Friday, August 27, 2010

The best possible ministry training?

Anglican Youthworks and Presbyterian Youth have joined forces to provide an exciting new form of ministry training called The Timothy Partnership.
The Timothy Partnership provides an online diploma in theology. It isn't just a correspondence course where you get dumped a bunch of notes. You get genuine interaction with a qualified lecturer and tutor online.
The course is three days a week and qualifies students to receive Austudy, so churches only need to raise a small amount for a ministry trainee to have a couple of days of ministry and a couple of days of training.
The partnership between Youthworks and the Presys is perfect. Youthworks prides itself on teaching anyone to do youth ministry, Presbyterian Youth prides itself on training young people to do any ministry. The combined effect is a program that can teach anyone to do any ministry.
The best part is that it resists the pressure to remove people from their local contexts to train them. (and they actually get a meaningful qualification at the end)
This has obvious benefits for rural churches, even overseas churches. But I think it even has benefits for city churches, as our current training models still tear people out of their contexts.
You could even use this training model for an evangelist reaching their own network, instead of removing them from that network to watch how you do (sometimes less effective) ministry currently.
This is a total win for the kingdom!

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