Brunstad Bible School for youth
Over the course of many years, young people who have participated in BCC’s youth program, YEP, have been given the option of attending courses in languages, culture and Bible knowledge. To fortify these options BCC has created a Bible college with a comprehensive syllabus and set weekly curriculum.
By: Berit H. Nilsen – Photo: BCC
For quite a few years now there have been programs for teaching the Bible to young people as a part of BCC’s youth program, YEP (also known as «A-team»). One person who is a main contributor and a driving force is Bjørn Nilsen. Together with several other teachers he has taught about bible knowledge, history, and church life. He explains that it is necessary to fortify this program even more, so that the young people in the church can be given a good foundation on which to build their lives.
Some of the enthusiastic teachers at Brunstad Bible College; Gunnar Gangsø, Bjørn Nilsen and Sverre Riksfjord
– Every young person who applies to the Brunstad Bible College, will receive a comprehensive education, says Nilsen.
– This requires many resources and a great deal of work in order to make it as good as possible for the youth who come to YEP from all over the world. The main focus for us is to give them the chance to learn what the church is, what we believe in and what we stand for. We want them to experience a contentful and interesting year in the church, and therefore we have strengthened this work further by establishing Brunstad Bible College.
Own Department with Set Teaching Facilities
The Bible College now has its own department in BCC, and Bjørn Nilsen is its departmental head. He and his co-workers are producing a comprehensive weekly teaching curriculum.
– There will be a set curriculum for 20 hours a week. The teaching includes bible history, instruction relating to our beliefs and doctrine, edification and prayer. In addition, in the curriculum we will have language teaching, sport and culture. Moreover, there will be several hours dedicated to self-tuition, activities and optional courses. When so many young people are together for a year, there is a lot to be learned by becoming acquainted with each others’ culture. One learns to understand and get a perception of the world from different angles when one has friends from many different countries. This is something which has personally given me great joy during my long life in the church, says Nilsen.
Focused pupils who follow along with teaching in the Bible’s history and doctrine
From a teaching situation in the plenary hall
Gershon Twilley – one of the employees at the Brunstad Bible College
A Personal Life
But what is the greatest challenge when starting up Brunstad Bible College?
– I have as you know been involved in developing material for bible studies over several years, and I have been along in teaching the youth for a good while. So, that part will be a continuation and development of what we already have started. Nilsen thinks a little and then carries on.
– But in connection with your question about what is a challenge, it’s this to continue to develop it, so that all young people who participate at Brunstad Bible College are able to get something out of it, and really get hold of something that they can use in their own life. This is the challenge we are continually working with. Our main aim is that each individual young person comes to a personal life, where faith is a power that holds them up, and which helps them throughout all the small and big circumstances of life.
He tells with enthusiasm about how he himself as a young person experienced having adults who taught how to live practical, everyday life in a good way.
– They were people who lived what they taught, and that was surely the thing that made the greatest impression on me. I learnt to live a practical Christian life, which has been a great joy to me later on in life. Working together gives one excellent opportunities to practice what one has learnt!
Group work and self-tuition is also a part of the curriculum at Brunstad Bible College
During the year there is time for both sport and recreational activities for pupils at Brunstad Bible College. This is the «A team warriors» in action
“Volley warriors” is for those who have an interest in playing volleyball
Young people who are participants on the «A team» also arrive with an expectation of being able to contribute by giving something back to the community which they want to be a part of. Through the YEP youth program young people have, over many years contributed through various activities in the churches’ projects, such as during international conferences. How can the young people who attend Brunstad Bible College be along in contributing with voluntary work?
When many nationalities and countries meet together there are many opportunities for cultural exchange
Arrangements are made for the youth to have a number of different activities in their free time.
– My main focus is on the teaching that we are responsible for, and I will be following the syllabus and curriculum we have produced. Besides this the young people are of course at liberty to use their free time to contribute towards projects and activities that support the association’s goals. BCC has made its goals clear in its bye-laws, which is that the church should work to teach people to keep what Jesus has commanded us. In order to carry out this task we must make sure that we have the means to do that. We cannot do anything for people if we are broke. And here we all have the opportunity to contribute where we are, and give support in the form of money or work effort, as it fits for each individual!
Bjørn Nilsen reckons that every year there will be about 200-300 participants at the Bible College in Norway. These young people come from different parts of the world to study in Norway. However, there will also be smaller departments in several places around the world, which will follow the same curriculum.
– We are working to find a solution to be able to stream teaching via the Internet. In this way, the weekly curriculum from Norway can also be used in the different locations. There are several young people who contribute with work in missionary projects in such places as USA, South Africa, Holland and Australia, so it’s a good way to knit everything together to joint bible studies and edification, Bjørn Nilsen explains enthusiastically.
Modern technology is used to support teachings at the Brunstad Bible college
– Nevertheless, the local culture is something they will have to convey themselves, says Bjørn smiling.
– There is an enormous bredth in the participating countries, how lucky the young people are who can be a part of this. They get contacts and friends for life, which adds great value both socially, culturally and not least spiritually!