Jordan (MNN) – The Program for Theological Education by Extension is bringing its courses into the age of technology through its new e-learning project.
E-learning: The Possibilities
PTEE’s e-learning project involves formatting PTEE’s established Bachelor of Theology curriculum into online classes. PTEE will have 50 bachelor level courses available online once the project is complete. Right now, PTEE is testing its second online course with students from 10 different countries, mostly in the Arab world and the Arab diaspora.
“We want to expand our already wide reach across the Arab world into even more countries and make it even more accessible and more affordable to students,” PTEE’s e-learning Director Dr. Rick Weymouth says.
“We want to equip and empower believers wherever they live in the Arab world in their communities, in their churches, and in their local contexts. And e-learning is going to help us fulfill our mission and God’s mission for us as a program even more effectively.”
The e-learning project will provide a significant advantage for students, who on average are in their mid-thirties with families and established homes. PTEE strives to train students where they are geographically, but these students can sometimes miss out on connecting with classmates from different countries. However, e-learning will bring students together through online forums. It will build bridges to help connect and unify Arab believers throughout the Arab world and diaspora.
Since PTEE specifically reaches out to Arab believers from various backgrounds, this includes the younger generations and those who are of the Arab diaspora. PTEE’s e-learning project will allow students to study in Arabic regardless of where they are currently living, including if they are in the West.
Years of war in the Middle East has caused thousands of Arab believers to seek asylum in other countries. These countries include regions where Arabic is a minority language. However, PTEE allows these believers to stay connected with the Arab church. Online courses will let them learn in their native language while preparing them to serve their new communities and hopefully their home countries when possible. Still, these believers are only one example of how this e-learning program will benefit PTEE students, particularly those living where the population of Arabic-speaking believers is small.
“We want to connect them. We want to join people, [Arab believers] together so that we can grow the church…and ultimately we’re hoping among those who’ve left the region and the diaspora, that they’re going to be supporting, encouraging, and maybe coming back to serve in the Middle East region,” Weymouth shares.
“We need to train believers to serve in this part of the world. We need to equip them, empower them, encourage them. Lift them up, lift their spirits, and this is one small way that we can be a help to that process through the PTEE and our online learning programs.”
PTEE e-learning Accessibility
PTEE courses are designed to help immediately impact local communities and churches through the education of the PTEE student. Courses through PTEE emphasize leadership education on location. It is an expectation that PTEE students will remain in their communities and continue serving in their churches while receiving their education. This means PTEE courses are immediately applied to real-life situations. The e-learning project will help this education model thrive with the changing generations and technological advances.
“This online learning opportunity offers the PTEE unprecedented opportunity to expand our existing wide reach by increasing access to quality courses, and we hope we can grow our student base significantly through the online courses,” Weymouth explains.
PTEE has been encouraged by the high number of students who have participated in its field-testing for its first two online courses. In fact, most of these students are new to PTEE, which shows how this e-learning project is already growing PTEE’s student base.
“PTEE is going to be one of the first accredited TEE programs in the world to have its entire curriculum online. And God willing we’ll be the first theological program in the Arab world to offer 100 percent of a bachelor’s degree through our online courses.”
Be Prayerful, Be Active
PTEE would love for qualified educators, computer, internet, and video specialists to pray about the possibility of serving with PTEE. The ministry also could use financial partners and prayer partners.
Pray for the online courses PTEE is testing, the international students helping test these courses, and the IT support team involved with the e-learning program. Also, pray for the developers of these courses as they continue creating and tweaking these classes. Pray for Weymouth as he helps train and retrain tutors for leadership in the online context.
Finally, pray for the funds to finish the e-learning project. Pray for the right people to join the team and help complete the project. Ask God to glorify Himself through the work.
To donate to PTEE, click here.