Theological education is much about relationships as it is about the impartation of knowledge. It has been witnessed that there is no profession as personal as a ministry. Ministers are asked big questions about the personal lives of people- such as life, death, and the ultimate meaning of their destiny. So, now the question is how prospective ministers develop the necessary skills in this digital age. Several positive factors are driving the current explosion of online learning provided by several texas seminary schools. Here this article highlights the positive traits of online theological education.
Several texas seminary schools are equipped with the most influential theological teachers who are brilliant but communication is one way. Internet natives are living in a world where they expect back-and-forth, posts and responses. Ironically, online education, especially theological education is necessarily two-way. With online classes, professors share lectures through videos and students participate in weekly group discussions and talk to one another. This makes online classrooms structurally dialogical and participative.
- Easily Accessible
Traditional seminaries, in good numbers, have regional institutes far removed from their historic locations. Even some of these locations reflect the concentration of students belonging to a specific cultural background. But when it comes to the stance and mission of a particular theological institution, why not make the same mission accessible to everyone? Face-to-face offerings in such regional institutes can be supplemented by wide-coverage online classes making it easier for every theological student to develop their skills.
It has been seen that students and their professors gathering initially, and then periodically at a designated digital platform for personal introductions, orientations, or mutual encouragement, have deeper relationships than students coming together for traditional classes. This is the reason that many texas seminary schools are trying to provide contextual education by adding both periodic face-to-face meetings and online sessions in their curriculum.
With an increasingly global church living in this globalized world, it has become essential for the followers of Jesus across the world to learn from and support one another. The internet can facilitate theological learning across different time zones and national boundaries. Furthermore, American seminary online degrees are offering several international leaders a measure of respect and portability.
- Formation of Communities
An online learning environment is likely to provide benefits in terms of spiritual formation and community building. Discussion forums, case studies, prayer forums, and journaling, all can be potentially formative when conducted online. Moreover, the typically smaller-sized online classes are known to promote a rich and diverse learning community and have a leveling effect in terms of extroverts and introverts.
Many people interested in pursuing theological program thinks about whether residential education is superior to online learning or vice-versa. In response to their question, online theological education can take place without students being wrenched from their families, context, and ministries. Moreover, if current trends continue in the coming years, a huge proportion of students will prefer opting for online theological education as it offers an array of benefits to them. Now students or current ministers can fulfill their responsibilities while developing their skills online.