Future pastors start their training within the applied theology program at CBU
Riverside, Calif. (Sept. 17, 2019) – When Jeremy Flye was 13, his grandfather’s death made Flye think about his own faith in the midst of sorrow.
“His death led me to search the Bible for answers, which ended up being the only source of rest for my soul in the midst of my grief,” said Flye, who is enrolled in the Bachelor of Applied Theology program at California Baptist University. “I gained a greater dependence upon God and trust in His promises.”
As a student at Woodcrest Christian High School in Riverside, Flye developed a love for studying the Bible and during that time, the desire to teach the Good Book grew.
“[The applied theology program] will help me to not only grow in my knowledge and study of Scripture, but it will also help me in the application of it in the local church,” said Flye, who started his first semester at CBU this fall. “I want to go to seminary and become a teaching pastor at a church. I hope to write books on theology and Christian living.”
The Bachelor of Applied Theology program aims to train and support students as they pursue ministry and fulfill the Great Commission’s mandate.
Dr. Greg Cochran, director of applied theology within the School of Christian Ministries, said students ultimately have teaching or preaching in their sights as they begin their studies in the Bachelor of Applied Theology program. All the faculty members in the School of Christian Ministries have been involved in ministry in some point in their lives, Cochran added.
“The disposition of our faculty is to think of our academic discipline through the lens of church ministry,” Cochran said. “Additionally, we bring in church planters, evangelists, pastors and missionaries in order to complement what is being learned through books and through the study of Scripture.”
Dr. David Dockery, president of Trinity International University, spoke as part of the School of Christian Ministries Lecture Series in 2018.
The School of Christian Ministries Lecture Series also provides an opportunity for students to learn from leading evangelical scholars who encourage students in their ministry pursuits. Speakers have included Dr. John MacArthur, Dr. David Dockery, Dr. D.A. Carson and Dr. Steven Lawson.
Applied theology students are required to complete a two-year internship with a local church, which often directs their endeavors after graduating.
While in high school, Brianna Rios, applied theology freshman, became involved in ministry at her church and joined a Bible study. Studying God’s word sparked a passion in her life.
“Reading and studying the Bible for myself opened my eyes to the wonder of God’s word and to the beauty of His character. Growing in my faith helped me realize that I want to spend my life studying God’s word and helping others do so as well,” Rios said. “I know that God wants everyone—both men and women—to know Him deeply and to serve Him with the gifts He gave them.”
“My future goals include teaching the word of God at both the secondary and post-secondary education levels. I also hope to work sometime in Latin America,” said Rios, whose family is from Mexico.
Sam Nguyen, applied theology freshman who is planning to become a pastor, had a mentor encourage him to consider the program at CBU.
“CBU’s applied theology program was a major reason why I chose to attend,” Nguyen said. “I also loved the fact that CBU allows people who aren’t Christian to attend. I thought that is a fantastic opportunity for evangelism and a perfect opportunity to share the love of Jesus.”
“I hope to preach the Gospel wherever God sends me,” Nguyen said.