Faces of Carroll: Erin Newton & An Old Testament Calling

“I’m thankful that Carroll exists so that the equipping of the saints can happen even while we have boots on the ground.”

I remember my sophomore year in high school being asked to create a presentation depicting the job we wanted to have after graduation. As I stood in front of the classroom going through the various elements of what I needed to prepare for this career and reasons why this career interested me, I was met with a series of surprised looks. To me, the call that God had placed on my heart was simple: teach. Other students had proclaimed their desire to be kindergarten teachers or football coaches, how could my dream be anything more surprising? Apparently, having a fourteen-year-old say they want to teach Old Testament to adults is not a common adolescent career path. Nevertheless, this is the call that God has given me.

After high school, I attended Dallas Baptist University majoring in Biblical Studies. I was introduced to courses ranging from Old Testament to New Testament, Hebrew to Greek, and even Eschatology and Philosophy of Religion. As I studied the Bible in college, it became clear that after years of being a Christian there were still undiscovered and unappreciated texts. Through many conversations with friends and family, I realized that much of the Scripture, whether it be doctrine or entire books of the Bible, were completely unknown to some believers. Especially with respect to the Old Testament, I recognized that many believers avoided these books because the text was “too complicated” or “made little sense.” Feeling the Spirit’s conviction that “all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work,” heaviness filled my heart. I saw that not only was I less equipped for God’s work but others were in similar shape. Through these experiences, God grew a passion in my heart for studying the Old Testament and with each new course grew the earnest desire to pass this knowledge on to other believers.

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In the last few years I have had the privilege of leading Bible studies for students and women. Being part of a teaching team at church has been one of the greatest joys and confirmations of this calling. I am now a stay-at-home mother of four, one of whom has special needs. As we faced the new challenges of raising a medically dependent child, I was met with fear and doubt as to what God had called me to do. The desire to teach was as strong as ever, but it felt like the ability to move forward was impossible. Through much prayer, I was introduced to B.H. Carroll and discovered the unique approach this seminary has for students. The flexibility in schedules and degree programs was clearly an answer to prayer. Choosing to study at Carroll has provided the ability to continue the necessary pursuit of higher education.

So far, my time at Carroll has been both encouraging and challenging. The staff and faculty immediately welcomed me as a part of their close-knit community. Professors truly care about the welfare of the students as they reach out to pray for our needs and remain updated in our lives outside of school. The classes have provided opportunities to think critically and theologically. The courses give me the opportunity to “examine the Scriptures every day” just like the Bereans of Acts. I eagerly look forward to each new topic knowing that God is using Carroll as part of His plan for my life. Being a master’s student has been an exciting journey so far, even as I have learned to read books in hospital waiting rooms or discuss degree programs with my advisor while shopping for groceries. I’m thankful that Carroll exists so that the equipping of the saints can happen even while we have boots on the ground.

Erin Newton

Master of Arts in Theology/Scripture and Witness Concentration

Published: Sep 14, 2018


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