RBC in 2020

Posted On December 30, 2020

Written by Dr. John Tweeddale, academic dean and professor of theology

Truly, 2020 has been a year like no other. It almost escapes description. But since this year has come to pass by the providence of our holy and good God, 2020 warrants our reflection. As I’ve thought about the year and listened to students, staff, and faculty at RBC, I’ve learned a few things about our beloved college.

First, like everyone, we are weary. Weary of COVID-19. Weary of masks. Weary of politics. Weary of division. Weary of isolation. Weary of staring into that little green dot on our computers for another video conference meeting. Weary of being weary.

Second, we are grateful. Crisis has a way of reinforcing what matters most. The Lord in His mercy has used this year to knit our college family more tightly together.

Students have supported one another during times of loss, anxiety, and uncertainty. Staff members have rallied to find new and creative ways to make meaningful connections with our student body and alumni. And the faculty has gone to superhero levels to educate and disciple our students, both on campus and online.

All of this has left us profoundly grateful for the people God has brought to RBC and the work He has given us to do.

Third, we are resilient. We began 2020 encouraged by the prospect of enjoying our beautiful new building, Founders Hall. All plans were scratched in March when we closed the campus and moved classes and activities online. At that point, we had never offered a single lecture online. At RBC, we love in-person, on-campus education. But we finished the spring semester together online, thanks especially to the herculean efforts of our Tech Services team.

Over the summer, we ventured into new territory. We launched our Foundation Year Online program, a carefully selected eight-course Certificate in Theology that represents the core of an RBC education. The idea is simple. Wherever you are in the world, this program gives you the opportunity to take live RBC courses online for the purpose of building a biblical and theological foundation for all of life.

In the fall, we welcomed a record number of students on campus, offered in-person lectures with a hybrid option, and implemented additional safety protocols. With the fall semester now finished and grades submitted, the Lord has kept us safe, healthy, and on campus for the entire semester. To God be all praise and glory!

Finally, we are hopeful. Trials do not follow neat timelines. Many of the challenges and difficulties of 2020 will spill into 2021 and beyond. New problems we haven’t anticipated will emerge. But we need not despair. As Christians, the hope we have in Christ drives us toward greater resolve and faithfulness, no matter what calling God has placed on our lives.

In light of this hope, we have plenty of work to do in 2021 at RBC. We have a Winter Conference in January, where we will be celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Ligonier Ministries. We will continue to be pouring into our on-campus and online students. We will be preparing to welcome our first-ever group of international students in the fall 2021 semester, thanks to our recently approved Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). And much more. So, keep checking our blog in the new year.

Dr. John Tweeddale is academic dean and professor of theology at Reformation Bible College.