InterVarsity Alumni - Lindsay Olesberg

Lindsay Olesberg didn’t grow up in a church. She felt stupid around her churched friends who knew all the Bible stories from Sunday school, so she started reading the Bible herself when she was only twelve. She didn’t make it very far. It wasn’t until Lindsay got to college that she discovered that the Bible was alive and could change her life forever.

She talked with InterVarsity’s website for students,, about how she fell in love with the Bible.

I became a Christian when I was twelve through a Vacation Bible School in my neighborhood. I joined a church youth group and was told to read the Bible every day, but I got stuck in Exodus.

In high school, I felt really behind all the kids in youth group who knew all the Bible stories. When they’d refer to Israel or Exodus or Babylon or David or Joseph, I had no idea who they were talking about. I hated feeling behind like that, so between my freshman and sophomore years in high school I decided to figure out the Bible so as to not feel stupid. I set up a self-study program for an hour and a half a day, studying the Bible on my own and trying to catch up.

When I got to college there was a freshman Bible study, but I didn’t sign up for it because I assumed I was beyond that. But during my freshman year I went to a weekend Bible dig-in and learned about manuscript study, which is a way of studying the Bible inductively. A light went on in my head and I realized that there was much more to the Bible—and I certainly hadn’t mastered it by age 18!

It was learning the inductive method which gave me the tools to dig into the scriptures, so from that point on I took every manuscript study opportunity available to me. I was a student in southern California so I had lots of wonderful opportunities there. My passion for the Word just exploded! The more I studied, the more I saw how much depth it had and how it held together on so many levels. God clearly spoke to me through it.

Another reason I fell in love with the Bible is that I was around people who were incredibly passionate about the scriptures. When I was a junior, a new InterVarsity staff worker came to my campus, Lisa Adamovich, who had so much passion about the Word. Talking with her, hearing how the Word had affected her, and being in manuscript studies with her brought an incredible passion to our group on campus. I was a student at the Claremont Colleges (CA), and we saw a revival happen on our campus as we studied of the gospel of Mark. We had to figure out how to live it out as a community, and I watched a group of people truly transformed.

Lindsay has become both a student of the Bible and a teacher and proponent of the Bible with college students. Her passion is leading students deeper into Bible study and a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. She has served as the Bible study manager for three Urbana student mission conventions, organizing 20,000 delegates in small-group Bible studies. Lindsay is also an area director with InterVarsity in eastern Iowa.

Read more of the interview with Lindsay at

You can also make a direct financial donation to support Lindsay’s ministry with college students by following this link.