Published November 21, 2017
A flexible, online course that encourages and equips for ministry while providing a way to interact with former classmates sounds too good to be true—especially when it’s free! This fall, 26 women took advantage of an online class offered for free to a limited number of Clarks Summit University alumni. Instructor Diane Lytle taught the course “Women in Ministry.”
Equipping Christian Woman
According to Lytle, the purpose of the course is to equip and encourage Christian women in the different stages of their lives and ministries. “We are giving attention to a biblical worldview of women in ministry in the home, workplace, local church, parachurch organizations and society,” shares Lytle. These principles apply to the variety of women who enrolled in the class. She explains, “We have single women in their 20s; married women in vocational ministry as well as the workplace; mothers, aunts and grandmothers; those who have been through divorce and widowhood, and others who are living overseas.”
Interactive and Unique
The use of audio or video responses makes the course interactive, and students share praise and prayer requests in the course prayer room. “One of the most unique aspects is that we collaborate on a course Pinterest board, sharing resources we have found for each week’s topic. When the course is finished, we will be able to access these resources and continue to add to them in the days ahead,” says Lytle. “Of course, since the course this time is made up primarily of CSU alumni, there has been a lot of catching up with former dorm and classmates. That has been fun to watch!”
Donna Bish, from Erie, Pennsylvania, is a student in the class. Bish graduated from CSU in 1987 and 1992 with her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, respectively, in Education. She enrolled in the class for the personal spiritual benefit. “I have always felt that CSU was a haven for me throughout the years, especially during some very difficult life experiences,” she shares. “This continued even when bringing my daughter to campus for her freshman year, as well as homecoming weekend. Seeing the course information and reading sources, I knew that the class would be beneficial in helping to bring me back to where I should be spiritually.”
Bish agrees that the community atmosphere is apparent, even through an online class. “The course has been valuable to me because of the things I have learned from reading and discussions. I have also gained encouragement from other ladies in the class. Because of the course content, it has a Bible study feel, but with the course work of a college- or graduate-level course.”
Benefits of Online Education
According to Lytle, the flexibility of online classes is a big advantage, especially for students. “For adult learners who are not able to pick up and move to our campus, our online program can meet the need for completing a college degree, entering a graduate or seminary program, or even just taking courses for enrichment.” Lytle adds, “Our professors care about our students, and we keep the courses small so our students know that!”
Women in Ministry is offered in one of five online, eight-week sessions offered annually. All master’s level programs are available completely online or in web-enhanced formats with easy one-week modules. Although the free course is already in progress, alumni can take advantage of an exclusive discount available to them for all master’s and doctoral programs.
Haley Seboe (‘18) is a Writing-Communications major from Tunkhannock, PA.