March 15, 2016

Another Quarter in the Books

It’s sometimes hard to get your mind around how fast time goes by here at Bear Valley. The third quarter of this school year has already come to an end.

We have had an interesting late Winter here in Denver this year. We rarely have snow days where we miss class, but so far this Winter we have had two. Unfortunately for me, both of them were on a Tuesday when I was teaching. The quarter we just finished is our shortest quarter, which means a Tuesday/Thursday class only has 13 class sessions. To give one of those up makes it difficult to say the least. On February 2 we had the second snow day of the season. Our classes were scrambling to catch up the rest of the quarter. Interestingly, that was the last major snow we have had so far. March is our snowiest month and we haven’t had any yet. That is supposed to change later this week.

During this quarter I taught two classes. I taught Advanced Hermeneutics with the Juniors and Seniors, and Exodus-Deuteronomy with the Freshmen and Sophomores.  One of the Sophomores pointed out at the end of the quarter that next quarter will be their first quarter of their time here that they will not have me for any of their classes. My smart-aleck remark was, “A fact for which we are all thankful!” Of course, that was just a joke. I am very happy to be their teacher and am looking forward to the next time I have them in class.

We had our Final Exams (for the classes I taught) on Friday, March 4. Twice each year (October and March) our students leave for campaigns after finals. Some of them leave within an hour of their last exam because they have to drive some distance to get to their campaign. This campaign week saw groups headed to Wray CO, Craig CO, Kayenta AZ (on the Navajo Reservation), and Grand Cayman Island in the Caribbean. One other campaign group stayed in the Denver area and worked with the Dahlia St. church of Christ across town from Bear Valley. I was very blessed to preach a Gospel Meeting at the Dahlia St. congregation as part of that campaign. Dahlia St. is an important part of our lives. Noma was a member there when I met her. We were married in that building and our Jessica was born just down the street from that building. Dahlia St. was our sponsoring congregation and sole supporter for our time in Chile, South America and we ended up working with them a total of six years. There are a few members there from “the old days.” We love this congregation so much!

This week is our break week between quarters. I am using this time to catch up on grading assignments in our graduate program that I have not had time to get to during the past quarter. I am grateful for the time I have to give to the graduate program in general. One of the things I have wanted to do all along since being asked to be the Dean of Graduate Studies is to always try to improve the program. We are very happy with the program we have, but there is always room for improvement. Next week begins the fourth quarter of the school year and, as part of the graduate program, we have scheduled a Blitz Week for the Masters in Missions program. We have four students who will be coming here from Denver CO (2), Montrose CO and Asunción, Paraguay. They will be studying Cross-Cultural Missions and Introduction to Cultural Anthropology.

Our upcoming fourth quarter of the school year is a quarter in which I do not currently teach a class. Typically, I use this time for traveling to give reports to our supporters and more work on the graduate program. Our office manager (Teri Autrey) is helping me compile a list of issues that need attention. I will be contacting different congregations in the next couple of days to begin making those appointments. Hopefully, by the time some of you receive this newsletter, I will have an appointment to come your way. 

We appreciate so much each one of you and the encouragement and support (whether financial, moral, or spiritual) that you give us in partnering with us in this work. We owe everything to God and I am as convinced of this as much as I am convinced of anything, that you are part of His plan to bless us in this work.

God bless you and thank you for your interested in and support of this work.

Donnie Bates, Dean of Graduate Studies

Bear Valley Bible Institute - 2707 S. Lamar St., Denver CO 80227

(303) 986-5800 (office) - (303) 718-7040 (cell) -


Posted on March 15, 2016 .