In today’s fast paced culture, many people don’t feel they have the time to go back to grad school, and that includes those who feel called to the seminary. For those people, distance education can help to alleviate the restrictions that the typical “on campus” learning has on them. Here are five reasons distance education might be right for you:
1. Ease of scheduling:
Anyone who did on campus learning for their undergraduate can understand the frustration of scheduling classes. Some are only available in the spring, others in the fall, some are already full, and others don’t have enough people in them and are cancelled. The list of frustrations goes on and on, but you won’t get that with online classes. You pick a class and go. It really is that simple, no need to worry about the time or day interfering with another class ever again.
This phrasing can be a bit deceiving. Yes, you can do the work on your own schedule, but there are still deadlines. Most classes done online are still done on a weekly schedule (I.E. assigned Monday, due the following Monday). The blessing of being self-paces is that you can spend more time on areas you are struggling with than in the traditional setting. You will need to be self-motivated to do well with this.
Convenience was the best part for me when I was taking classes online in my undergraduate studies. I was able to make my own schedule and do the work whenever I had a spare minute or two. I would work on my lunch breaks, before I came home for the day, and then spend more time studying after my wife and I put the kids to bed. It was a blessing because it gave me more time to spend with my young family during the time when they were all awake and wanting my attention.
4. Already working in your field:
Already a pastor without the graduate degree? Online will probably be the best option for you. You’ll be able to maintain your current schedule (for the most part) and keep all of your major responsibilities while fulfilling the call you felt to continue your education. You’ll also be able to bring in real life experience to your studies that will enhance not only your seminary experience, but also your classmates, who will read what you write along the way.
5. You’ll earn the same degree as on campus students:
When you’ve completed all of your course work and the day finally comes to get your diploma (in the mail), you’ll notice that the word “Online” doesn’t appear anywhere on it. More and more degree plans are being offered completely online and the course work is the exact same as being in the classroom, but you don’t have to actually sit in the classroom. No employer will be able to tell that you completed your degree online unless you volunteer the information yourself.
By Michael A. Murphy Michael is a husband and father to three children. He and his wife will be moving their family from Michigan to Colorado to attend seminary this fall. Mike and his wife, Denise, blog together at theevertree.wordpress.com