Leadership formation in the global context
LE3 .A278 2014
Doctor of Ministry
Acadia Divinity College
This Doctor of Ministry thesis was written as a documentation of a development program and its evaluation. The new service developed was an online theological semi-nary for Christian leaders in developing countries. Philosophical foundations for the program development were explored first. The history, nature and goals of theological education were investigated, and it was concluded that a quality theological education aims at building ability for theological thinking. This way, an extended theological education program may advance development of indige-nous and self-theologizing churches. Theologically and practically the best approach for carrying out a program for Christian leadership formation is based on ideas of theological education by extension (TEE). The new service was developed for ESL/EFL students (English as a second or for-eign language), and thus, a vast repository of educational materials became available and could be utilized with ease. The service was delivered on Moodle learning platform, and it was promoted mainly through Google advertising. The analysis of student data proved that the new service made theological educa-tion more accessible to the target group. Students' typical rationale for studying theology was the need to update their Biblical-theological knowledge and to learn skills for effec-tive ministry. Thus, the new educational opportunity was a meaningful option for appli-cants. Analysis showed also that online courses were relevant to students, and they en-gaged with reflective thinking. As a negative finding, limited access to internet and tech-nology was a serious constraint for many students. For that reason, interactive power of online education was not fully exploited. In any case, the majority of applicants got going with their studies, and expressed consistent learning results and development of profes-sional skills, eventually making a difference in their ministry context and community. Findings of the study can be utilized for further development of alternative models in occupational education, as well as assessing options for alternative ways to carry out leadership formation programs in a rapid church growth and multiplication setting.
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