ChurchNext Partners with Trinity Institute: Creating Common Good Online Courses

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The popular contention that ‘the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer’ is a troubling notion to many people – and you may have wondered: How do Christians begin to address the pervasive issue of economic inequality?

In January, 2015 Trinity Institute will sponsor a conference called Creating Common Good in which informed voices from several disciplines will wrestle with this issue.  The goal is to provide hopeful, practical tools that you can use in your community to make a positive economic impact.

Part of this conference will include a first-ever partnership with ChurchNext that will produce online courses on conference topics that anyone can take. These courses will be released November 2, 9, 16, 23. Each online course will include video presentations, quizzes, discussion questions and downloads. They are suitable for a four-week Advent study.  Instructors for the online courses include: The Most Rev. Justin Welby (Archbishop of Canterbury), Bishop Julio Murray (Bishop of Panama), Rachel Held Evans (Evangelical author), and Nicole Baker Fulghum (Children’s advocate).

“For many years Trinity Institute has sought to be more than a conference, to be an agent for transformation,” said Bob Scott, Trinity Institute Director, “That’s why we’re committed to providing formation resources for use in local faith communities, and why it’s so exciting to be working with ChurchNext. We’re blessed with a powerful and thought-provoking group of speakers, and the cutting-edge work ChurchNext is doing with the pedagogy and delivery of e-courses will help to bring them to an even wider audience. The interactivity among the ChurchNext e-course, our website, and the January live conference provide multiple ways to enter and become engaged with one of the great justice issues of our time.”

ChurchNext founder Chris Yaw added, “This is a terrific way to share the assembled wisdom of this conference with the world. We are thrilled to be on board with this event.”

These courses will take an average learner about 45 minutes to complete. No special software is required. Individual courses are $10 and unlimited monthly subscriptions are $15. ChurchNext congregational subscribers will be able to begin offering these courses to their congregations on their release dates, November 2 (Income Inequality with Bp. Murray), 9 (Christian Responsibility with Rachel Held Evans), 16 (Public Education with Nicole Baker Fulghum), and 23 (Payday Lenders with The Most Rev. Justin Welby).

 Trinity Institute is an annual conference, now in its 44th year, that equips clergy and laypersons for imaginative and catalytic leadership. Trinity Institute conferences present emerging and inclusive theological perspectives and engage participants in inquiry, dialogue, and reflection. Participants from all faith traditions are welcomed. ChurchNext creates online Christian learning experiences that shape disciples. Along with our partners we are devoted to helping people grow in their Christian faith, improve their lives, and better the world.

New Features Added to ChurchNext

One of the goals we work toward is to help the local church recapture it’s traditional place in society as a ‘go-to’ place for religious education – a place where the religiously curious can find reliable answers to life questions. This is why we build online schools for congregations – allowing local congregations to offer classes in faith that take advantage of the three attractive pillars of online learning: expert teaching, convenience, and affordability. That said, we are continually working to make this experience the best it can be – for learners and congregations. Today’s post announces a just-launched upgrade that allows our congregational subscribers better ways to connect and keep track of the students in their schools.

Activity 1

 

We’re thrilled to offer details on this new feature – that will help our congregational subscribers better monitor the activity of the students in their schools. Simply go to the ‘Manage School’ tab and you’ll find a new tab on the left called ‘Activity.’ Click there and you’ll be able to access an incredible amount of information organized just the way you want to see it.

Start by hitting the ‘All Activity’ button at the top.  Here you can segment by Question, Answer, Completed Steps, New Students and All Activity.  Then hit the ‘for every’ tab and that allows you to segment by hour, day, week, and month.

Activity 2

This update also means you can also monitor activity in a specific class more effectively.  Just click on the class, then navigate to the ‘People’ tab in the upper right. Here you’ll be able to segment activity in the same way, using the ‘Viewing’ and ‘for every’ drop down menus.  You’ll also see an updated ‘Progress Report’ next to ‘Activity’ which allows you to view, quite quickly, the progress your students are making.  Also, notice that the ‘Class Settings’ button has been made more conspicuous and is located under the ‘+Invite Someone’ button in the upper right.

This update opens up a brand new horizon for monitoring all of the activity you deem as important with just a few clicks.  It’s another one of the updates we’re rolling out in the weeks ahead to help you make better disciples in your congregations.

 

ChurchNext and Augsburg Fortress Partner to Shape Disciples

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ChurchNext and Augsburg Fortress have teamed up to bring the popular animate series to an online learning environment. Presenters include Brian McLaren, Lillian Daniel, Nadia Bolz-Weber, and Mark Scandrette whose video presentations anchor the learning experience and combine with quizzes, discussion rooms, downloads, and other features to help individual and group learners more deeply contemplate some of life’s most important questions. Check out the online courses here.

“This top-selling curriculum has already touched and inspired the lives of many,” said ChurchNext founder Chris Yaw, “We are proud to be able to extend its reach and allow online learners a platform to grow in faith.”

There are three animate series to date which have been launched in DVD format by Augsburg: animate: Faith, animate: Bible, and animate: Practices.  ChurchNext has launched its first online learning series, animate: Faith here. The online learning versions of animate: Bible will launch in early 2015 and animate: Practices will soon follow.

