Denver Seminary

9 comments | Posted: 18 February 08 in Featured, by Nathan Smith


I have been meaning to feature the Denver Seminary site for some time now. I first came across this site via the portfolio of Mark Priestap. Being a seminarian myself, I am inclined to agree with this quote by Maxie Dunnam, former president of my school – Asbury Theological Seminary…

As goes the seminary, so goes the pastor… so goes the church.

As is the case with a systematic view of theology, I think there are technological implications as well. It is for this reason that I am always pleased when I see seminaries leading the way in terms of the web. Not only is Denver Seminary well designed, but it is semantically coded and overall just feels solid.

There are a few code errors here and there, but for the most part it all comes together cohesively, with a consistent look and feel across the entire site. It is powered by the Ekklesia 360 content management system, which is built specifically for ministry sites. More importantly, is how it’s used.

The information architecture for Denver Seminary breaks out across several categories: Become a Student, Current Students, Alumni and Mentors. While most schools have areas for prospective and current students, it is refreshing to see Alumni being featured. This gives a feeling of continuum by keeping the community abreast of where graduates end up serving in ministry.

I am also glad to see Mentoring emphasized, as this was something I felt was lacking in the structured curriculum of my seminary experience. (To its credit, Asbury has since begun to incorporate mentoring directly into the various degree plans.) It is one thing to teach principles in a scholarly setting, but equally important to instill those values directly in future leaders via relationships beyond the classroom. To that, I say bravo.

Another cool aspect is the use of Moodle for the online learning component. Moodle is a PHP driven, open source project aimed specifically at helping educational institutions. This is something that is incorporated by both Denver and Asbury for correspondence classes. Being currently enrolled in a class powered by Moodle, I have to say it is a pretty nice format.

I summation, great job by Mark on the design, Monk Development on the CMS and the dedicated people at Denver Seminary for bringing it all together. It really stands out amongst seminary sites as one of the best.

Discuss This Topic

  1. 1 Charlie Fiskeaux II

    You went to Asbury?! I currently live and work in Wilmore (Cre8tive Group is based here), graduated from Asbury College and absolutely love the town! (If you check out our site, please forgive our Flash-iness (_) we’re a little bit behind in completing our transition to HTML.)

  2. 2 Natalie Jost

    Oh yeah… this is the one… I saw this, I don’t know, a few months ago I guess, and was a little freaked out by the fading thing. On firefox mac about every 5 seconds the login/sitemap text appears to go bold, then back to normal after 1 second (every time the image changes). The same thing happens to the menu off to the right but less “bold” and more like someone turned some opacity on. I assume this has something to do with the jquery image fading technique? Still, it’s annoying. But other than that, a near perfect site! :)

  3. 3 Mark Priestap

    Natalie – I believe there is a bug in FF where if you change the opacity of one part of the page in a hover event, it effects the opacity of page elements elsewhere on the page. It is highly annoying, but is a quirk of FF as far as I can tell.

  4. 4 Mark Priestap

    Just checked in FF 3/Mac [Beta] and the opacity bug appears to be fixed :)

  5. 5 Natalie Jost

    @Mark, thanks for figuring that out. I’m sure that opacity issue could come up for me elsewhere in my own work, so thanks!

  6. 6 Nathan Smith

    @Natalie – Yeah, it’s a Gecko rendering engine quirk. Same thing happens in Camino. I am glad to hear it has been addressed in Firefox version 3.

  7. 7 D. Goodmanson

    Mark – You have a gift! It’s amazing to see how much recognition this site is getting from the community as excellence in design. Great work.

  8. 8 Carl Camera

    Spectacular. Five Stars. I don’t want too sound too artsy, but I think the textures and the colors are absolutely wonderful. Layout is modular but not boxy (oops sounding artsy there so I better slow down) that provides a great visual hierarchy to assist the website visitor in finding what he or she is looking for. [man standing on chair clapping]

  9. 9 Mark Warnock

    Good to see people in the kingdom with quality web design.


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