Back to School For Ministry

By Chris Roberts

Going back to school to serve in Christian apologetics has come as a new challenge in this stage of my life. Over the years, I have helped with people that were injured, sick, and even at the moment of death. I’ve witnessed wrecks, shootings, heart attacks, strokes, and many other situations that have lasting impacts on those involved. First as a fire fighter, then as a nurse, I have spent a big part of my life trying to help people at their worst times, these moments are often considered life or death situations. After years of working to be there to offer physical help for people in need, God has laid it on my heart to be available to help people with a much more serious emergency. God has called me to help people understand the eternal condition of their heart and help people find eternal salvation.

            I feel that my calling from God is evangelism and Christian Apologetics. Normally, being a fire fighter and a nurse would not be the qualifications you would expect of a person going into ministry, but as we witnessed as Jesus called His disciples, He uses people from all walks of life. Peter was a fisherman, Paul arrested Christians, Moses was a murderer, and David committed adultery and had a friend killed; God used them to do far greater things than they thought they were capable of. I believe that my experiences can be beneficial to help people as long as I surrender to God’s will and follow His lead. In no way do I think that I am anything like these men of the Bible, but I serve the same God. I trust God will use me as long as I am willing.

            It was tough becoming a nurse and I love working as a nurse, but it’s not where I am supposed to be now. The first thing I had to do was to explain to my wife that it was time to start all over. It was not easy thinking about changing careers and ministry is a family business. I believe God had been working in her heart too, because she agreed, nervously; she was facing a career change herself. Nervousness is not the same as being disbelieving. We had faith in God that he would provide the means for us as we began a new direction in our life, but we would be taking a big step on faith.

My first step to get into ministry was going back to school. I had been in the process of finishing my bachelor’s degree for nursing when I heeded the calling to change direction and go into apologetic ministry. I started looking at programs and came across Liberty University. Without a timeline or plan, I called them to see what might be possible. Ten minutes on the phone and I begin seeing doors start to open. In less than a month, I was in class. Fortunately, I had all the pre-requisites completed. God made a way.

            Being in school as a religion major versus a Nursing major has had a few challenges. The writing style is completely different, so I have had to adjust my approach to researching and quoting sources. In nursing, things are based on scientific evidence and theory. In religion, we look at faith-based evidence and interpretation. I have been reading and studying God’s word all my life, but I am now seeing the Bible in a new light. I was a very confident nurse, capable of taking control and handling situations that most people would panic in. Studying the Bible means that I am learning to humble myself before God and let Him be in control. It takes reading, praying, accepting other people’s commentary, and then reading the Bible again, just to understand a little. In medicine, helping others was second nature, I knew how to do my job and I understood that sometimes, people might not survive. Now, as I move into the responsibility of sharing the truth of the Gospel to others, I am faced with much more responsibility. The truth is, I now see that God has used all those years helping others in the medical field to prepare me for real life or death matters, “for anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24, CSB)

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