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Open Courseware and Theological Training

October 7, 2009

The GOOD has an interesting (and encouraging) article on an educational development in light of sky-rocketing tuition costs.  The articles opens like this:

As tuition costs for higher education continue to rise toward utter out-of-handedness, the open-courseware movement offers something revolutionary: free class materials, readings, and journals made available online for anyone who wants to use them.

The article goes on to explain different avenues in which courseware is taking place:


The Massachusetts Institute of Technology publishes virtually all of its class materials online. That means that if you’ve always wanted to brush up on the combinational theory of hyperplane arrangements but didn’t have the academic chops (or the financial means) to enroll at MIT, you can trudge through the info yourself.


No discussion of open courseware would be complete without the inclusion of Creative Commons’ ccLearn, which aims to minimize the legal, technical, and social barriers to sharing educational materials by spreading the growth of access to free educational resources.


“Free” isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Macs, but at Apple’s iTunes U (in the iTunes store), users can freely download more than 200,000 educational media files from prestigious universitiesdirectly into their iPods. (Those devices, however, aren’t free.)

However, secular education is not the only avenue in which this is taking place.  A few seminaries, like Reformed Theological Seminary, Covenant Theological Seminary, and Westminster Theological Seminary, have made the lecture audio to many of their courses and electives available for free.  You can find these course resources gathered in one spot at the Gospel Coalition.  I can imagine that the mature layman, elder, pastor, or young future pastor can all benefit from this open courseware movement.

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