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Creating Mutually-Supportive Connected Communities for Learning

Members of different congregations even in the same denomination seldom get together to help each other despite sharing many of the same issues and in search of solutions. The few times congregations do meet, both clergy and laity meet for too briefly to accomplish as much as we all desire. There simply isn't enough time. Also, churches with limited budgets cannot afford the travel and lodging costs to go to conferences and workshops that can foster multi-congregational discussion.

Perhaps most importantly, the knowledge, experience and creative ideas found in one church can't be easily passed along or shared to other churches with similar or greater need. Traditionally, we have a feeble system for sharing common needs and experiences.

We can provide a solution to this problem with our Connected Community; it is an interactive on-line social network for sharing dialog, applications, participation in community and online education.

As a natural by-product of our online learning platform, we inherently create a Connected Community wherein both clergy and laity can go online in safe, secure multi-faceted virtual community environments for communication, resource sharing and peer-to-peer assistance. Our Member Portal is a virtual space that fosters communication, awareness and sharing of what is going on within congregations in similar situations.

Our Connected Community has multiple facets. First, each class has a learning community composed of the people participating in the course. In the class-centric learning community, members of each class meet in a course-centric learning community for discussion and exchange of ideas within the context of their classes. Second, we have a general-purpose Member Portal where all current and past students, instructors, mentors and guests can meet online within the Member Portal for discussions and exchanges of ideas beyond class boundaries. The discussions in our Member Portal continue well beyond the duration of any single class and are not limited to just the scope of the curricula; the Member Portal is an open community for collaboration, sharing and mutual assistance for all interested parties and all topics.

From time to time, we will provide special events, both live and on-demand, on interesting topics that will be free to all in the Members Portal. Also, many of our consultants, coaches and mentors will join into discussions in our forums or provide blog postings or feature stories for all members of the portal.

Every person who takes one of our courses and special events automatically receives membership to our Connected Community Member Portal. Interested guest can also register for a free membership in the Member Portal.