Midweek Update on The Big Class

Bishop Curry photoMore than 2,400 people from 26 countries are registered for The Big Class with Michael Curry as we enter Day 3 of our week-long quest to become ‘Crazy Christians.’ We have enjoyed a steady stream of comments, tweets, Facebook posts etc., most of them very positive about their experience, “The Bishop’s passion and his ‘real person’ speech is not so Anglican as to be boring,’ commented one participant.

In this free, 45 minute, pre-recorded class, students are taking a deeper journey into discipleship. In a post-class questionnaire, 79% of the students indicated the class had had a moderate or major impact on their faith journey. 92% surveyed said they were satisfied or more than satisfied with their experience.

Key learnings for us include better organized moderating. We made some changes after day one that have helped, including parking the moderator in one discussion area for the evening.  Others felt overwhelmed with the vast number of people and comments. But most people have enjoyed the experience and learned something new about their faith, “I liked the format that combined the video and the chance to answer questions from what we saw/read. I also enjoyed being able to read the responses of others,” was a common comment.

We are thrilled that so many people are drawing closer to God through this vehicle. We are also incredibly appreciative of our sponsors who made this all possible. And we are mulling over what this all means – how is God using this new way of being together as a way to form us into better disciples and send us out into the world with strength and courage to love and serve others?

If you, or anyone you know, would like to take The Big Class, it is open and free through Feb 3. You can sign up here.

The Big Class with Michael Curry is Off and Running

Bishop Curry photoAt 9am more than 1,800 people from 21 countries were off and running – to learn more about Christ’s serious call to discipleship in a course entitled ‘How to Be a Crazy Christian.’

This free course will be moderated tonight by Bishop Curry from 6-9p EST.

Our goal, first and foremost, is to expose people to an online learning experience that can deeply affect their lives. As we know, online learning is garnering huge investment from universities, corporations, and non-profits as we all look for ways to more effectively, conveniently, and affordably, get information across to folk – and in our case – transform lives.  It’s still an uncertain frontier, and that means pioneering is needed.

We’re thankful for the people who’ve signed up for this course – and served as pioneers.  We’ve included an evaluation as part of the class to help us improve. We’re also thankful for the sponsors who’ve signed on to bring us this far – Bexley/Seabury, Forward Movement, Church Publishing, Inc, and the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. If you’d like to take the course you can sign up here.

New Course: Managing Retirement and Savings with Timothy Dombek

So you’re out of debt, or at least at a manageable point, and you’re ready to save. How Timoty Dombeckdo we do it? How much, how often, and how long? CPF and Episcopal priest Timothy Dombek teaches us how to address these questions in this fourth and final installment of his Managing God’s Money series.

 Arriving at a place where we actually have money to save can be quite an accomplishment for many people. 

But don’t stop there, says financial planner and Episcopal priest Timothy Dombek. If we take advantage of the two most important aspects of saving, time and money, we may be surprised at the financial goals we can achieve.

In this class, Tim teaches us about:

  • The Time Value of Money
  • Saving for Future Events
  • The Ten Commandments of Financial Planning

This course is ideal for those who are seeking a deeper understanding of saving money and may be used in conjunction with the other three courses in the Managing God’s Money series.

One final note: This class is designed so that if you take it all by yourself you will certainly have learned a lot.

However, if you did that you may not be getting all you could out of this course. At ChurchNext, we believe that learning together really helps us move more effectively down the road of personal transformation. When we learn together we push ourselves, discover real insights, and most of all, embrace the discomfort that’s essential to turning education into learning.

We want to help every one of our subscribers change for the better, which is much more effectively done when learners come together, face to face when possible, for what can be powerful learning experiences. So if you’re taking this course, please consider with whom you might share the experience by inviting others to take it, online, with you. You can do this by selecting the ‘Create your own group class’ option.

And, even better, ponder how you might take this course with others who are nearby and with whom you might have some face to face interaction. Then, using the downloadable ‘Discussion Questions’ which are included in this course, once you’ve taken the course, get together and work through the material as a group.

Learn More about Managing Retirement and Savings.

