Questions about Develop Online Training

Joye Smith

The part I like best about our online Develop training courses is that I get to interact with you, the Mission Friends® leaders. I so enjoy the correspondence back and forth with each leader who has taken one of the preschool Develop courses. Most of the leaders I have never met in person, but I feel like I know them as they go through the courses. Even though the training is online, that does not mean that it is impersonal. This has been the most pleasant surprise for me as we developed the online courses to include contact between the course participant and Mission Friends consultant.

In thinking about the preschool Develop courses, I thought I would answer a few questions that I am asked about the online training.

  • What is included in the preschool Develop courses? Each of the preschool courses include several short instructional videos, handouts, and interactive assignments.

  • What are the assignments like? Many of the assignments are reflective questions in which there are no right or wrong answers. Quizzes include things such as matching the resources to their definition. In some of the assignments, scenarios with preschoolers are given for participants to look at a particular topic. Another type of assignment is taking a picture of an activity and including your photo as a response. If any leaders took Leading Mission Friends previously, you will be glad to know that the course has been updated so all assignments are completed directly in the course system, as are all the other courses.

  • Am I graded in the course? The course is designed to strengthen your leadership skills, and not so much to give you a grade. Assignments receive a “Complete” or “Incomplete.” If you complete and submit at least 85% of the assignments in a course, you will receive a “Complete” at the end of the course.

  • How much time does it take to complete a course? Each course is self-paced, and can be completed all at one time or in several short sessions. The preschool courses are designed to take about 3 hours each.

  • How long do I have to complete a course? You have 30 days to complete a course from the time you register for the class. You can work on the course learning activities and assignments when it is most convenient for you. If the 30 days is about to expire before completing the course, you can notify me as the facilitator and I am glad to extend the time.

  • How is the facilitator involved? As the WMU preschool consultant, I get to be the facilitator for the preschool courses. I review the assignments submitted, and communicate through comments on assignments, messages in the course system, or email with the participants. I have also had phone calls with several participants. It is fun for me to get to know others who have a heart for preschoolers.

  • What are the preschool courses offered? These are the courses that can be taken in any order.

    • Leading Mission Friends—Basics of leading and planning Mission Friends

    • Uniquely Designed: Preschoolers—Characteristics of preschoolers, from babies through kindergarten

    • How Preschoolers Learn—Learning styles of preschoolers, and how they learn through interest areas and Group Time

    • Beyond the Basics: Mission Friends—Topics include customizing for your church, involving families, planning extra activities, and enlisting leaders.

  • How do I get the Mission Friends Leadership Certificate? Take the 4 courses above along with the course, Why Missions Education?, to receive a certificate that is suitable for framing. The first 4 courses are $20 each, and the fifth course toward the Mission Friends Leadership Certificate is free.

  • Where can I sign up for the courses? Visit to see all of the preschool courses offered in Develop online training.

To go to a conference on leading Mission Friends would be great, and I encourage you to check out the leadership conferences your state WMU offers. Sometimes your responsibilities at home or in your work do not allow you to attend a training event. The online courses are great because you can take them whenever you are ready. Our goal is for you to be strengthened in your skills in leading preschoolers in missions awareness and involvement. I would enjoy getting to know you through our online Develop courses.


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