Back in 2017 Mr Jiju Ninan and Miss Phyllis Treasure, better known as Mummy, visited New Zealand. As a part of that visit they met with me to talk about the possibility of offering online courses throughout India.
They have a wonderful Bible college there in Kerala called Rehoboth Theological Institute (RTI), of which Jiju is the registrar. The college has many people from all over India, and beyond, contacting them wanting to study the Bible online. These people are unable to leave their locations due to family or work commitments.
The Bible College has been looking for different ways to serve these people and through Karen Brookes they found Pathway’s online material and wanted to see if there was a way to partner with us. Their initial goal was to simply offer our online courses throughout India. As we met together and then talked over the next year, we agreed that it would be much better for Pathways College to enable RTI to offer their own online courses taught by their faculty. The primary reason for this is simply the cultural and language differences.
It has been a long difficult process due to culture, time and expense, but we are making good progress. It is more than simply videoing RTI lecturers in a classroom as they teach. Communicating well in an online course is quite different from normal classroom ecturing. We now have an excellent website set up specifically for RTI online courses. We have designed their online program to have two levels of learning.
First of all, there are several introductory courses which someone can take to discover if they are actually able to do online courses and have the time and resources available. If the person completes these introductory courses with the associated online quizzes, and hen completes a short assignment, they will be invited into the RTI online degree programme, using a combination of Pathways College and RTI lectured online courses. Richard and Kath Opie have been incredible supporters of this partnership, and without their wisdom, guidance and cultural understanding I honestly don’t think we would be where we are now.
CRAIG BARROW | PRINCIPAL, PATHWAYS COLLEGE OF BIBLE & MISSION