A key feature of Westminster online courses is required, face-to-face small group interactions throughout the course. Ministry is personal and we believe the practice of interacting with diverse peers in a learning environment is essential to growth in ministry capacity.
Small groups are student-run, composed of about 4–7 people in each group. They are organized with geography in mind, so groups can find convenient global times to schedule to meet around busy calendars. But even so, they are composed with diversity in mind, so that students have opportunities to interact on the topics of ministry and theology with peers of various ages, geographies, cultures, ministry experiences, and professions. Our students come from over 50 countries and average nearly 10 years of ministry experience each.
Small groups will meet several times per term in every course. Not only do they discuss ministry and course content, but they prepare their group contributions and questions to submit to faculty. After your group has met, your small group will be required to submit a written response to your course instructor, presenting questions your group surfaced. Once all groups have submitted their questions, your course instructor will post a video response to various select questions and thoughts.
Small groups also have dedicated Facebook groups to meet, discuss, share resources and support, and stay in contact through the semester. Facebook and its mobile apps provide rich messaging and video and audio features to maintain communication in multiple ways through the term.
Small groups reset with each class and in each semester, to maximize the number of peers you get to meet and learn from. We encourage you to take full advantage of the opportunity.