Kristen Ferguson

APPLIED THEOLOGY, BAT

 

"I went from a very timid and shy young woman to a leader among those I served in my local church. CBU was foundational for my development spiritually, socially and educationally."

Why did you choose your major? What interested you in this particular field of study?
It was a privilege to be accepted into the Bachelor of Applied Theology (BAT) program. I felt God’s call to ministry in high school where I served in our youth group leadership. I realized then that there is nothing better I could do with my life than serve his church. I was mentored by Dr. Chris Morgan to pursue training as I sought to fulfill that calling on my life through the BAT program.

What did you like about being in this program at CBU?
I appreciated the curriculum and professors most of all. At CBU, I learned that there is a whole field of theological study full of people who love the Bible, the Church and the Great Commission. Supported by the professors, my love for all three grew exponentially during my time at CBU.

What did you think about your professors?
My professors were experts in their field and approached each class with care and passion for students.

Did you complete an internship?
Yes, I completed multiple years of internships in local churches. First, I was an intern in my home church, First Baptist Church of Barstow, learning the ins and outs of administrative church work. Then, I worked as an administrator at the Grove in Riverside, CA — clerical work for their counseling program and then in their children’s ministry. Finally, I was a youth intern at Shoreline Baptist Church in Fountain Valley, CA. There I taught and mentored high school and junior high ladies, took the youth group to Jenness Park, and facilitated discipleship in various capacities. These experiences helped me connect what I was learning in the classroom to the practical implications in the church. Those practical experiences then fueled my desire and investment to learn in the classroom.

Did you participate in anything else at CBU? 
I co-taught a Bible study for students at CBU through the Office of Spiritual Life. We did street evangelism regularly and worked through the book of Hebrews. It was a joy to live out our faith with fellow students at CBU.

How did you grow (spiritually, socially, educationally) while in this program at CBU?
As a young woman just out of my parent’s house for the first time, CBU fostered a rich community that guided my growth in Christ. From chapel to my RAs, the classroom to the caf, there were countless opportunities to encounter other believers who were seeking to live out their purpose in various vocations. I went from a very timid and shy young woman to a leader among those I served in my local church. CBU was foundational for my development spiritually, socially and educationally.

Did your major help you figure out your purpose? 
Yes. It was in our preaching class that I finally found out how God may want me to use the gifts, skills and education he provided to me. After one class, I had a conversation with Dr. Morgan about my calling. I tentatively said that I had some interest in perhaps becoming a professor. He whole-heartedly affirmed this desire giving evidence from his perspective of how my gifts and skills would be used in that capacity. His encouragement along with other formative experiences led me to pursue my MDiv and EdD, resulting in the job I have now on faculty at Gateway Seminary.

What have you done since graduating?
I have the best job in the world (at least to me!). I get to serve and teach students who are serving God in incredible ways all around the world through online education. I equip faculty to teach online well and facilitate online community among our students no matter where God calls them to serve.

God orchestrated an incredible opportunity for me amid the coronavirus pandemic to write my first book, Excellence in Online Education: Creating a Christian Community on Mission. As schools transitioned to online education during the pandemic shutdowns, a need arose for a resource to help these schools understand online education from a Christian perspective and gain practical advice on how to execute it with excellence. God granted me the opportunity to fill that need, which I hope is blessing schools in this difficult season.

How has your major and time at CBU prepared you for your life and career after college?
CBU was my first experience with theological education. The professors' passion for the church — not merely academic growth — has left a mark on me today. Everything I do, I do for the sake of Christ’s body, that it might be built up to maturity for God’s glory.

How are you making a difference in the world? How are you living your purpose?
I pray that my work with online education and my book may equip others to reach their context with the gospel of Jesus Christ. All believers are called to make disciples, but as we grow in maturity, we find out what our part in that Great Commission work actually is. I am honored to serve God in this particular capacity for his name’s sake.

Would you recommend CBU to others?
Yes! CBU is not only academically rigorous but spiritually formational. On a daily basis, students who attend CBU will encounter the gospel and how it is to be lived out in life.

Anything else you’d like to add?
I am grateful for the love and care of the faculty at CBU. Thank you for supporting me still today … so many years after graduating!

 

Learn More

Bachelor of Applied Theology
School of Christian Ministries

 

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