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I’m nearing the end of the school year as a BSSM Online student, thinking back to last year when I was diligently scanning every possible blog post and YouTube video for any information I could glean about being a First Year student at BSSM. I wanted to know what I was getting into with this BSSM thing, and I soaked up everything I could! Then BSSM introduced its online program, I quickly rerouted to that path, and although my journey has had similarities to BSSM’s on-campus program, I know it hasn’t looked exactly the same. (Then again, what has looked the same in the past year?)
One of the things I heard a lot about before applying for BSSM was the required reading. Several former students mentioned the heavy workload and warned that there would be a lot of reading as a First Year student. As someone who loves to read, this actually excited me. 😊 But I have to say, I was surprised by how short our book list ended up to be this year! I think this may be different than what’s required on campus, but we’ve only had to read one book for each month of the school year. That’s a much lighter workload than I was expecting! I have one book left for April, and that will be the last one. None of these books were especially long, either; in fact, many of them were shorter than the average book.
In addition to these eight books (one each month for September through April), we also got a download of the Basic Training for Prophetic Ministry workbook. This was referenced in our “Introduction to the Prophetic” teachings (so far we’ve had four of them), although I think there was some confusion throughout the year because it wasn’t always clearly stated that we were to follow along in the workbook. We were just told to download it at the beginning of the year, and then it wasn’t directly mentioned again. The speakers would simply say “Turn to page 10.” Because I’d been through this workbook before attending BSSM, I caught on, but I think a lot of students were really confused and probably never went through the workbook. Unlike it might have been on campus, we never had to turn in any workbooks for review from our student mentors (and that would’ve been hard to do online), so going through this one was on the honor system.
We also got a digital copy of the Basic Training for Supernatural Ways of Royalty workbook. It was included with the digital download of The Supernatural Ways of Royalty, and unless I missed it, this one was never mentioned again and was optional. I did go through it, but it was pretty time-consuming and took me a few months to finally finish.
That’s it! I think at least one of the books BSSM normally assigns on campus was replaced with watching BibleProject videos on YouTube, but overall, the reading list was much shorter than I expected. So if you’re planning to join BSSMO, no need to panic! 😊
Just a heads-up for you planners, though: we were not told which books we’d be reading ahead of time. We didn’t find out which book we’d be reading each month until the first day of that month, so prepare yourself for that frustration if you’re someone like me who likes to plan ahead! 😉
Here are the books we read for First Year, in order. This is, I’m sure, subject to change in future years, but I think many of these books are BSSM First Year standards:
Being that this list is for the online school, all of the books we received – workbooks included – were digital copies. The digital downloads from the Bethel Store were included with our tuition, but we could download physical copies at a discount if we chose to. Honestly, I found that most of the hard copies were still cheaper on Amazon or Christianbook.com, so I did purchase a few from those retailers, and I already owned several books on the list before starting school. Keep in mind that if you’re someone who prefers physical copies or audiobooks, you might have to spend a bit more money, but the digital copies are included in your tuition cost. You typically have a choice between downloading a PDF, epub or mobi file. I would’ve preferred a direct download from Amazon so I could read using the regular Kindle format and save my highlights to Goodreads, but unless you’re picky about the format, you won’t need to spend any extra money on books. (If you attend BSSM on campus, physical copies of all books are included with your tuition.)
Happy reading to those of you planning to do BSSM! It’s really not so bad, I promise! 😉
If you’ve done BSSM before, what books did you read that weren’t on this list?
If you’re interested in attending BSSM in the future, what else do you want to know about BSSM or BSSM Online? I’d love to answer any of your questions, and if there are enough of them, I’ll do a Q&A post this summer after my first year is finished!