1 Year Online OCCA Course
The closing date for applications has now been extended to Tuesday 20th June 2023.
A year with OCCA from where you are. Join us virtually each week and in Oxford for two, 3 day intensives. Get equipped and trained for outreach and ministry.
The course is aimed at people who:
- Sense a desire to be more involved in evangelism and apologetics
- Are looking to be better equipped to share their faith and answer questions
- Are interested in learning apologetics online and with others
- Would like to explore and discern their own gifts and skills
- Want to commit some time to study
- Aren’t able to travel to Oxford, UK each week
The 1 Year ONLINE Course runs one day per week (Wednesdays) from 3-5:30pm (GMT) over three academic terms, starting in September 2023. The two, 3 day intensives are in Oxford.
The course welcomes Christians with diverse life experiences and values practical knowledge. While formal qualifications are not required, it is recommended that participants have a level of experience equivalent to an A-Level (High School graduate) or prior knowledge in apologetics, religious studies, theology, or philosophy. This guidepost helps clarify the expected difficulty level and ensures a rewarding learning experience. During the informal interview process, we provide further guidance to applicants, helping them determine if the One Year program is suitable or if an alternative apologetics course would be a better starting point.
Teaching is delivered by experienced evangelists, academics, and thinkers who are actively involved in the fields of evangelism, public theology, and apologetics. Online teaching sessions include a short devotional and two 1 hr. slots for lectures, Q&A, workshops and/or small group discussions. Online learning is fresh and stimulating with the 3 week cycle.
The course is structured around five key apologetics streams:
- Bible (Theology & Historical Jesus)
The BIBLE stream prepares you to deal with questions about theology, the bible and the historical Jesus, such as: ‘Are the gospels reliable? Has the text changed? What can be known about Jesus?’ You’ll dive into theological topics that can be crucial in apologetics such as the Trinity, Revelation, Creation and Atonement. These combine to form both a foundation and framework for answering questions and for gospel outreach.
- Lenses (Philosophical thinking)
The LENSES stream deals with Logic & Critical Thinking, the Concept of Worldview and Epistemology. Through ‘steeling up’ lectures, you will learn how to engage with strong viewpoints on Monism, Naturalism, Hinduism, Buddhism, ‘Spiritual not Religious’ and Agnosticism. LENSES is an introductory course in how to think carefully and logically about the world using the tools of philosophy.
- Issues (Challenging Topics)
The ISSUES stream tackles common objections or contentious topics, including: Science & Religion, Miracles, Race, Suffering & Natural disasters, Divine Hiddenness, Sexuality, Gender & Identity, Environmentalism, Artificial Intelligence & Transhumanism, Power & Abuse.
- Skills (Preaching & Q&A)
Conversational outreach, answering questions and sharing the message of the gospel in a way that connects is what this course is all about. The supportive and encouraging SKILLS track equips you in multiple ways to effectively serve in Christian outreach. In supportive small workshops, you will get to grips with the basics of preparing, structuring and delivering different kinds of outreach talks. In the 1 Year ONLINE Course, we don’t presume that everyone is a public speaker. Creativity and clarity in communications is the goal.
- Heart (Character Formation)
In this track, spiritual life, prayer and the formation of individual Christian faith are nurtured and encouraged through spiritual disciplines, meeting with a local mentor, group devotions, and learning in community. This is a stimulating and refreshing aspect of the 1 Year ONLINE course which is often a highlight for those studying at OCCA.
- Bible (Theology & Historical Jesus)
What do the 3 week cycles look like?
The course works in 3 week cycles structured around one of three key apologetics streams (BIBLE, LENSES, or ISSUES). Wednesday sessions have a particular focus on lectures, small group discussion, skills development, or practical exercises:
|Week 1: Content||2x key content lectures (delivered live with Q&A and breakout groups)|
|Week 2: Research & Analysis||Skills lecture & small groups to discuss readings, lectures, and to share early-stage responses|
|Week 3: Developing a Response||Create and deliver video/live talks and work collaboratively on Q&A skills|
Each term contains 3-4 cycles focusing on the key apologetics streams:
|Term 1||Lenses, Bible, Issues, Lenses (4 cycles)|
|Term 2||Lenses, Bible, Issues (3 cycles)|
|Term 3||Bible, Issues, Lenses (3 cycles)|
The Skills and Heart streams are assumed within the cycles.
Provisional term dates
|Term 1||6 September 2023 – 6 December 2023 (13 weeks)|
|Term 2||10 January 2024 – 20 March (11 weeks)|
|Term 3||10 April 2024 – 15 June (12 weeks)|
|Half-terms||Reading/self-study during the weeks commencing 23 October 2023, 12 February 2024, 27 May 2024|
|Intensives (required)||Thursday, 21 September 2023 – Saturday, 23 September & Thursday, 13 June 2024 – Saturday, 15 June|
The fee for the full course is £1,140.
Payment options are available, including monthly instalments or pay per term. Limited, partial bursaries may be granted. Please indicate on your application form if you would like to apply for this. We will send you a separate bursary application form to complete.
How is the course assessed?
The course grade is a combination of the scores from:
- 50% of the grade is based on a combined grade from 3×2,000 word essays. (2x on LENSES, 1x on BIBLE)
- 50% of the grade is based on graded skills tasks, such as preaching tasks, or creative communication tasks.
The course is non-accredited, but certificates will be awarded for successful completion.
How does discipleship/spiritual formation work on the course?
Formation on the 1 Year ONLINE Course and the 1 Year EQUIP Course have similar elements:
- Devotional and formation teaching
- Local mentoring
- Fellowship groups (2 per term)
As part of the spiritual formation work on the course, you will choose a mentor in your local context. If you are unable to identify anyone, this requirement could be fulfilled by meeting with someone online or a local small group. We run a free (online) training session for you to share with small groups/mentors and provide a curriculum and workbook with questions for you to discuss when you meet.
How to apply
Click the ‘Sign Up’ button to fill out the application form. In case of any issues please email email@example.com.