Tuesday, June 08, 2010

School's In for the Summer

As students everywhere celebrate the close of the school doors for the summer, I'm celebrating exactly the opposite: for me, school started just last week!

June 1 marked the start of my second distance education class through the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation. Many of you will remember the class I took last fall, which I raved about frequently. I'm thrilled to be enrolled in a follow-up to that course for the next twelve weeks.

Helping Relationships (formerly called Methods of Biblical Change) is described in our syllabus this way:
This is a methods course and is therefore designed to focus on the person who is counseling, the process of counseling, and the critical skills necessary to effect change. This course is a biblical methods course and so will focus on how to bring the person and work of the Redeemer to people in the midst of their problems. Helping Relationships will consider how God works change in our lives as a model for how we can function as instruments of change. ...It is meant to teach you how to function as God’s tool of change in the lives of others.
So, you can see that unlike much of high school, this class will be intensely practical and relevant to everyday life, as well as fascinating :)

The lecturing professor is Paul David Tripp. I haven't had a ton of exposure to his work, but I've liked what I have read, including about a quarter (so far) of his devotional book Whiter Than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy. Tripp also wrote the two major textbooks for the class: Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change (which I've had on my Amazon wishlist for years) and War of Words: Getting to the Heart of Your Communication Struggles (which I bought more than a year ago wanting to read, but haven't gotten around to). How great is that--textbooks being books you actually *want* to read and would in fact read for pleasure even if they weren't required reading!

My last class provided a foundation for understanding the human heart in light of Scripture and helped me apply truth to my own life; I'm excited to learn more in this class about how to minister to others more effectively and apply the gospel to their struggles as well. And like last time, I hope to share here much of what I am learning. I'm so thankful for this opportunity!

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