Reimagining Christian formation in online theological education

Diane Hockridge*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


As theological colleges offer an increasing range of study programs online, questions remain about whether graduates of theological colleges are adequately formed for Christian life, leadership and service if they complete theology degrees entirely online. This is the challenge facing the educational designer and faculty members at Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia as they reimagine the design of online degree programs to enable and enhance the spiritual, ministry and character formation of students. This chapter describes a doctoral research project based at the college which is exploring Learning Design principles and practices that can be applied to online course design to address student formation. Drawing on insights from learning theory and educational research in the field of Learning Design the project is designing, implementing and evaluating online degree programs, units of study and learning tasks in three cycles over three years at Ridley College, with a view to identifying Learning Design principles and practices for student formation. This chapter describes progress in two key areas: The first relates to the identification of types of learning that are helpful for formation and how this impacts on design decisions; the second relates to the question of how to evaluate the impact of the implemented learning designs on student formation. The chapter closes with some brief comments on the implications of the first evaluation cycle and insights gained for future implementation cycles.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReimagining Christian education
Subtitle of host publicationcultivating transformative approaches
EditorsJohannes M. Luetz, Tony Dowden, Beverley Norsworthy
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9789811308512
ISBN (Print)9789811308505
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • formation
  • learning design
  • online learning
  • pedagogy theological education


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