What Other Parents Have Said

In an effort to help you get a feel for what it’s like to be the parent of an Eternity Bible College student, we interviewed a few of our parents. Keep reading below to hear their thoughts.
 


 

Crystal
California
Mother of Alli and Tim – Former Students

When did you first hear about Eternity Bible College?
My husband and I started attending a home Bible study with our new church and one of the young married women in our group showed phenomenal insight and discernment. She told us of her education at Eternity, particularly that of the Bible Study Methods class. Her husband and mine became friends and one night at dinner with our two kids, she blew us away with the price of tuition. We quickly got online and could not believe the affordability. We called our old pastor and he too told us that Eternity was solid and very missions minded. We contacted all the people we knew who were aware of Eternity and grilled them with questions. One of our elders had roomed with Francis Chan in college and other members of our church had known him for years and introduced us to him. We checked out the church, my husband listened to three sermons a day for 3 months, and we did our background homework. Our daughter enrolled and then our son asked if he could also apply.

How did you feel when your children came to you and told you of their desire to attend Eternity?
When our kids were very young, they were captivated by the stories and testimonies of missionaries. Our daughter expressed her heart’s desire to be a missionary when she was 6 and our 4 year old son thought it best that he become a surgeon so he could support her. Throughout her childhood our little girl showed a tenderness and sensitivity to missions that touched (and pained) our hearts. Our son was convinced that he was wired to be an entrepreneur and wanted to be a great businessman who could help missionaries. When they told us of their desire to attend Eternity, it did not surprise us. What money we had set aside for their college education could go far and it was with our blessing that we encouraged them to enroll.

Since your children have come to Eternity, have you seen a change in them and how do you view that change? 
Great changes! As parents, we did NOT want our kids to be little replicas of us.  We truly desired that they would be conformed to the image of Christ. Perhaps the best challenge and change was seeing our kids start to defend their beliefs based on their godly convictions, not just the way they were raised. Regurgitated answers were challenged. Our kids had to learn to defend and define their faith. It rocked their little world, but drove them deep into the Word and the arms of the Father. Eternity has been an amazing stepping-stone for our kids to take their heritage and upbringing and test it against the Word of God with godly professors, lively conversations, and other students finding their footing.

How do you feel that God has used Eternity in your children’s lives?
Our son discovered that he really does love school and has a great capacity for learning. He is confident and yet humbled. He is taking the year he spent at Eternity as a great springboard to continue his education. His love for the Lord is deeper and his appreciation of salvation is much more passionate. He is academically and spiritually awed.

Our daughter still desires to be a missionary and will continue her studies at Eternity Bible College. Her friendships are dear to her and she is amazed by the work of Christ as she studies the Bible. Her enthusiasm to love the souls of unreached people has a renewed determination and zeal.

Has your life changed or been impacted by your children attending Eternity?
Living in (or near) LA is a lot different than the little town of 5,000 where our kids grew up. Conservative preferences were immediately challenged. As a parent this was a bitter pill, but like all good things, it made us, as parents, really evaluate our priorities and focus. Our comfort zone was fired on and obliterated. Oh, how easy it is to be a Pharisee and not know it! So many unknowing legalistic tendencies have been exposed. But this is good. We too desire to be conformed to Christ.

Sending our only kids away at the same time was not an easy thing to do, but God has been so amazingly kind and gracious to our kids and to us as well.

I recently had the opportunity to audit some classes at Eternity and must admit that I’m impressed. First, the professors are not the type of profs I had 20 years ago. There is a realness and availability without pompous flair. Of the four professors I’ve sat in on, wow, what passion and love for Christ and His Body is displayed. Community involvement, particularly as the Body of Christ, is an emphasis.

What would you tell other parents praying through sending their son or daughter to Eternity?
Do your homework! Check out the church and the school. Interview other students. Sit in on the classes. Do the class assignments yourself. Know their friends. Pray! Expect great things from a great God.

 
 


 

Ron and Joanne
Pennsylvania
Parents of Ben

How did you feel when your son came to you and told you of his desire to attend Eternity?
We believe that education opens doors for ministry and vocation. However, we could tell that Ben’s first year at a nearby community college held little meaning and provided little direction for him. Ben expressed interest in attending a private Christian school, but we felt that our family’s financial resources could not cover the cost of attending a Christian college.

