Theology for everyone? You might think that theology is only for priests, pastors, and fulltime workers. Theology is “Faith seeking understanding” said St Anslem. All Christians should be in a position to explain our beliefs and practices in a reasonable manner to anyone who needs a clarification on our faith. You might immediately think of apologetics; yes, that is one aspect of reasoning out our faith. But a mother needs to address the questions of her children regarding faith; sometimes we are taken aback by the questions of our kids. To answer a question of your colleague on your faith, you should be in a position to give reasonable answer. You might be interested in a video (less than minute): God is Dead?
THEOn brings theological education to you that you could access with a touch of a finger on your laptop, pad, smart phone, etc. (Any Device); we understand that you do not have time to attend classes either in a seminary or in a church. You can login anytime of the day from anywhere in the world and listen to the video lectures, take quizzes, participate in the discussion, and do many other things as a learner, all at one place.
THEOn launches online theological education for every Christian to equip himself/herself to make one’s faith relevant in the present context. The only eligibility criteria is that as a Christian, you should be eager to learn God’s Word and equip yourself to be effective in fulfilling God’s purpose in your life. THEOn is your partner in helping you to be what God wanted you to be, wherever HE has placed you.
To start with, we offer one course at a time, and later you will have number of courses to choose. We offer modular courses taught by international scholars to enable every Christian to gain theological knowledge. Each course stands on its own; there is no prior requirement. We offer online theological courses in collaboration with a few international agencies like Third Millennium. Later we will offer courses designed by THEOn.
You will be jaw dropped with our Inaugural Offer! The course fee is highly subsidized. Sign Up to see, it does not cost you anything to create a student account. We collect a token fee for each course to partially meet the cost of server, e-learning platform, etc. Join the community of learners of God’s Word today.
On successful completion of all the requirements of a course within the course period, THEOn will give you a PDF certificate. However, we are discussing with some accrediting bodies to offer Post Graduate Diploma/Degree to those who successfully complete a number of courses. We will update you on this later.
THEOn also offers its platform to mission agencies, seminaries, organizations, churches, and Christian NGOs to train their own people or letting it open to Christians in general. We have built a secured IT infrastructure to assist the churches, seminaries, mission agencies and Christian NGOs. You save a lot by not investing on e-learning technology. You can count on us as your partner in equipping God’s people for God’s mission. We are a non-profit.
Join the family of God’s people who want to make a difference for Jesus. Please spread the word to your Christian friends through social media and other channels about this exciting opportunity. We would like to see every Christian to be theologically informed leaders and influencers to transform individuals and communities for Jesus.
Look forward to receiving you at the virtual class room
For THEOn Team
A Survey on Theological Education for Professionals
Early October 2013; an online survey titled Theological Education for Professionals was conducted. The purpose of the survey was to understand the various possible ways to theologically equip Christian professionals to be effective witnesses in their sphere of influence. Also, the survey was intended to understand the needs and modes to equip Christian professionals to minister to their colleagues, connect their faith to professional context, and become change agents in their professional arena.
We had sent out this survey link through email to various Christian professional all over India. We had 102 people who had responded to this survey. Of these 78% were males and 22% were females. About 55% of them were employed in IT firms; 17% in academic institutions and remaining 27% were speared across Human resources; Sales and Marketing; NGOs and Government services. 76% of them were actively or very actively involved in ministry.
Some of the most interesting observations of this survey are presented below.
The constraints/ challenges that professionals face in presenting Jesus to their colleagues were mostly lack of knowledge on religion; theology and lack of counselling skills. Almost 76% of them agree that they needed theological knowledge to a great or very great extent and around 17% felt that it was needed to a moderate percentage.
It is very obvious that there is a great urge among the professional to gain theological knowledge and the fact that they can identify the lack of such knowledge is a constraint to share the gospel with their fellow colleagues.
In response to the question on the area that they would like themselves to be equipped to become effective transforming agents; Counselling, Theology and Apologetics topped the list. Following these three areas; knowledge on religion and preaching were other areas that the professionals wanted themselves to be well equipped.
Online mode of education was the most preferred mode of gaining their knowledge on theology (67%) and some proffered correspondence course (25%) or Evening courses (7%). Of those who proffered online course as the mode of education, almost 64% of them preferred to learn it in their own self-paced time and 35% felt that the online course must be time bound.
About 70% had expressed that they look forward to a high theological content in these online courses and for many of them (49%) felt that moderate fee would be acceptable. To some (30%), cost did not matter though, a few (10%) would like to have free online courses.
But, almost 93% did mention that they need to incorporate the knowledge they gain from these online theological courses in real life situation and hence wanted more practical insights.
For almost 80% of the professionals the motive for doing such online course was to gain knowledge and just 1% had the motive to have an additional degree. 19% had a motive to gain knowledge and to gain a degree.
Hence with this foresight, we look forward to preparing THEOn modules to equip Christian professionals through online courses in the forthcoming year.
Anita Wesley, A statistician works with an IT company. She is married to John Wesley, has two daughters and lives in Chennai
I am delighted to be in touch with you through this first blog of THEOn.in. My wife and I felt during the past few years that the Lord has been speaking to us to step into unknown territory to venture a strategic mission in the present context; we were hesitant, though.
We shared the God-given thoughts to some theological scholars, pastors, and Christian professionals; they too felt the need of such a venture. Together, we registered a non-profit Christian educational trust in Tamil Nadu, India with a name Marina Initiatives for Transformation on 24 December 2013 in response to the changing face of India and the world at large. The name Marina was chosen to indicate that this ministry is rooted in a specific context and will impact people from all walks of life as the Marina beach in Chennai attracts everyone. The vision of Marina Initiatives for Transformation is:
Equipping and engaging influencers to make a positive contribution to the transformation of individuals and communities.
Through THEOn.in, we would like to see every disciple of Lord Jesus Christ is equipped theologically to be a missionary in his/her place. Missionaries and pastors have a role in Christian mission, but if we equip every believer to be a missionary in his/her place that would make witnessing effective in the present context. In fulfilling this vision, we will offer online theological education under the brand of THEOn [Theology Online] and offline workshops on various issues of life and community to equip influencers to be transforming agents. We use the term influencers in a broad sense that any believer who is interested in sharing the love of Christ that transforms individual and communities. THEOns calling is to theologically equip every Christian to fulfill his/her calling effectively to make a greater impact for Christ.
We stand on the promise You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it (John 14:14) to realize this vision.
We welcome your active participation through prayer, finance, involvement, spreading a word about THEOn, and any other ways of involvement that are suitable to you in this strategic mission of equipping believers to be transforming leaders for Christ.