The Anglican Alliance is calling for volunteers to take part in a distance learning course in community development skills is providing with Open University.
The course called "Agents of Change" has been developed especially for the Anglican Alliance by Open University, the world famous distance learning university based in the UK. The course will soon be ready for use worldwide, and the Anglican Alliance is looking for some small groups of up to 10 people to try it out. The course is free of charge to Anglicans or people studying in Anglican academic institutions.
"Agents of Change" takes six months to complete, and includes modules in:
- Protection of vulnerable people
- Work Programming
- Principles of financial management
Students can study on-line, via CD Rom, or by running off the material in hard copy. They need to be able to get to a computer with internet access three times during the course so that they can upload their work.
They can study individually, but they will have to meet with other students once a month - preferably face to face or if this is not possible, then via the internet - to talk through the challenging issues they will study. The course is designed for access level, so students need to have completed primary schooling, and done some secondary schooling, but do not need to have completed secondary education or done a degree. It is a challenging course, and during it students will design a development project for their own community.
Students on the course need to spend about four hours a week on their studies. To qualify for the course students need the support of their local vicar, and must either be Anglicans or studying in an Anglican academic institution. The course is free of charge.
It is possible for students to study on their own. However, during the consultation most people said that they wanted to study in groups. So this is ideal for a small group in a community who want to do something to tackle some of the challenges in their community, or for a small group who live close to a church office, or for a group in a theological college who want to understand more about development issues.
Students can be located anywhere in the world. At present the course is delivered in English, but in future, it may be translated into other subjects.
Students who complete the course get a certificate of completion from the Open University.
The course includes two videos which have been made especially for the Alliance, including one on community which is available on their vimeo channel.
If you would like to take part in a pilot programme, and have a few friends who would like to study with you, please contact the Anglican Alliance director, Sally Keeble at firstname.lastname@example.org.