Eternity Bible College (EBC) is one such partner. Located in Simi Valley, California, EBC’s heart is to see each Christ follower trained for their God-given mission. Whether for passionate obedience to Christ stateside or overseas, EBC is intentionally training the next generation of disciple-makers.
Chad Painter is both a current student at Eternity and a youth intern at Ashland Grace Brethren Church. Here he shares how God used EBC to direct his steps.
“Usually, when I’m talking to people about where I’m going to college, I will get a chuckle here and there when I say, ‘It’s called Eternity Bible College…so I’ll be going there forever.’
“Seriously, though, being a student at Eternity Bible College has changed the trajectory of my life and faith in so many valuable ways. The reality is that the rightful King has taken over the throne of my life. It is his mission that supersedes the plans I thought I had made for my journey.
“I believe it’s important to align myself with God’s mission, centralizing my life around the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19–20). Whatever I find myself doing in life, God wants to reach others and tell his story through me.
“Prior to attending Eternity, I went to culinary school because I wanted to be a chef. Food and serving others with great food has long been a high-level passion of mine. I loved my time at culinary school, enjoying the wealth of opportunity to interact with people who didn’t know Jesus. But I wanted to be more prepared to clearly offer the message of hope in God’s Word.
“After finishing my two years at culinary school, I searched, prayed, and expected to attend a college that would align with the new values that God had been imparting to me. Eternity Bible College was the answer to that prayer. This is a Bible college whose vision is to prepare and equip disciples that make disciples (sound like the Great Commission?). In addition, they intentionally shepherd their students to remain debt-free while earning a phenomenal, holistic education in the Bible.
“For me, the best option was distance education. I was able to stay in my hometown, work in a kitchen, and serve as a youth worker at a local church. God used me to advance his kingdom in many different ways, including through my service in the kitchen. I was able to disciple a young server there who I was eventually able to baptize. What a win!
“Our primary vocation as Christians is to serve others and advance God’s kingdom on earth.”
“Being part of Eternity Bible College has molded my theology, philosophy of ministry, and teaching ability. Since graduation, God has moved me out of the kitchen and into a full-time youth ministry internship in Ashland, Ohio.
“It’s a beautiful thing to pursue a B.A. in Biblical Studies and cultivate the mindset of Eternity Bible College while getting to directly apply lessons in the local church. No matter what I do, or where I am, his mission will be evident on my journey if I am serving others and seeking opportunities to advance God’s kingdom.”
Eternity Bible College uses key internship experiences to develop lifestyle practices out of knowledge. In partnership with Encompass, EBC students can receive credit for participating in Encounter SoCal, our one-week multi-cultural immersion experience to learn and serve the nations of the world that call southern California their home. Encompass mobilizer, Ed Trenner, who visits EBC’s campus every semester, hosts Encounter SoCal each year.
We are called to make disciples everywhere we go. Some of us are called to make disciples in Ashland, Ohio, and some of us are called to make disciples in say Yaoundé, Cameroon. Through partners such as Eternity Bible College, Encompass has been introduced to competent and godly workers, trained and excited to pursue the mission God has given each one.
Commissioned by their local churches, Encompass has the joy of seeing EBC grads deployed to the field. May the Lord lead each one to the work he has called them. As Chad says, “Our primary vocation as Christians is to serve others and advance God’s kingdom on earth.”
Chad Painter serves at Ashland GBC while taking classes online through Eternity Bible College. Chad is looking forward to getting married in September and celebrating a Cleveland Championship sometime in his lifetime.