Rich Clark: Learning and Ministering

Rich Clark: Learning and Ministering

A student in BBC&S' Degree Completion program, Rich Clark earned his Bachelor of Science in Bible in May 2014 and is now just a few semesters away from gaining his Master of Divinity degree.

Rich ClarkRich came to BBS in 2012 to begin working on his degrees, building on a two-year degree he already held. This summer, he will begin an extended paid internship while finishing coursework for his M.Div.

Before coming to BBS, he wore many hats - from lead-based paint risk assessor to graphic designer. Five years ago, God made it clear that He had something more for Rich's life - to lead and minister to His people and to reach those who do not know Him as Lord and Savior.

He and his wife Stephanie moved to Clarks Summit from Romulus, NY, with their two sons, Isaac and Riley.

After the Lord called me into ministry, I knew the proper education was needed to minister effectively. But with the mixed background I had in attending previous colleges, I needed to establish short term goals. I entered Moody Bible Institute's online program and completed a two-year degree. Through BBS' Degree Completion Program, I was able to finish my bachelor's and Master of Divinity at the same time.

God not only made it clear to us that BBS was our next step, he made it happen logistically and financially. He sold our house in a depressed market in a small rural town in 10 days, provided affordable housing, and brought Stephanie to BBC were she has been working.

The purpose of education is to train and equip leaders for ministry. Even though the M.Div. program is longer than most programs, I felt it was the most comprehensive one available. Because of the required languages, theology and doctrine classes, and the practical ministry classes, it offers the most learning and best preparation for ministry.

What is crucial is what we learn in the process of completing the degree. Having the proper education gives pastors the necessary tools to minister to those God brings before them. But it doesn't stop there. I believe pastors ought to continue learning through some form of continuous education. We must continue to sharpen our skills as leaders so we can keep leading effectively for our Lord Jesus Christ. If we are called to never stop learning as believers, then I believe that it is imperative to do so as Christian leaders.

My experience has been more than I ever imagined. I originally thought that I was coming to get the classroom education, but God had much more in store for me. He worked mountain-moving moments in my life far beyond the classroom - heart changes, spiritual stretching, and growing in areas of my life I have never thought of. Since He is God and His desire is to prepare me to minister to His people, His plans are far superior to mine. My time at BBS has been far more than education; it has been life-change.

This summer we will be moving to Montrose, PA, where I join the staff of Bridgewater Baptist Church as an intern for two years. Last fall, Pastors Brett Bixby (BBC 93, BBS 99) and Bob Kadlecik (BBC 93, BBS 96) asked if I would consider coming to Bridgewater to do an extended internship. It was great to see God's sovereign hand in this as He led our family through the whole process and to see His will come to fruition.

Being an older student and having extensive life experience to couple with BBS, I believe I am well prepared. It is only through the Holy Spirit that any of this is possible. That said, I have much to learn and believe working with Brett and Bob is a great opportunity. God is doing some amazing things there and I have the opportunity to learn much. My prayer is the Lord will use me as He sees fit to minister to His people. I leave the results up to Him.

Contact Information

Baptist Bible College & Seminary offers outstanding Christian higher education through on-campus, online, and other distance learning options. Students go beyond the ordinary, learning to think biblically, grow spiritually, and serve faithfully as they gain critical leadership and life skills.

To learn more, go to or call 570.586.2400.

Posted on: 6/26/2014 1:44:11 PM

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