By Emily Ferguson

Exponential growth in online learning due to COVID-19 restrictions has expanded ACOM’s student engagement in the digital space over the past few months.

“Facilitation attendance has more than doubled, with most of those being existing students,” said Alyse Graham, Assistant Manager of Ministry Operations at ACOM. “Due to COVID-19, the majority of students are now working from home, or not working and taking on extra studies, and suddenly the online accessibility and convenience means they can just log on from home and take part. We’ve even had some students who live overseas logging in!”

In light of these increased opportunities, ACOM is now offering a range of topical three-day learning experiences (facilitations) to those outside the enrolled student body.

While facilitations have traditionally been held face-to-face, the COVID-19 shift to online has provided learning opportunities for those interested in being equipped for lay ministry, professional development, or simply out of interest.

“Right now, things are changing so much, and people are reimagining what ministry looks like and how they’re going to do it. So there are facilitations for people to take a fresh look at practical skills they can use in the moment, right now.”

Bethany Fairweather is an ACOM student for whom online facilitations have enabled deeper growth and equipping.

“I love the option of an online facilitation as I live in the country, and travel for face-to-face intensives is difficult and requires lots of planning. I always leave an intensive feeling challenged, strengthened in my faith and excited to learn more. They have been essential to me in getting the best out of every subject I have completed, as I learn best when listening to others and participating in conversations that help flesh out difficult theological ideas.”

ACOM’s 20 years of experience in online education has made it possible for them to equip so many more people.

“COVID-19 has been a season of change for many industries, including education, with many institutes rushing to transition their students to online learning,” Alyse said. “Being leaders in innovative and flexible online learning allowed us to not only continue providing the same quality study experience, but expand the accessibility of our facilitations.”

The following facilitations commence this month and are now open for registration. They will run between 9am-5pm on the days specified. Event participants can claim credit if they commence study with ACOM within 12 months.

  • Introduction to the Old Testament (Mondays 14 September, 28 September, 19 October)
  • Spirit of Life (15-17 September)
  • Studies in the Pentateuch (Wednesdays 16 September, 30 September, 21 October)
  • Four Gospels (Thursday 17 September, Thursday 8 October, Friday 9 October)
  • Introduction to Christian History (Monday 21 September, Tuesday 22 September, Tuesday 20 October)
  • Introduction to Christian Worship (22-24 September)
  • Understanding and Working with Grief and Trauma (29 and 30 September, 22 Oct (2 hours), 23 October (2 hours))

Read the full list and register to attend via the ACOM website