The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church is pleased to introduce an Online Continuing Education Consortium in collaboration with the 13 United Methodist Theological Schools. United Methodist theological schools are offering 11 online continuing education classes for clergy and laity beginning fall semester of 2010.
The vision of the consortium is to provide theologically sound, financially affordable, and easily accessible continuing education programs to clergy and lay Christians around the world so they may grow in their theological understanding and leadership skills. These non-academic credit courses provided by the participation of the 13 United Methodist theological schools ensure the quality of classes offered. Each school designs the course, provides the instructor, handles registrations and payment. They will manage the technological aspects of providing online courses. Costs of these courses will vary, with tuition or fees set by and paid directly to, the theological school that is hosting the online class.
North Alabama Conference Executive Director of the Office of Ordained Ministry Rev. Do Neal says, "It appears to offer a very valuable tool or resource for clergy and perhaps for laity as well for continuing education."
The Rev. Randy Cross, assistant general secretary in GBHEM’s Division of Ordained Ministry of GBHEM said the launching of the online consortium is a major step forward in The United Methodist Church’s training and education of its leaders.
“Imagine literally being able to learn and grow in knowledge and effectiveness from almost anywhere in the world, to almost anywhere in the world. We have only begun to scratch the surface of learning with this important tool.”
Those interested in taking the classes will be able to view an online catalogue and Web links to each theological school that is offering the classes through www.gbhem.org/continuingeducation. This online consortium catalogue will serve as the gateway, providing a single entry point through an online catalogue and Web links to each theological school that is offering the classes. It will be open all year round so United Methodists will be able to take courses according to thier schedules. Tuition and fees will be set by the seminary hosting the class and will be paid directly to that seminary.