Equipping Vets Through Online Learning

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By: Stephen Cowden, CVM E-Learning Coordinator

The Internet is a fascinating place. (I think “fascinating” is one of the more hopeful adjectives we could use.) Not only is the Internet a means of conveying news and information, but it’s grown into a colossal forum for sharing opinions. These days the opinions seem especially hostile, and I’ll confess that most of my bad moods are brought on by perusing too many online news sources or surfing Facebook for too long. It often leads me to wonder: Can God work through the Internet?

According to my extensive searches, the Bible speaks very little about the Internet. But if God can speak through donkeys and floating hands, not to mention working through droves of sinful people, God’s work of redemption can certainly extend to online interactions.

Obviously you are aware that CVM has a blog, and you probably know that it has a website. But did you know that CVM recently began a free online learning site?

You may wonder how e-learning is beneficial to mission work. Here’s how: CVM’s e-learning platform is a means by which we are expanding our relationships, training, and resources. It allows us to extend them further than we’ve been able to up until now. It places learners (you) first by allowing them to train at the time, location, and pace that suits them. (My favorite way to learn is to sit at the kitchen table in my pajamas with a pot of coffee; second to attending CVM Shortcourse, that is.)

We’ve developed free online courses on topics pertaining to US vet students and professionals, short-term missions participants, and vet professionals interested in long-term service. So no matter how you live out your faith through the veterinary profession, we have something for you! And whatever you believe to be your next step, you’ll find something of interest on CVM’s e-learning platform.

Just to whet your appetite, here are a few items we’ve already developed:

  • Call to Veterinary Missions, featuring stories by several CVM fieldworkers
  • Blessing Your Missions Host by Dr. Lauren Charles
  • Abiding In Christ by Dr. Barry Schwenk
  • Discerning Your Call and Ministry by Dr. Fred Van Gorkom

I’m particularly excited about a brand new series of courses called Traversing Cultures. Dr. Karen Stoufer, author of these courses, says this about them:

“I am excited to have the Traversing Cultures series available on our CVM e-learning site. My cross-cultural experiences have convinced me of the blessings that God can give us when we are open to learning from those in other cultures and worldviews. I would love to see everyone have opportunities to be blessed, and to share blessings with others, but in order to increase the odds of a positive experience, we need to be as well prepared as we can.

“A big part of that preparation is cultural awareness, knowing how to communicate humility and respect in another culture, to be non-offensive, and to be a learner in an unfamiliar setting. I hope that these mini-courses will encourage people to learn more, read more, and be confident enough to step out into the unfamiliar for the sake of the gospel.”

Other CVMers having said the following about the Traversing Cultures courses:

  • “An eye-opener about cross-cultural differences and approaches to deal with our problems. A must for all international travelers.” –Skip J.
  • “CVM’s hot and cold cultures course is a quick, fun and easy way to start you thinking in a cross-cultural manner, be it across an exam table or across the ocean.” –Devon S.
  • “This course was an amazing introduction into the differences of cultures and helped me realize my own worldview so I can better prepare for working in other cultures. I highly recommend this course to anyone who works with people of a different culture or background, or anyone who is planning to travel cross-culturally. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!!!” –Page W.

This feedback is encouraging for us to hear, and we are delighted to continue developing quality resources for your training and education.

I invite to join, explore, and learn from our online learning materials. It’s easy for you to register yourself on our e-learning site. Simply navigate to www.cvmusa.org/learn and click “sign up now.” Enter your email address and choose a password. Then click the link in the email you’ll receive, complete your profile, and you’re in! You’ll want to click the menu at the top left and open the catalog to see all the wonderful courses available to you.

Let’s keep learning and improving together, for the glory of God and the expansion of his Kingdom!

 

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