The Rev’d Canon Timothy Dombek is Canon for Stewardship and Planned Giving in the Diocese of Arizona. He is a popular speaker whose blog you can read here.

The Big Class: A New Way to Use MOOCs?

Bishop Curry photoAs of this morning more than 1,400 people from 20 countries had signed up for The Big Class with Michael Curry. This 45-minute, pre-recorded class can be taken for free anytime between Jan 27 and Feb 3. There are live moderators to answer questions on weekday evenings and the gifts that Bishop Curry brings can pretty much guarantee that people will be touched. I know I have been.

The larger questions floating around academia and the Church have to do with how helpful courses like this really are. While ours is not a MOOC as the term is generally defined (please forgive me for using that term in the headline – it stands for Massive, Open, Online, Course) We know that the vast majority of people who sign up for online classes never finish them – in some cases MOOCs have seen that incompletion rate at 98%. We also know that those who do finish MOOCs tend to be highly motivated, well-resourced people who would probably have gone to campus for the material.

But can a MOOC-ish class (what we’re doing with Bishop Curry) be useful to the Church?  What percentage of registrants will finish? Will their lives be impacted in ways that draw them closer to Christ and push them out into the world to do God’s work?

We certainly hope so and have intentionally made The Big Class different than traditional MOOCs. Our goals are simple: to help people grow in their walk with Christ, to build community among Christians around an important topic, to make people aware of the gifts of the various entities that are sponsoring this class, and to introduce people to the potential of online Christian learning.

We are hopeful that this platform can help accomplish these goals and help us in our shared goal to bring people into a deeper relationship with Christ.

New Course: Managing Church and Charity with Timothy Dombek

We all suspect we should be giving money to church and charity, but how much Timoty Dombeckshould we give, how should we decide, and how to we grab hold of the biblical truth that, ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive?’ In this course, clergy person and money man Timothy Dombeck offers some great advice.

The most fulfilling emotions we feel are often related to the act of giving. Yet our financial lives often keep us from being as charitable as we would like.

Clergyman and money man Timothy Dombeck knows this well. In this course he challenges us to thing about:

  • Why Give to Church and Charity?
  • What Does the Bible Say about Managing Church and Charity?
  • Deciding How Much to Give
  • Tips for Getting There

This is a very helpful course for stewardship season in a church, as well as for those seeking information on personal finance and spirituality.

Learn more about Managing Church and Charity.

The Rev’d Canon Timothy Dombek is Canon for Stewardship and Planned Giving in the Diocese of Arizona. He is a popular speaker whose blog you can read here.

New Course: Managing Credit Cards and Debt with Timothy Dombek

Timoty DombeckIn a modern society that urges us to spend what we don’t have, Timothy Dombek offers us solid advice on how to address issues of credit and debt with wisdom and faith.

Financial problems are the leading cause of divorce and other relationship issues – and most can be avoided if some basic rules are followed.

Timothy Dombeck ought to know, he used to do this for a living – advising clients on how to save and spend. Today, he’s a sought-after conference speaker and author who serves the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona as a stewardship expert.

In this class Tim will teach us the fundamentals of credit and debt, and give us helpful advice in how to use them wisely.

This course is perfect for the those seeking basic information on managing credit and debt. It is also a part of a larger learning series called Managing God’s Money, with courses on budgeting and money management, handing church and charity, and managing retirement and savings.

Learn more about the course Managing Credit Cards and Debit.
Learn more about Part One in this Series: Managing the Household Budget.

The Rev’d Canon Timothy Dombek is Canon for Stewardship and Planned Giving in the Diocese of Arizona. He is a popular speaker whose blog you can read here.

How to use The Big Class in Your Congregation

Big Class Cover Why not take The Big Class with Michael Curry a church-wide event?

This worldwide online class will give your church members the opportunity to not only learn more about their faith, but to interact with Bishop Curry and an international classroom of students from all kinds of backgrounds.

There are several different ways The Big Class can be used, from individual to group learning. You may find it useful to have thought out exactly how your congregation may best take advantage of this learning event. That’s why we’ve put together the Launch Plan above.

In addition, you can download this poster and bulletin Inserts.

Let us know how we can help: hello@churchnext.tv