September 2016 Student Newsletter

Words from the Director

Russell Haffner

School Director: Russell Haffner

You are to be commended for your decision to undertake a thorough study of God’s word. You have devoted yourself to a better understanding of the Bible because you realize the importance of knowing God’s will. As you engage in this study I would encourage you to share what you learn with others. Sometimes we overlook the responsibility we have to teach God’s word. In Matthew 28:18-20 we find, “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.” Jesus commanded the disciples to teach others the things He had taught them. Today we have the same obligation to teach others. However, our problem is we sometimes make this more difficult and complicated than it needs to be. In its simplest form evangelism only requires extending an invitation. We invite our friends, neighbors and co-workers to examine for themselves the teachings of Christ.

One way you can do this is by telling them about the resources available at the WVBS Online Bible School (see the student comments section below for encouragement). You simply need to say something like, “The school is wonderful. I’m learning so much. You should try it.” This uncomplicated approach will help you to overcome any fear you may have when trying to talk to others about the Bible. Sometimes a kind invitation is all that is required to persuade them to investigate the teachings of God’s word. John 1:45-46 explains, “Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.’ And Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see.’”

So, I encourage you to tell others about the school. Talk to them about the things you have learned. Explain to them why and how you became a student. If you tell them about the benefits of the school they may decide to see for themselves the resources which are offered. Simply extend to them a special invitation.

Do Exams and Research Papers Scare You?

Perhaps you have thought about enrolling as a Formal or Informal student but you are worried that the exams and research papers will be too difficult. Please allow me to ease your fears. We attempt to make the taking of exams as simple as possible. You are allowed to download the exams at anytime and even use them as a study guide while viewing the videos. On most exams you are given the page numbers in the Course Notes and/or the scripture citation where the answers can be found.

It could be you are hesitant to upgrade your enrollment status because you don’t know how to write a research paper. There is a simple key to producing a good research paper. You should write about a topic that interests you. If you are excited about the subject you will find it much easier to write your paper. Your natural enthusiasm will enhance your efforts. As you write your paper try to put as much of yourself into it as possible. Make sure to present your thoughts and analysis based on what you have learned. Once you have chosen a topic that meets the requirements you should research what the Bible has to say about your subject. Then as you are writing you can explain what the Bible teaches and also any applications or life lessons we can learn from the verses examined. If you are writing about a character you could emphasize how their choices are similar to the choices we are called on to make today. You can write about their strength of character to emulate or even their faults to avoid.

You can also research what others have written about your topic but make sure to use your own words to explain the text. If you use quotes from other sources document it correctly by using quotation marks and by giving credit to the author in parenthesis or as a footnote. Your research paper is a great opportunity to show what you have learned from the course.

There are also other benefits if you upgrade your enrollment. Formal and Informal students not only have access to the videos and syllabus, but they also have free online viewing access to the teacher’s Course Notes and the Course Books which are published by WVBS.

If you would like to change your status click on ENROLLMENT which is on the blue menu bar at the school website. When you have reached the enrollment page please select either the Formal or Informal Student Registration button. This will provide to you a form to fill out to change your status.

If you would like to remain an Auditing Student, having no interest in upgrading your enrollment, we completely understand. We commend you on your hard work and devotion. May God bless you as you continue your studies.

"How Long Will It Take?"

It is difficult to say how long it will take to complete the 45 courses of the school. The curriculum has over 960 video lessons which are each approximately 38 minutes long. This requires over 600 hours just to view the video lessons.

To answer the question we would also need to consider the time required to read each book of the Bible as well as the assigned course books. For the Formal and Informal Students we must also add the time necessary to study and prepare for the tests and to write the research papers and other class assignments.

As you can see there is no way to determine exactly how long it will take to finish all the courses because it will depend on how much time you have each day to devote to your studies. The courses are studied at-your-own-pace and do not have an official start time, end time or duration. However, you can rest easy knowing that any time spent studying God’s word is time well spent.