Certification is the official process that happens at the end of each quarter in the Doulos Training School (DTS), whereby each student must respond to an email request from the School Administrator to certify completion of the coursework. The student's response to the request is then documented and becomes part of their permanent, official school record.
At the end of each quarter, either on the final day of the quarter or the following day after the quarter ends, each student will receive an email with a subject beginning with the words: "ACTION NEEDED: Certification for First Year - First Quarter" or whichever quarter the student was in. As each student studies during a given quarter, he or she should be expecting this email at the end of the quarter, since it has a deadline to it that is fixed. Here are the components of a certification:
Components of the Certification
The certification email has several components to it. These include the following:
1. Completion of coursework
The certification email will contain a request to officially certify completion of the coursework that the student was studying during the quarter that has just ended. A list of the courses the student was required to study during that particular quarter will be provided in the email.
2. Completion of all videos
Another component of certification is to officially certify completion of all required videos. Not every quarter has required videos, but whenever a quarter has required videos, they must be completed as part of the coursework. There is a Required Videos link where students can check to see whether videos were required for their quarter and which ones.
3. Maintained weekly LTG meetings
In addition to certifying completion of all coursework and required videos, students must certify that they have maintained their weekly Life Transformation Group (LTG) meetings faithfully per the school guidelines. The school guidelines for LTGs are explained in the LTG course during First Year First Quarter. See the article for a full explanation of what an LTG is, but it does require weekly meetings and 25-30 chapters per week of Bible reading at home.
In order to certify the above components, the student will be provided with a phrase that they can copy and paste into their reply email or else explain why any one of these three components was not completed or conducted as required. If you have finished all of these, you should reply "I certify that I have completed the following coursework, including all required videos, and maintained my weekly LTG meetings." Otherwise, the student should explain any deficiencies (i.e., incomplete components).
Please note that new students are given a grace period to start an LTG, and initially must report on whether they have found an LTG partner and started a group or joined an existing one that is operating per the DTS guidelines. New students will also be given a quiz to ensure they understand correctly what an LTG is and what it is not.
The reply with the above certification should be done immediately upon receiving the email request for certification. Any delays could jeopardize the student's enrollment status in the school. Certification is as simple as that!
However, for certain quarters, there will be additional components to report progress on. For example, the following:
During the Second Year of DTS, students are required to take two Electives, and at the end of each quarter of the Second Year, students must report on their progress or completion of the Electives.
When students finish the First Year Fourth Quarter, they will be asked to select their two Electives that they will take during their Second Year. Therefore, students certifying completion of First Year Fourth Quarter should expect to be asked for their selection. If a few days are needed to make a selection, that is acceptable, but a prompt response to this request should be given by the student, requesting whatever time is needed to make a selection.
Likewise, at the end of the Second Year, all students must report completion of the Electives they selected. If they do not complete the Electives they selected, they are not allowed to proceed to their Third Year of training.
2. Baptized by Blazing Fire Books
During the Second Year, all students are required to read the five fire books by Yong Doo Kim, a South Korean pastor. These are provided through a link in an article the student is required to read, where the student may download the books in PDF format, which are actually partial books and not complete copies. As the student goes through his or her Second Year, at each quarter certification, he must report on progress with completing the fire books. This is another component of certification that only applies to Second Year students.
3. Visions and Revelations
During the Third Year, students must study divine Visions and Revelations, and they are required at the end of the quarter to summarize briefly each of the articles they read about each vision or revelation. And in one of the quarters, where the student must select five articles from a list, the student will also be required to indicate which of the articles he or she selected, as well as the summary for each one in his or her own words without going back and looking at the article or copying from it.
Things to Avoid
When certifying completion at the end of each quarter, there are certain things to avoid:
1. Sending Your Own Version
Please do not create your own certification email and send that before or after the quarter ends. Instead, reply to the official email request for certification that you will receive from the School Administrator at the end of the quarter.
2. Replying to the Wrong Email
Please do not reply to any other email but the official request for certification, in order to submit your required certification. Doing so will invalidate your certification and it will not be accepted. There are sometimes other emails sent to students around the same time as certification emails. For example, there is usually a reminder sent to all students a few days before the quarter ends to remind them to finish up by the deadline. There is also an email sent the day after the quarter ends, in order to announce the start of the new quarter, welcome all students to it, and provide them with the links to the coursework they need to study for their given quarter. Please do not reply to these with your certification or they will not be accepted. There are valid reasons why only the official certification email will be accepted, so please follow the official process.
3. Writing in ALL CAPS
Emails written in ALL CAPS will not be accepted.
Lessons Learned and Highlights
Once certification has been submitted, each student is then asked, as a follow up to their certification, to share a few of their lessons learned and highlights from the quarter. This is one way that the School Administrator can test comprehension and ensure the student really did complete the quarter with proper understanding of what they studied. The student will be asked:
"Please share with me the lessons you learned this quarter in the DTS subjects you studied, as well as any highlights (favorite parts, which are not the same as lessons learned). A paragraph consisting of a few sentences is sufficient for each lesson learned and each highlight you choose to share."
The assignment is to write briefly on a few of the lessons you learned this quarter, devoting a short paragraph of two or three sentences to each lesson learned. You could share on four or five lessons learned, or do more if you feel led.
Plus you should share a bit about the highlights of the quarter. Highlights are not necessarily lessons you learned. A highlight is a high point or favorite part. Highlights could be things you already knew before, but you enjoyed those as your favorite parts, such as a testimony, a teaching, something that edified or encouraged you, or a topic you especially enjoy studying. A highlight can be both from the coursework as well as the LTG meetings, or from your ministry as you implemented into your life what you were learning. So share a couple highlights and give each one a brief paragraph of two or three sentences each.
At the end of each quarter, upon receiving the official email request for certification, all students should first do the usual brief certification by copying and pasting the sentence and replying back to me (or else indicate anything that is incomplete), so that they are not late in certifying. Then once the Lessons Learned and Highlights are requested, we can have that email dialogue immediately after they certify completion. But they should be sure not to forget to check their email for the request for Lessons Learned and Highlights, and expect the request immediately following certification, since it is required.
This entire Lessons Learned and Highlights assignment should take you about 15 - 30 minutes, and you should be expecting this every quarter immediately following your certification, so you can have it ready before the quarter ends without being asked for it. Then you will not need to take any extra time to do it. One way to do this is to make some brief notes to yourself about your lessons learned and highlights as you go through each quarter, and save these for the end of the quarter. However, after you have certified completion of the quarter, if one or two days are needed to submit the Lessons Learned and Highlights, you can request it. But the student should not expect to receive a longer extension than that without a valid reason. This is considered a required follow up to certification, but is not part of the actual certification itself. That is why the certification should be submitted on time, even if the student has not yet written their lessons learned and highlights.
Things to Avoid
When you submit your lessons learned and highlights, here are some things to avoid:
1. Submitting a list of article names
Please do not submit a list of the names of articles without stating lessons learned or highlights.
2. Submitting Scripture verses
While you can certainly include reference to Scriptures, please do not just send a bunch of quoted Scripture verses in place of stating in your own words the lessons you learned and the highlights of the quarter,
4. Summarizing every single article
Please do not feel like you must summarize every single article you read, since that is not the goal of this assignment. Briefly stating the lessons you learned is not the same thing as writing a summary of each article. The only time a summary is required is in the Third Year when students are asked to summarize the visions and revelations articles.
5. Quoting the articles
Please use your own words and don't copy and paste parts of the article into your email. I already know what my article says, and do not need to read my own words. The point is to hear in your own words what you learned from the training.