I have just graduated from the Women's Ministry Course. It was such a blessing as it expanded my knowledge, taught me to trust, invited me to pray

Dalia Kasperaviciene


At the start of my three year Preparation for Ministry Course at the Irish Baptist College, even though I was certain that God had called me to enrol, I was unsure of what to expect. What I got happened to be three of the best and most challenging, yet fruitful, years of my life. I got to learn both the deep theological truths of God's Word, and also the practical ways of applying these truths to everyday Christian life.

I am endlessly thankful for the lecturers and staff at IBC, who, over the past number of years, through a pandemic no less, have continued to be kind, gracious and loving; for my home church and placement church of Whitehead Baptist Church; for the prayers of family and friends; and for the lifelong friends that I have made at IBC, who are a constant source of not only counsel and encourage, but a constant source of good craic!

But above all, I thank Jesus Christ, for saving, leading, guiding, and equipping myself and others, in order to tell others about the Good News of the Gospel, for the expansion of his kingdom.
I enrolled into the Irish Baptist College undergraduate programme with the simple aim of completing the first year. Fast forward seven years and I was submitting my masters dissertation. Safe to say I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the college.
The undergraduate programme gave me a solid foundation to prepare for ministry but I was eager to continue studying post graduation. The masters programme was the perfect opportunity as I could marry work and study life together. Studying at a postgraduate level stretched my thinking on a number of highly relevant theological topics. The particular dimension of writing a dissertation on a topic I was keenly interested in for a full year was an incredibly worthwhile exercise.
Taking time to commit myself to theological study has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. It has enabled me to grow in my appreciation and understanding of the scriptures while giving me ample opportunities to put my learning into practice in local church settings.
Life seemed to be straight forward for me. I was going to leave high school, study music at university, and become a musician. This was far from what happened. Shortly before starting my university course I felt the Lord calling me to theological training. After some consideration of various Bible colleges, I chose the Irish Baptist College because of their excellent combination of both academic theological training and practical Christian living. This helped form and develop my faith, and enabled me to better serve in mission, whether at home or abroad. Subjects which were taught at the Irish Baptist College have left a lasting impact on me, touching most areas of my life.
After this, I decided to continue my three years of study by undertaking postgraduate study at IBC. The College’s firm commitment to the inerrancy of Scripture and the exclusiveness of the gospel; the strong community of Christian students (where you can make lifelong friendships); the staff members who have had practical ministry experience were all reasons that I wanted to continue studying here. I would highly recommend IBC to anyone who is seriously considering ministry of any kind, from missions to the pastorate, from religious education to practical service in church.
My name is Dalia Kasperaviciene, I am from Lithuania and I belong to Carndaisy Baptist church in Moneymore. Three years ago I heard and I accepted God's calling for my life. I have just graduated from the Women's Ministry Course. It was such a blessing as it expanded my knowledge, taught me to trust, invited me to pray, revealed my identity, prepared me for my calling, equipped me for good works and empowered me to go.
I previously completed a BA in theology though open learning and I had hoped to pursue further study when possible. Having taken early retirement the time was right to enrol for an MA. The MA offered by the Irish Baptist College through the University of Chester met my requirements: academically rigorous with a choice of modules and good access to a library. I therefore commenced part-time study in September 2019.
Each module has involved three days in class and this has proved to be very enjoyable, with good lectures from the staff and good interaction with fellow students, several of whom have become friends. While a lot of reading is required, the assignments are interesting and enough time is given to complete them. I have no doubt that this course has increased my knowledge and helps me better serve my local church.
My time at the Irish Baptist College was both informative regarding the academic discipline of theology, and formative in terms of serving Christ in the local church.

Thanks to the dedication and theological acumen of those who taught me at undergraduate and postgraduate level, I received a grounding in how to think theologically and serve pastorally. Time and again in my current ministry context as a pastor I find myself drawing on what I learned during my time at IBC, and giving thanks for the privilege of having been able to be part of the life of the College.
From time to time, God speaks to us in the most obscure places. For me, this was in 2016 while driving along a dirt road in rural South Africa. The burden for the lack of teaching in an African context weighed down on my shoulders and began the formation of a personal mission statement: ‘Get taught well to teach others well’.
After several conversations, thoughtful prayer and the interview process, I commenced the BD Preparation for Ministry course at the Irish Baptist College in September 2017. God has used the combination of meticulous theological study and invaluable ministry opportunities to provide the tools necessary for a lifelong pursuit of my mission statement.
I am thankful to my shepherd Jesus who has and continues to lead me; for the faithful dedication of the lecturers at IBC; for the gospel partnership formed with my fellow students; for the fruitful placement at Magherafelt Baptist Church; and for the sustaining prayers of my home church, Bethany Baptist.
I am excited to see how God will use my training at IBC to expand and strengthen his kingdom.
Having been away from formal academic study for 25 years, my time at the Irish Baptist College has been both a challenging and exhilarating experience. As the Lord’s call grew steadily stronger on my life I had toyed with the idea of further study either online or overseas. However, after meeting the then Director of Training, Nigel Younge, and coming to visit the College with my pastor during 2017, the Lord made it abundantly clear that this was the place for me to further my study of Him and I have no regrets whatsoever having chosen the Irish Baptist College. The in-depth theological study and practical ministry activities push you intellectually, physically, and spiritually. But looking back at the growth I have experienced over the three years is most encouraging and something I am extremely grateful for.

