Education for Ministry Online
Young family? Tiny parish? A Carer? A Nomad? Remote? Rural?
On the other side of town and can’t make the group sessions?
In an EfM group and the group has a time clash?
In an EfM group and the group and you are the only one in your year or your group is too small to run?
If this is you, EfM online is for you!
EfM has been available online for many years in the USA. We have been successful in Australia and have our first graduates.
If you are in Australia and interested in exploring your Christian faith, this might be the course for you.
Can we really experience EfM as a group via computer?
OH YES! We participate in all the same activities as face-to-face groups: discussing readings, reflecting theologically, worshipping together and forming a supportive and close learning community.
How does EfM online work?
We click a link to a website and everything we need to be in the group is there.
It is the same platform (Blackboard) used my many universities that offer online courses. The platform allows each member to have their own login and password, so the site is secure and our discussions remain confidential to the group.
We do the reading and discussion at our own time, then log in, and type our thoughts into the Discussion Board and read responses to the learning guide questions. The site is available 24/7.
Once a week, for 90 minutes, we join together on line at the same time in a part of the site where we have a whiteboard for sharing materials and a space for us to chat together. Some limited audio and video transmission is possible – depending on bandwidth. We manage remarkably well with typing our contributions. We don’t worry about teh typos toe much (!) and can see when someone is typing so we can wait for their comment.
The whiteboard allows us to worship together, participate in theological reflections and work on group positions and outcomes. It offers a fruitful environment for creativity and playfulness that sometimes surpasses face-to-face meetings.
It is also great to meet in person, worship in person and do some TRs in person once a year. This is scheduled so that everyone can attend.
Do I need fantastic computer skills?
Not at all!
If you can use email and browse the Internet you will be able to do this. Often children and grandchildren can be a great help.
And of course the online mentors are readily available to phone for one-on-one help getting started and then developing skills as we go, such as preparing and loading ever more creative group worship, sharing important pictures of our lives, etc. We increase our technical skills as we go.
Content and textbooks
We use the same content and texts in the EfM online course as the face-to-face groups. Participants are supplied with the Reading and Reflection Guide for the year and purchase the textbook/s relevant for the year of study as set out in the prospectus. Some of the books are available as e-books too.
For more information or to register your interest in EFM on-line please contact the EFM Office.
EFM on-line will be commencing in February 2018.