Anyone who wants to fulfill the call of God on their life needs preparation to do so. With God's Word as the foundation for ministry—whether in the home, in the church, in the marketplace or on the mission field—online theological instruction can help believers prepare for what God has in their future.
Dr. Michael Bommarito, director of MyTrinity Online and associate professor, biblical and theological studies, shared on the Charisma Connection podcast how online education serves these needs, especially while navigating the coronavirus pandemic.
"Even before the COVID situation, online education has definitely become more prevalent and more popular and increasingly so as it makes higher education more affordable," Bommarito says. "It makes it more accessible to the average individual."
Dr. Bommarito discusses two new programs on the podcast, one for those who want to return to school and complete their bachelor's degree and the other for graduate students. The first program he mentions is for any individual whose education was interrupted for some reason.
"Life happens. Maybe they didn't excel enough, maybe college wasn't for them and they walked away, they started getting involved in their life and career, and now they're wanting to go back and finish it," he says.
Returning to the classroom can be intimidating, so My Trinity Online can "come alongside them to offer them the support that's necessary to make that transition back into education, to make that transition into online learning, because we're talking older than average," Bommarito says. "We're talking individuals who didn't grow up with an iPhone in their hand, so they're maybe not as comfortable on online platforms."
These students may receive credit not only for classroom learning but also for their life experience.
And the program accommodates older students who are busy at home or in their careers. Among other flexible factors, students can start anytime throughout the year.
"We offer synchronistic and asynchronistic opportunities, which are scheduled formats," Bommarito says. "You might have synchronistic, where you meet together online maybe in a Zoom chat from time to time where you're all together, but then also where you can work at your own pace so that you're not having to fit your class times into your busy schedule. You fit your studies around your schedule."
Bommarito also shares about a new graduate program.
"The master's of missional leadership is really set up for anyone in the level of Christian leadership, Christian influence, mostly for pastors who want to have a broader global view of what it means to do the mission of the church," he says.
But he notes that the term "missional" is often misunderstood.
"Sometimes people get confused with the term, thinking that it's related to cross-cultural missions," Bommarito says. "But by 'missional,' what we're talking about is people who are on mission for God, who are seeking to fulfill the mission of God. So how can we be more mission focused, more mission driven in our ministry, particularly in a broader global context?"
The program can be tailored to whatever context the student is in, now or in the future.
"We present sort of the broader leadership emphasis of what it means to be missional," Bommarito says. "And then we drill that down in their thesis project to their specific context or area of interest."
Although these programs are completely online, opportunities are available to come to campus for several days to participate in cohorts.
Click here to hear more about these programs, and listen as Bommarito shares the driving force behind his call and interest in theology.
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