The fellowship of the student body and the staff is a crucial aspect of life at IBC and the relationships I have formed have been a tremendous blessing and positive influence throughout my time here, as I am sure they will be in the future. I am also certain that the foundation which we have received under the experienced academic and pastoral instruction at IBC will equip and sustain us for whatever ministry or vocation the Lord has awaiting us in the future.
My name is Lorraine Young, I’m married to Gary and we have 2 sons who are 16 & 12. I am a member of Annalong Presbyterian Church. About 2 ½ years ago, my best friend asked if I would be interested in going to the Ladies Study Fellowship at the Irish Baptist College in Moira. I had taken a career break from work so the timing was perfect. I really didn’t know what to expect, however I have always loved Bible study and I knew I would enjoy it…I wasn’t disappointed! The 3 lectures last for around 50 minutes each, with a break for a short devotional, usually led by one of the students. The topics are so varied e.g. Issues Facing Christians today, the Life of the Apostle Paul, Bible Guidelines for Family Life, Matthew’s Gospel and Discipleship to name a few. I can’t begin to tell you how much I have been challenged and encouraged through my time at LSF as well as the added bonus of making really good friends. There is also the option of doing an essay each term on one of the subjects you are studying and although I wasn’t excited about writing an essay after nearly 30 years, I really benefitted from this part of the course and it deepened my knowledge on that particular subject. I am now working again part-time, however, God in His providence, ensured my Thursday was protected and God willing we will soon have finished our 3 years. I have loved every minute of it and I would thoroughly recommend the LSF to any woman, of any age, from any denomination! I’m so glad my friend invited me to go along with her and I am so thankful to God for giving me this opportunity.
Having completed the Christian Education Course at Ballymena Baptist, where I am a member, I was keen to study the Bible in a deeper and more challenging way but having a teenage family made this difficult. The Masters course offered at IBC, through Chester University appealed to me because it had specific teaching blocks of three days per module followed up by independent study. This enabled me to organise study around my personal life. The modules offered were broad and relevant to the modern world, particularly the Women in Ministry, the Pastoral Care and the Apologetics module while Old Testament Ethics and Preaching in the Contemporary World greatly enhanced my understanding of biblical theology. I found the modules rigorous and they stretched me to think beyond the conventional boundaries where Christians can so easily find their "comfort zone". My three years of study have enabled me to engage meaningfully with colleagues, pupils and friends as to how the Christian faith relates to everyday life. The teaching staff were always helpful and supportive, particularly when completing my dissertation in the final year.
I enrolled in the part-time Christian Education Course at the Baptist Centre in Moira totally unsure if I was doing the right thing. Having left school over 30 years ago I thought I had left studying and essay writing well behind me. I should not have worried as I was met with great fellowship and friendliness. You can study at your own pace and at a level that suits you. I have just submitted my third essay - life is still full of surprises!
If you are considering any kind of ministry, or if you just want to grow deeper in the truths of the Bible, this course is the perfect place to start with its diverse subjects covering Old and New Testament studies, World Religion, Cults, Family Matters and Discipleship to name but a few.
Our class is a real mix of younger and older Christians coming from different denominations and backgrounds but with one common goal: to know our Lord and Saviour more and to study His word so we can be a light shining for Him in the darkness of today.
My name is Paula McCall, I’m 47 years old, married to Richard and we have 2 daughters aged 17 & 15. We have attended Ballykeel Baptist Church for 17 years and have been members there since 2015.
I had wanted to do a course in IBC for a long time and, after hearing Edwin Ewart speak in Ballykeel on the work of the college, I joined the Ladies Study Fellowship (LSF) in Jan 2018 with my best friend. From the first few minutes of the first lecture, we knew we were going to love it. The LSF is a great opportunity to learn from the wisdom and experience of IBC lecturers who include Pastors, missionaries and Baptist Women. The modules are so varied – some examples include World Religions, Introduction to the Bible, World Mission, Back to Basics, Communicating the Gospel and History of the Church as well as individual books of the Bible and some character studies. The teaching has really enriched my understanding of God and His word. The optional essays are challenging but so rewarding as much is gained from the reading and research.
I have found the devotional time, led by full time students, very precious and personal as the Lord has continually spoken to me through very timely messages. I have loved meeting the other ladies doing the course. We are all of different ages, stages of life and from different churches and denominations. It has been a joy to become friends and to pray for each other’s lives.
The LSF has challenged and encouraged me in my personal walk with the Lord, I highly recommend it. In fact, I would encourage anyone to study at any of the courses in IBC – you will thoroughly enjoy it and benefit immensely from it.
Having been a Christian from the age of six and brought up in a Christian home, I have been steeped in the routine of church life. Over the years I have been involved in Child Evangelism Fellowship, Good News Club, youth leadership and music ministries. However I have always felt a lack of knowledge of God’s Word and biblical background.

