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The Association of Theological Schools (ATS) mandates that all of its member seminaries require all of their students attend a certain percentage of classes on-campus during the pursuit of their degree. As you would expect, this residential mandate has helped many online seminary students feel more connected to their school, as they are afforded the privilege to interact with professors, classmates and advisors. Obviously, if you are an on-campus student, these residential requirements will be easily satisfied.
Because of these stipulations set by ATS, we do not offer any degrees that are 100% online. However, through a combination of online courses and on-campus modular courses, students are able to complete many of our degrees through a high quality, fully accredited distance education program that incorporates significant student and faculty interaction.
Several Master of Arts degree programs can be completed 1⁄2 online and 1⁄2 on-campus, while the Master of Divinity in Practical Theology can be completed 2⁄3 online and 1⁄3 on-campus. Our doctoral programs (Doctor of Ministry and Ph.D.) allow students to remain in their current context and do not require relocation. The coursework for both doctoral programs are taught through modular courses and abbreviated residencies. For Doctor of Ministry students, 1-week modular sessions are available once every fall, spring and summer. For Ph.D. students, 2-week modular sessions are offered once every fall, spring and summer.
Divinity programs that can be completed partially online
Online courses require no residency and are administered through Blackboard™, the distance learning platform utilized by the university. Modular courses are also completed as distance courses but do require students to spend approximately one week in Virginia Beach, Va., during the semester. By combining the online and modular courses, students are able to earn the entire degree with no requirement to relocate to Virginia Beach, Va. to attend classes.
A modular course has both on-campus and online components. For Virginia Beach modular courses, the on-campus component is completed during an intensive one-week residency or during extended weekend sessions.
Modular courses also require work both before and after the on-campus session(s), which comprises the online component. This may include pre-readings, written assignments, online interaction, etc. Read more about when the semester begins and ends »
Once each semester, the School of Divinity holds "Modular Week" (usually for a week in November and March—along with several options during the summer). During modular week, all non-modular classes cease in order to accommodate students who are attending all day modular classes.