I've been featuring the IWU Seminary videos. Yesterday I featured the short video on the Missional orientation of our new MDIV.
Today, I want to feature the Communal video. Some people are natural extraverts. They will make connections with the people around them without help. Others of us are quite as happy to stay in our own cacoons.
Building community is an important feature of any Christian group. This is particularly a concern if your learning group is primarily online. We've incorporated a number of features to our seminary to facilitate this element in the equation:
1. It is a cohort model.
... which means that you will take the bulk of your courses with the same group of 10-20 individuals. You will know each other well--and each other's churches--by the time you are finished.
2. Spiritual formation throughout.
Not only are you in a cohort with a small group throughout but you are in a sequence of spiritual formation classes together throughout. More on this later.
3. Yearly convocation
Every year in August, the entirety of the seminary faculty and student body will gather together to worship and fellowship together at the Marion campus. For some, this will eventually be the time of graduation.
4. Blackboard Community
The seminary has pushed for IWU to add the community function to its Blackboard platform and the university has agreed. We will therefore be facilitating interaction between students in different cohorts with each other in between convocations throughout the year.