Is Online Theological Education Suitable for Spiritual/Ministerial Formation?: A Response from an African Perspective

Isaac Boaheng ORCID iD

Issue: Vol.3  No.3  March  2022  Article 1 pp. 27-42
DOI : https://doi.org/10.38159/ehass.2022331  |   Published online 15th March, 2022.
© 2022 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CCBY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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The advancement in information and communication technologies in the last few decades has led to various innovations in the world of education. The application of technology makes information more accessible and knowledge more widely distributed, giving rise to various opportunities for instruction and learning. One such example of technological innovations in the education sector is the emergence of online academic institutions across the globe. Rising interests in the theological and pedagogical issues associated with the use of online teaching and learning platforms for spiritual/ministerial formation have prompted this study. Using a literature-based research approach, this paper analyzes data collected from books, journal articles and dissertations to ascertain the appropriateness or otherwise of online theological education for spiritual/ministerial formation from an African Christian perspective. It also discusses some pedagogical issues in online education. The paper argues that there is nothing inherently wrong with the use of online theological education for spiritual/ministerial formation; yet, the lack of access to electricity and internet facilities in some communities and unethical practices in the virtual space are major setbacks in this mode of education. In view of this, spiritual/ministerial formation through online education is encouraged only if the student is committed to ensuring ethical practices in the online learning environment, has the appropriate logistics to access the technologically-mediated teaching and learning process and is enrolled in an institution which has the pedagogical, scholarly, technological requirements for ensuring effective teaching and learning in a virtual space.

Keywords: Africa, Online Education, Theological Education, Spiritual Formation

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Isaac Boaheng holds a PhD in Theology from the University of the Free State, South Africa, a Master of Theology degree from the South African Theological Seminary, South Africa, a Master of Divinity degree from the Trinity Theological Seminary, Ghana and a Bachelor of Science degree in Geomatic Engineering from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. He is a lecturer in Theology and Christian Ethics at the Christian Service University College, Ghana, and a Research Fellow at the Department of Biblical and Religion Studies, University of the Free State, South Africa. Boaheng has over fifty publications in Systematic Theology, Ethics, Biblical Studies, Translation Studies, African Christianity, Linguistics, Pentecostalism and Christian Mission, among others. He is an Ordained Minister of the Methodist Church Ghana serving the Nkwabeng circuit of the Sunyani Diocese.

Boaheng, I. “Is Online Theological Education Suitable for Spiritual/Ministerial Formation?: A Response from an African Perspective,” E-Journal of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences 3, no.3 (2022):27-42.  https://doi.org/10.38159/ehass.2022331

© 2022 The Author(s). Published and Maintained by Noyam Publishers. This is an open access article under the CCBY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).