Supported for work of eternal purpose with James Jeffery
“One of the best ways to support those who are going to seminary is to really send them both prayerfully and financially. And you can do that by supporting the fund. [With the scholarship fund] you’re supporting ministry of eternal value.”
James Jeffery is currently completing his final year of study at Christ College, with the support of two scholarships. Through his experience at college, God has been continually showing him his need for grace and growing in him a love for the lost.
Grappling with the grace of a Saviour
For James, knowing Christ was a privilege he was brought up in. His parents told him the gospel from the moment he was born, which is something he sees as a great blessing. James reflects, “I’m really grateful that I didn’t have to run away and to find the truth, but it was at my very home.”
When it came to knowing God’s grace for himself, this was something that happened progressively for James, as God worked throughout his life. James says, “There’s a few turning points I think that were particularly noticeable. One of them was when I was about 15 years old. I was attending a Scripture Union family mission, and some of the volunteers were really kind and patient with me by answering my questions. I really came to an understanding of my sin around that time and how much I really needed Christ up to that point.”
Prior to these experience, James describes being interested in apologetics and invested in talking to his friends about the evidence for Christianity, but not about grace and the need to be saved. This was something God revealed to him and continued to prompt him with.
James shares, “And over the next few years it was really just a greater and greater knowledge of the pride that was in my heart that I would look down on others and see myself as, you know, the good Christian kid. And God sort of shattered that image and showed me that I was as equally undeserving as anyone.”
Convicted to be a harvest worker
After school James pursued a variety of careers, he thought he wanted to be a dentist, then a physio, and even went to university to study politics and government. However ministry was never far from his heart. He says, “The Lord put on my heart a growing desire to to serve him in pastoral ministry.”
James also describes a conviction from scripture, from Matthew 9:37-38 which says: ‘Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”’
James reflects, “I found a lot of Christians read that and would read it as an injunction to pray, which it is. But for me, I felt personally convicted that I’m not going as a worker. And I think God was using that to convict me into pastoral ministry.”
Training and testing
With a desire to learn to be a faithful and biblical preacher, and a love for the lost that God was growing in him, James started MTS in 2019. During his MTS Apprenticeship James also started studying part-time, doing the course of training at Christ College, which involves the Graduate Diploma of Divinity and Masters of Divinity. In 2021 James became a candidate for the Presbyterian Church.
He shares, “Through MTS and part-time study, I experienced a really gradual and progressive thing where I was getting my internal thoughts and attitudes checked by the external church. It allowed me to be sharpened. MTS is a lot of practical pastoral ministry experience, but I also wanted a theological challenge.”
This gave James the confidence to continue with his conviction and move to full-time study to finish the course of training.
During his time at the college James has enjoyed the teaching and community of Christ College. He says, “I think the best things about Christ College is that it’s confessional and reformed in its approach to theological education. The community time with lunches on Tuesdays and Wednesdays are excellent. The lecturers are probably one of the strongest points. They’re really supportive and are pastorally available even outside of class, many of them also have had quite extensive pastoral experience as well.”
Supported to be fully equipped for ministry
Now in his final year, James has been awarded two scholarships to study in 2023 that have enabled him to continue with his study. The most significant scholarship is the Tuition Scholarship, which covers 50% of the fees of his year of study. This has relieved a lot of pressure on the debt he has as he finishes study and he and his family look to become missionaries. The second is the Partnership Scholarship, which assists students with the costs associated with studying in partnership with their own churches and supporters.
James sees scholarships as a blessing from churches and other believers who are sending him through this money. He shares, “One of the best ways to support those who are going to seminary is to really send them both prayerfully and financially. And you can do that by supporting the fund. [With the scholarship fund] you’re supporting ministry of eternal value.”
Next year, James and his family plan to serve as overseas missionaries through OMF International and Australian Presbyterian World Mission (APWM).
Be a part of future ministry throughout the world
To those considering contributing to the scholarship fund James says, “You are able to be a tremendous blessing to the next generation of Presbyterian pastors and missionaries. The financial contribution that supporters give makes the process for candidates smoother. It’s a really tangible way for churches and individuals to [support future ministry and mission].”
Donate to the Christ College scholarship fund now, and enable other students like James to become equipped for gospel work.
Elyse Balzer grew up in a ministry family, but it’s only since…