News from the Hill August 02, 2010 | back to index
Andover Newton Theological School and the Alban Institute have entered into a cooperative venture to provide on-line continuing education experiences for both clergy and involved laity.
Beginning in September 2010, Alban, whose activities include publishing, research, and education programs designed to strengthen American congregations, and Andover Newton will jointly sponsor four-week, on-line seminars with Alban authors as instructors.
The joint program will use Andover Newton’s established, on-line open-enrollment learning system, known as LEARN (for “Local Education and Renewal Network”).
Known as Empowerment Seminars, the courses will provide the opportunity for participants to have an on-line dialogue with the authors of significant Alban books on congregation renewal and leadership such as Bruce Epperly and Jeffrey Jones. Although primarily intended for clergy in continuing education, the seminars are open to laity who are active in the leadership of their congregations.
The seminars will be promoted by both Andover Newton and Alban and registration for them will be available through links on both websites. Both institutions will also promote and offer registration links for brief webinars with authors and consultants, which have been offered by the Alban Institute for a number of years.
Both Alban and Andover Newton have a strong commitment to the vitality of the congregation, with significant experience and expertise in this area. Drawing onto the traditional strengths of both institutions the cooperative venture will, program organizers maintain, provide high-quality, reasonably-priced, interactive educational experiences delivered to participants’ own computers.
In commenting on this new cooperative effort, Jeff Jones, Director of Distance Learning at Andover Newton, noted that “the changes that are taking place in congregations today require all of us who are committed to their support to look for new ways to do that. This cooperative venture allows us to draw on the differing traditional strengths of both institutions to deliver effective, high-quality learning events to congregational leaders.”
Wayne Floyd, Education Program Manager at Alban, noted that this arrangement extends Alban’s commitment to online learning by giving Alban the capacity to offer extended online courses to complement Alban’s existing webinar offerings.
The Herndon, VA-based Alban Institute was founded in 1974 as a major resource for American congregations facing the challenges of a changing society. Its many activities world wide include publishing, education, consulting, research, membership, online activities, and ventures, such as the Indianapolis Center for Congregations and the Congregational Resource Guide.