Thank you for praying for the requests I sent in my last update. We’ve seen some great answers to your prayers over the last several weeks:
- Sarah’s mentoring group is going well; she is particularly seeing growth in the upper class students she is training to be leaders.
- Last month’s site team visit was greatly blessed. The team gave IBC glowing reviews, and we only a few things to address in response to their recommendations. Several of the team were deeply moved and said they were taking things learned from IBC back to their own ministries. IBC’s special thank you to the soon-to-retire director of accreditation was highlighted this week in front of all ABHE schools!
- Abby’s health challenges still continue, but she has been blessed and encouraged recently by some meaningful friendships.
Below is the Fall prayer letter that we mailed out a few weeks ago. Also here is an online donation link for the scholarship fund; would you consider helping support students by a gift to the scholarship fund? After the fall semester scholarship awards being given out this month this fund is almost out of money and more depleted than it has been in many years.
Thank you for your ongoing prayers for the ministry of the Indian Bible College!
Dr. Jason Koppen and family
Happy fall from the Indian Bible College and the Koppens!
This school year is proving to be a unique, groundbreaking season in IBC’s history. Despite the incredible challenges of COIVD-19, we have one of the largest student bodies in school history—thanks to having as many part-time students as full-time We’ve taken the lessons learned in the spring semester (when classes were all live online) and have 15 students taking classes live online!
Four highly significant challenges are keeping us very busy; please pray for us in these areas:
- Having a residential campus during the COVID-19 pandemic is very challenging. We now have an on-campus nurse, are doing on-campus testing, and occasionally have to do isolations to watch for symptoms. Decisions that used to take three minutes now take three hours…or days…or weeks. We praise God that, after having a number of students come down with COVID over the summer (and recover), we aren’t aware of any cases this semester.
- Due to the pandemic, IBC has lost most of its volunteers that help with facility maintenance and improvement. Additionally, we recently lost two staff members who helped with facility progress. We are therefore quite challenged in our commitment to keep campus maintained.
- Our second accreditation site team is on campus this month. We have had a lot extra work resubmitting our self-study in August and preparing for this important visit. If all goes well, IBC should be granted “initial accreditation” in February 2021.
- In June, IBC finally was approved for federal student aid, which means our students now can qualify for the Pell Grant! This is one of the primary benefits of accreditation and is the reason we had to ask for state law to be changed so we could be state authorized. IBC is now under a lot of pressure to complete massive amounts of documentation and to demonstrate compliance to a lot of requirements. Additionally, we are discovering that a number of our students aren’t eligible for the Pell Grant (more on that later).
I have a unique opportunity this semester to teach a class in each of our grade levels: freshman (100-level), sophomore (200-level) and upper-division (3/400-level). On Tuesdays I teach each of these classes in order from morning (9:00AM) to afternoon (3:10PM) to evening (6:00PM). Glimpsing the entire cross-section of our student body in one day is truly enlightening, and I wanted to highlight each of these special classes—with a description and a picture—so you can “get a glimpse” with me!
9:00-10:05AM Tuesday & Thursday: One of the classes I teach every Fall semester is GHR100 Human Relationships. This class helps students understand all that the Bible has to say about the way we love one another as God’s people. We ALSO use it for new staff orientation to establish a baseline for our staff unity and the way we are to serve and love our students. This class is one of this semester’s two “hybrid” classes for part-time students, where we have classes both in person and live online.
We have three staff taking the class alongside eight students. You can see one of the tools we use in this class here .
3:10-4:30PM Tuesday & Thursday: One of our newer classes in the 2019 curriculum revision is the GET200 Introduction to Christian Ethics class. This class focuses on how to live a Spirit-filled ethical life, so there is a heavy emphasis on pneumatology (the theology of the Holy Spirit). Two of our full-time sophomore students are taking classes from home due to COVID concerns, so this class is a hybrid with two students from New Mexico. One of the special parts of this class is the strong emphasis on praying with each other as we learn to walk in the Spirit. It is encouraging to see how these second year students are already beginning to think on a deeper level about how to apply what they are learning for their people.
6:00-9:00PM Tuesday: One of the most unique classes this semester is my MBC317 Crisis Counseling course. Through a partnership with three other organizations, IBC is helping the nine students taking this class (consisting of juniors, seniors, and two staff) to be credentialed chaplains with the International Fellowship of Chaplains (www.ifoc.org). The training is through the IFOC’s online This is a much-needed training and certification, as Native peoples are suffering greatly under the effects of abuse, crisis, trauma, and now under COVID-19. The depth of understanding and passion for ministry of these students is inspiring to me; I drive home each Tuesday night impressed at the growing wisdom of these upperclassmen.
Thank you for being a part of the training process as we take students from freshman “rookies” to thoughtful servant leaders by the time they receive their bachelor’s degrees.
As mentioned earlier, it is now possible for IBC students to be eligible for need-based scholarships through the Pell Grant and tribal scholarships; we have correspondingly raised our tuition to be able to have more resources for the programs and personnel that benefit the students. Unfortunately, several IBC students have been found to be ineligible due to issues from the past. Would you consider making a gift to our scholarship fund to help provide the tuition assistance that these students need? Thank you for your consideration.
It is a special blessing to be able to be a part of such a meaningful ministry—I hope you feel the same! IBC only thrives because of the partnership in prayer, volunteering, and giving of people like yourself.
Secure and thriving in Christ,
Dr. Jason Koppen
Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 2 Corinthians 9:10-11