A lot certainly changed in a very short space of time. Due to the spread of Covid-19 and government restrictions, Trinity went from delivering teaching on campus to online.
There have certainly been challenges. For instance, students have had to quickly adapt to many hours of Zoom a week (around 15 hours for the average full-time student at Trinity). Some students have had study time impacted due to grandparents being unable to mind children. One student even had to purchase a desk! One thing I think we are all missing is mixing on the Level 3 space, where being able to ‘chew the fat’ (or just catch up) with people was so easy – and I for one took for granted.
But even with the challenges, we have been able to maintain our conviction that training for gospel ministry is best done in community. Whilst we can’t be in the same physical room, we have been able to maintain our lecture timetable and teach online. This means that the same people who would have gathered for class still gather for class at the same time. With some adaptations to the changed medium, the same content is taught and discussed. Students have greatly valued the routine of this, as well as the fact that it is still personalised teaching where they know one another and their lecturer. Students can still ‘interrupt’ and ask questions.
Of course, we eagerly await resuming college in a physical way. But in the meantime we can be thankful to God that has granted to us a way to still train people for effective Christian service. Though our context has changed, his word and gospel have not changed, and people’s greatest need of hearing and respond to that gospel have not changed. We look to God to continue to raise up and equip workers for his harvest.
Lecturer in Old Testament