USA (MNN) — The students of Shepherds
College are home for
Christmas break after completing the school's very first semester.
The school for developmentally disabled adults began classes
in August 2008, and all six students have made great progress since then,
said instructor Angela Houk.
"It's really amazing — all that the students have learned this
semester. I'm astonished by the amount of growth in each of their lives," said Houk. "The students all have
different abilities, and it was really exciting to see them each grow in each of
This past semester, the students studied basic academics like
math and language arts. Next semester,
they will began specializing in either horticulture or culinary arts. At the end of the school year, each student
will apply for the program of his or her choice.
Life at Shepherds
College,however, involves more
than academics. "Shepherds College
offers a holistic learning experience," Houk explained, incorporating
"spiritual, academic, social, [and] life skills." In discipleship class, students learned about
spiritual gifts, prayer, and journaling. They also took an Old Testament class, attended chapel twice a week, and
got involved in a local church.
"They all have decided to go to the same local church, and
that's a really positive experience for them," Houk said. "They've had opportunities to serve in the
church as well as just to become acclimated to the church and to grow."
Students also had opportunities to share their faith
when three of them participated
in the Special Olympics and made it to the Wisconsin
"At the state championship game, one of the students was
sharing the Gospel with some volunteers involved with Special Olympics," Houk said. "I think that really just speaks well of the
whole aspect of spiritual growth. They're learning how to communicate their faith, and
then they're doing it. It's really exciting."
Staff and students would appreciate prayer for guidance as
they move forward toward the ultimate goal of living independently and working
a job in either horticulture or culinary arts.