Some ADRIS Predictions Revisited

<ed.note>I thought it might be an interesting exercise to revisit some predictions I made in the ADRIS Newsletter back in the day.</ed.note>

Association for
Development of
Religious Information



ISSN 0300-7022
©Copyright 2000
Edward W.
Dodds, M.A.
Editor, ADRIS Newsletter
PO Box 210735
Nashville, TN
37221-0735 USA

Dr. David O.
ADRIS Coordinator
Professor Emeritus
Department of Social
and Cultural Sciences
Marquette University
7120 W. Dove
Milwaukee, WI 53223-2766



Most of the content of previous
newsletters has been compiled from a variety of sources. The organization
has been loose at best. There have been general themes, however. In a
nutshell, the focus has been "How can we use these emerging
technologies to make our outreach more effective?"

ADRIS began with a strong mission to
make data available. This data was being gathered by disparate
organizations – and by nature of the technology of the time – it was
gathered in "proprietary" format. Since these formats were not
yet widely distributed, data tended to be "locked" in each
organization’s database and they were tedious and burdensome to
translate to another "proprietary" format.

I became involved with ADRIS just as
the Internet was becoming accessible to mainstream society. I had a hunch
that in time (although I was not certain which specific mechanism would be
adopted) this large network would provide a way for these databases (which
were being upgraded to more “networkable” versions) to interact with
one another. Key to this hunch was that it would not be just periodic
static posting of data from one base to another, but that they would
eventually be structured to work dynamically in real-time.

I came to the conclusion that it would
be a more efficient approach for ADRIS Newsletter to assume that
organizations would learn that there were several reasons why it would be
desirous for them to make their data available in such a manner. This
differed from the previous approach which ADRIS had utilized – that of
attempting to get copies of these databases and index and/or translate
them into one large data source.

As some of you know,
I work as an intranet/internet developer with Compuware Professional
Services (from 1999 to 2009) in Nashville, TN. In my day-to-day life I am charged with
research duties as well as proof of concept development at a variety of
large, global corporations. These companies serve as excellent test
beds to indicate which technologies will be eventually adopted by the
business community. This adoption, in turn, with the exception of the open
source movement, will determine into which directions software and
hardware makers are likely to point in upcoming development cycles.

I thought I would use
this issue of the Newsletter to discuss some upcoming trends that will
impact organizations of faith and non-profits. I hope you will react with
feedback while the article is being compiled. Any suggested links to
promising technologies are especially sought and criticism or reservations
are sought as well.
The falling are some trends I'm seeing…


#1  — XML (With or Without
SOAP) and internet data exchanges will be a reality in every sector

which indicate this trend:

Background of B2B





<ed.note>This movement/philosophy is referred to now (2009) as "Open Data".</ed.note>

— Education and Religious Content to Develop Audio Book Virtual Libraries
available via Broadband Internet, Digital Radio, Satellite Radio, Wireless

which indicate this trend:

Digital Library Foundation

AM radio in the air

Direction of Wireless Applications

Learning: Is It Possible to Learn While On The Go? [Melissa Regan,
Assistant Director, Global Learning Partnership Program, Stanford Learning

Natsuno, Executive Director, Gateway Business Department, NTT DoCoMo, Stanford
University Online Courses

presents first integrated mobile multimedia device

in the Press

<ed.note>Insert standard iPod/iTunes University story here.</ed.note>

#3  –  "CLEP
TEST" Model for Distance Learning Degree Granting to be Adopted

which indicate this trend:

Distance Learning


Online Degrees

Can Earn Free CME Credits at

<ed.note>While the degree to which models of commercial higher ed schools, charter schools, home schools have multiplied — and with this a variety of distance and web-enabled ed models, the credentialing oligarchy is still in place. It is worth observing that undergraduate standards are being developed via an initiative under the auspices of the National Governors Association (with 47 States participating). I expect these credentialing folks to be overturned as the public becomes aware that the true bottleneck (say for nurses and doctors) is not the number of students who can enter programs (say medical school) but the number of folks/process society have deemed authoritative to determine competency on the outcomes side of the ed pipeline. The for-profit ed model will necessarily have to begin lobbying for alternative accreditation mechanisms within 5 to 10 years for their profitability to continue as their stock holders demand. Also, this just in at BusinessWeek.</ed.note>