When Ben mentioned Eternity, the first thing he told us was that Francis Chan helped found the school. When we heard that, our confidence increased, and we believed that it would be a place where Ben would thrive in his Christian walk. We read Chan’s book, Crazy Love, in a Sunday School class at our church, and respected his message. Ben already held conviction of what living the Christian faith in his generation should look like, and we could tell he really wanted to know how to put it into practice. Learning that the tuition at Eternity was quite affordable also helped to confirm the wisdom of Ben’s choice. More than anything, we wanted Ben to know and obey the Lord’s voice on his path, and if pursuing that meant moving across the continent, then we could get used to the fact that he would be further from home, but closer to pursuing his faith roots. We have no greater joy than knowing that our children are walking in the truth.

How do you feel that God has used Eternity in your son’s life?
We are tremendously blessed by the positive changes we see in Ben. He has shown a greater maturity in many areas, namely in applying himself, in his personal discipline and responsibility, in his ability to think and reason and in communicating his thoughts, in his creative writing, in the organization of his time, in managing his finances, and in his respect for others.  We acknowledge that moving from home to a new environment, assuming greater responsibility, and achieving a greater level of independence have precipitated many of the changes in Ben’s life. This could have occurred in various settings, but the unique influence of Eternity has been to provide mature and caring mentors and teachers in a biblical community around biblical studies that have developed those changes into a spiritually fruitful form. The godly influence of the Eternity staff and the people of the local congregation Ben attends are definitely shaping Ben’s young life in the way that we would desire for him. We feel confident that Ben is laying a strong foundation that will keep him growing more solid throughout his life.

Has your life changed or been impacted by your son attending Eternity?
We have had the privilege of having deeper discussions with Ben regarding current theological dilemmas. As parents, we are grateful to learn from our children and discuss broader views than our own. We feel blessed to be able to contribute meaningfully to our son’s biblical education since we had previously thought it would not be an option available for us.

What would you tell other parents praying through sending their son or daughter to Eternity?
We are confident that students who attend Eternity Bible College will receive a solid development of knowledge and skills necessary in responding to the current needs and worldviews of today’s society in whatever arena that may be. We appreciate Eternity’s pursuit of accreditation, and believe the accountability to this critical review ensures that the quality of the academic program of Eternity will remain strong and continue to grow. Also importantly, Eternity Bible College is financially accessible for many students. Simi Valley is a desirable and attractive place to live, and the college was helpful in giving us information on finding housing.

 
 


 

Tom
California
Father of Dannie – Eternity Graduate

When did you first hear about Eternity Bible College?
In the spring of 2004, we had just finished registering Dannie for a well-known Christian college. We were wondering how we were going to pay tuition, room/board, books, etc. Then both of our vehicles’ transmissions started having problems. Praise God! Then one Sunday, our Youth Pastor told us about a new Christian college with excellent professors and a much reduced tuition. We immediately checked into it, and after some prayer, Dannie decided that Eternity is where the Lord wanted her.

How did you feel when your student told you of her desire to attend Eternity?
On the one hand I was thankful that the Lord had provided a means of getting a quality Biblical education at an affordable price. On the other hand, I knew Dannie had been looking forward to the dorm experience at the college she had initally planned to attend.

Since your student has come to Eternity, have you seen a change in your student and how do you view that change? I think that she has matured spiritually and emotionally since coming to Eternity. The academics were challenging. But she seemed to gain a depth of experience and knowledge in the Lord from her interaction with the professors and her fellow students. We saw this as a very positive development.

How do you feel that God has used Eternity in your student’s life?
I think that God has given Dannie a solid Biblical foundation for her beliefs. From the vantage point of this solid foundation, she has seen God answer her own prayers as well as others’ prayers. She has seen God work in foreign countries. She has seen God work in our family. She can clearly see sin issues in our family, our church, our country, and our world. She can now clearly make a choice as to how to respond in a godly manner to these issues.

Has your life changed or been impacted by your daughter attending Eternity?
It’s been a challenge. My relationship to Dannie has changed from being an overbearing, dominant, discipline-centered dad to more of a counselor who is there to help or guide when needed.

What would you tell other parents praying through sending their son or daughter to Eternity?
Follow the Lord’s guidance.

 
 


 

Gary and Ann
Minnesota
Parents of Erik

How did you feel when your son came to you and told you of his desire to attend Eternity?
We were very excited about our son’s desire to attend Eternity and supported his “dream” from the beginning. We liked what we heard about the school, especially its low tuition costs. It seemed like a dream since it was miles and miles from home.

