Frequently Asked Questions
What denominational view does your school take?
Our goal is NOT to promote any denominational view as we believe that denominations are not helpful to the body of Christ and of course will not exist in heaven. We take the position that the Bible is our final authority in all matters of faith and practice and attempt to allow Scripture to speak for itself as much as possible – literally, at face value, in its context. The NZCSB is a ministry of the Marlborough Bible Baptist Church. For a detailed doctrinal statement of what we believe the Bible teaches, please see the MBBC Statement of Faith.
Is the course NZQA approved? Will I earn credits with this course?
No. Due to the size of the school and cost of becoming an NZQA approved institution, it is not practical for us to pursue accreditation. Furthermore, we believe that doing so would open us up to challenges and pressures to become more politically correct rather than Biblically correct. Still yet furthermore, the cost of pursuing NZQA approval would make it impossible to continue to offer our programme tuition free. However, this is not to say that our course is of poor quality! Many students have testified that our course is top notch. One student from Wellington who completed the NZCSB back in 2007 said that he had paid much money to take Bible courses from the five or six major Bible colleges, schools and denominations that offer such programmes in New Zealand. Don told us that we were by far the most comprehensive and practical course of the lot and he personally sent over 100 new students our way!
Why don't you accept overseas students?
1) We accept anyone from anywhere in our online course!
2) However, in the postal version of our course, the problem is postage. All we ask from people who want the hard-copy version of our course is to pay their postage costs. Foreign students cannot easily obtain New Zealand postage and thus our pre-payment, self-addressed envelope system does not work for non-New Zealand addresses.
3) Our third option is the ability to immediately download all of our lessons as pdf files. For just a fraction of the cost of postage, you can immediately download these – please see our DOWNLOADS tab on the menu bar above. Here anyone can purchase the course in English as well as in several foreign languages.
What costs are involved with the NZCSB postal version of the course?
Only postage – full stop! For students with a NZ mailing address, there are no tuition fees, no membership fees and no processing fees. Postage for lessons back and forth and the occasional certificate (which requires a larger envelope and more postage) and the one off postage necessary to obtain your free Bible are the only fees you will pay.
What costs are involved with the NZCSB online version of the course?
Our average student sends in three lessons a month. This would require six stamps to get their lessons to us and then returned. Our online course has a monthly subscription fee less than these six stamps. Currently this is NZ$9.00/month. As a bonus, all of our lessons, quizzes and certificates are downloadable as pdf files through our online learning platform.
Do you accept donations?
Gladly! As a faith-based ministry, we are dependent upon volunteer help and the generosity of those who find the NZCSB a blessing for our continuation. As we have many prisoners as students who are unable to pay their postage, any help is a tremendous encouragement. Financial donations of NZ$5 or more can be issued a receipt in order for you to receive your charitable giving rebate at the end of the year. Please simply request such a receipt if the Lord so leads you to help us. We can not give donation receipts for your online course fees.
What do I do if I want to cancel my course?
We would be sorry to see you go, but simply dropping us a note to this end will remove you from our system. Remember that you can study at your own pace and there is no pressure to complete your lessons in any artificial time frame. We have had hundreds of students drop out for several months or even several years and then pick their lessons back up again. The record is a lady in Whangaparaoa who started her lessons back up after a gap of fourteen years and a month!
In the online version of our course, you simply cancel your subscription in the settings tab of our your online account. At the end of that next month your account will go into hibernation.
Do you offer a free trial of your online course?
Yes. There is a seven day free trial period during which you can cancel at anytime and not be charged for any lessons studied or downloaded. Do note that lessons can only be downloaded one at a time as each lesson and all of its quizzes and tests are completed.
The online course also has a pay for it all-at-once option which gives lifetime access to all lessons. This does not come with a free trial.
If I have started the old paper version of the NZCSB, can I switch to the new postal version?
If you are already a student enrolled in the NZCSB, sometime in late 2022 or when you next send in a lesson, you will automatically begin receiving the upgraded version of the new lessons when you reach a new level of lessons. If you wish to start over back in the book of John with the new lessons, simply ask us. Alternatively you can sign up for the online version and automatically start over again with the book of John.
What happens to my grades if I switch from the old version of the NZCSB to the new version?
We will adjust your grades accordingly. Marks earned under the old system will simply be merged with marks earned under the new system. If you choose to start over again via the online course, you will start from scratch as the individual lessons in the two systems do not match.
I have a Bible question. How do I find the answer?