— Direct Donation via Application Service Providers Signals the
downfall of  "UNITED WAY" Model Charities

which indicate this trend:

Deposit and Direct Payment Coalition




For Tax Year 2000 Sets New Standard For Automated Tax Preparation: Giving
to Charity Just Got Easier

<ed.note>Note the growth of P2P-based development like Grameen Bank, Kiva, etc. and tools like Relational Tithing.</ed.note>

#5  — Massive Move Toward
Nonprofit Mergers as Geographical Concerns are removed by the Web

which indicate this trend:

Report Provides Models for Nonprofit Mergers and Alliances

mergers mean better service

Mergers: The perils and the possibilities

Nonprofit mergers

to Merge Affects Small Nonprofits

— Corporations, Nonprofit and Government Departments to Disclose Budget
Expenditures and other Pertinent Information Real-Time via the Web

which indicate this trend:

for Digital Government Survey

Disclosure Rule

Disclosure Commission

of Medical Errors in U.S. Hospitals

Strongly Influencing Where Americans Choose To Go
Their Health Care

Internet Improve Voting?

— Computer-illiterate Management Publicly Identified via the Web
Should They Refuse to Improve Their Skill Sets

which indicate this trend:






Must Make It Their Business To Understand IT

Center on Corporate Responsibility



Action Network


#8  — Traditionally
"Independent" Industries Will Be Pressured By Government to
Standardize Metrics To Allow for Comparison (Flipside of Trend #1)

which indicate this trend:

Predicts Huge HIPAA Privacy Compliance Costs

#9  — Traditionally Coddled
Employee Groups Incentivized to Computerize

which indicate this trend:

Incentive Lures Patent Office Workers Into Computer Age

#10  — Telecommuting from Home
Offices over Broadband Virtual Private Networks will take off when
computer-illiterate Mainstream Media begins reporting that
computer-illiterate Management, Stock Analysts, and Venture Capitalists are
forcing companies to use real estate charging inflated fees because they
lack skills to monitor Remote Workers 

which indicate this trend:


Source Page

10 Powerful open source e-Learning Systems

<ed.note>I've been becoming familiar with Open Journal Systems in my avocational time so when I saw this following article it caught my attention. If you are an educator in Tennessee (or anywhere, for that matter) and you use any of these tools I'd love to hear about your experiences. Tweet me at</ed.note>

Surely students are spending more time on their social network site than any other educational websites like wikipedia, howstuffworks, discovery etc, and there’s no way on earth anybody can stop them from doing so.

But the least any school can do is while those students are online is to give them little bit touch of education from their teachers or fellow friends. We can do this by getting the e-learning system up and running where teacher share learning materials, quiz, discussion, chat, document management and perhaps some social activities between friends.

These are some of the most powerful open source learning management system that can easily adopt by any school, institution or any communities. Most of the systems support SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model – a collection of standards and specifications for web-based elearning).

“Expanding Africa’s Broadband Capacity”, Connect Africa Summit in Kigali, 29-30 October 2007

Where: Kigali, Rwanda

Why: The main goal of the Summit is to help bring connectivity to Africa and promote "Connect Africa", a new partnership that seeks to expand the information and communication technology infrastructure of the continent, especially Internet broadband.

Who: Some 500 participants are expected to attend the Connect Africa Summit. Participants include the patrons of the initiative, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame and Ghana’s President John Kufuor, who is also the African Union Chairman. High-level participants include International Telecommunication Union Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré; President of the African Development Bank Donald Kaberuka; and Intel Corporation Chairman Craig Barrett, who is also the Chair of the UN Global Alliance for ICT and Development. Robert Zoellick, President of the World Bank Group, will make a contribution by video link. The Presidents of several African nations are expected to participate.

The event will bring together political leaders, including Ministers and Heads of State, CEOs and senior executives of global and African IT companies, leaders from civil society and heads of international and regional development banks. Industry leaders including Cisco, GSM Association, Ericsson, Huawei, British Telecom, Qualcomm, NTT DoCoMo, Neustar, Safaricom, Nokia-Siemens and Microsoft will attend and announce new initiatives to help bring connectivity to Africa.

