Biola to Offer Classes in Social Media and Ministry

Sounds neat, right?

Dave Bourgeois, a business professor, will be offering a new class this summer that will cover just that:

This coming summer (2010), I will be offering an online course in Internet ministry in my role here as a professor at Biola University.

I am very excited about this course and hope it can become a regular course that I teach at Biola and possibly expand to other programs at other colleges.

I haven’t met Dave personally (although we spoke on the phone yesterday, so looking forward to future conversations!) but this course seems like it could probably fit a number of the readers here.

If you’ve got the time, interest, and resources to participate, it might be worth a look.

Here’s what the syllabus is looking to include:


Using the Internet and Social Media for Ministry


The Internet is the greatest communication technology ever developed by man. It is imperative that the church learn how to use it to its fullest potential. This course will study the use of the Internet as a tool for ministry using a combination of readings, online interactions, case studies and hands-on projects.  Special attention will be paid to the effectiveness and limits of using the Internet as a ministry tool.


  1. The student will understand the different ways the Internet can be used to carry out the functions of Christian ministry, with a focus on using research-based materials when applicable.
  2. The student will have developed an understanding of the best practices in using the Internet for ministry purposes.
  3. The student will know how to develop a strategy for using the Internet in ministry, including the development of goals, researching a target group, and selecting ministry tools.
  4. The student will have had hands-on experience using many of the tools of Internet ministry.


Conducted online as part of Biola’s second summer session in the academic calendar, in this online course students and the instructor will interact with the material through journaling, weekly threaded discussions, a paper, and hands-on projects.

Note: I would like to have this course span six weeks instead of the scheduled five. The final scheduling is still “to be determined”.


  • Bourgeois, David God In The Tubes: Strategies for Using the Internet in Your Ministry (forthcoming)
  • Hipps, Shane. The Hidden Power of Electronic Culture: How Media Shapes Faith, the Gospel, and Church.
  • Others to be determined…

The student will also be directed to reading assignments from online sources as well and will visit dozens of online ministry sites as part of this course.


  • Weekly threaded discussions (40%)
    • Each week, the student will be given an assignment that will include reading, reviewing different Internet-based technologies, and interacting with existing online ministries. The instructor will post a set of discussion questions related to the assignment.  Students will be expected to answer the questions themselves and then respond to the answers given by other students.
  • A personal journal where the student reflects on the applicability of what they are learning to their own ministry or career plans. (10%)
    • The student will write a private journal where they will integrate what they are learning with their current ministry or planned area of ministry. This journal is only visible to the student and instructor.
  • Technology mini-projects (15%)
    • Several times during the course, the student will be asked to create a ministry element online, such as a blog, podcast, or video.
  • Strategy paper (15%)
    • The student will develop a paper outlining an online ministry strategy for their own ministry or one they would like to start.
  • Ministry project (15%)
    • Students will create an online ministry prototype based upon the strategy paper they wrote. This project may combine some of the mini-projects they created for this class.


Graduate standing or instructor permission.


This course can be taken as an elective as part of a degree program at the graduate level.


No final exam. 

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John Saddington
John Saddington is a full time blogger (, loves leading his creative team building web apps, and is a passionate enthusiast of WordPress. Follow him on Twittter @TentBlogger.