Since your son has come to Eternity, have you seen a change in him and how do you view that change?
The change in our son has been incredible! He knows what it takes to make this schooling the best it can be for him and he is working hard at it! He loves what he is learning!

How do you feel that God has used Eternity in your son’s life?
The small class size and student to teacher relationship is just what our son needed to thrive in this new season of life. It gives him confidence to continue to push forward to what God wants him to do.

Has your life changed or been impacted by your son attending Eternity?
Having our son a great distance away from us has been growing for all of us. God is so gracious! We are thankful for the work He is doing in us, not just our son.

What would you tell other parents praying through sending their son or daughter to Eternity?
We would highly encourage other parents to send their children to Eternity. We are confident that our son is getting quality education from professors who care about their students and do not take James 3:1 lightly!

 
 
 


 

John and Sheri
California
Parents of Derek

How did you feel when your son came to you and told you of his desire to attend Eternity?
We were initially concerned with the fact the Eternity does not yet have its accreditation, but after discussion and prayer we were confident that Eternity would be a great place for Derek to continue his education.

Since your son has come to Eternity, have you seen a change in him and how do you view that change?
Moving to Simi Valley was the first time Derek was living out of the home, so in that sense, there have definitely been changes in his independence level and life skills. He has always been a conscientious student, but we have never witnessed the interest in subjects or overall joy at being a student as we do now. We are grateful that he continues to be a dedicated student and attends and applies himself to his studies with such a willing heart.

How do you feel that God has used Eternity in your son’s life?
Growth in Derek’s spiritual life is very evident and the relationships he has developed with fellow students and staff, who by the way, welcome them in to their homes to have meals and fellowship, is something I am sure he will value for life. I am confident that his experience at Eternity will prepare him for the journey ahead.

Has your life changed or been impacted by your son attending Eternity?
Witnessing Derek’s passion for the Lord and the study of His Word and his willingness to live for Jesus has definitely made us examine our own hearts and commitments. Derek has shared with us many of the things he has learned and some of the materials that he has used we ourselves have read.

What would you tell other parents praying through sending their son or daughter to Eternity?
We would encourage other parents to consider Eternity, as it has been a very positive experience for our family.  I understand that accreditation is pending, but I believe the Lord and His plans and Will are beyond anything the accreditation lends to an already exceptional program.

 
 


 

Ralph
California,
Father of Michael 

When did you first hear about Eternity Bible College?
From an Eternity graduate who was an intern at our church.

How did you feel when your son came to you and told you of his desire to attend Eternity?
Some reservations about how he would do.

Since your son has come to Eternity, have you seen a change in him and how do you view that change?
Michael has grown spiritually to be a very good scholar.  We are impressed with how Eternity and the Lord have worked in his life. 

How do you feel that God has used Eternity in your son’s life?
We don’t know what the Lord has planned for Michael, but we are confident that he is being prepared for good works that the Lord will direct him to.

Has your life changed or been impacted by your son attending Eternity?
Certainly, we have been blessed to see Michael grow into maturity in Christ, and are very pleased with the education he is receiving.

What would you tell other parents praying through sending their son or daughter to Eternity?
I am sure that like any decision, Eternity is not the right one for everybody, but if a child is considering ministry, then Eternity should be among those considerations.

 
 


 

Kathy

Nebraska
Mother of Anna – Former Student

How did you feel when your daughter came to you and told you of her desire to attend Eternity?
Excited for her; apprehensive for myself.  Having home-schooled Anna, I knew this was the beginning of a time in her life in which I would have much less a part.

How do you feel that God has used Eternity in your daughter’s life?
After one semester, she has acquired a much wider knowledge of the Bible and how it is to be studied and a much deeper desire to learn as much as she can from her classes and professors.

Being at Eternity has given her one thing she has felt lacking in her personal life; that is, friends her own age who desire to converse with each other about deeper issues rather than just superficial things.

Has your life changed or been impacted by your daughter attending Eternity?
Having her so far from home, I am learning to be content knowing God loves her and is able to watch over her much better than I am.

What would you tell other parents praying through sending their son or daughter to Eternity?
If it is their desire for their child to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord it is an excellent place to be. But come prepared to work hard and be spiritually challenged.