Ellie Grigsby is a student in the Master of the Arts in Biblical Counseling program. While at Wheaton College, she began speaking with a biblical counselor who had graduated from Westminster. Ellie says of that experience, “She was really discipling me at that time. In my last semester in college I saw that my functional view of God was very different from what I said about him; I didn’t see him as a God who exalted over me with singing, like in Zephaniah [3:17]. I even saw how my functional view of Scripture was lacking—I didn’t turn to what God says about himself in his Word to know him. Her perspective of ‘getting God’s gaze of our lives through Scripture’ really changed me.”
It was that experience with a Westminster graduate that drew Ellie towards training to become a biblical counselor, and training at Westminster. When she came though, she learned much more than just how God’s Word speaks to people in the darkest corners of life: “It was the counseling program that brought me, but I had very little idea of what it meant to be Reformed. I didn’t know the riches of the Westminster education I was going to get when I came; I didn’t even know what biblical theology was! I probably knew what systematic theology was a little bit, but I didn’t know how you have to hold them together, seeing your story in Israel’s story, and the unity of Scripture. [As to] my first semester in the MA program, ‘life-changing’ doesn’t suffice to say what it was like.”
Specifically focusing on the counseling aspect of the program, Ellie says, “A biblical counselor is pointing a Christian to the fact that they are united to the person Wisdom, and the only thing they need they already have. In all our problems and in all our big and small moments, am I resting on myself, or am I resting on the person of Wisdom? Am I calling out in faith to the Lord? Also, along with that, the thing that’s so delightful about seeing the Gospel intersect with our lives is how simple it is—the ‘simplicity on the other side of complexity.’ The Biblical counseling you’ll get at Westminster is not going to be reputable in the eyes of the world (you’re not training under Freud), yet what you have is an eternal treasure, and you’re seeing the riches of Christ here. I couldn’t herald that enough to someone!”
Through the courses at Westminster, Ellie has grown in her understanding of where the Bible connects with life. “We can be comfortable about talking about peoples’ history because the Bible is the story of redemptive history. What we’re trying to do is locate ourselves in Israel’s story.” She has learned to lean more upon the Lord and upon his Word as her source of trust, rather than focusing on herself.
“If you think you understand biblical Christianity, please come here and enjoy the riches of what you are only beginning to understand. I think Westminster is really unique in its esteem of Scripture—its real, practical trust of the sufficiency of God’s word for every human problem. That doesn’t just mean proof-texting, it means that as rich and variable and interesting as human life is, so is the Bible.”
After seminary, Ellie hopes to serve as a counselor on college campuses: “knowing that when I was in college, the most shaping times for me were when people older than me moved towards me and said ‘I want to know you, and God does know you.’ There’s just a lot of opportunity there for speaking the truth in love.”
Please pray for Ellie and the rest of the student body as they train to proclaim the Whole Counsel of God to a changing world.