Rockbridge seminary

We’re Celebrating 2015

I get this question a lot: “So, what is it exactly that you do and why the heck are you in New York?”  

Well, there’s no easy answer to this question, but let me answer it directly: I’m the Innovation Pastor at Community Bible Church (oversee pretty much everything on the Internet – website, apps, Online Church, etc.) and my wife and I choose to live in New York for this season in order for our family to gain a unique life perspective.  

Out of my work at Community Bible Church came my book, speaking opportunities and several consulting opportunities, which led us to launch this Nils Smith Solutions business. What has from day 1 functioned as a side business for me personally continues to blow me away by the impact we have been able to make as a team. While there are so many things I would love to celebrate when it comes to my work at CBC or experiences I would like to highlight from my family, I wanted to use this post to celebrate the impact that this business has been able to make over the past year.

Here are some of our highlights from 2015:

I’m humbled as I look at the impact that God has allowed for us to have this year. We believe that God has even greater plans for 2016 and preparing for exponentially greater impact. We appreciate your being a part of the journey and pray that we are able to serve you effectively in the future whether it’s through blog posts, online courses, strategic solutions or consulting services. We are truly humbled, honored and grateful as we celebrate 2015!  

3 Questions with Dr. Daryl Eldridge

I'm excited to share with you this conversation with a ministry hero of mine, Dr. Daryl Eldridge.  Dr. Eldridge is one of the founders and the President of my seminary, Rockridge.  Rockbridge is a 100% online seminary that is creating an affordable and flexible yet highly effective seminary training for ministry leaders without having to leave ministry to attend.  

Where did you get the idea for Rockbridge Seminary to be 100% online?

In 2003, the founders of Rockbridge were serving in residential seminaries. Wherever we traveled, prospective students asked us if they could do their studies without going to our campus.  For prospective students already engaged in a ministry, uprooting their family was just not an option.  At that time, schools could only allow 1 year of studies online, which meant students still had to travel to a residential campus. So we asked how we could put a seminary 100% online and design it around the purposes of the church. A friend pushed us over the tipping point by asking, “If you don’t do this, who will?”

What has been what you expected since the launch of Rockbridge and what has been completely unexpected? 

We expected to deliver an online educational experience that was comparable, if not better in some ways, to a residential seminary.  There were several things we didn’t expect.  First, we thought we might have trouble attracting qualified faculty members that would embrace online learning.  We discovered there were more than enough qualified teachers/practitioners who wanted to invest their lives in training a generation of servant leaders.

Second, while we knew that meaningful relationships could be developed online we were surprised the online learning environment provided better opportunities for long lasting friendships with students and faculty.  

Third, critics said you couldn’t effectively teach content areas like preaching, languages, or spiritual formation through online environments.  We’ve discovered you can accomplish learning objectives for a given subject if you think creatively about how to design the learning experience in an online medium.

What do you see ahead for seminary training as a whole as well Rockbridge seminary specifically?

The number and variety of options for seminary training will continue to explode.  As technology improves, we’ll see more interactive learning environments such as gaming, Second-Life, and hologram conversations.  We will also see more churches custom tailor their own brand of seminary for staff and church leaders. 

Content will not be the driving force for seminary education as it has been in the past.  In milliseconds a person can Google search a topic and find more information about a subject than they could 15 years ago in the most comprehensive seminary library.  Social conversations will be the hub of learning management software.  Seminaries must provide sacred learning environments where students can learn to interpret biblical truth, understand the culture, and effectively lead a church or ministry organization to reach that culture.  

Our vision at Rockbridge is to provide accessible, affordable, and practical ministry training to this and the next generation of servant leaders.   These are exciting days to be in ministry.

You can connect with Dr. Eldridge on Twitter - @drdaryl and find out more about Rockridge Seminary by visiting their website at  

If you are considering seminary at all I cannot recommend more that you highly consider Rockbridge Seminary.  If you have any questions please don't hesitant to leave a comment or send me a message.  

Congratulations Rockbridge Seminary

rockbridge (1) I have shared many times here that I love my seminary!  Not only do I love Rockbridge Seminary, but I'm extremely proud of my seminary as they have recently become officially accredited.  It was only a matter of time before this became official as it is overseen by an incredible team of leaders that continue to make this great seminary even better.

If you're considering a seminary education, I can't recommend Rockbridge enough.  I was in a great ministry role and didn't feel that I should leave to get trained to more effectively do what I was already doing.  I didn't have to.  Rockbridge came right alongside me right where I was and invested in me as a ministry leader.

For those who say it's just not personal enough, you really need to experience it.  Online education isn't for everyone, but it is for more than you think.  I grew closer to my online classmates who were all over the world than I ever did with the ones who sat next to me in my undergraduate program.  Give it a try and I think you will like what you experience!

Congrats Rockbridge Seminary and Rock'rs everywhere!

Rockbridge is Hiring

rockbridge If you have been following this blog long you know how much I love my seminary, Rockbridge Seminary.  I had such a great experience and loved the experience of attending seminary online.  The seminary continues to grow and is hiring a new Director of Operations.  Here's the info on the position:

Rockbridge Seminary is looking for a part-time Director of Operations.  This person is responsible for student and IT support.  Below is a summary of the job:

Job Title:  Director of Operations

Job Type:  Part-Time

Job Description:  Available upon request.

Hours:  Flexible, 20 hours/week, but constant availability for emergencies

Pay Type:  Hourly

Wages:  $25-30/hour

Location: Distance Worker

Requirements:  provide computer, scanner, and Internet Service

Duties:  responsible for student support and IT support.

Contact:  Daryl Eldridge, 866-931-4300 ext 5