Piedmont International University Offers Distance Education

George Abie Williams, a leader in wealth management for Stifel Nicolaus in Radford, Virginia, believes in serving not only his clients but also the community as a whole. For this reason, George Abie Williams is on the board of trustees for Piedmont International University, a Christian institution, in North Carolina.

Piedmont has piloted an educational philosophy that it calls “flipping the classroom.” This means that students receive basic information about subject matter outside the classroom via videotaped lectures and other presentations. During in-person class time, they can debate or discuss the meaning and implications of the content.

Six pilot courses began in spring 2014, using a distance education model. Students participated at the Winston-Salem campus or from Africa or Europe. Leading faculty prepared curriculum material in advance for students to interact with.

One of the pilot courses focused on the Book of Acts. As students studied the passages and prepared questions, they consulted experts who showed them how to use various resources to find meaning in the ancient texts. Students competed in peer-judged contests to see who could create the best lesson plans, speak most effectively, and devise the best examples.


The Private, Not-for-Profit Piedmont International University

As a member of the Board of Trustees of Piedmont International University, longtime financial advisor George Abie Williams supports the school’s mission to provide excellent Bible-centered higher education. The institution, founded in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, by Baptist Pastor Dr. Charles H. Stevens, began as Piedmont Bible Institute in 1945. Today, under the guidance of devout leaders such as George Abie Williams, the institution includes Schools of Bible and Theology, Ministry, Arts and Sciences, and Teacher Education.

The private and not-for-profit Piedmont International University maintains a student-to-teacher ratio of 9 to 1. The student body represents 33 states, and the school’s online program includes students from 19 countries. On campus students can try out for men’s and women’s National Christian College Athletic Association Division II basketball, men’s soccer, and women’s volleyball, and the George M. Manuel Library holds more than 60,000 books. Moving forward, the Christian institution seeks to extend the global reach of its innovative Bible-centered education.