Online Learning in Congregations

Over the last decade online learning has grown from a niche market to something that touches nearly everyone.  Increasing numbers of students take online courses as part of their educational programs in K-12 and higher education, and employers continue to shift more and more of their training to online formats.  Given these shifts, it is logical to assume that the future of education in the context of congregations will include online learning. The Rt. Rev. Kirk Smith, bishop of the Episcopal Read More …

A New Vision for Christian Education

Yesterday, I spent a good deal of my day at church.  After worship, the Board of Christian Education gathered in a meeting room for a five hour retreat focused on planning for the future.  While a summary of of those proceedings will likely fill many pages, one sentence sets the tone for the future: Vision: To have as many participants each week in educational experiences as are present in worship. While retaining high quality standards, our congregation's educational programs for children, Read More …

Review of Will There Be Faith?

Meet the Author Thomas Groome is chair of the Department of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry as well as professor of theology and religious education at Boston College, where he has taught since 1976.  Groome has written numerous books on religious education, including the now classic Christian Religious Education: Sharing Our Story and Vision (1980), which introduced his shared Christian praxis approach.  His latest book is Will There Be Faith? A New Vision for Education and Growing Read More …

Bringing Twitter into the Classroom

For generations, students have known that the classroom is the place to go for instruction.  This has been true for both university education as well as Christian/religious education.  In larger classrooms, the instructors are limited in their ability to interact with a large number of the learners.  Twitter offers a creative way to facilitate interaction during and beyond the class session.  Consider the example of Dr. Monica Rankin, Professor of History at the University of Texas at Read More …

Rethinking Spiritual Formation

Ben Witherington is the Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary and on the doctoral faculty at St. Andrews University in Scotland. Considered by many to be a leading New Testament scholar, Witherington has written over thirty books and six commentaries.  For more information, view his faculty profile page or read his blog. Recently he listed his concerns with contemporary views of spiritual formation: Monastic models of piety frankly don't work Read More …