So I have confirmed that I will have enough students to go forward with my course on Internet ministry next semester. So far I have five business students and four Talbot seminary students. I expect to get a few students from the Christian Ministries department and maybe a couple Intercultural Studies. The cap on my course is 16, so I have may have to turn some away.
I am beginning to work through exactly what should go into my course on Internet ministry. I am hoping that whatever work gets done in this course will be a first step toward a more comprehensive Internet ministry program here at Biola. My plans at the moment are for the course to follow a high-level format similar to this:
- What is ministry?
- The Internet as a tool for ministry.
- How does the Internet change ministry?
- Case studies: who is doing it successfully?
- Developing a philosophy of Internet ministry.
- Hands-on projects: doing it ourselves (runs concurrently throughout semester).
The folks at the Internet Evangelism Coalition (IEC) have put out a call to Bible colleges to teach Internet evangelism, which is one form of Internet ministry. They envision some sort of online course directed towards graduate students. They include a long list of topics the course would cover, such as:
- A Theology of Cyber-Space
- Cross-cultural Communication and Cultural Sensitivity
- Communicating with Post-modern Culture
- Incorporate Web Outreach Within a Wider Strategy
- Counseling In Cyber-Space
- Issues in Cyber-Ethics
- Email/Web Security for Missions
I like much of what the IEC has to say here and will incorporate some of it into my course. I will also bring in much of what I have learned teaching my “E-Business Strategies” and other Internet-related courses here at Biola.
What do you think should go into a course on Internet ministry? My goal is to find topics that are not going to be affected by every new technology that comes along but are instead strategic and longer-lasting.