A few weeks ago, I finished my second year at Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. While a part of me is ready for something new and more than ready to leave all the homework behind, the other part of me doesn’t want to see this year end, because I know it’s a special season I can’t get back. The last two years have gone by faster than I thought they would, even though they were so full. The list of tasks seemed never-ending, yet somehow every check mark has already been marked “complete.”
Second Year wasn’t what I thought it would be. I’ve mentioned this before, but at the beginning, it looked a whole lot like First Year. I got back into the same rhythm as the previous year and thought, Piece of cake! And then it all changed.
It was much more demanding. I had to preach twice. We had quite a few bonus sessions this year which weren’t required but that I watched anyway, wanting to get every last drop out of the experience. We got to be a part of Randy Clark week via Zoom. We were introduced to home groups (just a few times for us online students). We read a 550-page book on John G. Lake.
Second Year was exhausting. It requires more of a time commitment than First Year.
Second Year was also wonderful. It was enlightening. It taught me so much I wouldn’t have known otherwise.
Am I glad I did it? Yes, absolutely. I would’ve missed out on a lot if I hadn’t. But I couldn’t have done it in just any season. I was very intentional about prioritizing school above everything else (except above God, of course – don’t send me angry e-mails) for these nine months. If I’d had more on my plate, I either couldn’t have done it or I couldn’t have stewarded it as well.
Do I recommend it? Yes, but I recommend you do it in a season when you have the time to dedicate to it. I think it would be hard to do if you work full time and have kids at home. It’s possible; it just wouldn’t be easy. If you’re not so Type A like me and don’t care about taking notes, you can probably fit it into any season. If you are like me and you want to write down every single point, you’re going to need a lot of time to do that. You’ll also need time to read a book a month and write a short report on it.
Would I recommend in-person school over online? It probably depends on the person. Online was the right choice for me, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to do everything digitally. On the other hand, one of the biggest things I missed out on was the HUGE catalog of AMTs in person that we didn’t have access to online. We only had a few choices for AMTs, and there were so many more available on campus. However, I also recognize that I would’ve run myself ragged signing up for as many AMTs as possible if I’d been in Redding, and I think God knew that. I think it would’ve been too much for me to attend school in person. I absolutely loved the format of BSSM Online, but you might prefer the in-person format. Choose the one you think would suit you best, and ask God to direct you!
Am I going to do Third Year? We’ll see. Unless things change, it sounds like we have very limited options as online students. Essentially, since there are no mentors in my area who are associated with Bethel and accepting Third Year students, my only options would be to 1) Get accepted by a mentor in Redding and move there, 2) Get accepted by a mentor somewhere else in the world and move to wherever that person is, or 3) Find a local mentor who closely aligns with BSSM values and is willing to pay a fee to join the Bethel Leaders Network, who gets accepted by Bethel to be a mentor, and who accepts me as a mentee. Those are a lot of hoops to jump through in a fairly short amount of time, so I’m not letting all my hopes ride on completing a third year at BSSM. If God wants me to do it, I’m trusting him to work it out. Otherwise, I’ll accept the closed door and move on.
I’m so thankful for the past two years I’ve been poured into at BSSM. I’ll definitely be tuning in to Bethel TV after this so I can continue learning from the excellent teachers I’ve come to appreciate. I’m not opposed to attending a conference or two in the future, either!
It has been an incredible experience to attend BSSM Online. School has never been so interesting in my entire life! If you’re even a little bit interested in going through this program yourself, I definitely recommend it – no question! You won’t be disappointed, and neither was I.