Posts tagged School of Biblical Studies
Back to School: A New Year

School is in session! Last week we kicked off the 2019-2020 year with our new School of Biblical Studies students! Over the next 10 months, we will journey with this class as they study every book of the Bible. 

Emmaus Ministries derives its name from the story of the disciples who met Jesus on the road to the city of Emmaus: Luke 24:31-32: And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”  It’s an absolute joy to walk with this group of people as they set out on their own Emmaus Road Journey. We know that as the year goes on, we will witness their hearts begin to burn through the study of the Bible. 

The first two weeks of class are seminar style, during which the students learn the method we use to study the Bible here at Emmaus. Our school teaches a variation of the Inductive Method, a way in which to study the scripture that seeks to draw conclusions only from the text. This approach sets aside any preconceived notions that a modern reader may have and focuses on the text in its original context. This is the lens through which our students view scripture and then move it into practical application to their lives today. Inductive Bible study has three steps: observation, interpretation and application. 

We use the Book of Jonah to teach the Inductive Method. This book of the Bible usually comes loaded with preconceived ideas, mental images, even songs and stories from childhood! Students are usually familiar with certain aspects of the story, they may relate it to God speaking to Jonah, or Jonah running away and getting swallowed by a “big fish.” Students often find that they have to let go of what they think they know about the story in order to inductively study the book. 

As the week progresses, The Book of Jonah begins to transform from the “familiar children's story” to a convicting, relevant, and timeless lesson about how God loves his enemies. It becomes a case study of what it looks like to truly repent and follow the Lord. For our students, Jonah is no longer just a story on a page, but a story that reveals truths about God's character in such a way that imprints something on their hearts. 

We are so excited to begin another year of studying the whole Bible and to watch as the students encounter Jesus throughout the whole of scripture. Our hope is that you’ll join us in this year while this class journeys through the bible. Please pray that our students meet Jesus with fresh eyes on open hearts. Our goal is that this would be not just scholarly school, but one of disciples that are growing, maturing and learning what it looks like to follow after Jesus.

Meet the Staff: Jacob McRae
Jacob McRae with his wife Sam McRae

Jacob McRae with his wife Sam McRae

One of the first things people tend to notice about Jacob McRae is his amazing beard! One of the next things that people will notice is his genuine heart for people and for helping them see the Gospel through service. Jacob grew up in Virginia, after his DTS (Discipleship Training School) he moved to Homer Alaska where he meet his wife Samantha. Jacob and Samantha moved to Florida to be students at Emmaus’ School of Biblical Studies before coming on staff 2 years ago. Jacob is on the teaching team, manages student administration/admissions and oversees all of the meals and social gatherings at Emmaus.

What do you do around here?

My role here at Emmaus includes a variety of jobs. Most of my time is spent as a part of our teaching staff. This means that I spend the majority of my weeks studying and preparing to teach books of the Bible for our students, grading, and meeting with students for discipleship one-on-ones. Secondly, I'm in charge of handling admissions for Emmaus, which means processing applications, connecting with potential students, and helping them to prepare for their time here. Finally, my wife and I team up in order to prepare a delicious breakfast for our students every day before class.

What is your favorite part of your Job?

As most of our staff would probably agree, one of the most rewarding aspects of this job is getting to see the Scriptures come alive for our students, it's an incredibly powerful experience! But, being a new, self-proclaimed Bible nerd, I immensely enjoy preparing to teach books. Nothing helps you understand book like preparing to teach it and I’ve very much enjoyed the aspect of getting to really dig deep into the texts. I've definitely come to learn a lot during my time as staff, and it's even more fun to do so in a whole community of other Bible nerds!

When did you know God was calling you to be a part of Emmaus?

When I was a student at Emmaus, I once accompanied our Director to a men's Bible study that he was teaching that morning. At that time, I still had plans to pursue other passions of mine (in this case woodworking). But I remember sitting in that Bible study and listening to our Director speak about the Bible with such ease and understanding and he did so in such a relevant way that clearly impacted the men at that Bible study. It was in that moment that I found myself thinking, "I want to know my Bible like this guy more than I want anything else!" From then on, the passion to help others know their Bible in a deep and intimate way has continued to grow in me day by day.

Which Bible Character would you want to get coffee with?

First answer would probably be the author of Hebrews....I just want to know who that person is...I mean come on, just sign the letter! My second answer would probably be Daniel. Through the process of teaching for the school, Daniel has become my absolute favorite book of the Bible. Daniel is someone who faced innumerable trials and gut-wrenching situations and still proved to be one of the few Old Testament characters that continually served as a model of righteousness and faithfulness throughout his life. I want to know that guy!

What was your favorite Christian Song to Jam out to growing up?

As any decent 90's youth group kid should answer, my go-to's were anything by Relient K, Five Iron Frenzy, and the O.C. Supertones.

Why Emmaus?

Growing up in an incredibly loving, Christian household/church, I lived my life with the constant notion that my Bible was supposed to mean something to me, but the truth was that it just didn’t! Regardless of how many times I vowed to read through the Bible in a year, I often fell off the wagon somewhere in Exodus. Here was a book that was supposed to lead and define my faith and yet I didn’t know how to read it and found it incredibly intimidating! This shook me to my core, and it sent my wife and I on a path towards Emmaus. After I embarked on my own “Emmaus Road journey,” to encounter God through His Word, I truly did feel my own heart burn within me (Luke 24:32). My wife and I suddenly found strong purpose in the mission of Emmaus Ministries, to help equip others with the Word of God. I want every believer to understand that knowing the Bible in a deep and intimate way is a goal very much within reach, and that it’s never too late to start your own Emmaus Road journey!

If you would like to join Jacobs financial partnership team or read his blog click the links below.

Jacob Teaching.jpeg

Hello Emmaus Friends

Since 2006 the core of Emmaus Ministries has centered around our 10-month residential Bible School (the School of Biblical Studies).  We’re so grateful for all the people God has transformed through this program, and we’re grateful for all of those who have labored and given to make the program a reality.  After 10 incredible schools, we’ve discerned that God is asking Emmaus to redesign this core program.  We’ve now crafted a similar school, but one offered in a more accessible format!

Our new School of Biblical Studies will be a part-time school, requiring 20 hours of weekly participation, instead of the 40+ hrs our former program required.  Students will have the option to live in residence, but they can now also commute to our campus.  Additionally, students will have the option to participate in a 10-15 hr/wk paid internship with a local church partner.  The program is still 10 months long, and still takes students through the content of the entire Bible using the Inductive Study Method.  The new program simply asks less of a student outside of the classroom, replacing some of the study time with an internship or local job.  This change makes a year at Emmaus much more accessible.  Additionally, any Emmaus student with an undergraduate degree may now also enroll at Asbury Seminary and receive a significant scholarship through our new Emmaus/Asbury partnership, making Emmaus more attractive to those interested in a seminary education.   


Our new School is accepting applications now for a soft launch in January 2018, with our typical year-long school beginning August 2018.  We’re excited about the new direction we’re headed, and we know it will present a greater opportunity for more students to encounter God through this life changing curriculum and community.


Tom Phillips

Follow us on Facebook and be on the look out for our BIG Facebook post Tuesday, Oct 10, 2017! We will be sharing information on our NEW School of Biblical Studies, Biblical Narrative Series, and Biblical Literacy Program.