For about fifteen years I worked on the staff of the School of Biblical Studies (SBS), which forms an important and central part of the training programme of Youth With A Mission (YWAM). This is full-time training lasting for nine months, during which each student studies all sixty-six books of the Bible, using inductive Bible study.
This is an excellent Bible training programme, which is available in over forty locations around the world, on every continent. There are very few Bible schools which take the student through the whole Bible, doing an in-depth study of each book in turn. It is ideal for people who do not have much Bible knowledge before they come. However, even if they have previously studied the Bible, students leave the school with a much higher level of knowledge and understanding of the Bible than they had before. They have also developed skills of being able to study it for themselves, and apply its truths into their lives.
The SBS gives a wonderful foundation in Biblical studies, which can form the basis for further studies. Many former students have moved on to take degree programmes at Bible colleges and have found how invaluable their time with the SBS has been. Others have used their training to move into a wide variety of different ministries.
My wife and I lived with our family at The King’s Lodge, which is YWAM’s training centre near Nuneaton, right in the middle of England. I worked as teaching and tutorial staff on the SBS there, directed the school, and continue to teach there regularly as a visiting speaker.
From there we were involved in pioneering new schools in a number of different countries. The first was in Canberra, Australia in 1990. Then a few years later, in 1997, we started the school near Trondheim in Norway, followed by Rostov-on-Don in Russia the following year.
While in Nuneaton, I also ran a series of evening-classes for people from the local area. This was called “From Milk to Meat”, and was an adaptation of the full-time school for local people. A large number of people from many different churches of all sorts of different denominations attended.
I was also involved with the development of another training school called the Biblical Teaching and Preaching School (BTPS). This is a more practical training programme, which teaches students who have completed the SBS how to preach in churches, and teach the Bible in various situations. The school includes a month-long placement in a church, and a two-month overseas outreach. This school continues to be run in several countries, including India, Malaysia and the United States.
I continue to serve as a regular visiting speaker on SBS in the U.K. and in different nations around western Europe, including Switzerland, France, Sweden, Norway, Germany and Holland. I am normally invited to teach on one of the longer or more difficult books, such as Romans, Revelation, Deuteronomy or one of the major prophets.