How can Online Learning be For the Church? Here at Midwestern we want you to fall in love with a local church. Towards this end, we created Online Connect. Through Online Connect, we challenge you to apply what you learn in the online classroom to the local church context. In every online course at Midwestern, we give you three options for applying what you are learning to the local church context.
Option 1: Reflecting on Your Course at a Conference Hosted by Midwestern.
Midwestern regularly hosts conferences on its main campus in Kansas City, Mo and in other locations around the country. Be it the national For The Church Conference, a regional For The Church Conference, the Spurgeon Lectures, Midwestern’s conferences at the Southern Baptist Convention, or one of Midwestern’s many other regular conferences, these conferences will challenge you to grow spiritually and academically. To earn Online Connect credit through the conference option, you must:
- Attend a Midwestern Conference in person (online viewing does not count)
- The conference must be during the term your online class takes place
- A 1 to 2-page report which:
- Notes your name, the conference you attended, the dates of the conference, the conference location
- Contains a 250-300 word summary of the event
- Includes a 1-2 Paragraph response explaining
How the conference related to one or more of the course objectives (found in the course syllabus)
If the conference was unrelated to the course objectives,
How the conference related to one or more of Midwestern’s overall objectives which are for you to (1) Believe that the Bible is inspired, inerrant, authoritative (2) Understand and apply Biblical truth (3) Exemplify Biblical leadership and doctrinal integrity in ministry (4) Demonstrate Christ-likeness in seeking and cultivating all relationships (5) Manifest a developing and disciplined Christian (6) Commit to fulfilling the Great Commission
- A separate report is required for each course to be turned in via Canvas
- A list of upcoming qualifying conference can be found below:
Option 2: Discussing Your Course with an Expert
Learning often starts in the online classroom but rarely does it end there. We want you to learn from the experts in your course’s subject matter in person. Therefore, for this option, you need to enlist a Field Mentor for a one-time meeting. This Field Mentor needs to meet one of the qualifications listed on the “Field Mentor Personnel Qualification Form” (This form is to be filled out and uploaded to Canvas along with your meeting report). To this end, identify someone either in your church, a nearby Southern Baptist church, or at Midwestern (such as a prof.) who is an expert in your course’s subject matter. Schedule an in-person meeting (meetings cannot be over the phone, email, video conference, etc.) with them to discuss what you are learning and what insights they have regarding the course you are taking. In this interview you will need to cover the following:
- An introduction about your Field Mentor.
- Ask about their faith and denominational background.
- How their faith guides their work
- A discussion of various aspects of your course and what insights they have regarding such. Possible conversation topics could include:
- How the course objectives are relevant to their profession
- How they would work through or answer an assignment in your course (such as a discussion board or a written assignment)
- What was the most valuable thing they learned in a course like this in their own education
- What they wish they had learned in a course like this
- You will need to write a 3-4 page transcript of your discussion to turn in via Canvas. The entire conversation should take between 30 minutes and 1 hour.
Option 3: A Book Review Related to Your Course
Sometimes, life gets busy. There just isn’t time to meet with someone or come to a conference. We still want to challenge you to apply your course materials to the local church context. Therefore, if you can’t come to a conference or meet with an expert, you can still write a book review related to your course. The book review process is slightly different for graduate (master’s level) and undergraduate (college level) student:
- In every graduate course at Midwestern, our profs have identified great books within the course that will help you apply the materials to the local church context. If you choose this option, write a critical book review on one of these books utilizing the critical book review format found in the Midwestern Style Manual. Pay special attention to noting how the book applies to a local church context within your critical evaluation section.
- In undergraduate courses, many will have a list of approved online connect books. If your course does not we have compiled a bibliography available here:
Undergraduate Online Connect Bibliography
Identify a book within the bibliography related to the subject matter of your course. Keep in mind you can only use each book once. Then write a book review on that book utilizing the critical book review format found in the Midwestern Style Manual. Pay special attention to noting how the book applies to a local church context within your critical evaluation section. Each book can only be used in one course.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can one conference or on-campus event be used for more than one course? Yes, however you will be required to submit a reflection paper that is specific for each online course.
- Can I use one field supervision or faculty meeting for more than one course? No, each course will require a separate face-to-face field supervision or faculty meeting and verbatim report.
- Can the field supervision requirement be met by phone, Skype, Facetime, Google-Hangouts or other technology? No, field supervision requirements can only be met in-person (face-to-face) with an approved field supervisor or faculty member. .
- Can I receive Online Connect credit for a term B event if I am in a term A course? No, you can only receive credit for attending a qualifying event during the term of enrollment.
- Can I request an alternative reading to meet my Online Connect requirement? No, you must choose a text from the recommended reading list for your course.
- What happens in the event I do not complete the Online Connect requirement during the term? The Online Connect assignment is 5% of the total grade, and can not be made up after the final day of class.
- My field supervisor cancelled on me. What can I do? You may reschedule the supervision meeting for a later date, as long as you complete the assignment during the term, or chose to do the book review or conference option.
- Why do I have to do an Online Connect assignment? The Online Connect component of this course supports Midwestern’s belief that theological education in the 21st century is more than a mere transmission of knowledge. Online Connect seek to engages, impact and challenge every student in the context of the church and academic community.
- What do I do if there are no Conference Options available for me? If conference option is not available during your term, please choose either the field supervision or book review option.