The History and Background
Koinonia Institute (KI) was launched more than 10 years ago to help “equip the saints for the work of ministry.” It has been focused on three supporting areas:
- To provide instructional programs to facilitate serious study of the Bible among thinking Christians;
- To encourage and facilitate both individual and small group weekly study programs for personal growth; and
- To research, monitor and publish information to stimulate awareness of the strategic trends that impact our times and our personal ministries and stewardships.
KI is committed to accomplishing these goals through a program of lifelong learning — exploiting the Internet — and the creation and development of an intelligence network among its members.
KI takes a heuristic approach to the training of our students. Our goal is to emphasize techniques which establish “self-feeders” — students of the Word of God who are equipped to discover for themselves — within the pale of the hermeneutics of the inerrancy of the Word. We favor establishing not only effective communication techniques but also skills in discernment within our contemporary environment.
The KI educational program was designed with a threefold structure or tracks which are complementary avenues of study that should give the student a balanced understanding of the Bible, the world around them, and their individual calling within the Body of Christ. The Berean Track is the primary backbone of the Institute, motivated by the diligence of the Bereans in that “…they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” The Issachar Track is motivated by the diligence of the Sons of Issachar who “…were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.” The Koinonos Track is motivated on the Third Commandment which states, “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain” which we take as meaning a call to personal stewardship and fruitfulness for all who “take the name of Jesus” as their Savior and Lord.
Student progress along the three tracks is recognized with the award of three KI Medallions: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. As of the end of 2015, KI had awarded more than 3,000 Bronze Medallions, nearly 100 Silver Medallions and a dozen Gold Medallions.
The Academic Review Committee
In July of 2015 an Academic Review Committee was established to conduct an analysis of the overall operation of Koinonia Institute. The committee was made up of Stan Honn (KI Registrar), Chris Corlett (KI Deputy Provost), and myself. We were tasked with examining the KI course offerings, student performance, and any glaring problems with the current online system. We were then instructed to review the educational best practices and e-learning standards which are implemented on other educational websites and to make recommendations for improvement and expansion of the KI experience. We focused on three educational areas: Curriculum (What we learn), Andragogy (How adults learn), and Assessment (What we actually learned). With that in mind, we were very self-critical in that we looked for the “cracks and breaks” in our current system. Overall, the material in the Berean Track were found to be sound and of good quality but the student experience and assessments were lacking. Both the Issachar and Koinonos Tracks fell well below our desired goals and were in need of extensive rework and relaunch. The KI Student portal (KI website) has a number of user issues that need to be addressed and improved. All in all, we can see lots of areas that need attention and updating.
After four months of evaluation and discussion among the ARC members, we presented our preliminary findings to the Koinonia House Board Members in October of 2015. After a further review we finalized our report to the Board and are now in the initial improvement implementation phase. These changes are still in the process of being developed and built. Therefore, we will be announcing them on the KI Study Center website as they roll out. Please continue to pray for God to lead and guide us through this process.
Improvements to Come
- Improvements to the Issachar and Koinonos Tracks:
- Previously the Issachar Track was focused on giving students the experience of creating strategic briefings. For many, this emphasis has discouraged those who do not feel they have the skills or desire to produce these kinds of materials. Instead, the Issachar Track is going to offer more classes on discernment, critical thinking, and evidential evaluation.
- Previously the Koinonos Track was focused on encouraging the students to find and fulfill their calling (all be it without any instruction on how to do this). This was primarily achieved through simply awarding of K-Credits for student ministry service. Experience has now shown us that rather than being a motivation for ministry service it has become a stumbling block to some who find it difficult to first understand their calling and then to become active in that calling. Therefore, the Koinonos Track will be offering many new classes on how to be an Ambassador of Christ. From evangelism to ministry in the home, our new series of classes will hopefully inspire you to become a fruitful servant of our Lord.
- Creating the Repository of Your Biblical Knowledge:
- You will have your own KI work/storage space that is yours to record your journey through the Bible and in your ministry. This repository will be available on your computer and mobile devices all of the time so you can gain access to your personal notes and information any time you need it.
- Access to all of your quizzes, tests, and discussion questions on all of your completed classes. This will provide an easy way to provide an up-to-date transcript of all of your work.
- Embedding of your personal notes within each class session. This will allow you to document your insights, questions, and conclusions for later reference.
- You will be able to publish your thoughts within KI for comments and questions.
- Join ongoing forums or create new ones to discuss the issues that matter to you the most.
- Student controlled learning experience:
- All quizzes and tests may be retaken as many times as you wish. As we understand that evaluation (quizzes and test) are just another form of the education process, we want to give you the chance to get questions 100% correct. These will also be available to you through your Repository of Your Biblical Knowledge.
- Student feedback on all quiz and test questions. If you think the question is unclear, you may challenge the question and submit your comments. We will then review your concern and take the necessary actions to clear the confusion.
- Student initiated grouped classes. You will be able to create classes from the available KI courses with specific students for a shared experience of studying together. This will be especially useful within the home-group environment.
- Multiple Paths
- At the moment, KI student achievements are only officially recognized when they reach the three medallion levels. Therefore, KI will be establishing multiple academic recognitions for a wide range of student accomplishments. We want to encourage you to become the best servant of our King you can be.
- “Learn the Bible in 24 Hours” Home Group Initiative (FREE)
- If you have already finished the Old and New Testament courses as a part of the KI Bronze Medallion program, then perhaps you would like to facilitate a home group where you lead others through these foundational studies by Dr Chuck Missler. We are going to be offering soon a free class through KI that will result in a KI certification as a Home Group Leader. Once you have successfully completed that course, you will be able to create your own LTB24 study group within the KI study website and lead your group through the Bible. All home group leaders will receive substantial K-Credits for each completed LTB24 series they run. Watch the KI website for more developments on this exciting offer.