The RZIM Academy Core Module, developed by Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, is equipping people from more than 135 countries to confidently engage with the tougher questions directed at the Christian faith. Nearly 12,000 students have taken this course, which is entirely online and uses a learning structure designed by Oxford University. Students are encouraged to interact with each other through a moderated online discussion forum. Here they are challenged to respectfully engage with those outside and inside the Christian faith. In this review I have given an overview of what this course will equip you with, and what I have personally learnt through completing the course myself.
The Academy Core Module comprises of 2-3 lectures every week, a weekly quiz, forum posts and assignments. Each week new subjects are released to the online learning platform. The lecturers are world class theologians and apologists, (Ravi Zacharias, Amy Orr-Ewing, Vince Vitale, John Lennox, and Alister McGrath to name a few) who teach on many topics. These include: The problem of evil, the resurrection, morality, worldview, other religions, and the new atheists.
Ravi Zacharias explains the need for bridging a questioner’s head to their heart. To do this one must first understand the questioner behind their question. One must understand their worldview. This means a large percentage of the module is dedicated to teaching the Christian worldview. It teaches that the Christian worldview, rationally provides answers to humanity’s four major questions: Where do we come from? (Origin), What does life really mean? (Meaning), How do I differentiate between good and evil? (Morality), and What happens when we die? (Destiny). Students also learn how to understand and compare the Christian worldview with differing worldviews.
If the solid course content isn’t enough to challenge you to equip yourself with this resource, here are two more great incentives for taking this course. These are, once finished you will be invited into RZIM Connect, a global online home for the RZIM family. Here you can join the Core Module alumni group which gives you continual access to all of the learning material. And for the avid student, the RZIM Academy also offers topic specific courses upon completion of the Core Module. At the time of writing these, they were: Why Suffering, Islam, Bible, Science, Engaging the Modern World, and What Does it Mean to be Human?
What I’ve Learnt Personally
As a mother of two young children, I found the course time manageable and extremely rewarding. We learnt early on that the most important part of apologetics is the apologist themselves. The first section of 1 Peter 3:15, a verse used widely in apologetics, tells us to, “set apart your heart as holy unto the Lord”. This taught me that you can have all the answers but if Jesus is not placed first in your heart, your defense for Him will be shallow and meaningless. Our ultimate goal is to point people to the person of Christ. We need to be ready to defend Christ and share our hope and faith in Him; however, who we are in Christ is our strongest witness to the world. As Ravi Zacharias has said, “I have little doubt that the single greatest obstacle to the impact of the gospel has not been it’s inability to provide answers, but the failure on our part to live it out”.
The RZIM Academy Core Module will provide you with plenty of answers. It also may challenge you to step outside your comfort zone, to rise up and be a powerful witness for the Kingdom of God. Most importantly, I believe it will deepen and strengthen your faith in Christ as it has done for me. I highly recommend taking some time out of the sometimes constant busyness of life to focus on equipping yourself to engage with a culture that is drawing further and further from our wonderful saviour Jesus.
This course has monthly intakes. Click here for more details, course start dates, or to sign up.