Reflections on first year at IBC

Monday, 25th May 2020
Image: reflections-on-first-year-at-ibc

My name is Richard Donnan, I am a first year student at the Irish Baptist College and I’m studying the Preparation for Ministry Course. I am married to Janet and we have three grown-up children: Adam, Naomi and Ryan. I serve as elder at Millisle Baptist Church.

 “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” Colossians 3:17

On Friday 6th September 2019 after 30 years working in Ulster Bank I swapped my pass, laptop and phone for a Madlug backpack and headed off to commence full-time study at IBC the following Monday. It was a decision made over several years, but one that I firmly knew was God’s will for me and our family. Under the trusted guidance and support of friends and our church family, now was the right time to take this next step. The previous year I had attended the IBC evening class at Strandtown and the time there was another confirmation.

As we approach the end of year one, notwithstanding the unique circumstances in which the academic year has come to a close, I am so grateful to God for leading me on this path, for his faithfulness in sustaining me, and for the many blessings along the way.

There have been many highlights including:

The regular student and staff devotional and prayer times – these are the very core of college life. God has been so faithful in blessing us each time we study his word and pray together.

College evangelism teams – in my case this was partnering with the church in Ballymoney. This further developed relationships within the team as we sought to serve God alongside the local fellowship. We were made so welcome and learned so much from Pastor Joe Flanagan, Andy Dalrymple and the whole church in Ballymoney, as they faithfully reach out and share the gospel with the community in which he has placed them.

The breadth and depth of the teaching and access to quality resources – I have learned so much in the past 12 months, not just academically but more importantly spiritually. I have been reminded of how little I know and how much more I have to learn as I strive to be a better witness and disciple of Christ.

There has been so much to thank God for:

A loving and supportive family and local church who have encouraged and partnered in prayer each step of the way.

A first-class professional and pastoral leadership team at IBC. The teaching is of the highest quality. However, it is the pastoral concern, discipleship role-modelling and personal support of all the staff that makes studying at IBC truly unique.

My fellow students, my brothers and sisters in Christ. From the very first day our 1st year cohort bonded well and have sought to constantly build one another up. The welcome, encouragement, and sharing of experiences (and generous good-natured banter!) from the 2nd and 3rd years has been wonderful.

I cannot recommend IBC highly enough – whatever your circumstances there will be a course of study that will help you grow in your faith and further prepare you for God’s service. God willing in September I will be back again, Madlug bag at the ready, excited for what year two will have in store.

    Blog Archive

Let’s Read Irish Baptist College Conference (Online) From Intern to Undergraduate (Emily Middleton) Let's Read: The Hole in our Holiness — The Reason for Redemption Baptists and Revival in the Long 18th Century Second Year Placements From Intern to Undergraduate (Josh Brown) Let's Read: The Hole in our Holiness — The What and Why of Holiness Final Year During A Pandemic 2nd Year Placement Experience Friends of the College 2021 Update The Art of Reading More Books Let's Read: The Hole in our Holiness — The Real Possibility of Holiness A Basic Easter Fact The Servant King Podcast Let's Read: The Hole in our Holiness — You Are Holy Third Year Reflection Gospel Guardians: Protecting the Purity of the Gospel for Future Generations Graduation 2021 Book Review: Succeeding at Seminary Let's Read: The Hole in Our Holiness — A Work in Progress Why the Irish Baptist College is Vital to the Health of the Association A Good News Story: The Ministry Partnership Scheme Why Study the Biblical Languages? Profit in Toil: A Short Message on A Level Results Day Let's Read: Small Preaching Recognition Service Report 2021 Sin Forgiven: Nourishment for Life and Joy for Living Let’s Read: Small Preaching—The Character of the Preacher Commencement Service Report Placement Friends of the College Update God Rejoices over His People: A Meditation on Zephaniah 3:17 Let’s Read: Small Preaching—Constructing the Sermon Evangelism Teams: Newcastle and Brannockstown Evangelism Teams: Stonepark and North Belfast Christian Fellowship First Year Reflections (Reuben and Andrew) Some New Books Let’s Read: Small Preaching—The Craft of Preaching Let's Read: Small Preaching—What is God Saying? A Christmas Reflection on John 1 - ‘The coming of the light’ Christmas Reflection on John 1 - ‘Life, Light & Glory’
Time to read Genesis...again Friends of the College - January 2020 Friends of the College - January 2020 Finances Tribute to Marion Craig The Resilient Pastor: Surviving & Thriving in Ministry Just a Blow-in? What is new on the shelves at IBC? Friends of the College - February 2020 Four Reasons to Study Theology Academically From Spain to Moira Testimonial Financial Update Friends of the College – March 2020 Irish Baptist Historical Society: The Mayflower Thomas Patient: the Father of the Irish Baptist Church Testimonials The Pastors’ Conference: An Encouraging Privilege Testimonials (part-time studies) In the worst of times: COVID-19 and the Book of Ruth Friends of the College - April 2020 The Long Wait: Victory Delayed Testimonials - Preparation for Ministry and Evening Classes The Leadership Podcast Testimonials - Ladies Study Fellowship The Leadership Podcast (part 2) Friends of the College - May 2020 Reflections from the Student Chairman Why do we teach the Old Testament? Reflections on first year at IBC Friends of the College - June 2020 Why do we teach Romans? IBC Placement Is Church History a Thing of the Past? Friends of the College - July 2020 Friends of the College – August 2020 Friends of the College September 2020 Recognition and Graduation Service Introducing the Irish Baptist College’s New Logo Commencement Service Friends of the College - October 2020 Filled with the Spirit: Soundings in Luke’s Theology of the Holy Spirit The Famous Five: The Abiding Relevance of the Solas of the Reformation Friends of the College - November 2020 The Importance of Theological Training in Fulfilling the Great Commission First Year Reflections — Tim Houston Singing: The Place of Theology in Corporate Worship New Library Books Friends of the College – Unite to Pray – December Christmas Reflections
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