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Studying from India

By TBS MABHA student Manasseh Luka

While residing in India's capital city of New Delhi, I read Jeremiah 1:5 (NRSV), "I knew you before I formed you in the womb, and I consecrated you before you were born; I appointed you a prophet to the nations." My special affection for this verse began during my transition from childhood to adolescence as I began to spend time in prayer and reading the Bible. When my father's life on this earth concluded, I especially witnessed God's incredible love, grace, and serenity for my family.

Jeremiah 1:15

As I bowed in prayer next to my father's deathbed, John 14:1-4 brought great comfort. “Believe in God, and believe in me, too. There are numerous dwellings in my father's home. Would I have informed you that I was going to set up a space for you if that weren't the case? And if I go and make a home for you, I'll come back and take you with me so that you can be with me wherever I am.” In these I felt God’s assurance and affirmation. While seeking His direction and calling in my life, I spent a year reading God’s Word and meditating. During Lenten prayer meetings in 2010, I felt God calling me to attend seminary and began theological studies in 2011.

As I explored the Bible more, I understood that Biblical archaeology sheds light on how God has shaped human history, race, creation, and historical events, and confirmed His presence in people's lives. After finishing seminary in 2015, I found several graduate programs in biblical archaeology, but felt none were right for me at the time. I continued to pray and waited patiently for God to guide me in the right direction.

I discovered the TBS Master of Arts in Biblical History and Archaeology (MABHA) degree through Dr. Stripling in 2019 and believed God finally granted my requests. As Dr. Stripling helped guide my study strategy, I enrolled at TBS in 2022 after eight years of waiting patiently for the Lord’s guidance and timing.

I recently completed my second semester and am grateful to TBS for providing distance learning. While living and working in India, I am taking courses in leadership, archaeology, theology, and church history. My studies are helping improve my understanding of workplace ethics in light of the Bible and helping in my work with prisoners. As I observe remarkable changes in their lives, I believe my TBS education is playing a huge role as God guides me in working to help set spiritual captives free.

I believe the training offered by TBS is top-notch. Although I never considered myself capable of distance learning, the cutting-edge technology used allows such a high level of interactive participation that I feel as though I am very present in class. I receive support from professors and peers, everyone is encouraging and friendly, and I am able to interact with others both during and between class sessions. One intriguing aspect of TBS is that students can audit courses and keep the graded assignments to apply toward degree credit in the future. I am enjoying my studies of the Bible, biblical lands and civilizations, and history, and believe TBS education and training for ministry is one of the finest I have seen.

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