Pam Lund, MNSOM Dean
Can anything good come out of a global, life-changing pandemic? At first blush, one would emphatically say, “No!” But just as all our Minnesota churches, MNSOM had to turn on a dime, change teaching practices, and find a new normal.
MNSOM and the other thirty-five AG Schools of Ministry across the nation operate under a set of three well-defined initiatives: provide students with a face-to-face environment in order to build relationships with instructors and other students heading for the ministry, offer convenient locations, and keep the cost affordable. Helping foster face-to-face relationships with other students was a challenge since classes now had to be delivered over Zoom. All required homework and tests used for classroom interaction had to be digitized so students could complete their homework and take exams without paper.
Our students and instructors prefer to meet in person, yet they met the challenge and stepped in with determination to make it work. We experienced many blessings along the way. Before his call to the ministry, one of our instructors, Pastor Jim Pritchett, coached TV personalities on the Home Shopping Network to connect effectively with shoppers using digital platforms. Pastor Jim not only instructed our prospective pastors on how to create sermons, but also how to deliver them using online tools such as Zoom and Facebook Live during this time of quarantine.
Great outcomes for MNSOM at large came about that no one anticipated. In the future if there are snowstorms, there is no longer a need to cancel classes. MNSOM is now fully equipped to quickly move a class to be held over Zoom, keeping our students on track toward completing their required classes for credentials.
So, what are the lessons one learns about our God during a pandemic? What we have always known: God is always faithful, knows our needs before we do, and HE always provides!