With public gathering restrictions in place, there is a growing need for more virtual or e-learning platforms in all areas of life and commerce. Right now, public and private schools are in the forefront of this discussion, but businesses, nonprofits, higher education, and religious organizations also must consider ways to enhance their virtual learning opportunities.
One way to accomplish this is through web-based learning management systems (LMS). We have extensive experience in the area of constructing robust online LMS, yet this is one of the lesser known services we provide. Given the need for more opportunities to grow in this area, we wanted to share with you a recently completed LMS project for the Presbyterian Foundation.
Training Pastors and Church Leaders Through Virtual Learning
Since the majority of Protestant churches in America have average congregations of 500 people (or fewer), pastors and church leaders have their hands full meeting the needs of their parishoners and the surrounding community. This doesn’t leave much margin for continuing education on financial matters. However, this specific type of training is desperately needed and could make a significant impact on the financial health of churches across the country.
To help address this area of concern, the Foundation asked us to help them create the Church Financial Leadership Academy (CFLA), a free, web-based platform offering financial education, training, and support for pastors and church leaders. The Lilly Endowment Inc. awarded a grant to the Foundation to create the CFLA in alignment with the endowment’s commitment to supporting religious, educational, and community development causes. We worked with the Foundation to best understand the needs of their audience as well as the needs of Foundation staff who would be in charge of creating and uploading content to the LMS.
Robust Content That’s Easy to Navigate
Our solution was a password-protected LMS that is both robust and user-friendly. The navigation includes links to browse, search, playlist, help, and logout. The interface displays both featured content and the ability to browse content by topic, making it easy for users to quickly find the information they need. Each video has a short description and lists the length of the video so viewers can plan their training schedule. There are also links to related resources for those who want to dig deeper after the initial training is complete.
Registered users are able to complete the course content at their own pace, create video playlists that can be shared with other church members via email or social media, and take a quiz to test their knowledge. If there’s content that can’t be found, the search feature makes it easy to quickly find content using a beautiful thumbnail display. The help page includes frequently asked questions, tutorials, and the ability to get in touch with a local representative based on your geographic location.
It was important to us to make sure that the LMS was easy to navigate for the end-users and for the staff managing the system on the backend. Uploading and managing the content is simple and straightforward. Foundation staff are able to upload and arrange video content to best suit the needs of their end-users and each user’s data is tracked so that staff can view their progress.
Our goal was to keep it clean and simple while making it possible for people all over the nation to get educational content about financial matters. Virtual training like this makes it easier for pastoral leaders to get the training and support they need to ensure a financially healthy church without taking too much time away from the important work of ministry.
We are happy to have the chance to support this effort to help pastors and church leaders have greater access to educational content that equips them to serve their congregations well. As we look to the future, we are already talking with the Foundation about additional ways this LMS can be used to equip even more leaders under their care.
Does Your Business or Organization Need Virtual Learning?
If you lead a business, nonprofit, church, or any institution where some form of training is needed, please let us know how we can help you create virtual learning opportunities for the people you lead.
Schedule a meeting with us today and let’s discuss how an LMS may be exactly what your organization needs to further your mission.
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