Social Media as Theological Education

Must Theological Education embrace social media? What difference will it make in not just promoting the seminary but communicating, even educating, constituents? Looks like technology, theology, and education have found a new intersection for everyone.

Kevin Lum, Executive Vice President of SAI, and an NTS Grad, spent the morning working w ith NTS faculty on the power of social media, particularly focusing on ideas worth spreading. The power of social media is impressive and even theological education has to embrace

this view. We saw several great video overviews that I will try to post via my twitter feed @disciplecommons. Kevin included a number of other key insights:

One of the real strengths of social media is the power of communicating to large groups of people in a short matter of time.

Including Christian efforts to connect with people and change perspectives

Sometimes this level of visibility (or notoriety) can be powerful, stressful, damaging, or just inane. The challenge will be the distribution and discernment of content both as creators and curators of information. Kevin notes that online media is “flat” so that people have the capacity to use and misuse media. Kevin offered that blogs have different qualities and offered several for faculty to review and discuss through his blog

Kevin offered some practical ideas

  • Choose a topic: What is the idea or concept you’re trying to communicate?
  • Pick an Audience: Who should read your article
  • Create a Title: A good title is key
  • Opening lines in the blog post is crucial in communicating ideas
  • Make your blog easy to scan (Bullets, headers, bold text, etc.)
  • Don’t try to Achieve too Much
  • Keep it Simple, Short, informal, personal (how am I doing by the way :0-)
  • Have a Call to Action
  • Use Images

When should a person blog?

  • Your Aha! moment
  • When you’re angry (but be careful with this motivation)
  • When you’re moved
  • When you’re fascinated
  • When you see with fresh eyes

Challenge Me
Help Me see with Fresh eyes
Make me think
Through your blog,

Personal Bloggers tend to take on several projects including, links to interesting articles, posting quotes, embed videos, review books, allow guest editorials, comment on the news cycle, update readers on personal life, and ask questions.

It will be a full morning of reading and discussion, I may offer more this evening. It is inevitable that there will be controversy about social media but I think it is hear to stay. One example may be the Patheos network.

About Dean G. Blevins

Dr. Dean G. Blevins currently serves as Professor of Practical Theology and Christian Discipleship at Nazarene Theological Seminary. An ordained elder, Dean has ministered in diverse settings and currently also serves at the USA Regional Education Coordinator for the Church of the Nazarene. A prolific author, Dr. Blevins recently co-wrote the textbook Discovering Discipleship and edits Didache: Faithful Teaching, a journal for Wesleyan Education.
This entry was posted in Culture, Discipleship, Higher Education, Pedagogy, Social Media, Technology. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Social Media as Theological Education

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  10. This is a really helpful post. I’ve just recently dipped my toe in this and am sort of flailing about as I get in up to my waist. I want to have some fun with it, while trying not to ruin my teaching career! Your suggestions about what a person should blog is particularly helpful.

    Incidentally, I grew up Nazarene and my mom eventually became a Nazarene minister! Small internet!

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