The Methodist e-Academy is a new initiative of Methodist Churches in Europe to meet the challenge of equipping people for ordained and lay leadership, so that they can equip Methodist churches to bear faithful and effective witness to God’s enlightening, forgiving and transforming grace and thus become agents for personal and social renewal manifesting and anticipating God’s reign.
Our aim is to equip church leaders for ministry through the means of distance learning, making use of the internet and other appropriate computer technology. This will have four components:
- The supplementary education of students for the ordained ministry
- The education of local pastors
- The education of lay leaders including lay preachers.
- The provision of internet resources which will enable church leaders to address key issues in their contexts.
What is the Methodist e-Academy?
The Methodist e-Academy began as a project of the United Methodist Seminaries in Europe with the aim of providing internet based distance learning courses for people preparing for the ordained ministry in European countries where the United Methodist Church had no seminary. The intention was to supplement the theological education that was available in these countries. The vision grew as it was recognised that the internet technology could be used to address a far broader range of educational needs with in the church. The project was approved by the United Methodist Summit on Theological Education in Europe in February 2007, a meeting of leaders in the church and theological education and it has the support of the three Bishops of the United Methodist Church in Europe.
In February 2008 a governing board was established with representatives from the four European UMC Episcopal areas, the British Methodist Church and the autonomous Methodist churches in Portugal and Italy. The board is chaired by Bishop Dr Patrick Streiff and the program is co-ordinated by Dr David N. Field.
The project will be implemented in stages the first stage a program of courses in Methodist studies for people preparing for the ordained ministry will be launched in September 2008.
Our vision is that ordained pastors in Methodist churches will be rooted in the Methodist heritage, aware of its significance and seek to creatively and critically give expression to it in their theological and ethical positions, their church life, their mission and in their relationship with the broader society.
In order to fulfil this vision we have developed an internet based distance learning program in Methodist Studies which fulfils and goes beyond the ordination requirements of the United Methodist Church. The courses will be offered in the German and English. In contexts where there is no Methodist seminary candidates for ordination will acquire their theological education at other universities or seminaries. The Methodist Studies Program of the e-Academy will supplement this. Where there are existing Methodist seminaries or study programs plans are being made to integrate the courses offered by the e-Academy into the study program of these institution.
The Methodist e-Academy offers an exceptional opportunity for students to study under faculty persons drawn from Methodist churches across Europe and who are experts in their field. Further it will give students the opportunity of interacting both electronically and personally with students from other European countries. It thus provides not only thorough introduction to Methodism as an academic subject but also enables students to encounter Methodism in its various expressions in Europe and encourages them to learn from the experiences of others in their different contexts.
- In the initial stage the following courses will be offered:
- Year one.
Methodist History 1 The Early Years. The roots of Methodism, the eighteenth century revival, the life and theology of John Wesley and origins of Methodism to the Christmas conference.
Methodist Theology 1. Methodist Doctrine. An examination of the distinctive features Methodist doctrine as theological reflection embedded in praxis and directed towards personal, communal and social transformation
Methodist History 2. European Methodism The history of Methodism in Europe and its roots in Britain and the USA
Methodist Theology 2. Methodist Ethics. Methodism has always insisted that the faith must be expressed in works and as a consequence has concretely addressed many ethical issues. This course will examine the theological ethic which underlies Methodism’s ethical responses in order for us to address contemporary issues.
Methodist Ecclesiology 1.The nature, worship and mission of the church. This course will examine the distinctive features of a Methodist understanding of the church and its mission.
Methodist Ecclesiology 2. United Methodist church polity and discipline
Method of instruction
The instruction method will include four components.
- A four day introductory seminar to be held in September 2008 at a central location for all students.
- E-Learning – Course material will be presented on the internet in such a way that will enable students to interact with it, and respond to it, their fellow students and their lecturers using a variety internet based tools.
- A final seminar at the end of each semester bringing together students at a central location to discuss the material that they have worked on during the semester.
Prerequisites for Admission
The courses are at a Bachelors level and the students are expected to have a basic knowledge of theology. They must either have completed at least the first year of a Bachelors degree or equivalent in theology.
Students must also be able to demonstrate an adequate knowledge of either English or German.
The attached form must be filled out and returned to:
Dr David N. Field
The cost per course is € 400. Students will be sent an account once your application has been accepted.
Closing date for applications: 13 June 2008
Further details will be sent to you once if your application is accepted.
METHODIST e-Academy Application for Program in Methodist Studies
The Methodist e-Academy deutsch
Zasadnutie Riadiaceho výboru 30. - 31. januára 2009