Christian university offering classes here

February 19, 2007|by KAREN HANNA

HAGERSTOWN - Julie Hutzell would wake in the middle of the night to write sermons.

Four years since being ordained a Pentecostal minister, Hutzell said she continues to learn as a first-year student at Life Christian University at Cutting Edge Ministries in Hagerstown.

What sometimes seemed an obligation - reading the Bible - now is a passion, she said. "Now, it's just more a pleasure to me, because I've gotten closer to God," Hutzell said.

Hutzell, 45, of Inwood, W.Va., and other people associated with the school said their faith has sustained them over the last couple of days. First-year student Amanda K. Bowders, 19, of Waynesboro, Pa., died in a sledding accident Wednesday night.


Though she and her students will miss Bowders, first-year teacher Shirley Evans said they also are rejoicing.

"Basically, we say that Amanda's in a much better place. She's with the Lord," said Evans, 64, of Hagerstown, who is working on her master's degree in theology and Christian education.

Sixteen students are enrolled at the Hagerstown campus of Life Christian University, which is based in Tampa, Fla. The campus offers certificate and degree programs in ministry and Christian counseling and education, director Juanita Wooldridge said.

Classes include studies of particular books of the Bible, church history and Biblical finances. Students accept faith healing, the laying on of hands and speaking in tongues, and they believe in the Bible in its entirety, Wooldridge said.

The school is accredited by Accrediting Commission International, Wooldridge said. According to its Web site, the commission, which is not affiliated with the U.S. Department of Education, is based in Arkansas.

Classes cost $160 for degree-track students and $110 for certificate-track students. Certificate-track students who pay the difference between the fees are eligible to earn their degrees, said Wooldridge, who so far has pursued a certificate.

"Really, for me, it really didn't make a difference. The paper didn't make a difference. I wanted the instruction, and I wanted to learn," Wooldridge said.

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