“…true religion is a union of the soul with God, a real participation of the divine nature, the very image of God drawn upon the soul; or, in the Apostle’s phrase, it is Christ formed within us.”—Henry Scougal, The Life of God in the Soul of Man, pp. 6-7

At 20 years of age, Henry Scougal became a professor at King’s College at the University of Aberdeen (where I’ll be going for my Ph.D.) in 1760 started the first Christian student club on record in the world.  This quote is from a small devotional book he wrote for a group of divinity students encouraging them in their faith as they prepared for ministry.  The book was later passed on to John and Charles Wesley by their mother and became the guide for their “Holy Club” at the University of Oxford.  This group became the model for future Christian student clubs and small groups to this day.  These groups were committed to studying the Word of God, prayer, accountability, and sharing their faith with others in word and deed similar to our home groups.

I share this story because it draws together the past and the future of my ministry.  This month, I finished 13 years of sharing Christ with and discipling hundreds of college students from around the world. I am so grateful to see how God continues to work through these students’ lives as they serve Christ as teachers, missionaries, pastors, parents, or in whatever role He has placed them.  As I head into the future, I connect to the past legacy of those who have gone before me at the University of Aberdeen.  In my Ph.D. in Divinity program, I will be studying the beautiful image of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit’s dwelling among us and in us as believers through the Gospel of John.  I pray that this will be more than an intellectual pursuit, but a devotional experience that also draws others into deeper intimacy with God.

I look forward to meeting students from around the world and learning about God together. After my Ph.D., I hope to train and equip pastors and leaders around the world in Scripture and apply this in their ministry and outreach. These leaders may translate the Bible into a new dialect, leading churches, and establishing witnessing communities among unreached people groups.

Thank you for being a blessing during my time at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and supporting me as I head into my Ph.D. program. Praise God that my first year of tuition is paid and my living costs have come together! I also just received my UK student visa, so I will be flying out on Sept. 13th after a week with family in Iowa. If you would like to become part of my prayer support and/or financial support team during my program, you can respond through this link:

https://forms.gle/G7uUXGRXHGhKf4sv9

Many blessings as you shine the light of Christ in New England!

Rachel