FAQs Frequently Asked Questions
1. Q: How does Distance Education work; do I listen to CDs, log on to streaming video of an actual class or what?
A: When you select a course the syllabus is sent to you via email attachment or snail-mail according to your stated preference. The syllabus identifies a textbook which you are to acquire either from a local Christian bookstore, or your favorite internet book source.
The syllabus will instruct you as to exactly what you must do to satisfactorily complete the course assignments. The assignments always include reading the text carefully, and often ask the student to then make a detailed outline of the material in the text. When all assignments are complete, you are to forward all the coursework to the seminary for grading. Once again, you can do that via email attachment or by snail-mail.
In most courses (about 99%) you do not have a final exam but are asked instead to write an exam as if you were testing students you had taught. The philosophy behind that is our students learn more by teaching (or preparing to teach) than by merely recounting information as in a traditional exam.
Also, we like to send 3 courses at a time, so that when you finish a course and send it in for grading; you have other materials to work on while you await your grade. In this way, there is no down-time for the student who is anxious to progress in his studies.
2. Q: Do I have to report to a faculty member/advisor and turn in written assignments at specified deadlines?
A: No, you are not required to turn in time-sensitive assignments. Students are required to turn in at least one course in any 15 week period. The fifteen week time frame parallels the time involved in a traditional semester. However, the 15 week period is not determined by traditional semester time constraints. Students may enroll at any time and the 15 week period begins when the student enrolls.
Insofar as reporting to a faculty member at specified intervals, you are not required to do so, but any of our Deans can help you. Start by reaching out to Seminary Assistant, Mrs. Donna Restivo, her email is: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can call during business hours (Mon-Fri, 8 - 4:30 CST) by dialing 318.686.2360.
3. Q: Do I have to pay for all the courses at the beginning of each semester; and what if I don’t finish all of them before the end of the semester?
A: Remember, with Distance Education you are not bound to traditional semesters. Instead you start when you are ready and you are only required to complete 1 course during any 15 week period (though you are allowed to turn in up to 7 courses, or 21 semester hours if you can complete that much).
Most students take advantage of the Seminary’s Financial Agreement offer to finance your total degree at 0% interest, by paying a $200 down payment and then making $100 monthly installments. With this plan you can budget the expense and know exactly what you are going to spend each month. Also, since the interest rate is 0%, there is no downside because of interest accruing as in a traditional student loan. Another advantage of the Financial Agreement is that it locks the student to the tuition and fees charged at the time of his enrollment. If tuition and fees increase while you are matriculating, you continue to pay according the amount agreed upon in the Financial Agreement made at the time of your enrollment.
4. Q: Will I be required to write a Master’s thesis/Doctoral dissertation?
A: Students are not required to write a Master’s thesis. Those who do not wish to write a thesis can take extra course work provided that they take the Seminary Writing Course, BI519.
However, All doctoral students are required to write a dissertation to complete the degree requirements. Dissertation requirements vary according to the degree.
5. Q: What courses are required and how long will it take to complete this degree?
A: Once again, the course requirements vary from one degree to another. The biggest factor in determining how long it takes is how many hours you must take to complete the degree and how diligent you are in your study habits. Distance Education is different from traditional classroom learning in that you must exercise much more personal discipline in time management. You, the student must set your own deadlines that are reasonable in terms of what your lifestyle and current obligations allow. The necessity of acquiring (or maintaining) time management skills is good preparation for the challenges of working independently in a ministry setting.