Sister Fran Horwood was a teacher in Business Studies prior to Brother Barry and her learning the Truth. Since
then they have had their two daughters involved in business study courses and so we have asked Sister Fran to give
some thoughts that could be helpful to parents and students in this area.

A young person acquiring a degree of competency and reliability in the skills taught in Business College can usually look to a wide sphere of opportunities before them in the work place. However there are advantages and disadvantages in choosing this type of education.

Some of the advantages are:

1   The period of training is short, generally from six months to two years, depending on the course taken.

2   The courses are so structured that there is little free time for students to become involved in social activities outside of the courses. The effort and time required to acquire the skills taught ensure that students work hard and students are expected to achieve in these courses—for the reputation of the Business College at least!

3   The study environment is conservative—generally speaking there is no sign of questionable posters and other distasteful literature.

4   The Colleges promote “business-like” dress for students which suits our standards of modesty, etc.

5   One of the advantages is that the skills acquired (eg use of the computer packages, organisational skills, typing etc) can be very useful in the home or ecclesial environment. There is probably not a sister who can type efficiently who does not help her husband (or the ecclesia) consistently with typing that has to be done.

6   Because of the nature of the courses, the other students attracted to them are mostly conservative people who wish to acquire skills quickly without wasting money—therefore they are of a type who put study and work first and are keen to learn. This is an advantage for us.

7   The Colleges also help students who have achieved competency in the various modules to gain employment—even for years after the course has been completed. They are also able to be used as referees.

8   Students can leave school earlier than at the end of Year 12 and still end up with qualifications acceptable in the work force.

The potential dangers to be aware of are:

1   The Business College may try to push competent students into further education.

2   They also encourage students to believe that they should rise to great heights in the business world.

3   They may encourage the use of cosmetics and clothes that will give an aggressive, businesslike image. However, personal improvement modules can be a help, eg a knowledge of colour co-ordination, good personal hygiene, etc.

4   There is a promotion of self esteem, self assertiveness and affirmative action by women in the work place—behaviour that should be foreign to our way of life.

5   There is a financial burden for parents. However, Austudy will be a help in some cases.

6   One of the fears for the future is that the demand for typists will decline as nearly all students coming through secondary schooling will have keyboard and basic word processing skills. This is due to the prevalence of computer use in our society. However, even a busy person cannot do everything, and we hope that there will still be a need for the organisational skills of the office assistant, receptionist and secretary, in a reasonable environment, until Christ returns.

We would make the observation that many young sisters and young women with a Christadelphian background who have undertaken these courses have proven to be very valuable employees because they have blended the higher qualities and disciplines of the Truth into their fulfilment of their daily toil. Their example and demeanour has not gone unnoticed by employers and fellow employees and a witness to the Truth has quietly gone forth to the glory of Yahweh. There are those who are now in our midst because they, like Naaman of old, could not help but be impressed by the simple and genuine faith of this servant maid.