The Summit sessions are designed for television to encourage interactive participation and key sessions will be moderated by Stephen Cole, a renowned TV anchor with Al Jazeera International. The event’s press conferences will be webcast live, and time slots for telephone interviews with prominent participants will be allocated for those journalists who cannot attend.

The event is organized by the International Telecommunication Union, the African Union, the World Bank Group and the Global Alliance for ICT and Development, in partnership with the African Development Bank, the African Telecommunication Union, the UN Economic Commission for Africa, and the Global Digital Solidarity Fund.

For further information, click here or contact:

Sanjay Acharya
Chief, Media Relations and Public Information
Tel: +41 22 730 5046
Mobile: +41 79 249 4861
Fax: +41 22 730 5939

Contact: in New York Enrica Murmura, Tel: +1 212 963-5913, E-mail; in Washington, DC Henny Rahardja, Tel. +1 202 473 4857, E-mail; in Tunis, Emmanuel K. Ngwainmbi, Tel: +216 71 10 26 27, E-mail

About ITU


Rob Mitchell ( ) writes:

I’m helping to do documentation on the ChurchInfo project. It’s still early in its development and needs some other functionalities, but it’s a great start. I wrote a doc on installing ChurchInfo on an Ubuntu LAMP server from bare metal to using the app, including the installation of some support tools. This is a PDF available on the ChurchInfo web site.

ChurchInfo has some really neat functionality — basically it allows you to enter families, individuals, and organize them into groups and add roles. You can upload photos for families and individuals, and it ties in with GoogleMaps API to show geographic coordinates. You can create groups and organize people therein.

Another plus is that the database schema is extensible from within the application. Michael Wilt, who wrote ChurchInfo, is from a church polity that has basically active and inactive members, and that’s the default. In my tradition (Presbyterian) we have several classes of members: communicant, non-communicant, baptized, non-baptized (these last are the kids of member families), active and inactive, and the ChurchInfo interface allows you to add new membership classifications as you desire.

Similarly there are a couple of group classifications built in, but you can add new types of groups and roles to suit your own organizational structure, and this can grow over time as you dictate.

ChurchInfo is 100% open source — it uses PHP middleware to sit between the Apache server and the MySQL database back end. You can install it on Windows if you must, but it’s ideally suited for Linux.

If you don’t want to use an in-house server, it is straightforward to install on your ISP, provided it’s got PHP and MySQL available.

I recommend having PHPMyAdmin as a support tool. This will allow you an easy-to-use method of doing database backups (with PHPMyAdmin you can download the database to a text file already in SQL query format, that will re-create the database schema and populate it.)

The financial portion of Churchinfo allows you to track pledges and contributions, and will print out a report or output to a delimited text file. The latter is probably preferable, as it will allow you to customize a document in your spreadsheet program. I don’t remember if it allows you to designate funds to different accounts or campaigns, one of the functions I’d like to see.

Future enhancements should include a calendar module (there are presently hooks to work with WebCalendar, a PHP project) and an event scheduler, which should include a facility/resource scheduler as well. If you have a good email/workgroup package already that should suffice for you and doesn’t need to be part of your church management system, though being able to tie groups and members and roles together with schedules is helpful.

Bottom line, ChurchInfo is a pretty good little package. It still lacks some of the functionalities of the big commercial packages, but for a free app, it rocks. …Please consider giving it a try — it will cost you nothing. It’s not a full-featured Swiss Army Knife like some commercial packages, but if all you need are the awl, corkscrew, and a couple of regular cutting blades, it just might work for you.

The Wired Scholar: Five Free Tools You May Not Know About

Danny Zacharias

The Internet has radically changed how information is stored, researched, and published. Work that was once done in a file catalog and in the midst of towering book shelves can now be done with a few keystrokes on a computer. The ability not only to find information, but to store your own information for the benefit of others makes the Internet an exciting tool for academic research. At the same time, the Internet has also become a resource for free quality resources. The purpose of this article is to introduce Society of Biblical Literature Forum readers to five free online tools that can serve to enhance research and productivity.

