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Theological education website launches redesign

By Daphne Mack


[Episcopal News Service]  Visitors to the Office of Ministry Development's theological education website will now find it newly redesigned with expanded content and easier navigation.

The website's new look brings ease to finding an expanded selection of annotated links and downloadable resources to help visitors explore spirituality and the Christian faith.

"We wanted to make the site easier to use, enrich the content, and increase the number of links, articles and downloadable resources on the site," said the Rev. Lynne A. Grifo, associate coordinator in the Office of Ministry Development.

First launched in 2002, was part of a larger project funded by the Lilly Foundation called "Theological Education: A Renewed Vision of Learning." At that time, the website was used to tell the church about the project and offered resources for education and links to the 11 accredited Episcopal seminaries and their programs.

Work on the current site enhancements were begun in January 2006 by Alexei Khamin, content editor, as part of a web team that includes the Rev. John Rollins, of JARdigitalworks. Khamin said one of the objectives of the redesign "was to give it a more human face."

"Visually, it reflects the diversity of those involved in theological education," he said.

There are approximately 200 new resources on the site that can be used as tools for exploration of the Christian faith. A feature called "New Testament Gateway," allows exploration of Christian ethics using an online collection of articles by respected thinkers, and shares what Episcopalians have to say about eco-justice.

"We want to convey the message that theological education is for all Episcopalians, not just persons in seminaries and not just for clergy," Grifo said. "Education relates to baptism and once we’re baptized, that's not the end of our exploration of the Christian faith. Clearly we are called to grow daily in Christ and at each stage that we're growing we need input of new knowledge."

Khamin said the new website also includes forums that will allow for networking opportunities, resources on scripture, church history, Christian worship and a section for mediation called Sacred Space.

Also at the enhanced site: each month will profile a congregation where Christian formation and education are mission priorities.
The site features resources for Theological Education Sunday (TES), an initiative of a 1997 General Convention resolution that is celebrated on the first Sunday in February. It's an occasion to encourage active participation by all in the search for knowledge of God. It will be celebrated February 4, 2007.

Grifo said the idea of Theological Education for All is that "as Christians we keep learning throughout our lifetime."