iTunes U is nothing new, just like Youtube Edu, it’s been around for a while now and it’s a fantastic resource. However, I just discovered that there are seminary courses on iTunes U!
Sometimes I would look up on Youtube to listen to sermons and lectures but most of them are not organized. However, on iTunes U there are whole series of lectures and courses from many well-respected seminaries! I felt like I just found a gold mine!
I have been considering studying theology full-time for at least 3-4 years now and with my financial situation along with other issues I don’t think I am ready for it yet. But about a week ago, while I was doing a little research on seminary school, an idea came to me that maybe I could find something on iTunes U. I wasn’t expecting much result since all I knew was that it offers courses and lecture series from major universities like Harvard, Stanford, UCLA and Yale. I typed in “theology” and I was really surprised at how many lectures and courses from top-class seminaries showed up!
The list includes Dallas Theology Seminary, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Westminster Theological Seminary, Talbot School of Theology at Biola University and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.
I sampled a bunch of lectures from the above schools and I must admit that so far, I enjoy Glenn Kreider’s Introduction to Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary the most reason being I find Kreider humorous, easy to understand and his lectures are separated in at most 25 minutes section (unlike BIOLA’s which are like 55 minutes and over).
Gorden-Conwell Theological Seminary (GCTS) even offers a complete online program called “Dimensions of the Faith” with lectures, notes and quiz. Upon completion of this online program, GCTS offers a scholarship of US$1,000 if you decided to enrol at the school full-time. I think that’s pretty cool. If you are serious about pursuing theological studies, this is a great way to see what it’s like and see if it is suitable for you. It’s basically like earning scholarship money for free. I am currently doing the Dimension of Faith program and the lectures have been great. They are very informative, very understandable and clear.
Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary (LBTS) has many topical and practical courses and lectures that applies well daily Christian walk. That is great as well.
I think this is just really great resource for Bible and theological learning online and it’s all FREE. So many people, especially those who are poor or afford the time to go study full-time can now get access to world-class theological teachings. I think this is especially exciting for laymen. But pastors benefit from this as well. I know a head pastor in Hong Kong who wished to study in the USA for a PhD in ministry, however he has a concern with his English ability. I introduced iTunes U to him and this is great for him, he can know what it is like to listen to a lecture from American seminaries.
Working pastors can benefit as well since they can renew themselves and keep themselves updated with the latest theological debates and Christian thoughts without taking time off work to travel to a seminary. ITunes U is actually one thing that would make me think of buying an iPad mini or iPhone. But this is not just for people with Apple products, anybody with a device that has access to iTunes can take advantage of the great resources at iTunes U.
All in all, theological and biblical resources at iTunes U is just great for any pursuer of God, laymen and clergy alike. And I am still very excited about it.