Online Student Story: Virginia Smith

Meet Pastor Virginia Smith, an online student from Burns, Oregon.

Virginia started her online journey while in her eighties because in her own words she is, “hopelessly addicted to education.” She is currently serving as the associate pastor at Life Foursquare Church, serving as part of the churches executive leadership team. Virginia heads up the family care team, leads small groups, and disciples individuals in her community. About a year ago she obtained her pastoral license from Foursquare thanks to the encouragement from her pastor, Mark Mickel.

Despite being licensed only one year ago, Virginia is not new to ministry. At different times, she taught in indigenous villages in Alaska, in an online school, at an alternative high school and in a small rural school in Trapper Creek, Alaska.  She and her husband pioneered a church in that community, and she still serves on the board of that church. Over the years she has had a number of career changes, including owning a guardrail construction company with her husband and was a school teacher for a number of years.

In addition to serving the local church in big ways, Virginia is a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Virginia recently lost her husband of over 60 years, but finds comfort and companionship with her corgi mix and two cats.

When asked about why she is returning to the classroom, she says, “I am taking online courses in my eighties because I am hopelessly addicted to education.  I study better with a structure than I do on my own, so I find it profitable to put myself in a situation where I have to study.  I’m taking those classes through PBC because my pastor recommended it. (He is a former online student.)  I have thoroughly enjoyed classes at PBC. Both Old and New Testament Survey classes are full of rich insights.  Professor Hubbard’s lectures remind me of my first pastor, who dug deep into the background of scripture and then applied principles to life.  Great stuff.  The Personal Evangelism class challenged me to step out of my comfort zone, thereby making me a more effective witness.”

We’re so honored that Virginia has allowed us to train her for what she believes is her life assignment from God! She says, “As I approach the end of my course, I feel the urgent need to disciple and prepare younger people to carry on the work.  As part of that, I find myself recommending PBC as a convenient and relatively affordable option for those who would like to pursue Bible education.”