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Eternity Boise

Chris Hay —  September 22, 2014 — Leave a comment

BoiseEternity Bible College is on the move! God has called us to make rigorous biblical education accessible to as many as possible and we do that many different ways, including this blog. Another means we are employing to fulfill that calling is through extension classes, and eventually extension campuses, all over the US and the world. We are in the process of launching an extension site in Boise, Idaho, and I recently had the privilege of visiting Boise.

Several months ago, after much prayer and discussion, we sent Preston Sprinkle and his family to Boise where they have settled into their new home. Preston is investing this first year to building awareness, exploring the possibilities, and seeking local church support of an extension campus in Boise. He recently set up and scheduled an information event, invited local pastors and other interested parties, and I traveled north to attend that event.

It was exciting! The attendance approached 60 people, and many shared their excitement that Eternity was coming to their city. Numerous pastors expressed support. There is already a financial investment, not to mention emotional, spiritual, and logistic support. Preston is slowly building a faculty. (NOTE: Eternity relies heavily on adjunct professors, employing pastors and others who have the academic credentials, but who are also active, current ministry practitioners.) Locations for the campus are being discussed, and many are offering advice, possibly shared-space, etc. The excitement and enthusiasm was palpable. I even met a young lady who was totally committed to being our first student next fall!

Boise Event 1Yes, classes will begin on location in Boise in Fall 2015! We will offer the full first year curriculum in 2015/16, adding each successive year’s curriculum each successive year. So as of next fall, students will have two destination campuses to choose from, Simi Valley CA or Boise ID, as well as taking our full program online.

Eternity is committed to the local church, and it is imperative to us that the churches in a specific location want our presence there. It was abundantly clear to me that the churches of the greater Boise area want us in their city. We are thankful for the opportunity, and excited about the possibilities as we continue to provide opportunities for God’s people to pursue rigorous Biblical education.

Follow the progress of the Boise Campus at the Eternity Bible College Boise Extension facebook page.

I’m super excited to announce that Eternity Bible College is looking to plant an extension site in Boise, Idaho. I’m also excited, though a bit nervous, to say that I will serve as the director of this extension site: excited because of the groundswell of enthusiasm among the Boise EBC boisechurches about the extension site, and nervous because this will require me to leave the promised land to a state where there is no surfing.

So why would I do such a thing?

Let me share my heart for second. While I love academics and teaching, I would have a really hard time dedicating my life to filling students with head knowledge about the Bible. I couldn’t do this for very long. And if Eternity Bible College were about making Christians smarter, or filling minds with endless doctrine with no connection to real life, then I wouldn’t have lasted 6 months here. Honestly, if Eternity’s education didn’t seek to fuel our students’ passion and further the mission of Christ in radical ways, then I’d probably be off on the mission field somewhere doing the “real work” of ministry.

But I believe I am doing the “real work.” Because I’m not just dumping content into empty skulls; I’m helping train students to live and die well; to think deeply and critically about the text; to live passionate lives for Jesus; to cultivate the God-given creativity and imagination to take the gospel to unreached pockets of creation; to think Christianly about all areas of life including sex, money, music, ministry, film, marriage (not in that order), business, athletics, entertainment, and every other part of life.

I’m playing a small role in training the next generation of Christian leaders to take the baton and run with it until their knees buckle.

In the last few years I’ve been amazed at our graduates. They’re sharp. They’re passionate. Most of all, they are humble servants of our foot-washing King. If we weren’t turning out graduates that demonstrate a more Christ-like character than when they came in, I wouldn’t be teaching here any longer. But the fact that we are graduating humble, wise, and passionate students makes me realize that we’re doing something worth putting more time and energy into. And this is why we want to take Eternity to Boise.

Here’s a brief timeline:

May 2013. My wife and I had the initial idea of starting an extension site in Boise.

July 2013. I contacted several pastors via email and phone to talk about the possibility of starting an extension site.

August 2013. Joshua Walker and I flew up to meet with several leaders and pastors in the Boise area to talk further about the plan.

October 2013. The board of Eternity approved the plan to continue to pursue the project.

November 2013. I met with several other pastors and leaders, who were very excited about the project.

January 2014. I met with several more pastors and leaders, who also were very pumped about Eternity coming to Boise.

The goal now is that my family and I would move up in May/June 2014, spend a year on the ground building relationships and getting connected with the leaders in the region, and then launch a full first year set of classes in Fall 2015.

Throughout the entire plan, my number one question has been: are we forcing our project onto people who don’t want it, or are we being invited into what God has already been doing among the churches in the Boise region? Unanimously, it’s been the latter. The local leaders have expressed great enthusiasm over the possibility of Eternity coming to join them in what God has been doing in the Boise region.

If you are in the Boise area, or know of someone who is, and you want to hear more about this project, please feel free to email me at: preston@eternitybiblecollege.com.

Here’s a short video explaining the heart and mission behind the extension site.

What do we need to launch this site?

1. Prayer. Please pray that God would continue to move in this venture and bring whichever students he wants to come.

2. Finances. We need about $110,000 in “seed capital” to launch the site. Find more details and/or give here.

3. Inform. Please spread the word to anyone who might be interested in Eternity’s Boise site.

Again: the proof of the pudding is in the eating. And if our graduates were blah Christians, then I wouldn’t care to promote what we’re doing here as a college. But, well, our graduates rock, and I wish there were more Christians like them.

Come to Eternity, whether in Simi Valley or in Boise, and learn how to live and die well.

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