The Challenges & Opportunities of Going Global
How Ascent College equips an ever-expanding student body.
Students in Ghana
The name Ascent College may be new, but the school itself has been around for a while. Founded in 1996 by Dr. John Mannion as Bethel Bible Institute (BBI), it was established to offer practical ministry training for current and future pastors and missionaries. BBI was a training institute for the Assemblies of God’s Potomac region, and it eventually moved from a Bible institute to a four-year college called Bethel College.
The Need Ascent College Aimed to Meet
Ascent College decided it was time to rebrand and reimagine its educational model, including:
- Shifting from brick and mortar to online programs
- Making ministry education more affordable and accessible
- Meeting a global need for ministry training
With twelve degree programs available through online learning and on-the-ground ministry, students can pursue certifications and degrees wherever they currently serve.
“We’re still a relatively small school, with about 180 students spread around,” Dr. Morgan said. Of those 180 students, nearly 20% live in Ghana—a recent expansion that’s required Ascent to adapt its processes for a global student body.
A Big Problem: Putting Books in Students’ Hands
One of the biggest problems Ascent had to solve as it grew was finding a workable textbook solution.
Shipping directly to US-based students was one thing—a cumbersome but passable process.
But with students in Ghana starting at Ascent, school admin faced a whole new problem: how to get books to students overseas. Dr. Morgan explained, “At first, our coordinator of African studies literally hand-delivered textbooks every semester by plane, then drove them into the jungles of Ghana. That clearly was not sustainable.”
Once again, the administration pivoted to another option: digital textbooks via Kindle. But they quickly found Kindle to be unreliable and difficult for transactions in Ghana’s cash-based society.
From Wanting to Quit to Academic Flourishing: How Logos Is Equipping Students
The school’s administration—primarily the president and director of African studies—were running out of options when they turned to Logos. Once they began giving students the free edition of the Logos app and preloading required textbooks into it, everything changed.
“The Logos platform has been of tremendous help to us in Ghana,” said Abraham Aguriba, a Ghanaian student pursuing an Associate of Science in Ministry Leadership. “Prior to the introduction of Logos, it was very difficult for Ghana students. Some students wanted to quit because they could not submit their assignments for lack of access to the books. However, with the introduction of the Logos platform, all we need to do now is to guide the students through the sign in.”
With Logos, Ascents students and administration traded their problems for answered prayers, including:
- Seamless and immediate textbook delivery to all students
- Powerful study tools that integrate with books in the Logos platform
- Low, predictable textbook costs that benefit both student and administrator
“Our students are just starting to explore some of the benefits of the Logos platform,” said Dr. Morgan. “I’ve been a Logos user for many years, so it was an easy sell for me, since I understood the power of the search engine and what it’s able to do for their studies.”
What’s Next for Ascent
Ascent's pilot program with Logos started in 2022 and included required textbooks for around half its courses. The school is planning to make textbooks available on the Logos platform for all courses by the end of summer the same year.
“As an academic dean, I want people to have the resources they need to succeed in their courses and be set up well for the future, so we’ll continue to build from here,” said Dr. Morgan. “My hope is that everybody who wants to use Logos is able to use it as much as possible.”
“Prior to the introduction of Logos … Some students wanted to quit because they could not submit their assignments for lack of access to the books. However, with the introduction of the Logos platform, all we need to do now is to guide the students through the sign in.”
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