The animate series has been described as “designed to energize conversations about faith, with the hope that this will spark new life in churches”.  Casual but ordered, funky yet substantive, modern yet based on and exploring age old truisms, this series wants to “animate” all our senses. Participants are encouraged to create through journaling, creative writing and graphics; whatever method helps to explain or enhance the conversation.

Presenter Mark Scandrette says, “Christianity is not just something to believe, it is a way of life, and that by learning to follow Jesus’ way, we will experience the rest and become agents of God’s healing in our world.”  animate DVD and animate online are poised to help in this mission by inspiring deeper conversations on faith, deeper immersion into what it means to lead faithful lives in Christ, and helping students become more fully those agents of God’s healing in our world.

Part III of Animate: Faith is open!

We continue to be excited about the potential for life-changing conversation that the innovative Animate series offers; the final course in this three-part series, Animate: Faith 3, launches today. This unique program is designed to spur thought, discussion, wondering, pondering, and spiritual growth not by offering answers to some of faith’s most difficult or basic questions but by offering new ways of considering them.animate

Animate Faith 3 features two more of the most engaging and sought-after speakers on faith today: Lauren Winner invites us to consider just why we read and re-read the Scriptures, and what makes them different from any other great book. She also suggests ways we might renew our daily Scripture reading, using “embodied cognition.” And Bruce Reyes-Chow helps us rethink what we mean when we call the church a “family.” He suggests that going to church — and being part of an often dysfunctional family group — can be the best decision we can make.

This course is produced in partnership with Augsburg Fortress Publishing, which offers the Animate Faith DVD curriculum as well as facilitator guides and journals for small groups. Click here to find out more.

For more information or to register for Animate Faith 3 please click here.

Part II of Animate: Faith is now open!

We are thrilled to be presenting the engaging, thought-provoking, and innovative Animate series through ChurchNext. The second course in this three-part series, Animate Faith 2, launches today. This unique program is designed to spur thought, discussion, wondering, pondering, and spiritual growth not by offering answers to some of faith’s most difficult or basic questions but by offering new ways of considering them.animate

Animate Faith 2 features two more of the most engaging and sought-after speakers on faith today: Shane Hipps urges us to rethink our understandings of salvation because, as he says, when Jesus speaks of the Kingdom of Heaven, he uses not the future tense but the present. What might it mean for us to tune our hearts to recognize salvation in the here and now? And Nadia Bolz-Weber offers a refreshing take on the cross and the crucifixion, one which reminds us of God’s value system, not our own.

This course is produced in partnership with Augsburg Fortress Publishing, which offers the Animate Faith DVD curriculum as well as facilitator guides and journals for small groups. Click here to find out more.

Stay tuned for the launch of Animate Faith Part 3 next week.  To register for Animate Faith 2 please click here.

First course in the Animate Faith series is now open!

We are thrilled to be presenting the engaging, thought-provoking, and innovative Animate series through ChurchNext. The first course in this three-part series, Animate Faith 1, launches today. This unique program is designed to spur thought, discussion, wondering, pondering, and spiritual growth not by offering answers to some of faith’s most difficult or basic questions but by offering new ways of considering them.animate

Animate Faith 1 features three of the most engaging and sought-after speakers on faith today: Brian McLaren offers his reflections on what we mean when we talk about God, and the various ways people have of imagining, describing, and conceiving of God. Mark Scandrette shakes up our ideas of the way we do church, suggesting that if we truly want to practice Christianity, we need to practice a revolution of love and service like Jesus did. And Lillian Daniels offers wisdom on why we actually do need religion, that though religion is often seen as a dirty word in our culture, spirituality is not enough.

This course is produced in partnership with Augsburg Fortress Publishing, which offers the Animate Faith DVD curriculum as well as facilitator guides and journals for small groups. Click here to find out more.

Stay tuned for the launch of Animate Faith Parts 2 and 3 in the coming weeks.  To register for Animate Faith 1 please click here.

New course: Preparing For Infant and Children’s Baptism in the Episcopal Church

This latest course on baptism by the Rev. Canon Anne Kitch is a wonderful exploration of what baptism of young children can and should mean for us adults. Preparing For Infant and Children’s Baptism isn’t just a wonderful primer on how to prepare for having a child baptized, it’s also an insightful reminder that baptism isn’t just a moment in time. Rather, it’s a life lived in Christ, one which we’re promising to support when we witness someone’s baptism.

In five lessons, Anne explains what sorts of promises we adults make, what they mean, how to live them out in our daily lives, and why this all matters. She offers concrete wisdom and tips on how to live out the covenant we make for ourselves and on behalf of our children. This course is a kitchwonderful introduction for parents and godparents; it’s also an invaluable reminder to all members of a church community who are responsible for helping to bring children up into the Christian faith and life, and into the full stature of Christ. Click here for more information or to register.

The Rev. Canon Anne E. Kitch is a mother and an Episcopal priest serving in the Diocese of Bethlehem, PA. She is the author of several books including The Anglican Family Prayer Book.