2014 hybrid faith formation cohort

The hybrid faith formation cohort program began when Day Smith Pritchartt started considering shutting down the Sunday school at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Arlington, VA, and wanted some help thinking about what would be next for family faith formation there. What started as a playful conversation in a conference exhibit hall has become a primary venue for action research among the Center for the Ministry of Teaching‘s e-Formation programs.

Hybrid faith formation is “something like a hybrid course (a class where online work supplements time in the classroom) and something like a classic small group ministry.” A typical hybrid faith formation experience include the following steps:

  • Connect interested individuals or families via a contextually appropriate “hub” (social networking group, shared blog, or email listserv).
  • Gather the group for monthly in-person meetings to build community and introduce important concepts and skills.
  • In the intervening time, learn “alone together” (we use the term in a positive light) by trying out leader-provided activities at home and discussing the experience online.

In this program, participants learn to implement hybrid learning experiences by participating in one. The curriculum includes monthly web conferences and short weekly reading assignments and other activities. Here’s some of what last year’s participants had to say:

The knowledge, support and insight gained by this program is priceless! Being able to hash out ideas, receive feedback on new initiatives and obtain resources were just a few of the benefits received from being a part of the cohort.

The value of connecting with colleagues across North America through the cohort could not be matched. I was inspired, and encouraged after our sessions together and am very hopeful for hybrid faith formation to take route with Epiphany. HFF is an answer for so many, especially young families.

Probably the most valuable aspect of this experience was that I learned first hand how frustrating it can be to try and keep up with an online cohort when life is throwing curveballs at you and also, unfortunately, how easy it is to give up and drop out … Since I have had the experience of being “that kid” I can certainly more readily sympathize now, and that is still something learned from this experience.

If you’d like to be considered for a future cohort, please contact [email protected].

Hybrid Faith Formation Resources

Short video intro:

Long video intro:

Long video follow-up:

Articles:

Expanding faith formation reach with hybrid networks

Shutting down the Sunday school

Communities of (Digital) Practice: Preparing religious leaders for lively online engagement

Hybrid Faith Formation: The Story So Far (ECF Vital Practices, 1/3)

Hybrid Faith Formation: Learning As We Go (ECF Vital Practices, 2/3)

Hybrid Faith Formation: Two Final Lessons For Any Minister, Any Church (ECF Vital Practices (3/3)

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