The best of both worlds: How to attend AFLBS and not get ‘behind’ in college

Many students interested in attending AFLBS are concerned about ‘getting behind’ in college if they take two years to go to Bible school. Everyone has their own definition of ‘getting behind,’ and while some AFLBS grads take an additional four years after AFLBS to finish their degree, they often finish very close to the amount of time it takes the average college student to complete their degree. Yet, they’re often ‘ahead’ in maturity and life experience. But that’s a topic for another post. For those concerned about putting college on hold for two years, know this: it’s possible to complete Bible school and your college degree by the time you’re twenty. It’s been done before. This is Matthew’s story, a student who finished his degree at age 18 and Bible school at age 20.

Matthew’s Story

You came to AFLBS at age 18. You completed your degree at the end of your first year of Bible school. How did you do that?

In my Junior year of high school, I began taking tests for college credit with the help of CollegePlus (now Lumerit). By the time that I enrolled at AFLBS, I had completed 114 out of 120 credits towards my Bachelor’s degree. During my first year at AFLBS I took advantage of the flexibility of the schedule to complete the last credits necessary for my degree. My degree is a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration with a focus on General Management.

What would you say to students who are concerned that attending AFLBS will cause them to be “behind?” What are some ways they could earn college credit while they are at AFLBS?

The world of academia has a very strong voice. They would like you to believe that you will be a failure in life if you do not start college immediately out of high school. What they rarely tell you is that there are many non-traditional options.

AFLBS provides a unique environment where it is possible to continue earning college credit while also gaining valuable spiritual life training. An increasing number of AFLBS credits will transfer into other programs. If, as in my case, you do not plan to transfer AFLBS credits into your degree, you can still use the open afternoon schedule at AFLBS to earn college credit online.

My question for you: Are you really “behind” if you finish 4-5 years of college with both a Bible School education and an Undergraduate degree?

What about starting college early – Junior or Senior year of high school? What are some options of working toward your degree in high school?

I very strongly encourage high school students to start college early. It is a huge savings of time and money. Yes, it takes lots of dedication and determination, but the advantages outweigh the disadvantages very quickly.

The number of options is dizzying. I strongly encourage high school students to obtain college credit while in high school. AP courses, PSEO (Minnesota), CLEP, DSST, and Dual Credit are just a few popular ways to get a jump start on college.

Within two years after high school, you were done with both Bible school and your bachelor’s degree. What have you done with all the time you saved?

Immediately after graduating from Bible School, I traveled to Ecuador, South America to spend time with my brother’s family. With the pressure to a degree taken off my shoulders, I could spend quality time learning about culture and teaching English.

After Ecuador, I returned to the US to continue studying at Association Free Lutheran Theological Seminary (AFLTS). I am pouring the time that I saved into focused study of God’s Word in preparation for ministry. In the end, God used my time at AFLBS to set me ahead on the path that He had planned for me.

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