Posts Tagged ‘online education’

Education and Renewal

Thursday, July 1st, 2010 by Dale M. Coulter

Cathedral of Notre Dame, Paris

Here at Regent University School of Divinity we study renewal and attempt to unpack its “dynamics.” As I continue to study the history of Christianity, I have noticed that the internal renewal of the human person and societal renewal have occurred during periods of educational renewal. What I mean by educational renewal is the development of new models and approaches to education that more effectively shape human beings and thus society as a whole.

At its best, it seems to me that the educational enterprise has a twofold purpose. First, it is a humanism because education attempts to make humans better human beings. In Christian terms, education is about discipleship through renewing the mind (Rom. 12:1-2) in which both educators and students seek to cooperate with the Spirit in the process of transformation. Second, education is a humanism because “transformed” students enter the world in order to bring change to societies in ways that promote the common good of humanity as a whole. Sometimes, we think of education primarily as a means to an end: a good paying job. And yet, for Christians, the job really was not the ultimate aim; instead, it was a means to the larger goal of pursuing one’s calling in life, a calling to change the world for Christ.

In this and the next blog entry, I want to survey the various points in the history of western Christianity in which renewal of educational models brought about positive renewal for humans and society. I think this is important to consider at this time in history because we are currently undergoing a change in educational models from on-campus delivery systems to online delivery systems. There is a question as to whether online education represents a genuine renewal that brings about positive change. The best way to ask this question is to consider how educational renewal happens.

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