This is a bit of surreal announcement. I’ve been involved in education as a student or teacher since I entered Kindergarten at the age of 6. I’m now 40. And as of last month, I’m no longer a formal educator.
For the last 7 years, I’ve been working for Eternity Bible College. For 5 years as an Associate Professor of Biblical Studies and for the last 2 years as the Vice President for the Boise extension site. But as of this month, I’m no longer employed by Eternity Bible College (EBC). Here’s the backstory.
I moved up to Boise in May 2014 to plant an extension campus for EBC. It’s been a joyful adventure and I’ve seen God work in many ways. Most of all, this extension site has allowed me to get to know so many awesome pastors and leaders in the Boise area, along with the students that God has brought our way. However, even though God brought some amazing students to EBC Boise, there simply wasn’t enough of them to justify the extension site. We started with a rather low enrollment last Fall (2015), and this Fall (2016) we didn’t have enough students to offer any classes at all. I was faced with the question: should we keep the extension site open?
Looking back over the past year, I have spent more and more time recruiting students and fundraising, and less and less time doing the things I feel called to do and believe God has gifted me in (teaching, speaking, writing, etc.). To make EBC Boise succeed, I would have to keep recruiting, keep fundraising, keep doing stuff that I’m not really gifted at and don’t feel called to do. Plus, since I’ve been doing this for the last 3 years and the enrollment is not only much lower than expected but on a downward trajectory, I didn’t have much evidence that putting in more energy would make it work.
I truly thought that something like EBC was needed in the Treasure Valley (the greater Boise metro), but the increasingly low enrollment suggest that it’s not.
In light of all these factors, I suggested to the board that we transition our presence in Boise from a fully staffed extension campus to a more hybrid church-based model. In short, it wouldn’t make sense for EBC to keep me on the payroll. In some ways, I guess you can say I sort of let myself go.
Now, even as I say that, I want to boldly and aggressively say: I love EBC. I believe in EBC. My time at EBC has been amazing and if you ask me which Bible college you should attend, I’m going to say “EBC.” I know of no other Christian college committed to debt-free education, in depth biblical teaching, generous engagement with evangelical thought, and a passion for heart transformation. I love the staff. I love the faculty. And, most of all, I love all the students I’ve been honored to teach. Even though I’m no longer employed by EBC, you’ll still hear me talk and write about EBC. It truly is an amazing college. I wish more people could experience our vibrant and profoundly relational education.
So what’s next for me? Well, I’m not 100% sure. I do have several writing projects and speaking events that will keep me busy through the end of the year. And I’m talking to several people about creating church-based education on questions related to faith, sexuality, and gender. (Stay tuned, this could be amazing!) But we’ll see where I’m going to be next year, or the year after that. I’m open to suggestions.
I truly do appreciate your thoughts and prayers as my family and I enter into a scary, yet exciting, time of transition.
Grace and peace,