Harnessing modern technology, Vancouver Church-Based Bible College (VCBC) launched a versatile Bachelor’s Degree program in Christian Ministry in January.
Using video-conferencing, VCBC students connect simultaneously to five other classrooms across Canada and to an instructor from Eastern Pentecostal Bible College (EPBC). Video-conferencing, a two-way conversation via video, provides distance students with a classroom environment, interaction and accountability. Video-conferencing makes it easier to tackle and complete a BA degree,” Paul Harrison, originator and facilitator of VCBC, explains.
Emphasizing church-based training, VCBC uses this technology to melt boundaries between Bible seminaries and churches and to provide both quality training and practical application of skills. “Nowadays, students don’t have to travel half way across the world to get their training. Technology brings the teaching to them,” says Harrison.
The degree program taps into the rich resources of Bible seminaries and colleges across Canada to provide training while keeping participants rooted and serving in their church. “We recognize that training is best where ministry is happening — the church,” says Harrison.
VCBC partners with EPBC in Peterborough, ON, and Western Pentecostal Bible College in Abbotsford, B.C., in a variety of formats, including traditional classroom setting, video-conferencing, internet and correspondence courses, making more than 20 different bachelor degrees available.
The part-time degree course provides flexibility. Students may pursue degrees from EPBC, WPBC or Global University without leaving home, job or church here in the Vancouver area, Harrison says.
For Glad Tidings Church, host of VCBC, the video-conferencing equipment was a costly but a worthwhile investment. “We needed $15,000 to get the equipment up and running,” says Harrison. “But we invested in it because we see a need and a potential to build a program over the next 10 – 20 years.”
Contact Harrison at (604) 873-362 or firstname.lastname@example.org. or visit GTC’s website at www.gtms.org. for more information.