If you have always wanted to know more about the Bible but are unable to take the time or don’t have the finances to attend a Christian college or university, there is an option for you: Bible study courses. Through these courses, you can gain a better understanding of what God’s Word says and in turn, use you your knowledge to benefit His Kingdom.
What are Bible Study Courses?
Unlike a structured degree program, in-class or online, these courses contain no timetables or deadlines. Bible Study courses are much like devotionals but are more concentrated in what they cover. They are often separated by Bible book, topic, or subject matter and give both the new reader and the seasoned Christian quality information.
How can Bible Study Courses Benefit My Walk?
These types of classes can be for someone who is looking for information to deepen their faith or for someone who is in church leadership and wants to be equipped to serve their church better. The best thing about these study tools is that from most sites they are free. Some even offer a premium service, at a nominal cost, to receive a certificate of completion.
- Deepen Your Faith – This always begins with the question, “Have you ever wondered?” Curiosity is a good thing, and so is knowing the answers to the more profound questions people have regarding the Bible and who God is. There are many times we read through scripture in bits and pieces and overlook the “why’s’” about God’s Word.
- Equipping for Ministry – Bible study courses are a beneficial alternative to a college education. While you do not receive a degree, you do gain the knowledge your studies provide. You can use this to be a useful tool for your church to help minister the Gospel to the church body, or within a ministry aspect of the church like:
- Sunday School teachers
- Men’s and Women’s Ministries
- Outreach Programs
- Children’s Church
Where Do I Find the Best Online Bible Study Courses?
There are many to choose from. The best place to begin would be with the organization or denomination your church is part of. The reason for this is because different denomination holds to slightly different tenants of doctrine. And many of the courses are taught under denominational headings. So, to be best effective within your church, a course that lines up with those beliefs is always best. The best thing is that there are courses for the Bible Beginner, the Biblical Scholar, and everyone in between.
Some options available are through:
- Our Daily Bread Ministries – You see these devotionals in your church foyer. They are a pocket-sized quarterly daily devotional. Well, Our Daily Bread also offers Bible study courses. They are a non-denominational organization. They offer courses that dive into the books of the Bible as well as topical studies.
- Bible Study Courses.org – This ministry is based on the Presbyterian faith. While not exhaustive, they do have a good selection of popular books and topics to increase your Bible knowledge.
- International Bible Teaching Ministries – These online courses are from the Church of Christ. Their extensive course list offers the help of a teacher via email as well as a certificate upon completion of a class.
- The Gospel Coalition – This organization has its roots in the Reformation tradition. They provide courses on church history, how-to’s of evangelism, as well as an immense library of Bible book studies.
This is just a quick sample based on a general browser search. There is no ranking or preference associated with these sites. They are examples of what is out there. Find the course that best suits you in what it offers as well as how the ministry outlines with your church’s belief system.
Bible Study Courses: Final Word
Digging into God’s Word is not only beneficial to educational purposes, but it is also a significant part of strengthening faith. Just as you gain more confidence, the longer you drive a vehicle or, the stronger you get, the more you train, the closer to God you get when you increase your knowledge of him. It is also comparable to a marriage. The more you learn about your spouse, the more your love for them grows. The intimacy creates a bond.
Living our faith through intimate knowledge is expressed in Hebrews 11. Many have called it the Hall of Fame of Faith. Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and Joshua are among those mentioned. They had a deep, intimate relationship with Christ. In Hebrews 12:1-2, the author says,
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us,
let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us,
and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author, and perfecter of faith,
who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame,
and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Jesus is the author and perfecter of faith. He wrote your faith into existence through His death on the cross, His resurrection, and return to the Father. He also holds the title of the perfecter of our faith. This “perfecting” comes through our knowledge of who He is. And what better way to get to know Him than through studying the book that tells His story: the Bible.