By Matthew Halsted, Professor
Our mission at Eternity has always been to offer a thoroughly biblical and deeply rigorous educational experience to students all over the world. As a result, it is not unusual for our classes to have students from a variety of cultural backgrounds and nationalities. From South Africa, the U.A.E, Singapore, the U.K., the U.S., Brazil, Canada, Italy–students from a variety of places are studying at Eternity.
From the vantage point of a professor, I can’t tell you just how beneficial such diversity is for our student body. Our students get to study and interact with people from cultures much different than their own. As a result, their educational experience is deepened and their horizons broadened as they interact with their classmates on the other side of the world. In more ways than one, our commitment to equipping the global church in this way actually models what the Kingdom of God is all about–namely, God’s heart for the nations. It has always been God’s plan for his church to be filled with people from every nation, tribe, and tongue. Students at Eternity get a taste of what this is like every day.
We believe such cultural and national diversity preserves the integrity of the educational experience itself. It affords us a rich learning environment where deep and meaningful conversations can thrive. For example, because our student population is diverse, our American students get to learn firsthand how churches in Africa are doing ministry and advancing the Kingdom of God. Likewise, our students in Africa get to hear from Christians living in places like Omaha, Nebraska and how the God’s Kingdom is advancing there. In this vein, our students are able to learn from their brothers and sisters who hail from every corner of the world.
This sort of exchange of ideas that happens in our classrooms everyday is an education in its own right. It offers each of our students a chance to be challenged so their own worldview becomes more in line with Scripture. It gives all of us a chance to grow in our walk with Christ. Sometimes we need outside perspectives to do this. And this is the very thing our students receive at Eternity. In other words, our classes are anything but cultural echo chambers; they are living communities filled with Christians from a variety of backgrounds.
The end result is that each of my students receive a rich education–one that is centered around the truth of God’s Word even as it is diverse in perspective and globally oriented.
In this way, Eternity Bible College is committed to equipping churches locally and globally.