Ðóññêèé • English
- DRAWING NEARER THROUGH DISTANCE LEARNING
On November 26 the Institute of Theology and Christian Ministry www.itcm.ru/english concluded the second eight week internet course “Learning to Follow Jesus as Lord: Interpreting the four Gospels and Acts for the Church.” All fourteen students who began the course completed it with good results. The course was more intense than the previous one, but the results demonstrated that students were capable of both learning and comprehending materials at such a pace.
Our students studied four Gospels and the Book of Acts. Dr. Curt Niccum and Dr. Richard Oster taught these courses in St. Petersburg at ITCM previously, and audio of their lectures and course curriculum developed by them laid the foundation for the on-line course.
Students had two exams. Exam questions were identical to the ones that our students had during the traditional on-campus training. Our on-line students passed this same exams with the better results! It can be interpreted as objective characteristic of the distance education quality.
STUDENTS SPEAK ABOUT THE COURSE
Taras Lopushnyak, a leader of a congregation in Ternopol, Ukraine wrote:
“I would like to share my impressions about the course I just took. I can’t even put into words the joy that I had while studying, and the level of knowledge that I received is indescribable! Moreover, I developed an ability to be more independent in my personal study and to grow further in the theological and spiritual sphere in general. It's amazing to me that things like that happen! I praise God for all His blessings!!! May He continue to guard you and may nothing disturb His peace in your hearts.”
Vyacheslav and Liliya Balashov are from Moscow. Vyacheslav teaches and preaches in the church there. Liliya is a ladies’ class teacher. They wrote:
“Our studies at ITCM brought us many challenges and blessings. We already had a few opportunities to share what we've been studying with our brothers and sisters during our Wednesday night small group and also after the church assembly on Sunday…. We decided that after we finish this course we'd put together a serious of lessons in order to share what we’ve learned during this course about God our Father.”
Comments like these two are very encouraging, because our intention is to be focused on training Russian speaking leaders, so that they, having received necessary knowledge and research tools, teach people in their congregations. We are thankful to Dr. Curt Niccum and Dr. Richard Oster for creating this curriculum, for teaching these courses in St. Petersburg and for helping us to conduct these courses on-line by participating in live Skype-conferences with students.
Vladimir Skritskiy, ITCM student, an elder from Voronezh congregation wrote:
“I was preaching today. In preparation for my sermon I used one of my essays – it was an excelent base for my sermon.”
WORSHIPPING THE ONE GOD IN CHRIST AND IN SPIRIT: LITURGY. CHURCH. LIFE AMIDST IDOLS
This is the title of our new eight week course that we plan to launch on January 17, 2011. Our professors will be Dr. Jack Reese and Dr. Paul Watson. Both of them taught at ITCM here in St. Petersburg. Now other Christians will have opportunity to benefit from their wisdom and experience.
The purpose of this course is to provide a basic introduction to both Christian worship and biblical ecclesiology, engaging students in discussion of the overarching theology and fundamental issues for each, showing the essential interconnectedness of the two, and orienting students to practical issues of life and leadership in the church and in worship. During this course students will, in addition to Bible, study Everett Ferguson’s book “The Church of Christ: A Biblical Ecclesiology for Today”. This book was translated and published in St. Petersburg by Vita International Enlightenment Fund, ITCM's partner.
As usual students will have access to all needed resources, including lectures in MP3 format which they will find on a special website:http://moodle.itcm.ru/
PLANS FOR 2011
In 2011 in addition to the course on Biblical Ecclesiology and Worship we plan:
- new long distance courses
- programs for improving acappella singing in Russian speaking congregations
- conducting a conference in St. Petersburg for our graduates and students in August
- new RBS courses for seekers and believers
- development of the website for Russian speaking congregations
We thank God for 2010 and we look with excitement into the coming future, anticipating new opportunities that God will provide in His faithfulness.
We ask you to continue to be our partners in Gospel throughout 2011.
Grace and peace
- THANK YOU FOR YOUR FAITHFUL SUPPORT
We are grateful for your financial support, especially during this uncertain economic time.
Tax deductible Checks, stocks or other donations can be sent to:
FOUNDATION FOR BIBLICAL STUDY
P.O. BOX 1208
AUSTIN, TEXAS 78767
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