Many of you have inquired as to who is responsible for the new delivery and support systems that are helping to make Western's distance learning program available world-wide. The most accurate answer is that it has been a team effort with everyone in our program contributing to making it a success for our students. When it comes to the actual programming, however, we have systems and web developer Blake Kidney to thank for the raft of new learning and management tools you have available to you.
Program director James Stewart says that "Without Blake we would have a lot of good ideas but no practical way to turn them into reality. Blake not only is able to work with our ideas, but he typically makes them even better than we had imagined."
Blake came to Western with his wife, Kristyn, in 2008 as a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, having completed the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) with emphases in photography and digital arts. Intending to pursue international ministry, he enrolled in the Master of Divinity, World Ministry, as Kristyn continued her teaching career as a professor of English as a Second Language (ESL) at Portland Community College.
While working full time in the Center for Lifelong Learning, Blake continues his ministry studies. He is often the voice of our students as we consider new systems and new technologies. Apparently still not finding it sufficiently challenging to be both a student and a key member of Western's distance program, earlier this year Blake and Kristyn welcomed Kaleb into the Kidney family. The best part of any week for our team is when Kaleb and Krystyn come to visit.
"I want people to know that I am totally sold out to Jesus," Blake says. "That is why I am here. I don't know where all this will lead me, but to follow Jesus is my life goal." For all of us in the Center for Lifelong Learning and our students around the world, we are thankful that path lead through Western Seminary.