I was thrilled to discover the Christian Education Course was offered at Ballymena where there was a welcoming atmosphere. It has had a great impact as lecturers have sought to bring deeper insights to the Scriptures in overviews and book studies, plus many other relevant subjects. The opportunity to write essays encouraged wider reading and this has given me a greater understanding of the topics.

At the time of writing we are covering Basic Bible Doctrine, What is the Bible and What is Mission. The challenge is to ensure we know the truth-filled basis of our faith. Personally, I found the mission lectures to be deeply moving. I am now in my third year and I have thoroughly enjoyed the fellowship and the invaluable teaching which I know will be of such benefit wherever God places me in the days ahead.
I enrolled for the Ladies Study Fellowship to complete a Christian Education Certificate/Diploma. After enrolling I began to panic slightly as I had only recently begun attending church and had not been brought up as a Baptist. I sent an email to check if there were any particular entry requirements as I was worried I might not be a suitable candidate!

The response was very reassuring “no specific requirements…just interest and a desire to grow in faith and knowledge. Your church and [length of] time at it does not pose a problem.”

I am halfway through the second year and have enjoyed every minute of it! Last year the lectures included Missionary Work, The Life of Paul and The Life of Moses. This year we have just completed an overview of the Old Testament, a study of Matthew, and a study of discipleship.

My Bible knowledge was limited when I began and I found some lectures slightly more challenging than others. However, I have learned so much and have undoubtedly grown in my faith. The support and friendship within our group has been amazing. I can honestly say that every time I have walked through the doors of IBC I have been greeted with a friendly smile both from the staff and the other students.
My name is Mark Foster. I live in Carryduff and I am married to Sally. I am a retired Firefighter (with 35 years of service). My wife and I have been members of Carryduff Baptist for 27 years.
I have been studying at Irish Baptist College for the last 18 months. I’m looking forward to completing a three year, part-time evening class called the Christian Education Course at Strandtown Baptist Church. At the time of writing we are currently studying Romans, the Gospels and Basic Christian Beliefs.
IBC has shown me that the Christian church is much more diverse than I thought it was. Each of us comes from a different church family and this has widened my appreciation of how God is working in our lives and throughout the church, both locally and internationally. I feel very privileged to have tutors who come from a wide Christian background who are passionate and caring in teaching God’s Word.
If you have a desire to serve God I would strongly recommend that you consider studying at the Irish Baptist College.
I am studying the part-time Christian Education Course with the Irish Baptist College. I attend the Tuesday evening class at Strandtown. I have finished the first semester of my first year and we cover three topics each evening. We are currently looking at Romans, Basic Christian beliefs and the Gospels. I started this course because I think it is important to fully understand what we believe and I also wanted to deepen my knowledge of the Bible. All three lecturers have a real depth of knowledge in their topic and challenge you to think about what God is saying through His word. I have enjoyed learning about the book of Romans. We have looked at how and why the book was written and how it is relevant to our lives today. I have found the evenings to be very encouraging and have enjoyed meeting new people from different churches.
Having felt the call of God to go to Bible college and train for ministry, I began looking at a number of Bible Colleges in England where I lived. IBC was recommended to me by father-in-law who attended the college in the 80’s. After visiting the college I was certain that IBC was where God wanted me to be.

The preparation for ministry course appealed to me more than any of the other courses I had seen at other colleges; I was particularly attracted by the practical elements of the course such as church placement. I applied to the college, was accepted and we moved from England to Northern Ireland with a great sense that we were in the will of God.

I enjoyed three years on the preparation for ministry course and graduated with a BD. I am now serving as a Pastor.

The training I received at IBC has been a great help in my pastoral ministry so far and I believe I will continue to benefit from my time at IBC for as long as the Lord sees fit to use me in His service.
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