Let’s Go! Exploring Life Off Campus…

Arts & Culture

The stereotypical college student fills his free time with ramen noodles and video games. But there is a group of AFLBS students this year breaking that mold and doing their best to add some culture to their Bible school experience.

A large group of students has had the chance this year to take in musicals, plays, and concerts from all across the Twin Cities. Students enjoyed “Tyndale: A Reformation Oratorio” by composer Josh Bauder at Fourth Baptist Church in Plymouth, a production of Handel’s “Messiah” by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis, and even observed a mass at the Cathedral of St. Paul.

Senior Sam Ricke says he enjoys leaving campus occasionally to enjoy the many different types of events the city has to offer. “I think many students enjoy going to these events because they offer a brief respite from the business of the Bible school life,” Sam said. “It is an opportunity to fellowship with each other doing fun things, and for me, it’s an excellent opportunity to enjoy the arts as well.”

Students have also enjoyed local attending a couple of plays put on by local groups. They attended “Annie, Jr.” at Rogers High School Performing Arts Center, and “Singin’ In the Rain” at the University of Northwestern Theatre.

Urban Explorers

One of the best things about the Bible school and seminary is the peaceful, suburban setting. Sand volleyball and Ultimate Frisbee are regular recreational events on campus, but some prefer to explore other local entertainment options.

Seminary student Brian Westerbur and his wife, Allie, have been on campus for three semesters now, and have had fun exploring many different restaurants and visiting several area attractions. They recommend Maria’s Café in Minneapolis for its breakfast food, Latuff’s Pizzeria in Plymouth, and Anchor Fish & Chips in Minneapolis. And don’t miss the free, home-made donuts at Coalition in Edina.

The Westerburs are excellent explorers of the Twin Cities and have cultivated a list of their favorite off-campus activities. From the walking trails of Upper and Lower Landing Park in St. Paul to the gorgeous greenery of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and Como Zoo and Conservatory, there is no shortage of entertainment options in the Minneapolis area. And if you get the chance to splurge on an expensive outing, they recommend either the Minnesota Orchestra or the Chanhassen Dinner Theater.

Homework Hangouts

By Emily Collins

I love to seek out cool new hangout spots, and I love coffee. Lots of coffee. When I came to AFLBS I underestimated the level of homework which I would be assigned. Quickly, my time for adventure was turned into homework time. I searched for an option where I could study as well as feel like I was on an adventure—and of course, find some high quality coffee.

One of the first options on the list was Spyhouse Coffee. Upon arriving, I ordered my usual: pour over, no cream or sugar, just black. Delicious. I sat my stuff down and started to dig into my homework. Our assignment was to read the Gospel of John and take notes on each chapter. I got a few verses in when the nice lady who made my coffee brought me my cup and lingered for a second, watching me. I smiled at her and kept reading. Suddenly she started asking me multiple questions about what I was reading and why I was “reading the Bible just for fun.” I explained to her my situation but also that I love Jesus and that I find joy and truth in reading Scripture.

In my grand adventure to find a cool place just to do my homework I got to show someone else true joy just by doing my homework. I gave her my Bible and told her about Jesus. Bible school isn’t about the homework load, it’s about being thoroughly equipped for every good work, to bring glory to God and people to His kingdom.

Emily Collins [AFLBS junior] is from Fergus Falls, Minn.

On the Job

Sean Hoskins gets paid to explore the city. Well, kind of. The Bible school junior works for a restaurant delivery company called DoorDash, and spends his evenings picking up food from area restaurants and delivering it to customers. Most students find employment in warehouses or coffee shops, but Sean is bucking the trend.
“The main thing that drew me to DoorDash was the ability to create your own hours,” Sean said. “The best part about being a ‘dasher’ is being able to explore the area and find new restaurants.”

DoorDash is definitely different from most jobs. There are no office hours, there are no bosses, and there really isn’t much coworker interaction, either. The business is run through an app on a smartphone. Sean gets in his car, turns on the app, and waits for an order to come in. The app tells him which restaurant to drive to, what food to pick up, and where to deliver it.

Minneapolis is home to the famous “Eat Street,” a 17-block stretch of Nicollet Avenue with more than 50 unique restaurants. Many Bible school students aren’t able to check out all the Twin Cities have to offer, but Sean is enjoying his chance to explore.

The Local Church

By Chris Kumpula

Seminarians should get involved in a local congregation for three reasons. First, we are called as believers to participate in the body of Christ. God calls us to receive the Word and sacraments, growing in the bond of Christ’s love. In this, our gifts are used by the Holy Spirit for the building-up of the congregation.

Second, we get to experience God at work in the congregation. Every seminarian comes with their own unique background—experiences that serve as hand-holds in applying Scripture to real-life situations. Experience matters. Because there will never be enough classes to fully prepare a seminarian for ministry, he wisely learns from the experiences available to him. You cannot see God at work without being there with the people He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies.

Third, we are fed the Word. Seminarians, your most important call is to prepare as a diligent student of the Word; be faithful to that call. The congregation ought to be a community that nourishes you with good news and the love of brothers and sisters in Christ. Seminary is hard. You need this.

Congregations, count your gifts wisely. Seminarians may well not have an abundance of time, money, or experience. Value the gifts they do have. Invest in them with prayer, hospitality, and support. When you do, you are doing ministry.

Chris Kumpula [AFLTS intern] is a member of Living Hope Church, Rogers, Minn., where he has served as an elder.


This article first appeared in Kinship Magazine, Winter 2018 Edition.

Kinship is a magazine of the Free Lutheran Schools. Stay up to date on latest news, student stories, classroom highlights, and fun tidbits about life on the AFLBS and AFLTS campus.

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