Spiritual Formation in Online and Distance Delivery

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    Encouraging the spiritual and holistic formation of our students is a key concern for most of us as theological educators. But how do we meet the challenges of working this out in online and distance delivery?

    This course will be helpful for anyone who is interested supporting and encouraging spiritual formation of students. This includes teachers or lecturers teaching one or more online or distance subjects, academic deans, coordinators or principals responsible for online and distance study programs, and teachers or staff with interest in or responsibility for the use and deployment of educational technologies. 

    Course Outcomes
    This course looks at how we as theological educators can shape our online or distance courses so that they don’t only result in cognitive outcomes for our students, but also contribute to students’ ongoing growth in spiritual maturity, character and capacity for Christian ministry. In particular you will:

    1. Understand how to think pedagogically about student formation
    2. Apply a learning design framework to develop a plan for addressing student formation in an online or distance learning context.

    Course content
    • What is formation?
    • Understanding online learning
    • A framework for encouraging student spiritual formation in online and distance contexts
    • Developing learning tasks and assessments that form students
    • Enabling social contexts that support formation
    • Enabling learning environments that support formation
    • Applying these ideas in your context
    • Using a framework to develop a formational plan


    This course is authored by Diane Hockridge, who presents much of the video content. Diane works as online educational designer for Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia and researches in the area of online learning and spiritual formation. The course was developed collaboratively in consultation with theological educators from many parts of the world, including PARS theological centre which serves Iranian Christians, the South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies in India, the Nehemiah Bible Institute and other colleges in South Africa. Specific contributors are introduced and named in videos and other course materials

    The Overseas Council of Australia, an ICETE Academy partner initiated and supported the development of this course. Ridley College also supported the development of this course.
    Delivery mode

    This is a self-paced online course.


    10 hours of learning,

    ICETE Academy points

    10 points.

    Completion requirements

    You will need to complete the learning sections, participate in two discussion forums and produce a plan for addressing student formation in your context.

    Course enrolment key


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