SBOM offers online theological training for youth pastors through new websitecomment (0)
May 1, 2014
By Anna Keller
Many churches in the state of Alabama count on volunteer, part-time or bivocational leaders to assume the role of youth minister to their congregations. The people who fill these roles are critical ministers at their churches, but youth ministry changes quickly, and it’s historically been difficult to get these leaders the training — and the connection with one another — that would help them be more equipped to serve as youth ministers.
That’s where One Mission Students Classroom 2 Classroom comes in.
Classroom 2 Classroom is an online training tool that will be available to any youth leader in the state. Better still, the courses are available to youth ministers for free, with program costs covered by the Cooperative Program.
Keith Loomis, an associate in the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions (SBOM) office of collegiate and student ministries, first had the idea for this online training as a way of equipping and uniting people involved in youth ministry in Alabama. Loomis saw the site as a way to bring cohesive seminary lessons to people ministering all across the state.
“In essence, it’s youth ministry training from the seminary classroom to the classroom of life, local church and school campus,” Loomis said. “There are four general areas of growth to consider for youth ministry: personal, professional, spiritual and relational.”
The site (http://omsc2c.org) will be live starting May 1 at 10 a.m.
Two professors, Allen Jackson, of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and Richard Ross, of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, will teach in the training program this year. Each will be teaching two lessons per month for a total of 48 lessons by the end of 2014.
Brian Harris, an associate in the SBOM’s communications and technology services, had a significant role in getting the program developed as he serves as the SBOM Web and social media strategist.
“[Classroom 2 Classroom] is laid out in a magazine format, where the newest content is at the top,” Harris said. “You can search the lessons via search areas located at both the top of the page and the bottom of the site. In addition, tags for specific content matter are listed at the bottom to aid in your search for specific information.”
This format seemed to work well both from a convenience and availability standpoint but also was a good way to embrace technology, knowing that it might help combat some of the separation youth ministers around the state can feel at times.
Loomis said, “In the ever-changing world of youth ministry, we want to utilize technology to get information, training and resources to local church youth ministers in a timely and cost effective way. “Sometimes youth ministry leaders can feel isolated, and this resource allows them to connect with leaders in the field of youth ministry and to be a part of the larger youth ministry family of Alabama Baptists.”
For more information on the program, visit http://omsc2c.org or email Loomis at firstname.lastname@example.org.