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My Scholarship Story: Aaron Dowell

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This story was written by Aaron Dowell (Class of 2018)

Attending Central Christian College of the Bible has been one of the best decisions that I have made. It is hard to put into words exactly how much of an impact Central has had in my life.

I grew up in Bowling Green, Missouri. While my family and I were not regular church attendees growing up, I was involved in youth group in my high school years. During that time a preacher pulled me to the side and told me that I should consider going into the ministry. If I’m honest, I did not take that seriously and wasted a lot of time pursuing other interests. After receiving my associate’s degree from community college, I still did not have a direction for my life so I started working to pay off my student loans. I worked at a variety of jobs and eventually became a North American specialist for an international tour guide company. At one point while working as a tour guide, I realized that my life was not accomplishing anything of any significance. After that time of reflection I realized I needed to make a change in my life. I moved back to Missouri with the intentions of getting my life in order.

That’s when I started re-reading my Bible. This time it took hold of me, and it just made sense. Shortly after that my father and I started attending church again together, and it was at this time that we both realized that we had never understood the significance of baptism. It was an awesome experience to be able to study this and to be able to be baptized at the same time as my father. After lots of prayer and discussion, I realized it was finally time to get serious about serving God in the ministry. I honestly had no idea what this would look like, but I knew I needed to get training.

I had been attending a Southern Baptist Church and was in the process of enrolling at a Southern Baptist school. A deacon from the church pulled me to the side told me I should consider the Bible College in Moberly. He said it was a good school where I would learn the Bible. After some discussion and lots of prayers, I called and set up a visit. Visiting the campus, talking with the teachers, and looking over the statement of faith showed me that this was a place that I could feel at home and learn a lot about myself, serving, and God’s Word.

I had no idea about the Full-Tuition Scholarship until I visited. Because I had already used a lot of my grant eligibility, affordability was in the front of my mind. Even though I had already decided that Central would be a great place to attend, the Full-Tuition Scholarship helped me feel confident that this was an incredible choice and one of the better financial decisions I could make.

With most of the student body being 10-20 years younger than me, I wasn’t sure how I would fit into this community. While I am usually able to get along with most people, I was overwhelmed by the friendliness, acceptance, and commitment to a loving community the student body showed.

As soon as classes started, I knew that the deacon who first told me about Central had not been exaggerating. The level of knowledge and education I was receiving began to take root in my life immediately. At the end of my freshman year, I was approached about supply preaching for a church in my hometown for the summer. While I had talked in public many times, I’d never preached a sermon in church. I accepted this opportunity with the intention of getting a little bit of experience and preaching for a few weeks. Those few weeks turned into three years of preaching ministry at that small church in my hometown. Preaching every weekend in a regular ministry for three years completely changed the way I looked at my classes.

I now sit in class with a new level of interest and focus. I often find myself taking something that I learned in class during the week and applying that weekend. I can also come to class with a question from somebody in the congregation. When I ask the professor or another student, it leads to a discussion and the best answer possible. I have recently started turning responsibilities of the church over to another Central student so the church can continue to grow and be served in the best way possible.

My education here at Central has helped me and is preparing me for a life of ministry. After I graduate in May, I will pursue a Master of Strategic Ministry degree through Johnson University at Christ’s Church of the Valley in Arizona. This is a one-year degree program that allows me to get immediate experience and the ability to quickly turn around and start serving the Kingdom of God.

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