Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Learning and Degree Credit from Conferences

If you have lived in cities like Melbourne you will know how there are Christian conferences scheduled every weekend and the promotional pressure is high. One can easily get conferencitis and feel seminared out.

Theological students often want to attend the good conferences and seminars but there is always the pressure of fulfilling their theological course work versus attending a conference.

A solution, at least where the conferences are good quality?

Ross Langmead from Whitley College Melbourne has the answer:
“We accredit all sorts of ‘outside teaching events’ by asking students to attend and then ‘top up’ with further reading, perhaps a tutorial or two, and some assignments.”

To see how Ross and others at Whitley do this, he has given these examples: the units Conference Study in Theology (built around a conference), Exposure to Cross-cultural Mission (built around a short-term mission trip), Context Training (built around a GiA intensive week), and three intensives built around intensives run by the Forge Missional Training Network (emerging church movement).

Click on the links to see more detail on the ‘top up’ requirements.

Students probably would not be able to do an entire degree of conferences and ‘top ups’ but this is a good way of combining different training approaches.

Any other place doing this or something similar?

Dr. Geoff Pound

Image: Conference speaker making her point with a long, sharp stick. Theme: Reaching the Whole Man with the Gospel.