Recently this took us to Santa Cruz, a tropical city with a small satellite seminary serving a very large region. Our three-day training allowed us to work closely with both students and professors and listen to their experience providing theological education. As in Canada, there are a significant number of lay leaders and young professionals throughout Bolivia who desire more formal theological training but who are unable to dedicate themselves to on campus study. Likewise, others are contemplating full-time study but are hesitant or unable to currently make such a commitment. The seminary’s hope is that by implementing a few select online classes they will be better able to serve their students and expand the overall reach of their ministry.
In tandem with online classes is a need for digital library resources and information access. Tim together with Wilson, our student librarian, have worked tirelessly to input thousands of books from the main campus library into an online catalogue. This has allowed students and professors to search the catalogue from a distance and arrange for inter-library loans. These two also provide regular training on how to access online academic journal databases, develop research skills, and make use of the plethora of digital resources growing available online every day.
As always, the opportunity to network and build relationships throughout Bolivia is certainly a highlight of serving with Canadian Baptist Ministries.