LWR virtual university

/ 15 September 2007

I think this is my month for being wrong! I wrote recently about the Gordon Conwell program Dimensions of Faith, which is free, online theological education. In doing so I also bemoaned the lack of such resources from mainline institutions.

Yet here is a cooperative effort that Lutheran World Relief is sponsoring, it's a Virtual University that is holding a variety of classes on important global issues like "The State of Our Planet," "Jesus, Justice and the Kingdom of God," "Christmas in Bethlehem," and so on. There are free -- although if you can offer a donation, they'll always appreciate it -- and bring together a wide range of teachers, to make the programs really quite diverse. I haven't taken a course myself yet, but they have archived past courses, so I suspect that these courses will be helpful not only for people who can participate, but also people who might read them through after they're "over."

I think a next, interesting step for this program would be for those of us teaching at "typical" seminaries, to find ways to work these shorter classes into our larger courses, that way immensely expanding what we're able to engage and offer, and exposing our students to a much more diverse community of discussion. Here's an offer I'll make to my current students: if you want to use one of these LWR classes to fulfill an EdLead competency goal, just let me know and we'll write it into your portfolio.