Rev. Galbreath teaches a series of online classes through the Richard and Julia Wilke Institute for Discipleship (BeADisciple.com).
Folks from any faith tradition are welcome, especially in the very ecumenically minded Biblical Storytelling and The 3 Colors of Your Spirituality classes. Clergy can earn CEU's.
Many of Rev. Galbreath's classes are also approved as advanced Lay Servant Ministries courses by Discipleship Ministries (formerly the United Methodist General Board of Discipleship) and certificates bear the official Lay Servant Ministries "Learning and Leading" logo, which also identifies the approved courses on this site.
These classes are small group experiences, two or three weeks long (except 3 Colors and Children of Abraham). They're conducted through standard Blackboard academic software. You'll have a daily reading assignment and then you'll post your comments about the day's discussion questions on the day's discussion board, where you'll receive daily feedback on assignments and regular encouragement from Rev. Galbreath and classmates.
"Self-paced" means that participants set their own time to check in, to post and to practice each day. (In "weekly" classes there is a specific online class meeting once a week.) Some of the classes are more intense than others, but you will definitely get your money's worth! Check out the details here:
Best Practices for faithful churches and faith-full people:
While "in-person" training allows you to connect with a few members of your class[,] – [an online class] using the multiple modes of education and feedback, ensures that all students participate fully, and develop a real relationship with classmates that may be thousands of miles apart - all while on their own time schedule.
The "community" that develops by the sharing of ideas, and the open discussion that happens, far exceeds that of an "in-person" class. You're not limited by the time constraints of a classroom, and many students will continue to contribute to discussion topics from the first days of the class, as they experience events in their own lives that can enhance the discussion. Try doing that when you are together for only 1 or 2 days for 10 total hours!
I really believe that I have been able to learn the material that I have covered in my online classes very thoroughly, and apply that to real life much quicker than classroom materials. Don't get me wrong, this is not an "easy way out" - you work very hard in these on-line classes, sometimes spending 2 or 3 times as much time on the material as you may in a traditional class - but - when you are done, you have a new set of skills that can be applied to help your local church.
Ron Blaisdell, Spring 2013