Barnabas Initiative

Barnabas Initiative

We've got a problem...

A letter from the President

Likely all of us could name someone crippled by student loan debt. Life is expensive and education is no exception. The problem with that is that debt keeps people from stepping into their callings. Many people sense a call to ministry but don’t get there for financial reasons. Every year, anointed and willing graduates finish programs at Bible colleges and seminaries after transformative education and experiences and then have to defer or decline the opportunity to step into ministry

This issue is very personal for me. Melissa and I returned from Turkey to lead the college because God commissioned us to identify, equip, and send a new wave of people into the harvest field; both in least-reached people groups and here in Canada. I believe more than ever in the urgent need for people to have an intense season of Bible study, ministry training, and spiritual formation. But I am deeply troubled every time I see another person saddled with student debt. As a member of the Church, I feel a corporate moral obligation to make it possible for this generation of disciple makers to graduate from Bible college debt-free. 

I’m tired of the best, brightest, and called saying “no” to the small town church because the wage (if there is one) isn’t enough to pay off their loans.

I’m tired of the best, brightest, and called saying “no” to God’s direction to further secular education because they have to make quick money to pay off loans.

And I’m really tired of best, brightest, and called saying “no” to immediate deployment overseas to nations who will live and die without ever hearing the Gospel… all because they can’t be sent until they have paid off their loans.

…aren’t you?

We become "Barnabas" so emerging leaders can be "Paul"

When Paul the Apostle was launched into ministry, even his opponents had to admit that he changed the world (Acts 17:6). But without Barnabas, we would have no Paul

The team at Eston College believes that God wants to call and unleash a new wave of servant leaders, Kingdom entrepreneurs, and disciple makers. Young people and emerging leaders have much to give but require guidance, transformation, and equipping to unlock all that Christ has given them to contribute. The same way Barnabas found, mentored, and released Paul, we (Eston College + YOU) do that with this generation.

Imagine handing a graduate a cheque rebating all their tuition with their degree

Enter the Barnabas Initiative. What if we could – together – crowdfund a solution to the problem of debt and enable wave after wave of young people and emerging leaders to become disciple makers in the church, mission field, the marketplace, and their neighbourhoods?

The “how” is simple: a bursary that refunds 100% of the tuition for successful degree graduates. Rather than simply drop fees, we want to reward those who have demonstrated intimacy with Christ and perseverence in their faith by completing their training. Students who receive the bursary get a little bit back after Year One & Two, but get the rest after completing their degree.

For years, we imagined a time in the future that would seem “right” to launch the Barnabas Bursary. The Spirit seems to be impressing on us that the time is now.

How do we fund it?

Together. A grassroots movement of HUNDREDS of people taking on a small amount of what it costs to carry a called individual through this season of equipping.

The fundraising path to launch this bursary looks like this…

As of today, we have 149 monthly supporters. We’re thankful for each of you, and for all the one-time and occasional givers out there! But to make the dream of debt-free graduation possible, that must grow.

There are four big milestones on the way to the dream being fulfilled.

SURVIVE | 300 givers
It takes a little over a $1 million per year to run our college. And that's after saving $150,000 per year on facilities by moving to our new campus and after leaning down all other expenses. Your giving is a vote to keep Eston College going.
THRIVE | 750 givers
At this point, we start to experience a level of financial empowerment that we've never had in 79 years of our college's history.
SOW | 1000 givers
This is where it gets exciting. After we hit 1000, we can offer one Barnabas Bursary for every 50 new monthly givers! That one life transformed that has been freed from student debt that gets sent out to touch THOUSANDS of lives for decades to come!
GROW | 1667 givers
This is our ultimate goal. At this number, we increase the number to 30 Barnabas Bursaries given per year. Think about the cascading impact that all those students will have over their lifetimes!

Every graduate free of debt gets to serve for DECADES after he or she is done with us.

That’s worth our investment.

I’m asking you to become Barnabas and support Paul. I’m asking you to become a monthly donor today and help crowdfund the future of the church and the next generation of servant leaders & disciple-makers for Canada and the world.

We can’t leave this to someone else and hope this gets done. Will you begin your support today so that we can make this dream a reality?

Join the Initiative

Start your application today!
"To know the Scriptures and the power of God to further the Great Commission"