My name is Pete Telfer and I am the Degree Team Leader for Reign Ministries, the Intensive Campus of ForMission College. You might be wondering how we are able to deliver our degree course during these turbulent times?
Our conference weeks are a huge highlight of being a student with us. These are usually held within the beauty of The Poplars, in Ledbury, where our students and staff would come together six times a year. At a conference, we are able to learn, support each other, eat together, play sports, have fun and worship together. However, due to the current restrictions with Covid-19 we have had to expand our creativity and find new ways of delivering our course. Whilst there is no replacement for being in person, we remain very grateful for technology at this time, which has allowed us to deliver our conference weeks online, using Zoom.
However, being conscious of new, emerging Zoom fatigue we have stripped down our programme to have fewer evening meetings. Despite this change, our students have responded very positively and are remaining committed to building community. Within the degree teaching times, our facilitators have often been very creative in how they have delivered the classes, by using tools such as the whiteboard, the chat function and breakout rooms. Our last conference (September) we even had a ‘mini Olympics’ hosted by one of the students and during our November conference we had an online Christmas Party! That was fun!
Outside of conference, whilst our students are serving as youth ministers, they are being well supported by their line managers, the Reign team, Formission College staff and their weekly cluster group. Their cluster group is led by an experienced cluster leader where the students can learn, reflect and support each other. There are also academic tutorials which take place during our conferences and online at other points throughout the academic year. This academic year we have also launched ‘Ask Andy Anything’ which is a space where our students can ask various ministry questions or share challenges they might be facing.
We recognise that these times are tough for everyone, so we are open to other ways in which we can support our students. Therefore, if you have any ideas or have any questions then please do feel free to get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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