I was a student during the 2004-2005 NBI year. After completing NBI, I went to the Moody Bible Institute, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Youth Ministry. While attending Moody, I spent my summers serving at Silver Birch Ranch where I continued to build relationships with staff, volunteers, and campers at SBR. I am now serving as a Student Pastor at a church in Minneapolis.
Ever since my sophomore year of high school, I knew I wanted to go into ministry full-time and events in my life ended up leading me to NBI after high school, a decision that scared me at the time. But God has a way of taking you outside of your comfort zone beyond anything you could possibly imagine. My year at NBI was difficult, it was challenging, and it stretched me a lot. I learned so much hands-on about God, life, and people through the dorm-life experience, in the classroom under a variety of teachers, as well as from various ministry and work opportunities.
The most invaluable thing to me is that at NBI I was challenged with practical ways to live out my Christian faith in every single aspect of life. The teachers and staff don’t just talk about how to be a Christian—they actually live it out. Serving in various capacities around camp, I had the opportunity to interact with staff on the job while talking about how to deal with situations and how to live out what I was studying in the classroom. I think these one-on-one informal discipleship moments helped me to solidify the process of making my faith my own. I left the program more confident in who God had made me to be and where He was leading me next.