From Ghana to GO Certificate: distance learning student achieves goal
Lauren Pratt | June 05, 2017
Betty Prempeh-Twimasi has an unwavering assurance in the power of God and his faithfulness to see her through difficult circumstances.
As a wife and mother of three, she lives with assurance in her call to ministry, and is undeniably certain that receiving a GO certificate in biblical studies and theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) was the right decision in her pursuit of higher education.
“I mean, this is more than what I can dream of,” said Prempeh-Twimasi. “It’s not easy. Distance learning- it’s not easy. Online- it’s not easy. But when you leave everything to the Holy Spirit, He will lead you.”
Prempeh-Twimasi spent the first 10 years of her life in Ghana before she moved to Belgium. In fact, taking classes in an English-speaking theology school was quite a miracle for her.
“If you see me learning theology, it’s the grace of God because I didn’t understand English. I was speaking Dutch,” said Prempeh-Twimasi.
While in Belgium, she received her bachelor’s degree in catering and began working at 20 years old. However, her career path began to take a turn when she met her husband, a New Yorker, and the two married in May of 2000 and moved to the Bronx. Prempeh-Twimasi soon realized that catering would not be a successful business for her in the United States and decided that pursing health education would be a more marketable trade.
She became a certified nursing assistant and worked in a hospital for roughly 10 years until she decided go a different direction in her medical profession. She earned an associate’s degree in office medical administration from the New York Institute of Medical Careers and transferred to Bronx Community College to continue studying nursing, but the Lord was gradually redirecting her. First, it was due to pregnancy after becoming a certified nursing assistant. Then it was due to another pregnancy after finishing her degree in office medical administration. The final confirmation of a closing door came through a car accident that left her with a disc bulge in her back, making it difficult and painful to walk.
The culmination of these circumstances led her to the point of being called into ministry and eventually to SEBTS.
“Everything was a mess,” she said, “until [God] told me, ‘It’s time for you to accept the call I have on you. You…cannot compare yourself to anybody. I [know] you and I want you to do my work.’”
Prempeh-Twimasi certainly stays busy in ministry. She hosts radio programs, speaks to different churches, counsels and is involved in her local church, helping on the prayer team and teaching Sunday School. Ministry did not take a backseat even when faced with challenging seminary classes and taking care of her family.
She regimented her time in order to stay focused on her goal and not fall behind. She even had a roster, which told her what needed to get done that day. While the kids went off to school, her morning consisted of speaking on the radio and call-in counseling until about noon. Then it was off to studying, which usually lasted two or three hours. In the evening, she took care of her family until around 9 p.m. when they went to bed. While the family slept, Prempeh-Twimasi found herself immersed in her studies yet again, sometimes until midnight.
“I really discipline[d] myself,” she said. “Otherwise, I couldn’t have time.”
Her encouragement to students considering a GO Certificate is to “go for it.”
“It’s tough, but don’t lose hope,” she said. “You will get there. You will actually get there no matter what.”
And with hard work and determination, she has.
Prempeh-Twimasi has seen the Great Commission emphasized at SEBTS and understands the trust involved in allowing the Lord to lead, even when the future seems unclear.
Sometime[s] because of [our] flesh, we are always talking like, ‘Oh, how will I do this? Oh, how will I go or how will I do?’” said Prempeh-Twimasi. “But remember that He has sent you. He is going to provide. He is going to lead you. He is going to help you- to commission you.”
The GO certificate in biblical studies and theology offers seven courses that are self-paced and provide foundational seminary education for lay church members. Courses include the following: hermeneutics, Christian theology, Christian history, contemporary issues in Christian ethics, Great Commission studies, Old Testament and New Testament. To learn more about certificates services, visit cert.sebts.edu.