Christian faith and knowledge of God is much like a plant. It needs to be well-rooted, cared for, and watered, so that it might grow and be strong. Our Christian life needs nourishment.
Too often we hear that theological college breaks down people’s faith and leaves them without answers so they cannot rebuild it.
While we ask difficult questions and the learning will be challenging at times, the aim is not to put you in a position where your faith is broken down and cannot be rebuilt. Instead we offer a safe learning environment where questions can be asked, doubts explored, and difficult issues wrestled with, all with the aim of making your faith stronger – building it up because it is well-rooted. Only if the roots go deep, can a plant grow strong – the same can be said of faith. Part of the DNA of SBC is our learning environment where we actively encourage you to exercise your faith through deep-thinking and practical action so that your faith is well-rooted in order that it can grow and be built up, finding that you’re strengthen through Christ.
“Rooted and built up in Him [Christ], strengthened in the faith.”
Whether you’re here for a single module or for the full degree course, the College seeks to nourish your faith. Through our rhythms of faith, our community of faith, and our exploration of faith, we aim to help you develop so that you are well-rooted, built up, and strengthened in Christ.
Student Testimony – Callum McGregor (class of 2022)
For me, a high point of life at SBC was the time each day we would gather together as a worshipping community to share life together intentionally – to have tea or coffee, a biscuit, and most importantly, to be transformed and renewed by meditating on Scripture and prayer. During my first semester at SBC, the passage of Scripture that we were reading and reflecting upon during this time was Hebrews 12: 1 – 2:
Therefore, we also, having so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, having with such ease put off every encumbrance and the sin besetting us, let us run the contest set before us, looking ahead to Jesus the leader and finisher of faithfulness who, preferring the joy that lay before him, endured a cross, disdaining its shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Each week a different member of the community, student or staff, would share a brief reflection. After reading Hebrews 12: 1 – 2, for my reflection, I spoke about a man of great faith who attended the same church at which I worship. I can count on one hand the number of conversations I had had with him, yet his godliness and lifelong faithful witness to Christ had a profound impact upon me, and I would not be who I am if it were not for his witness and godly example.
Since leaving SBC last year, I have thought a lot about the words of Hebrews 12: 1 – 2 and the impact of others in giving our lives shape and meaning. In our hyper-individualistic society, we seem to have lost a strong and deep sense of common good and community. This focus on the individual and “our” experience means it can be easy to forget about the cloud of witnesses, those great “people who have produced a cracked vessel like me”.
A theologian I engaged with at SBC is Stan Hauerwas; he reminds us, “I did not create myself but what I am has been made possible by others”. I am who I am because of others. I can, or would like to believe I can, read, think, and talk theologically because of SBC. I am aware of not only the theological tradition that I worship within but the wider Christian tradition in which I exist because of the teaching I received, the conversations I participated in, and the books I read while part of the worshipping community at SBC. I have been shaped and grown because of these other people, and I owe those I learned from, studied with, and read a “thank-you” and debt of gratitude for shaping and forming me into who I am and initiating me more deeply into the Christian story.
This year I have been completing a PGDE in Religious and Moral Education; I am so glad for my education in thinking deeply and carefully and for all my experience in writing; this has helped me complete the PGDE.
During my final year Work-Based Learning, I spent my placement at a Secondary School. The experience I gained observing the teaching and the time spent theologically reflecting on this experience was invaluable in my decision to apply for and complete the PGDE this year. I feel that the knowledge and skills developed during my time at SBC have provided the solid foundation needed to complete the PGDE.
Next year I will complete my teaching probationary year and, from there, move on, hopefully into full-time teaching – where, Deo volente, I can be part of that great cloud of witnesses and help shape others as I have been shaped.
Although my graduation last year marked the end of my formal theological education, SBC ingrained in me a love of reading. I am greatly looking forward to the summer holidays as I have a relatively long reading list I would like to get through.
If you would like to discuss study options and how SBC can help you, then please contact our Prospective Student Advisor, Graham Meiklejohn on firstname.lastname@example.org or call the SBC offices on 0141 848 3988.
 Stanley Hauerwas, The Peaceable Kingdom: A Primer in Christian Ethics (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1983), 46.