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An Unexpected Journey

Karen Tinger (left)

For months, Karen Tinger had been trying to find a good book for studying the Old Testament. “I saw the announcement that Charis Bible College was starting online courses,” she explains, “and there was a course called Old Testament Survey, by Wendell Parr.” Karen immediately enrolled, not sure what to expect from an online course. Little did she know that she had just taken the first step of a journey that would lead her beyond her wildest dreams.

From her dining room, Karen had the opportunity to fellowship with other students from around the world. “I was fully enjoying the incredible experience of learning together with other students,” recounts Karen. “We also had a fantastic facilitator who journeyed along with us—ready to explain, encourage, and provide additional experiences or teachings to help us comprehend to our fullest potential.”

What started out as a desire to learn more about the Old Testament turned into an online, at-home source of fellowship. “And if I was away from home, I could still connect through the internet,” explains Karen. “It was so amazing to have such great fellowship with spiritually hungry believers right at my fingertips!”

One of the features of Charis Online that really captured both Karen’s heart and attention was the facilitators and their heart with each student to help foster a closer walk with the Lord. “They love to bring others into the love of Christ that they have come to know. They’re very personable and love to connect with you.”

Not only did Karen gain connections, but she also found some lasting friendships. A few years after taking her course, one of the online facilitators emailed Karen after seeing her graduate from Charis, congratulating her on her accomplishment. “I was so honored to think that one of my facilitators from three years ago not only remembered me but also still had my email address and contacted me. These facilitators genuinely take an interest in every student’s life.”

“I really had no idea the Lord had me on a specific journey,” admits Karen. “I was just enjoying the individual courses and fellowship, not really having a plan in mind.” But after finishing the first-year curriculum through the Distance Learning Program, Karen started her second year at the Charis location in Gardner, Massachusetts. “I am so thankful that Charis offers the different formats to take the courses. They truly make the learning experience convenient for anyone’s schedule. There are no excuses for not getting started!”

Just four weeks after graduation, her journey would continue as she made the move to Colorado to begin the Third Year in the Charis Business School. Today Karen is employed at Charis as the administrative assistant for the student portal, working with directors of other Charis locations, some of whom were her very own facilitators when she was enrolled in Charis Online. They were sowing seeds into her life, and now she gets to sow into theirs. “You never know where that first step is going to take you!”