Doing Old Things in a New Way
by Terry Wilson, Executive Director
When Emmaus Correspondence School was established in 1942, the founders had a number of clear, simple goals in mind. Their desire was to provide an opportunity for intensive Bible study where the principles of New Testament truth could be taught without compromise. The first courses were printed on a Gestetner Fifteen duplicating machine; today, that original duplicator sits idle in our office as new technologies have taken its place. Computers have replaced typewriters, online eCourses have been added to our printed courses, and some print-on-demand titles are now available as well.
Earlier this year, we added the option of instantly grading exam answer sheets using a phone, webcam or scanner; this will dramatically impact current and future Emmaus Connectors who grade thousands of courses a year. We will also soon be launching a new online transcript and student management program that will allow our commenters to upload student records and automatically print their certificates of completion. All of our print courses are now available online as eCourses, allowing immediate access to our content online. The eCourse site will automatically grade their course and email their answers to one of our Emmaus Connectors for personal comments and feedback. Our ministry continues to adapt to changes in technology—doing old things in a new way.
New Initiative, New Name
We recently created a dedicated department for North America that will focus on developing and implementing specific resources for local churches and other ministries (in English and Spanish). In addition to using the Emmaus Road curriculum, the North American initiative will also add new teaching formats: interactive seminars and conferences, as well as live streaming events and podcasts based on our courses. We want to use the best technologies that are available to reach the world for Christ. We are incredibly excited that God has led a number of gifted people to join us in support of this effort.
Another important change will be our new brand and identity. For 60 years, we were known as Emmaus Correspondence School, a department of Emmaus Bible College. In 2002, we became a separate non-profit organization with our own management and board, as well as a new name, ECS Ministries. This name has served us well over the past 15 years, but in nearly 100 countries around the world, the name Emmaus is synonymous with our ministry. Our new name also will reflect the breadth of our ministry in the US and across the globe. Read more about our new name, Emmaus International, in the following posts.
With all these changes, some might wonder if we are the same organization, and the answer is yes! Those simple goals established 75 years ago are still our priority today. Our vision is to see hearts and lives transformed by Jesus Christ through the study of God’s Word. We pray that you will be encouraged by what you read in this issue, and ask that you would continue to pray for the Lord’s blessing on our ministry.