GTS Digital Formation, The General Theological Seminary's initiative to help clergy and lay leaders throughout The Episcopal Church appreciate the theological foundations and effectiveness of social media and digital technology for gospel proclamation and ministry, is pleased to announce its 2013-14 program. Leading the program will be the Rev. Colin Chapman, GTS '12, who will serve as Digital Missioner. The program will include free webinars on various aspects of social media, "quick tip" videos posted on the GTS Digital Formation YouTube channel, and live Twitter coverage of the Seminary's named lectures in 2013-14, especially those which address topics relating to the Church in the digital age.
Chapman co-founded GTS Digital Formation with the Rev. Joseph P. Peters-Mathews, GTS '12. They have hosted webinars on such topics as QR Codes: In and Around the Church and Skype and Spiritual Direction, and created YouTube quick tips on, for example, setting up a church as a Foursquare location. They also created a splash at The Episcopal Church's General Convention held in July 2012 with a booth featuring the Seminary's state-of-the-art technology for connection-making. There, they made name-badge stickers with QR codes for convention delegates, displayed a live Twitter feed on an interactive whiteboard using The Episcopal Church's #GC77 hashtag, and gathered people for conversation about the theological implications and formative aspects of social media and digital technology.
"Formation is a part of our name," Chapman noted, "because we hope to address not just technology, but also how it can be used to shape Christian communities into the image of Christ."
The 2013-14 program will bring viewers up to date on new technology and also link with the Church's program year. For example, a webinar in October will address digital giving and its meaning for financial stewardship. A webinar in early December will present social media as a tool for hospitality during the holidays.
Here are the GTS Digital Formation 2013-14 offerings:
Digital Wisdom: Wednesday Quick TipsTen "quick tip" videos posted on the GTS Digital Formation YouTube channel on the first Wednesday of each month, beginning September 4, 2013.
Equipping Digital Saints: Thursday Webinars Six free, hour-long webinars on selected Thursday afternoons, 2:00 p.m., Eastern Time, examining both the technology and mission uses of social media and digital technology. The webinars will include opportunities for viewers to ask questions. For those who are not able to attend the webinars in real time, recordings will be posted soon after the first broadcast on the GTS Digital Formation YouTube channel.
September 19, 2013—Getting Past Unknowing: What is the "Cloud"? Click to view.
October 17, 2013—Digital Giving & Financial Stewardship Click to view.
December 5, 2013—Social Media, Hospitality & the Holiday Season Click to view.
January 16, 2014—To All Nations: Five Ways to Get the Message Out Click to view.
February 13, 2014—Go Forth: Mobile Apps for Ministry (iOS and Android). Click to view.
March 13, 2014—Transformation: The Evolution of Social Media & the Church Today - Click here to register.
Scholarly Tweets Live Twitter coverage of General Seminary's two named lectures in 2013-14. To follow GTS Digital Formation on Twitter, click here.
Media, Meaning and Ministry in the Digital Reformation The Paddock Lectures Presented by Dr. Elizabeth Drescher Author of Tweet If You Heart Jesus and Click 2 Save Wednesday, November 6, 2013, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, November 7, 2013, 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
OMG: Spirituality in the Digital Age The Kay Butler Gill Lecture in Christian Spirituality Presented by the Rt. Rev. Steven Charleston Author of Hope as Old as Fire and Cloud Walking Thursday, April 3, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
In companionship with the GTS Digital Formation program, the Seminary will is offering a graduate-level course, Spiritual Companionship and Digital Media, which will explore how individual and group spiritual direction, and spiritual practices such as lectio divina and centering prayer, can happen in digital settings, such as through social media and Skype.