Distance learning reputation

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Eric Rolen, Nov 11, 2005.

  1. Eric Rolen

    Eric Rolen
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    Is the distance learning option of getting your bible education (BA or BS) viewed as reputable in todays churches. I have spoke with some that think it is not and some who think it is very reputable. Some think you need the christian campus environment to gain a good education. What is everyone's opinion on this? Is it legitimate?
     
  2. Brother Ian

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    You will get snobbery from some people regarding distance education, but there are some very good programs out there.

    I think most churches will accept distance learning. I wouldn't expect the majority of churches will ask if you attended on campus, especially if you go to Liberty or Luther Rice. Just about all the schools now have some form of distance education.
     
  3. Martin

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    ==In my opinion if you can't get your spiritual "needs" met at your church and in your prayer closet something is wrong. I think the local church, and not a seminary campus, is the best place to prepare men for ministry. That is one reason I support online education at seminaries and church based education (mentorships, etc). I am not opposed to on-campus studies. After all there are some degrees that one just must be on campus, at some point, to complete (ie...a PhD). Those who don't like distance education usually have one of two hang-ups: (1) they still still think distance learning/online learning is like the old correspondence courses from several years ago. They are unaware (willfully unaware in some cases) of the improvements in technology (dvds,internet, etc) that makes distance/online education just as solid as on-campus studies (if not more so at times). (2) they resist change because it makes them uncomfortable. Either way seminaries need to catch up on the distance/online learning transformation within higher education. When I can attend East Carolina University, or the local community college, and earn a Bachelors, Masters, or Associates degree 100% online, and have that viewed as equal to an on-campus programs, while the majority of seminaries don't allow such programs to exist in their school(s) something is woefully wrong. The church needs to be taking advantage of the transformation in education. There is a whole world out their in need of trained Bible teachers, preachers, missionaries, next door neighbors, and co-workers. Distance/online education opens a door for the church to fulfill the great commission that we have not had to this point. I can't, for the life of me, understand why some seminaries and "christian" accrediting agencies don't understand all of this...maybe it has something to do with the reasons listed above?

    Martin.
     
  4. JamieinNH

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    I am attending Liberty through their LD program, and when complete, the Degree will just say I have graduated from Liberty, it won't say that I did it through their LD program.

    As far as I know, people who hire you won't know it's a LD degree unless you opt to tell them.

    Jamie
     
  5. Brice

    Brice
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    You are right Jamie. The degree does not state distance learning. The transcripts also show no difference.
     
  6. El_Guero

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    Martin

    Personally, I did not enjoy the online course I took from seminary. The technology had problems.

    But, the technology problems will eventually go away. When the quality in seminary on-line catches up with the Universities, then each and every pastor in this country can gain a better education. Let us pray that we can earn Ph.D's and D.Min.'s on line soon as well!

    God bless
     
  7. TomVols

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    I would not encourage online or distance education as the first option. You need mentoring and interaction, something sorely lacking on the local church level. However, I don't see the wisdom in uprooting a family and going off to a seminary for 4 years either if another viable option is available. If you can do it, go to campus for at least the Bachelor's and Master's degrees. Anything else can be done externally. There are quite a few options for extension centers as well. Consider the external option only as a last resort, only if you are very self-motivated and self-paced learner, and have more than adequate mentoring and interaction with students and pastors. The insight you get from "iron sharpening iron" is priceless. You'll benefit from a seminary library and chapel experience, too.
     
  8. gb93433

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    The things I learned having dialog with other students and professors was extremely valuable. Many of those things are not in books or online.

    I could have read the same book and learned a lot but not nearly as much as I did when on campus.

    One of my former professors taught an online classs for about two years and said he will never do it again. He told me that it was extremely time consuming and found the students didn't learn near as much as those in class.
     
  9. Brice

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    I agree that in a perfect world the classroom is better. That being said, you can get as much out of the distance learning format as you want. You have to apply yourself though. I can say this from experience because I've been a resident student and a distance learning student. If you get the chance you should definetly try to do the work on campus; I only say this because I liked the face-to-face experience. All in all it really depends on your motivation and situation, but the reputation is the same (because the diploma and transcripts don't note the difference).

    [ November 12, 2005, 01:37 AM: Message edited by: Brice ]
     

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