What has been the impact of major change at Regents?
In 2017, Regents announced major changes to the content and delivery of its courses that came into effect in September last year. Dave Newton, Director of Elim Training and Principal of Regents Theological College, reflects the impact of the changes.
The big changes at Regents sought to build on the success of the campus-based approach to learning, which has been running for over 90 years, whilst also opening up the possibility for people to study from their local context on our ministry training tracks.
These adjustments took effect last September, so it’s time to reflect on what impact all this change has had. We are pleased to say it’s good news, with:
40% increase in full-time undergraduate students
The highest number of postgraduate students for many years
More than 100 new students enrolled on our courses
The launch of a new Ministry Foundation Certificate
Our desire to refresh the teaching content originated from an aspiration to move toward becoming more central, flexible and accessible in our approach. We wanted to be central to the heart of Elim’s training, training ministers, missionaries, youth workers and researching issues relevant to our Movement. And we wanted to ensure training was accessible to anyone who wanted it, offering a variety of ways to learn both on campus and from your own location.
It came from a desire to become more flexible, using technology and a wide range of new modules to meet the changing needs of those seeking to make a difference for God’s kingdom.
As the world around us continues to change at such a rapid pace, so our approach to training also needs to adapt.
We still believe that to take time to come and study full-time on campus provides a significant opportunity to grow and to be shaped to be effective in life and many ministry settings. However, context learning creates the possibility of accessible study for anyone in an existing ministry role wanting to step out in ministry but remain in their setting, or for those for whom the requirement to move to live on campus is simply impractical.
This exciting new approach has seen many churches partnering with Regents to create internships where students serving their local church can now be taught in the same classroom experience in order to generate a rich peer-learning environment.
Our tailor-made focused teaching weeks ensure students will get underpinning knowledge, backed up with digital resources to support and assist their personal study.
The repackaged courses have allowed us to reflect on what we teach and how we teach and engage with theology in today’s world.
A truly Pentecostal theology has to be one that sees the transformation at every level and we are keen that our students don’t simply learn about this but experience it for themselves, in turn introducing others to this transforming power.
It is our hope they will take up positions of influence in teaching, missions and politics, as well as leading charities and many more familiar ministry routes.
So what are students saying?
After time praying about her future, Abi Nicholson took the brave decision to move to Malvern and live on campus as part of our Youth Ministry training track. Now partway through her first year, she writes, “I can’t believe I am studying here at Regents.
God shows me every single day what a good decision it was.” Abi is actively engaged in youth work locally alongside her studies and is growing in knowledge, skills and her walk with God.
Scott Templeton was already holding down a busy ministry role in Kensington Temple when the changes to the delivery model made it possible for him to attend college and study alongside his work. Scott explains, “Being a part of Regents has helped me face academic challenges.
As a context-based student, I feel highly included and a valued part of the overall college life and community. This has helped foster an awareness of new friendships within Elim. The various assignments crystallise the outstanding learning during lectures which have been highly interactive and engaging. Being able to study alongside ministry has helped me deepen my own relationship with Christ and feel more equipped to serve.”
Becky Salt, a third-year student on our Theology and Performing Arts course, says, “I have really enjoyed exploring the authenticity of the biblical accounts and bringing them to life. The level of theory from a wide range of theatre practitioners combined with a biblical understanding creates performances that reach and teach. The whole course has been centred around new friendships that are edifying and genuinely supportive.”
Alisha Whatnell, who is currently studying on the Church Leadership track, adds, “It’s great to have such a well-balanced life at Regents. Prioritising my time helps me to study at my absolute best, spend time with God, and also have time to socialise. As I prepare for the ministry I am excited to see where God will take me.”
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