MEMRA 2012: Courses, Schedule, and What’s New

Posted By on January 7, 2012

MEMRA 2012 is open for registration!

Here’s the quick overview:

  • I’ll be offering courses in biblical Hebrew, biblical Greek, Ugaritic, biblical theology, and Old and New Testament.
  • Courses begin July 9, so you have plenty of time to register and plan. Right now students can register for either term in 2012.
  • Tuition is 50% off until June 1

There are a number of new items pertaining to MEMRA for 2012. Briefly…

  • The institute has a new website – very nice. Check it out! Its Moodle classroom site also has a new look.
  • After feedback from students and various Naked Bible readers, I have decided to trim the course offerings, focusing on ancient languages and my own niche specialties and unique contributions. For example, the dozen or so biblical theology courses are more topic-focused (and will of course revolve around different aspects of biblical theology oriented by the divine council worldview of the biblical writers). There are several entirely new courses as well.
  • There will be less reading in courses (in terms of page count) and (a lot) more video. This is one of the reasons for the July 9 start date. I basically want to have all the content on video when we start. Since I am redoing the Hebrew and Greek videos, that will be a challenge, but I think it’s obtainable.
  • All vocabulary for Futato and Black will be on video. Same for grammatical forms. The videos will record me going through vocab “flashcard style” and going through paradigms with visual cues to aid memorization.† Students will also be given access to the original PowerPoint files that were used for download. I will also be doing video overviews of each chapter and all the exercises. See the new MEMRA website for samples.
  • I have eliminated forums in the courses in favor of creating either Google groups for discussion or some other interactive network (I am reading about “BuddyPress” but can’t say I understand it. Google groups are quite manageable, though.
  • Despite the retention of the above (some sort of discussion or Q&A element), I will also be answering student questions via audio this year. It will result in a faster turn around. I get the question, decide whether the Google group (typing) is the best way to answer, and if not, I record a verbal answer and then post the audio file inside the course web page.
  • Note that I am offering Ugaritic, and actually have two years of Ugaritic in the course list. Last year the Ugaritic course fell short by a few people and was canceled. That won’t be the case this year (unless no one signs up) since I am already doing the videos for it. First year will be devoted to Schniedewind’s grammar, which is a bit unorthodox for typical language grammars, but less intense. Hebrew is recommended (it will be a help for sure), but not required. Second year will be devoted to going through Pardee and Bourdreuil’s grammar. But even in the first course we will be translating in the Baal Cycle.
  • I have also added (though not offered this year) intermediate courses in Hebrew and Greek. They focus on reading and exegesis.

Other Notes:

  • With the 50% discount, prices are basically the same as last year, and I aim to keep them that way.
  • If you have already taken a Hebrew or Greek course, I will give you a password to the new MEMRA Moodle site so you can access and download the new videos … when the first term begins, and if you request it. Contact me by email
  • Reminder:† The old MEMRA site will be taken off-line around January 15.
  • The new MEMRA classroom will open shortly two weeks before the term begins. Anyone who signs up for a course will receive an email from me at that time with a guest user name and password to enter the site. Then you have two weeks to get oriented and start with anyone preliminary / warm-up reading or memorization, just like last year.
  • You do not need a PayPal account to register for a course, though the payments go through PayPal.
  • When 2013 rolls around I will announce a 2012 schedule. (I’ll probably do that on December 22 after the world doesn’t end).
  • Please email me if you have questions, but please see the MEMRA FAQ first.

Some Requested Input

  • I purchased the cool theme for the new MEMRA site, but I don’t know how to get rid of the “G” icon that appears in the URL line and in the tabs for pages. Any help in that regard would be appreciated it, but I can live with it if there is no solution.
  • I have decided to ditch a donation link for the Naked Bible site. However, I am toying with the idea of offering recurring subscriptions of $5 per month. In exchange for your support of the Naked Bible, in addition to MEMRA I would hold a one hour (per month) webinar with subscribers. The focus would be research methods for biblical studies and various research tools (perhaps some hard copy, but mostly digital and internet). I’d basically introduce something along these lines each month. Still not sure about this. It costs money, and I’m no techie. I am thinking I could create a Facebook group (whatever they are called — I’ll ask my kids) to field questions while online for each webinar to cut that expense, but I have visions of seeing fifty popup questions on my screen all at once. All suggestions will be appreciated (including, “forget about it”). There is also the problem of scheduling this sort of thing relating to time zones (around the world, not just in the US/Canada).

That’s all for now. On to the Naked Bible podcast!† My goal is to have that ready Feb 1.

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9 Responses to “MEMRA 2012: Courses, Schedule, and What’s New”

  1. Shaun says:

    “However, I am toying with the idea of offering recurring subscriptions of $5 per month” Does this mean [1] only people who subscribe can read your blog? Or [2] those who pay have access to the webinar? Im willing to donate in order to have good Christian OT scholarship available. But only if it is availabe free to as wide an audiance as possible.

  2. Having read your first draft and seen the videos, would I learn much more from taking BIBTH02?

    • MSH says:

      if you have kept up with my academic papers over the last couple of years (I post them on the blog), probably not. There’s a lot in regard to monotheism that isn’t covered in the “Myth” draft.

  3. kennethos says:

    Facebook allows “secret” (i.e., confidential, by invite only) groups….perhaps something like that might be beneficial for Naked Bibles purposes.

  4. Daniel says:

    Honestly, I do not fully understand how the courses work:

    Ok, you sign up for a certain course that will take place in a scheduled time-period.

    How does each lessons work and why is there a schedule? Are there videos that you can download or watch at your own pace or are there certain times every week when you are doing live-lessons?
    Are there some kind of discussion-sessions you provide that only take place in the designated time periods?

    Well I’m from Germany and my diary normally is quite changeable, therefore I guess live-lessons or live-discussion could take place when I don’t have time. If the schedule of the courses actually just depends on the schedule of some kind of discussion-sessions, would it be possible to only download the videos of the lessons (maybe for a smaller fee, than for the full course)?
    By the way how long is the video content for each course approximately?

    Maybe you could do some kind of a short tutorial video of how the courses work, how the environment of the lessons and the discussions looks like and how they normally proceed.

    Although I don’t know yet if I will actually sign in for a course, I think making lay persons like me familar with acedemic content around the bible is a great Idea. Thank you for that!
    There is of course also academic content in other scientific fields that the normal lay person doesn’t know about or doesn’t readily understand. But normally this doesn’t matter as long as it is not in a field you are working in. But the bible and its understanding is something that is important for everyone, and I don’t think its good if its knowledge is only “available” to some educated few.

    • MSH says:

      There is a schedule so it doesn’t go on forever, and so we can move through a topic. It’s asynchronous in most respects, but a new aspect of the topic/course is the focus each week. Imagine it as “self study through reading, videos, audios + interaction with me and others when you can manage it.” It’s mostly content I don’t post anywhere else. The content is well beyond Sunday school level (think seminary class or upper level undergrad), but you don’t need to worry if something flies over your head — that’s the sort of thing to ask about. This year I will do more “walk throughs” of readings as well.

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