Current students can take the course for the discounted tuition rate of $315 for 2 credits, and readers (non-students) in Carroll Teaching Churches and related Baptist associations can take the course for $40 (the course is also open to the public at the same rate). The course is open to the general public, as well.
Rapid changes in technology have increased the church’s technological footprint, especially in the areas of outreach and giving. But technology can also be harmful if churches do not give thought to website security, Internet safety and security, child protection, appropriate uses of social media, and ethics in technology.
Scott Shiffer, who will be teaching the course, said the use of technology is an evolving medium for the church, but one which can help churches grow and maintain healthy communication with their congregations.
“Churches need not use technology with their congregations, but to neglect the use of appropriate technologies is to miss opportunities to make connections with people who now live and breathe technology as a major part of the culture in nearly all societies. Avoiding technology prevents us from making the most of our calling to take the Gospel to those around us,” Shiffer said.
Shiffer said it is also important to learn how to use technology without forgetting the church’s primary mission. It is not entertainment and it is not a larger presence on the Internet.
“God has given us the tools to bridge communication gaps that were never possible in previous times,” he said. “The Gospel must continue to be at the heart of all of our efforts. We should not embrace all new technologies just because they exist, but we should choose technologies to embrace which will better help us meet the needs of our community and the needs of the lost around us.”
The course offered by B.H. Carroll focuses on best practices, teaching students how to evaluate technological needs for particular ministry contexts, how to leverage social media for church growth, and decision making as it relates to technology. It will also help ministers learn how to act appropriately online in social media and how to guard their hearts against the stumbling blocks present in the technological age.
The course begins on June 1. For more information or to register after May 1, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.