If you’re like I was in college, you wanted a job that would give you the most pay for the least amount of hours, and you just hoped it was in a decent work environment. You took what you could get, and hoped the student loan debt you accrued after those four years wasn’t something you were climbing out of for the rest of your life.
As a third world development agency, we’ve been thinking about job creation and skill development for a long time. But we’ve also had to think about it as an educational institution. Like other colleges, students at our Institute have to find a way to pay for their education and meet other basic needs along the way. Unlike other colleges, we’ve made our Institute affordable to a student that has to pay for it on their own. Even more, we’re connecting students to good jobs as soon as they come to campus. We have worked hard to develop job placement opportunities with local business partners that allow our students to go to school, work a job, and come out on the other side with ZERO debt!
But more than that, jobs take up time and we want that time to be filled by jobs that offer skill development, and are done within a healthy social environment. Too often, pay becomes the only criteria of a job’s appeal, resulting in high percentages of dissatisfaction because a person’s job doesn’t engage their mind or fill them with purpose or meaning.
You see, a person should be able to understand how their labor is connected to doing good for another. Galatians 6:10 says: So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith. These jobs provide students with the opportunity to do meaningful work, to do it alongside other students pursuing a similar vocation, while benefitting the community of faith in which they are involved.
These jobs provide necessary skills to students that can be used to meet real needs anywhere in the world. From handyman work to hospitality services, students learn valuable skills in various trades along with communication, critical thinking, adaptability, commitment, and many other intangibles that can be utilized in any field. Because students work together, their jobs add one more context for shared experiences to build lasting friendships.
The Institute for G.O.D. is more than a school. As such, we are able to provide students with learning opportunities that extend beyond the classroom. As they carpool to cater an event downtown, they can discuss what they’re learning in a particular biblical text. As they work to renovate an old home, they can discuss the kinds of plumbing and electrical situations they will run into in the third world. Such a holistic process makes room for a diversity of educational experiences, something we are so happy to offer to our students.