by Sharon Ely Pearson
Imagine your church’s own virtual classroom, stocked with dozens of courses on the Bible, liturgy, and important Christian topics. Students can interact in a safe online environment that’s convenient, engaging and affordable.
Those of you who have taken John Roberto’s “Vision & Practice of 21st Century Faith Formation” Training seminar have learned how adults seek learning in a variety of formats. One of the ways churches can tap into these modalities of learning is providing online classes that individuals can take on their own time and in their own homes. Now there is a way you can develop a menu of classes for your congregation!
CHURCHNext is a way to introduce online learning to your congregation. A growing library of outstanding courses from expert teachers are being compiled to become available starting Fall 2013. Congregations and judicatories can begin to preview some courses now and sign-up to have access to the site. Churches will be able to create their own online community of church members and friends for learning. Congregational leaders can select courses and monitor (as well as engage in online conversation) with participants to see how everyone is doing (and learning).
You can preview some of the courses now, including:
- Introduction to the Bible led by Marek Zabriskie, a pastor and founder of The Bible Challenge, which challenges congregations to read the Bible in a year.
- How to Have a Family Prayer Time with Anne Kitch, popular speaker and author of many books, including The Anglican Family Prayer Book and Water of Baptism, Water for Life.
- How to Simplify Your Life with Mark Scandrette, a pastor and author of several books, including FREE: Spending Your Time and Money on What Matters Most.
When the program debuts this fall, there will be over 30 courses, with 2-4 new ones added every month. How do I know about this new model of learning and the courses? I was privileged to “offer” a class last week that was videotaped for part of the new offerings – “Introduction to Epiphany.” Stay tuned and check out the site to see some of the preview materials and videos.