The VOM mini-terms at Oklahoma Wesleyan University have been some of the best classes I have ever taken. Before going to VOM I did not want to hear about persecution because I did not know what to do with the information and I was confused by the testimonies that I heard. The mini-term class helped me to understand and pray for my persecuted brothers and sisters. I also better understood how to handle the persecution that is going on at my own back door by seeing the example of my persecuted family. Actually getting to serve at VOM, and getting to talk with the field representatives, helped me to understand the meaning of “remembering those in bonds” (Heb. 13:3).
For everything that was included in the tuition it was well-priced, especially if one is taking it for undergrad or graduate credit. Although the work was academically challenging, I appreciated being able to earn three credits in one week, with some pre- and post-course work. The social dynamic was great too, as I got to interact with college-age students and adults from across the country and around the world, who could share out of their experiences in life. I have made lasting friendships with many of these people. Often Christians feel discouraged and alone in the churches that they are in and the mini-term is an excellent place to meet Christ-centered people and fellowship together and be encouraged that we are not alone in this journey. The professors are great to work with as they teach from the expertise and backgrounds that God has given them. Having the choice of taking the class for audit was also beneficial for people, like my mom, as she could come and learn from the lectures, participate in the activities, and fellowship with believers without needing to focus on an academic grade.
I have been to six mini-terms and each time the course has impacted my life. I have learned about how to have a Biblical response to a secular government, how to understand Christian persecution through church history to the present, how to deal with stress, crisis, and cultural differences on the mission field, looking at pain, suffering, and persecution from God’s perspective, and learning different methods on how to articulate what I believe. Then I got to come back to the mini-term and serve as a teacher’s assistant for one of the classes that I had already taken in order to help other students through the journey that I had the blessing of taking. Besides earning college credit that I was able to transfer to my college, I also earned a certificate from OKWU in the study of persecuted church ministries after completing all the classes.
Whether speaking academically, spiritually or socially, I would highly recommend the mini-term to anyone interested in challenging themselves to identify with their persecuted brothers and sisters.
Written by Hanna S., graduate of the OKWU Mini-Term program from Missouri
You too can study and learn more about ministry to persecuted Christians through Oklahoma Wesleyan University mini-term courses, which include visits to VOM’s Ministry Center and interaction with VOM staff members. Apply now for this December's session, "Global Human Suffering."