Self-Directed Learning Plan

Home » Baptist Leaders » Self-Directed Learning Plan


Sometimes creating your own plan of learning for the year is a way to focus in on something that specifically addresses a desired learning outcome.

If you’re applying for Baptist Registration we call this a Self-Directed Learning Plan, and it is one of the ways you can meet the Personal Growth and Learning component of your Registration Development Agreement. You create a plan, with your reviewer, and we approve it based on the criteria outlined on this page.

Below are some examples and next steps:

Reading Plan

There may be a particular author or topic you would like to dig deeper into over the period of a year. We recommend using our Reflection Guide to support your reading.

Example 1
You have heard people refer to the writing of Henri Nouwen and have been inspired by quotes you have seen, but you have never read any of his books for yourself. Nouwen wrote more than 40 books on spirituality, pastoral care, theology, etc. For your Self-Directed Learning Plan you might commit to reading one Nouwen book every two months through the year. Click here to see Henri Nouwen’s Bibliography.  To make your reading plan even more meaningful, we recommend you journal your reflections from your readings (Note: This does not need to be submitted to the Centre for Lifelong Learning).

Example 2

There is a topic you feel the need to upskill in, perhaps your Elders have encouraged you to focus on a particular topic or area and you have found no suitable courses on the topic. You create a reading list on the topic, committing to read one book every two months over the year, journaling your reflections through the year. Topic examples: Discipleship, Missional Church, New Zealand history, Old Testament prophets, Islam, Neighbourhood community development, etc

Contribution towards your Personal Growth and Learning hours

While we acknowledge that everyone reads at different paces, and books vary in length, as a general guide we expect that each book you read will contribute a maximum of 6 hours towards your Personal Growth and Learning. e.g., 2 books will contribute a maximum of 12 hours.

Webinar/video watching plan

There are various online resources that could be used to form a Self-Directed Learning Plan.

On-demand webinars through the Carey Lifelong Learning. If you missed one of our live webinars from previous years, you can still access many of them on-demand through the Carey Lifelong Learning website. These cover a range of topical, biblical, and theological topics.

The organisation ‘Q Ideas’ (with their slogan: “Stay Curious. Think Well. Advance Good.”) have a wide variety of talks and articles online through their Q Moments. As part of Webinar/video watching plan, you might commit to watching one video a week from the Q catalogue:  Alongside these online videos, we encourage you to commit to journaling your reflections through the year.

Participant observation plan

One way to learn is through participation and/or following/shadowing people in certain roles or organisations over an extended period of time.

To learn how your church might engage with the poor, you might spend time volunteering alongside a leader in the local City Mission, watching, helping and getting involved in the local homeless shelter a few hours every week through the year. Alongside this the person you are observing/working with might suggest various resources to engage with to add a theoretical basis to your practical observations. We encourage you to also commit to journaling your reflections through the year.

Next steps

On the personal growth and learning page of your online Baptist Registration application you will find a check box for self-directed learning. Once you check this box, you will be prompted to provide details about your self-directed learning plan. 

We are looking for approximately 150 words outlining your plan, including a reading list or other details – this should all have been discussed with your reviewer ahead of submitting your RDA. Please be specific rather than vague. Indicate whether you are committing to journal your reflections through the year. We will approve your Self-Directed Learning Plan for your Baptist Registration based on the criteria outlined on this page.