If searching on your own does not produce an answer, feel free to visit our Facebook page and ask. General questions are always fun to ask and see what answers you receive from other students. If your question is of a more personal nature or one that you would like to specifically ask us, you can message us on Facebook or jot your question down and include it with your next lesson – one of our staff will attempt to give you an answer. In our online course there is a student forum and you can ask questions generally of everyone or message us directly throughout this service.
Can I get a student loan or allowance?
Because we are not NZQA approved, and also because we charge no fees (postal version) other than postage or minimal fees (online version), it is not possible for students of the NZCSB to get government student loans or allowances for our courses.
How long will the course take to complete?
This course will eventually take you through every verse of the Bible. As you can imagine, studying through the entire word of God is very rewarding, but quite a monumental feat! How fast you progress will come down to how much time you invest and how motivated you are. The average time needed to do all the lessons is three to four years. We have had one student complete the entire programme in just under 18 months – several have taken more than ten years.
Because the online course is new and still under construction, we cannot yet give accurate forecasts of how long it will take to complete.
How different are the lessons in the postal and online versions?
The actual written content is identical. To save paper however, the paper lessons are missing virtually all of the pictures, charts, graphs, tables and illustrations found in the online courses. To save money, the paper lessons are printed in black and white, while the online course makes considerable use of colour to highlight and teach by showing parallels and contrasts, etc. Because of the automatic grading system available in the online format, the quizzes and tests are slightly different when the two formats are compared.
Why don't you offer the online version for free?
There are two reasons: 1) there are considerable costs associated with offering a course in an online format. Your monthly subscription fee helps to offset these costs; and 2) we have found that people tend not to value that which costs them nothing (II Sam. 24:24). Thus we have always asked our students to make a small contribution, whether it be postage for the paper course or a monthly fee for the online course. If a student is unwilling to part with the cost of a cup of coffee every month to study the word of God, then they are probably wasting the time and resources we have made available to do so.
Is it possible to study the books in an order different to what you have in your curriculum? Or is it possible to study only one particular book?
Yes and No.
No, if you want the free version that we offer to NZ residents on this website. We designed this course with the books of the Bible in the strange order that we offer them so that we could progress from the easy and simple things of the word of God to the more difficult and complex. Essentially our ten levels of lessons lay down the foundational doctrines of the word of God first and then build upon them so that the challenging things of Scripture are more easily understood. Think of it as learning to add and subtract before attempting to do algebra. We strongly recommend that our students study the programme as laid out.
And no if you sign up for our online course. It follows much the same order of Bible boooks.
But there is a Yes as well. If you are intensely interested in one book of the Bible in particular, there are two options: 1) you can pay to study the book by itself online at www.teachmethypaths.com or 2) you can purchase the study notes and lessons for that book at www.veritycharity.com
Is there a timetable for submitting my lessons?
There is no official timetable for submitting lessons – this course is truly study at your own pace. However, we do recommend that students get into a regular pattern of study and aim to submit assignments on a regular basis. With the rewriting of the new lessons, each lesson is of roughly equal length and each has a similar 20 question quiz. The average student should have little trouble doing a lesson in a few hours.
I love these lessons and would like to use them in a Bible study or care cell group! Is it possible to photocopy them or to get multiple copies of these lessons?
Yes. Simply contact our office for permission to photocopy. Alternatively, feel free to encourage your friends and contacts to sign up as new students!
Is the course available to students who speak a different language?
Yes, but in a somewhat limited fashion. We currently offer access to some or all of our lessons in Portuguese, French, Vietnamese and Chinese. With a NZ address you can receive them free and have them corrected as a normal, English lesson would be. Alternatively, they can be purchased for a small fee and downloaded as pdf files. Please visit our DOWNLOADS page for a complete list of foreign language resources.
I love this course! How can I be a blessing back to you folks?
Great! We are glad that the course has been a blessing to you! Here are some ways you can help the ministry.
Pray for us and your fellow students, especially those students currently in prison;
Direct people to our website so they can sign up themselves;
Request some advertising flyers to pass on to your family and friends or post on your church noticeboard with your pastor or minister’s permission;
Donate to the ministry to help offset our costs. You can safely donate online by requesting our bank payment details. Literally 100% of your donation will go to helping New Zealanders learn the Bible. Our parent church is a registered charitable organisation in New Zealand. Donations of NZ$5 or more qualify for a tax rebate receipt which will be sent to you if you include a return address.
Like our Facebook page. Point others to our Facebook page. Engage with other students on our Facebook page. All of this helps draw others towards studying God's precious word!