Eldership and Oversight: an online course offered by Woodbrooke, Birmingham, UK.
The course will help any Quaker serving in eldership / oversight / pastoral care to become more aware and confident in their role – whether learning at the start of an appointment or developing their knowledge and skills. There are still places for the six-week course beginning 2 September, and we are keen to encourage Friends beyond the UK to take these up. Quakers from elsewhere in the world bring valuable experience and insights to the online learning community, and we’d love you to be part of that!
Rooted in our shared understandings of worship, corporate discernment and the importance of community, course content translates readily into different local practice. The six flexible modules, which can be taken in any order, are loosely based around the six ‘Themes’ in With a tender hand: A resource book for eldership and oversight(Quaker Books, 2015). A copy of the e-book edition is provided to accompany the course, which draws on the bookand refers to it quite often, but the content of the course is very different. The course creators believed participants would want to explore new directions, meet fresh material suited to online learning, and engage with newly challenging questions.
You’ll need to spend an average of 2-3 hours a week on the course, allowing for some weeks when you may have less time and will need to do more in other weeks. You can follow your own route through the modules and select from a range of content in each module. You don’t need to be online at particular times, but the course does depend on everyone’s active engagement with each other and the course tutors in the discussion forums.
This course works well for Friends in the same meeting who enrol and participate together, and we encourage meetings to support this. You can also download material for wider discussions in your meeting, and then report on the forum what you – and they – learnt.
Woodbrooke’s online brochure details course fees and how to enrol. If you have queries about course content, please email Woodbrooke who will pass these on to me – Zélie Gross.
The next course runs from 2 September to 13 October with three tutors:
Ros Baverstock‘s whole area meeting has had fully corporate eldership and oversight for over 30 years. Ros has served in coordinating roles in this system and tutored several eldership and oversight courses for Woodbrooke.
Martin Pennockhas served as an elder in various contexts, including to Quaker Life Central Committee. As clerk to QLCC, Martin wrote the Preface to With a tender hand. This is his first experience of tutoring an online eldership and oversight course.
Zélie Grosshas served in several eldership and oversight roles and taught various courses for Woodbrooke over many years. She is the author of With a tender hand.
Zelie Gross, Cardiff U.K.
Woodbrooke Tutor and Course and one of the creators of the course.