Deaf Missions launches new ASL sermon series

Just imagine not having a local church you could attend each week. How would you grow spiritually? For many Deaf people, this is a reality, because they live in isolated areas where no Deaf church or interpreted services are available.

That’s why Deaf Missions is providing a new ministry on the Internet beginning in June, 2007. This new ministry is called LINK: ASL Sermon Series. Sermons will be presented weekly in sign language via streaming video on a new website owned by Deaf Missions —

Now Deaf people will be able to “link” with Jesus and with solid Bible teaching in their natural language—ASL. Skilled and experienced Deaf preachers will each present a series of four or five messages on a particular Bible passage or theme. Every month, a new series will be webcast, with a new sermon in the series posted each week.

The sermons, which will be about 15 minutes in length, will include passages from The Bible: ASL Translation, graphics and other elements to enhance learning. Viewers may also download PDF files of discussion questions in English over each sermon to use for further study or for group study. A PDF file of the English manuscript also will be available. In addition, viewers may subscribe to free downloads of the sermons in ASL for their iPod, Windows Media Player or H.264, with a choice of file sizes.

Past sermons for the month and some former series of sermons will also be archived on the website, so visitors may watch previous messages. After a series has been shown on the Internet, those sermons will be made available on DVD for purchase from Deaf Missions’ online store. Viewers may order the DVDs directly from the LINK website.

In late April and May, six Deaf and hearing preachers will be videotaped in Deaf Missions’ new studio, using the high definition video equipment we recently purchased. They include Chad Entinger of Deaf Missions, José Abenchuchan (Jacksonville, FL), Mark Lowenstein (Fairfax, VA), Rick McClain (Birmingham, AL), Jeff Jackson (Bakersfield, CA) and Dave Borgaila (Council Bluffs, IA). Their sermons will be webcast throughout the rest of 2007, beginning with four sermons by Chad Entinger in June.

LINK: ASL Sermon Series will be a great resource for individuals and groups. Check out during the first week of June for the premiere of this exciting new program.

Churches of Christ 2007 Ministers Salary Survey Results

Charles A. Siburt, Vice President for Church Relations, Frazer Professor of Church Enrichment, of Abilene Christian University <ed.note>my alma</ed.note>, writes:

Church Leader Friends, I am pleased to inform you that the 2007 Ministers Salary Survey Results are now available on the ACU Ministry Resources web site. The number of ministers participating in this year’s survey is larger than ever before. The results are available in either Excel or PDF formats. Hopefully, the data is more intelligible and more accessible than previous surveys. You can access the results… Thank you for your interest and participation in this year’s. Peace, Charles

A Good Friday for Post-Congregationalists

<ed.note>I listen to audiobooks when possible ( fwiw – I like,,, some others ). It is interesting to me that the two recurring themes that stand out for me in the business management meme are the importance of servant leadership in the C-Suite ( including the ability to put your ego and vision on the shelf when circumstances dictate that that it is prudent ) and listening to the consumer ( and actually spending money on aligning your business practices and processes { yes this means ACTUAL I.T. capex spending [ over airplanes, race cars and yachts ] and employee education, eg – requiring that every employ be both tech and biz savvy, usually involving the statistical data warehouse and open comments on public facing web properties }).

Bill Kinnon captures this same spirit as applied to the tradition ecclesiastical structural deafness in the land at his ongoing posts found here.

A personal aside and hypothesis: you might think that US denominations exist for theological reasons — in fact, I would offer, it is to keep otherwise uninsurable ministers in affordable health insurance plans. Go ahead — ask your minister/pastor/priest — and then ask if anyone in the congregation can get the same deal. Then ask them why not.

Oh, and if you are wondering what I think the resolution to all this angst is going to be — ( it’s going to be a shocker coming from me ;-) — apply the Pauline edification imperative ( I Cor. 14:3-4 ) — via a globally distributed, open stance model — as the default answer to every discussion ( as opposed to the rote "congregational meeting drivification for 30 minutes to discuss something that should have been wikied" response ). Start there…</ed.note>