11 September 2007
Free, online theological education
“You may wish to use the materials as a source of your own personal spiritual growth and enrichment. You may also wish to study the materials as a group. The series is especially designed as a leadership tool for churches. What more important areas of study are there for growing and deepening your congregation in the faith? We encourage pastors, especially, to use the series with the formal and informal leadership of your congregation.”
Once again, it would appear that the evangelical world is far ahead of the mainline church movement, when it comes to making something accessible via digital tools. The only example I can think of from the “mainline” world, is the Disseminary, which was launched a number of years ago, but hasn’t quite gathered the same kind of interest as these other sites. Why is that? Are those of us who teach in mainline seminaries just too comfortable with our well-worn paths to take these kinds of risks? Are mainline church folk too “turned off” by the relatively linear form of much seminary education to even pay attention to what we might be doing? Is it that we can’t figure out how to do this without committing funds to it, and we’re reluctant to do that? What is this about?
I do know that I have colleagues who care passionately about access. Mary Hinkle Shore, who has built the fabulous “Into the New Testament” website. Dick Nysse, who’s kept all of his course materials online in the open for years. But these are scattered efforts by innovators, not a sustained, collective, FREE, process.