This year’s Bible Conference at Bob Jones University offers an occasion for spiritual revival, an opportunity to give and a special honor.
Randy Page, chief of staff at BJU, said, “The primary focus and purpose of the conference is for us to take time out of a very busy schedule to hear what God has for us.” This year’s Bible Conference theme is “Sanctify Them,” inspired from the passage John 17:17: “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”
“The focus is on Scripture,” Page said. “It’s a good opportunity to be immersed in the Scriptures and grow as a believer.”
This year’s services will start Tuesday, Feb. 16, and end Friday, Feb. 19. Dr. Steve Pettit, president of BJU, will begin the conference by speaking on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Various workshops will be held on Thursday, Feb. 18, conducted by the chosen speakers for the conference. Will Galkin, Rand Hummel, Les Ollila, Alan Benson and Sam Horn are all speakers that have been personally chosen by Pettit. Page said this year’s speakers were chosen because Pettit believes they can best relate to the theme of “Sanctify Them.”
Dr. Sam Horn, president of The Master’s University and Seminary, said Bible Conference is the heart of the spring semester. Horn is a former BJU executive vice president for enrollment and ministerial advancement.
“The real reason for Bible Conference is for the Lord to do a work in the student body,” Horn said. “The theme of sanctification means the outflow of what the Spirit of God is doing through His Word in your life. It is the ongoing process that the Spirit of God will always be at work until we stand fully glorified before the Lord in His presence.”
Horn said his first message is on the process of sanctification from Romans 12:1. “Sanctification involves doing the will of God with our body,” Horn said. “It is using your body for the works of righteousness.”
There will be changes to Bible Conference this year because of COVID-19, including no collection plates for the annual fundraiser and no outside visitors. BJU is encouraging people to donate money online. “We will have some offering boxes in the lobby for students to put cash or checks in,” Page said. As for outside visitors, BJU is encouraging them to stream the services online.
A Lifetime Achievement award will be also presented by the Alumni Association on Thursday for Dr. Les Ollila, a BJU alumnus. “Nobody has had a greater influence in my life, spiritually, than Les Ollila,” Horn, who worked with Ollila for years at Northland College, said. “I can’t think of a better person who deserves this award.”
Page said when he was in school his favorite part of Bible Conference was the break from academics and the chance to study the Word. “My friends and I would talk about different sermons and discuss how it applied to us,” Page said. “I think, for us, Bible Conference really challenged us to think and grow.”
Page said the most encouraging part of Bible Conference for him is being able to apply what he heard and talk about how God is working in his life with others. Page’s advice for students is to go in, be engaged, take notes and encourage your peers. “Before Bible Conference begins, ask God to show you something that you need,” Page said. “There is nothing more important than our growing as believers.”
Horn’s advice for students is to make the most of Bible Conference. “Park your life for four days, make memories around God’s word, talk about sanctification and enjoy what God is doing,” Horn said. “You have the rest of your life to worry about the other things.”