Up & Coming Weekly

September 05, 2017

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 12 of 40

12 UCW SEPTEMBER 6 - 12, 2017 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM BIBLICALLY SPEAKING Recently, I had the priv ilege of listening to some Carolina College of Biblical Studies alumni ref lect on what motivated them to persist in their journey to earn a Bible degree, and it all came dow n to relation- ships. They all commonly agreed that relationships factored heav- ily in their overall persistence to graduate. Critical to ever y attitude, experience and persistence factor was a relational link. Relationships incrementally endeared and bonded graduates to the administration, facult y and staff so that a drive to finish grew stronger than the initial and ongoing challenges. Relationships are emphasized distinctly, t ying all experiences together. Daniel (all names are pseudonyms) is grateful for that "one-on-one personal engagement (which) made a big difference during my matriculation — that personal touch making us feel like we're part of family." Zion agreed saying, "It's the rela- tionship, I mean, from top to bottom. It's the relationships you live for that you had in college." Nat han was quite passionate as he expressed t he relational aspects: "The facult y was so proactively involved in relationships profes- sionally t hat it kept me academi- cally sharp. The interaction I had w it h t he professors was great, and it continued ... The relationships would drive me." The connections among our grad- uates' experiences created a sense of belonging, which provided another motivational experience, overcom- ing various fears and apprehensions. They felt an immediate sense of belonging within a welcoming envi- ronment. This grew into a campus connectedness that served as a protective factor against drop- ping out of school. Zion's initial impression drove the stakes deep: "My ex- perience here at the college was amazing because you enter as such a skeptic … So when I got here, what made this college so amazing (is) … they make you feel so welcome." Isaiah was also ver y personal in his convictions, stating, "Coming into school, after being (out of college) so many years was so difficult. But it was a great environment. W hen you come in, the recep- tionist would always greet you and call you by name." Joseph affirmed that "I enjoyed being around the people here. It's a good atmosphere to be at, to learn and to interact with people." All the fears associated with the prospect of re-entering college were put to rest with the serendipitous experience opposite of what the ap- plicants expected. As graduates noted, cultural ap- prehensions were met with a sense of belonging through unconditional acceptance of all ethnicities. Initial re-entr y fears were eliminated when the students witnessed a loving, caring and welcoming spirit from administrators, facult y and staff. Being well-received opened the door for spiritual formation resulting in a wholesome satisfaction. An appreciation for the relational aspects of college life is not surpris- ing considering the New Testament "one another" commands appear over 70 times. Jesus initiated this relational ministr y in John 13:34-35. A mandate to love one another is the mark of Christ-followers to the entire world. Thankfully, Jesus serves as the model of how to biblically love. Re- lational love is a powerful tool in the hands of our Lord. We have certainly experienced it at CCBS as evidenced by our students. Relational love pro- vides a sense of belonging, encour- agement and motivation, all of which transcends our college experience. A sense of belonging: We are family. Carolina College of Biblical Studies: A Sense of Belonging by RODNEY PHILLIPS At Carolina College of Biblical Studies, staying connected and building relationships is part of what makes it special. RODNEY PHILLIPS, Carolina Bible College. COMMENTS? edi- tor@upandcomingweekly.com. (910) 484-6200. FREE to Residents, Businesses and Organizations throughout our Community. For More Information Call 910-484-6200 Pick Yours Up Today! Welcome to Radio & TV Stations 18 Month Calendar Local Festivals County Libraries Area Health Facilities Schools Public & Private Parks & Recreation Universities & Colleges Frequently Called Numbers City Welcome Mayor Nat Robertson Darsweil Rogers John Meroski President of Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Live Theatres Museums & Galleries Local Annual Events Town of Hope Mills & Hope Mills Chamber Cumberland County Schools Dr. Frank Till Cumberland County Commissioner Glenn B. Adams

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