As we continue our exploration about what we’ve learned over the past few years, we are turning our attention to “platform thinking.”
You can read some previous posts on InDepth related to this by clicking the following:
Winebrenner has identified the shift from “pipelines to platforms” as one of the keys to understanding the scalability of partnership and collaboration within theological education. For example, Winebrenner Seminary currently has a partnership with the Friendship Community Church in eastern Pennsylvania in which multiple students in that context are completing a series of courses designed in collaboration with the local church leadership. A “pipeline approach” to theological education would simply see the linear value chain of this experience in which Winebrenner hires an instructor to teach a variety of students affiliated with Friendship. Perhaps one these students may choose to enroll in a graduate program at some point in the future. A “platform approach” recognizes the opportunity that the Institute for Christian Studies (ICS) program provides for locations like Friendship in which Winebrenner can engage an instructor from its wide network, accommodate the unique needs of the local church while maintaining consistency across curriculum, and recognize the opportunity to introduce the graduate level education to students who may have previously viewed themselves ineligible through the possibilities of bachelor equivalency.
- Brent C. Sleasman, President