who teaches Sunday school.

An editor of Christian bestsellers.

What the moderns think of their training

Oswald Chambers, Oswald Chambers' students, Bible Training College, BTC, Moody, Biola, Concordia, Bible, what to do with Bible school degrees, missionaries

Oswald’s Bible

When the modern Bible school alumni discuss their training and its present value, they reflect on the unexpected things they learned in addition to the Bible:

“The Listening course taught me a lot about how listening well to others is a gift, an act of love. You could say it was a class on how to love others well.”

“The importance of being ME and learning what I do not want in life.”

“Cult apologetics, Christian education for adults and discipleship.”

The deaconess got all her practical training and the missionary uses Bible school education tools daily.

Bible school is only the beginning of a Christian’s walk through life. Most people study the Bible in small groups or on their own. A school can help those interested in a little more. As the missionary said:

“I wanted to study the Bible in community, in an academic atmosphere where learning is meant to result in application. Otherwise I could have just taken distance courses by myself.”

The editor agreed:

“The professors were encouraged to eat with the students and to be mentors and friends. Christianity is part of all life, not just an add-on to your education.”

Oswald Chambers most certainly would have approved.

What do you think the point of Bible school is?

Tweetables

Trained by Oswald Chambers? Then what do you do? Click to Tweet

What do people do with degrees from Bible school? Click to Tweet

Oswald Chambers, Oswald Chambers' students, Bible Training College, BTC, Moody, Biola, Concordia, Bible, what to do with Bible school degrees, missionaries

To learn more about the BTC and her students, consider Mrs. Oswald Chambers (Baker Books 2017). You can order it here.

What happened to Oswald Chambers’ Bible school students? Click to Tweet

Note: This is the third and last post about Oswald Chambers and his Bible Training College (BTC). You can read the first two here:

Part I Oswald Chambers and the Bible Training College

Part II: Oswald Chambers and Bible Classes

 

 

 

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