Hey everyone! This Nate Donley, back again with this weeks edition of THE JYG IS UP!! This week we're talking school!

All the JYG teens are back in school, making friends, figuring out their class schedules, and how they're going to survive all the homework, tests, and all their extra curricular activities.  Now for the reason you clicked on this blog post. Does school actually matter? School for our middle and high school students is so incredibly important. Learning social skills, time management, organization, responsibility, and finding what their passions are that they'll pursue when they move on to college. 

Our JYG and Kids ministry students aren't the only ones who are going back to school but here at The Journey, we have THREE current students on staff. I asked Greg and Bartola about why they're pursuing their degrees and how they feel about going back to school.

Greg Taylor: "I have a B.A. in Print Journalism from Harding University. In 2000, I graduated Harding School of Theology with a Masters of Divinity degree, M.Div. I am currently working on my Doctor of Ministry, D.Min. from Phillips Theological Seminary. I am a lifelong learner, which is a big part of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. I enjoy studying the scriptures and combining our Bible Project with what I’m learning in my doctoral program. One of the big things the doctoral program is helping me do is to engage the whole congregation in learning and growing spiritually, and I believe we’re seeing that happen right before our eyes. Look around you at the people taking next steps with Jesus!"

Bartola Kuruvilla: "I am working towards a certification in Children's Ministry at Oklahoma Christian University. I believe in the importance of educational enrichment and continued growth in my ministerial capacities here at the Journey. My desire is to be an influence and a difference in kids lives, to fully understand them, be effective in the way I communicate with them, and to build a relationship with each child in an understanding and loving way. I pray this certificate will help me perform better in my workplace and outside of it."

We believe further education is incredibly important! Especially when the Youth Minister has a degree in Sports Management haha! I received a Bachelor's degree from Oklahoma Christian University in 2014. I have now been doing youth ministry for 4 years and haven't ever looked back.

DOES SCHOOL MATTER?? YES!!! Even though I didn't get some sort of Bible degree, I still took Bible and Youth Ministry classes to get me prepared some for this calling I have received from God. Today I am starting my Masters Program. I am returning to Oklahoma Christian University to pursue a Master's of Theological Studies with a focus in Theology. I am extremely excited to be going back to school to learn more about theology and scriptures of the Bible. I know this will benefit our teens, their families and our Church family. I am excited and nervous but ready to learn and understand more about God!

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