by Chris Miller
If you are looking for a way to enhance your Bible study this summer, why not try the new resources available in the Bible minor project videos? Thousands of people around the globe have already benefited from them.
In 2019, one of Cedarville’s best-kept secrets went public: The Bible minor. Cedarville President Thomas White asked the Center for Teaching and Learning to professionally record the lectures from several classes of the Bible minor, with the goal of sharing the Word of God freely and proclaiming the Testimony of Jesus Christ to anyone who wanted to learn more.
The Bible minor video project began with the second class in the five-course sequence, Old Testament Literature, and we have completed both the fourth and fifth courses, Theology 1 and Theology 2. Coming in the future will be The Bible and the Gospel and New Testament Literature.
Since we began offering the classes online, the response has been tremendous. We have received many kind and gracious comments about the helpfulness of the Bible minor videos in the continuing spiritual development of individuals and small groups from all over the country. We’d like to offer their words as encouragement for how you might use these videos this summer and beyond in your walk with God.
PERSONAL ENRICHMENT AND GROUP STUDY
Many people use the Bible minor videos for personal enrichment, but others have taken it a step further and gathered friends together. Youth leaders have used the videos as a teaching curriculum and discussion starters in youth groups. Couples have gathered together in small groups, and many have organized Bible studies for women, seniors, and even whole church gatherings.
One pastor organized the videos into an elective class for anyone in his church to attend. He hoped for 10 to 15 people and ended up with triple the number.
Class members were responsible to watch a video on their own each week, and then they came together as a class to watch another and have a discussion about what they had learned.
“The Bible minor videos have been such an amazing experience for our church, and we’re excited to launch into the next class this fall,” commented Tom Hogsed, Lead Pastor of The Summit Church in North Canton, Ohio. “We currently have about 35–40 people taking the class, and the feedback has been tremendous! Here’s an example of what people are saying: ‘This class has really challenged me! It’s hard to believe that I’ve been a follower of Christ for nearly 50 years and truly studied the Bible, but there is so much to learn! What a blessing!’”
Another pastor who viewed the video classes wrote, “I pastor a small church in the Midwest and have been watching your class videos online while I eat lunch. I’ve only watched the first five videos, and each one has been incredible — you have blessed me far more than you may ever know. I believe every Christian needs this, and I definitely want my people to get it, so I’m going to turn it into several sermon series. I know your material is likely proprietary and owned by the school, but is there anything you can send me or I can go get that might save me time?” To that request, we responded with a hearty “Amen,” and sent him the full range of class notes and PowerPoint files we use in the videos. We are blessed to give these resources away for free for the building up of God’s church.
A lay leader in a different church has a similar strategy: “I facilitate an adult Sunday school class, and a peer in the class highly recommended this course. While we do not use the videos directly in the class, this is a wonderful resource when studying and preparing to lead discussions. Thank you for sharing this resource.”
PROMPTING NEW GROWTH
One of my favorite stories is that of Jim and Joanne, the grandparents of a former Cedarville student, who call themselves my “senior” students. Joanne shared, “You have no idea how much your lectures have meant to me personally. We are not all the way through, and I usually listen to them twice, and I’ve copied some of the notes, which reinforces what I’m learning! Jim and I would like your thoughts on us sharing it in a small group as Bible study time together. Since we moved to a small retirement community, we have missed having that small fellowship group to study God’s Word together. We would encourage them to read the Scripture that we would be watching the video on and then have a discussion.” What a fantastic idea!
Several alumni now find themselves at a different place in life and after various life experiences are ready to hear those lessons again. “I've loved re-learning what I studied 15 years ago when I attended Cedarville. I think I'm a much better student now than I was back then!” Another alumnus wrote, “I am a Cedarville graduate from more years ago than I’d like to say. But I am thoroughly enjoying this series of videos, and as I finish one, I can’t wait until I can watch the next. I've watched some more than once as I journey through this process.” Finally, I heard from another graduate, who offered, “I was in this class in the early 90s. This study has not only evoked fond memories of Cedarville, but it has reawakened a love for the Old Testament. I love how redemption is tied into every lesson.”
TOUCHING LIVES BEYOND CEDARVILLE
Many people who will never attend classes at Cedarville can still benefit. “As parents, we can share in our children’s learning. We can more easily talk of spiritual matters together and watch our two young men want to serve our God. Cedarville University is an answer to prayer. We are blessed.” And “I love that these are available to take online; I have recommended this class to many of my friends. I can't attend Cedarville but love the biblical classes and teaching they give.”
“We serve as missionaries in England and are really grateful for the opportunity for our church to engage in studying an overview of the Old Testament. We are several weeks into the course and people have had really positive feedback and are looking forward to continuing.”
If you find other creative ways to use these resources to help others, please let us know! Until then, we pray that you will have a season of growth this summer as you pursue the Lord and study His Word, and we are grateful for any way that these videos might be part of His plan for your transformation and the transformation of your family, your Bible study, and your church. If you do use the Bible minor videos personally, or as part of a group study, we’d like to hear from you. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chris Miller is Senior Professor of Biblical Studies. He earned his Ph.D. in Bible exposition from Dallas Theological Seminary.