February 6, 2017
Over the past six weeks, we have talked about our classic educational tracks and covered several different topics. Links to our previous posts are available below. Today, I want to give a glimpse of where we are headed. As I shared about three weeks ago, we practice something called Agile Program Development, which means that what I am about to say should be viewed as a directional arrow that points us toward a certain path (and not as a roadmap that is set in stone). Along the way, as we get feedback from students and constituents, we may make some unknown adjustments or wait a bit longer before implementing something. With that being said, the data thus far shows that the following concepts could be on the horizon.
Monthly Payment Plans
Students in our Doctor of Ministry program and in the Kairos Project track do not pay tuition based on credit hours. Rather, they pay a monthly fee that covers everything from tuition to registration fees to campus events. We expect to begin bringing this process to all students over time. We are discovering that by offering a monthly payment plan, theological education becomes more attainable and the need for student borrowing decreases.
Partnerships and Networks
About three years ago, we put a heavy focus on developing partnerships with like-minded ministry organizations. As a result, we have two options within our Doctor of Ministry program wherein students can participate in a partner’s ministry training program as part of their studies. For example, people who participate in a VantagePoint3 process are able to apply this experience toward various aspects of their degree program at the seminary. Students can take courses from other seminaries as if they were courses at this seminary. Ministry networks can work with us to create unique educational tracks for their students. In short, partnerships and networks are key components of our educational and operational philosophies. One of the partnerships that I am most excited about is with Taylor Seminary, our fellow denominational seminary in Canada.
Mentor Network and Resources
Our work with the Kairos Project and our renewed focus on supervised ministry in the classic track are creating a broad network of mentors with whom we work. Mentors range from people who work with students in their ministry contexts to those who guide the educational process to spiritual directors. We are excited about the creation of this network and look forward to creating resources for those mentors and enhancing our relationship with all of them.
Perhaps the most important thing that we have learned while enhancing our classic educational tracks is that innovation is not something that only happens every once in a while. Rather, it is an ongoing process that bring continuous change and development. It is through this process of continuous improvement that stability can be sustained. We are committed to embracing this reality.
The classic and Kairos Project educational tracks are a big part of how we develop students for participation in the kingdom mission. We will continue to find ways to better serve those God has places in our care. Please join us next week as begin exploring the idea of being “fully alive” and what this means as we embrace our role in God’s mission.