Bible college training - Sue Davis at Moorlands - February 2011
Don’t let mobility problems or other individual needs stop you from applying to Bible college, says SUE DAVIS who is registered disabled and studying at Moorlands
"About 10 years ago I started a distance learning Bible course, but had to stop and go back to full-time work for family reasons. I really felt God prompting me again to further my Bible study.
"I was leading a church cell and felt I needed to push in deeper with God. I started a distance learning module with Spurgeon’s College, then found I wanted to have the whole university experience and applied to Moorlands.
"I am now in my third year of a BA in Applied Theology and I’m loving it. It has been very challenging on so many levels but so worth it.
"God has showed me many times that this is where I am supposed to be. I am not sure exactly what I will be doing when I leave, but I’ve taken evangelism and family and community modules so I am sure they will feature somewhere in God’s plans.
"I can still walk, though it’s limited which means going up steps is not easy, nor is opening and closing doors with a walking frame and a bag of books!
"Moorlands has been very good in helping to support me and others with special needs. We have ramps and push buttons to automatically open doors and the disabled car parking has increased with demand.
"The college also has a great learning support department with fully trained staff to help those who need more specialist support – with dyslexia, for example.
"When I had an operation on my wrist and couldn’t write they supplied a note-taker. There is also help available for me to access the library: someone will get books from shelves or photocopy articles.
"As long as you communicate your particular needs, the staff will go out of their way to enable you to achieve everything you need or want to.
"I have been on a variety of placements with the college too. We have been on mission, training courses, conferences and day trips. The college has always arranged suitable travel and accommodation with disabled facilities.
"When we have events, Moorlands makes sure things are adapted where possible to include everyone.
"On my second year leadership training course there were a lot of team-building activities. Most were adapted, but I thought I would pass on crossing the Wareham river on a home- made raft, although I did help make it. (I am sure my cheering – almost screaming – helped blow them across!)
"I was also able to go on the Israel trip last summer and take part in most things. When it really wasn’t sensible or practical to go with the group I did something else.
"I even managed to go on a camel ride and stay at the Bedouin campsite. Getting on and off the camel was hilarious and I slept under the stars on a concrete table as I couldn’t sleep on the floor.
"At the time of writing, I’m preparing to fly to South Africa on a six-week placement with a large church and a charity working in the townships. They know my capabilities and have designed a programme they know I can do.
"If anyone with individual needs is considering going to Bible college I would say, if God is calling you then definitely go for it. Just be open and honest about what you need.
"Let God supply your needs – and let people serve and help you. It is so liberating for them and for you. Trust me, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to serve and support those who serve you, just in different ways.
"Also, there is the practical support of the additional disabled element from student finance if your needs qualify you for it.
"God has been faithful to me in my studies – and he will be for you."
For more information about courses at Moorlands College go to www.moorlands.ac.uk or call 01425 674500.