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Pastor Donn Fisher’s journey to Christ allegedly began at a young age. His parents would say that he gave his life to Christ when he was 5 years old at a Lutheran church children’s event …but he doesn’t remember that all. What he does remember is growing up as a pastor’s kid in the Evangelical Free denomination. As the oldest of four kids moving around from small church to small church with their dad, Donn knew enough about Christianity to talk the talk and keep up appearances. It felt like he was always at church, but Donn had no real relationship with Jesus. He was living two different lives….until Jesus got a hold of him as a young adult.
Donn began his educational journey as a music education major, he quickly realized that was not for him and dropped out after two years. He decided to change his goals and focused on finding a Bible College to attend. Because there were not really any great options in New England for Biblical schooling, Donn narrowed his focus down two schools. Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and Calvary Chapel Bible College in Twin Peaks.
At the time, there was not a Calvary Chapel presence in New England, but Donn had heard the teachings of Chuck Smith on the radio and enjoyed the verse by verse teaching. With that in mind, Donn attended CCBC Twin Peaks and earned his Associates degree.
After his time in California Donn became the Senior Pastor of a small unaffiliated church in 2000 called Agape Chapel. In 2012 Donn led the church through the affiliation process with Calvary Chapel, renaming the church Calvary Chapel Raynham.
Consumed with pastoring and ministry, Donn didn’t think about school again for about 15 years. In 2017 he began to consider completing a Bachelor degree, but he didn’t know where to turn… then one day while scrolling through social media, Donn discovered Calvary Chapel University.
Donn loved the fact that CCU would line up with his philosophy of ministry and that he could complete his degree at his own pace, without having to sacrifice ministry opportunities.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my studies…I was not sure that I would, since it had been so long since I had taken classes in any setting. The professors were professional, and the interaction with fellow students online, was a huge part of what made the classes special as well.”
In 2017 Donn earned his B.A in Biblical Studies. Having had such a great learning experience with CCU Donn chose to continue his education and in 2019 earned a M.A. in Biblical Leadership.
One of the things that Donn really enjoyed about his time with Calvary Chapel University was the opportunity to take everything he learned each week and immediately apply it to the ministry at hand. For example, during his M.A studies, Calvary Chapel Raynham was going through some leadership restructuring and Donn found his course work essential in helping him think through leadership goals and vision casting for the church.
In fact, Donn’s experience was so great with CCU that his daughter is enrolling in CCU’s Biblical Counseling program this fall, as she prepares for the mission field.
What would Donn say to pastors considering enrolling at Calvary Chapel University?
“My encouragement to anyone considering CCU….do it! The Lord will see you through every hesitation, and you will find a support system of like-minded pastors, professors, and students”
Bobby Johnston thought his higher education “career” was over before it ever really even began. After a year and a half of community college he had only earned 5 credits because his addiction was consuming his life and his life circumstances were changing. Because of these roadblocks, education really ended up on the back burner.
After 20 years of struggling with addiction Bobby finally confessed his struggles to his loved ones and the Lord began to take a hold of his life! “A family member took me to U-turn for Christ where I gave my life to the Lord. I fell in love with Jesus and His grace and compassion. My life was completely changed!” Getting involved in U-turn For Christ led to rehabilitation and a radical transformation in Bobby’s life.
After graduating from U-turn For Christ in 2009, Bobby began to look for ways that he could be used by the Lord to help others.
“I have a passion for teaching God’s Word…I know better than anyone the bondage I was in and to be freed from that….it’s truly an act of God’s grace! Therefore my life belongs to Him!”
He became involved at his church, Reliance Church Temecula, California, serving in Jr. High ministry and starting a home Bible study. A huge part of his ministry involves serving others who are struggling with addiction in recovery ministries like U-turn and Steadfast: A Ministry of Restoration in Temecula. Realizing that he needed to be further equipped for ministry, Bobby began taking classes at CCBC in nearby Murrieta, completing his Associates Degree in 2014.
Three years after completing his Associates Degree Bobby was considering how to go about completing a Bachelors degree, when he saw an advertisement on Facebook for Calvary Chapel University. Because of CCU’s agreements with CCBC he was able to receive a discount and in 2019 Bobby completed his B.A. in Biblical Studies with an overall GPA of 4.05!
The opportunity for higher education that was squandered early on due to addiction had been redeemed through his time at Calvary Chapel University!
What an amazing story to see the Lord restoring hopes and dreams that we thought were broken, dead or gone and breathing new life into them! Bobby is a great example of the opportunity that Calvary Chapel University offers to people who can’t relocate to a physical campus, but have a strong desire to be strengthened in their faith and equipped for ministry!
When asked what he would tell someone considering Calvary Chapel University Bobby said “Go for it! It was a task juggling a career and ministry and classes…but it was so worth it! So much of it poured into what I was learning and teaching at the time and to have that Bachelors degree at the end was awesome!”
To apply to Calvary Chapel University and begin your own educational redemption story Click Here!
|Dear CCU Friends and Family,|
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