When Jason Lee (‘19) started looking around for an online degree that was right for him, he stumbled upon Lancaster Bible College. The North Carolina native has never been to our Lancaster, PA campus, but says he’s proud to himself among LBC’s students. Here, he shares with us what his experience with distance education earning an online Bible degree was like, how he balanced working in ministry while keeping up with his homework assignments and more.
1. Where do you work?
I am the youth pastor at Dublin First Baptist Church.
2. Why did you choose to study at LBC online?
LBC provided me the quickest pathway in which to get my undergraduate degree. I had gone to college before, but had not completed my degree.
3. Did you enjoy the accelerated, 6-week course format?
I did. It got hectic at times and stretched me, but it was never too much to handle, provided I managed my time wisely. A few months after beginning work as a youth pastor, our senior pastor resigned and I was unsure if I could complete the required coursework with additional pastoral responsibilities that I experienced, but God gave me grace and strength.
4. Did you find the online side of things – “virtual” classes, submitting homework assignments, interacting with classmate – easy to assimilate to? Were faculty members helpful when you had questions?
It was different than “seated” classes, but I felt that there was significantly more interaction and discussion in this format. I was exposed to ideas offered by my classmates that I do not think I would have been in a standard scholastic environment, and discussing these concepts aided my critical thinking skills. LBC online interface is extremely user-friendly, even if you are not all that tech-savvy. I had no problems at all contacting faculty members; they were always approachable and caring.
5. How did you juggle ministry, work and family while studying?
Time management is essential. Classes usually open a week before they actually start, and having a head start is incredibly helpful. I always tried to stay a week ahead on reading and posted in discussion boards as soon as possible. Scheduling consistent times to do specific phases of coursework is important, too. I never experienced a late assignment and do not ever remember feeling that any requirements were too much.
6. What most impressed you about LBC’s online education?
The quality of learning. I was not sure what to expect, and was glad to find out that the requirements were not easy. Earning your degree will take discipline and effort, but you will be better at whatever God has called you to do because of the things you learn in the accelerated degree program.
7. What are the biggest benefits of studying online through LBC?
For me it was not having to ever leave my ministry for school. I was frequently able to apply things I was learning at LBC to my ministry in “real time.” It was never a question about, “Will I ever use this?” I had consistent opportunities to see the value of what I was learning in my current life experience.
8. How has your education at LBC shaped your ministry and work?
Because LBC is non-denominational, I was exposed to biblical views from other students that I may not have been prior to studying at LBC. In my ministry, I am exposed to these differing theological concepts, and the discussion board aspect of my LBC education prepared me to interact with those who may have a different understanding of what God’s Word is communicating. Because of my experience in this facet of my education at LBC, my personal doctrinal positions were more fully developed and established. Also, finally completing my undergraduate degree in Biblical Studies has removed metaphorical “lids” that kept me from applying for or receiving consideration for some ministry positions.