School of Divinity Approved for All-Online M.Div. and M.A. Programs
In late June, the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), the gold standard for accrediting theological education in the United States and Canada, approved Regent University School of Divinity’s (DIV) fully online Master of Divinity (M.Div.) and Master of Arts in Practical Theology programs.
This eliminates the previous degree requirement for online DIV students to participate in intermittent residency intensive courses. Regent is one of just a few seminaries in the world to attain ATS approval to offer fully online courses.
Regent’s M.Div. and M.A. programs will continue eight and 15-week courses delivered entirely online, online with a weekend or on-campus modular component, or a blend of these three options.
“This is a very big milestone for the School of Divinity,” said Dr. James Flynn, associate DIV professor. “The shifting of online learning is taking the educational world by a tsunami; the people who do well will ride the waves. We’re proactively addressing what’s coming with online education.”
Flynn explained that this shift in online education allows Regent to serve its students with a “complete spectrum of educational delivery.” This means Regent is one of the first accredited institutions with the capacity to offer fully online or face-to-face courses in these programs, depending on a student’s learning preference.
“Each student has an individual personality and way God made him or her,” said Flynn. “This allows our students to choose the way they want to learn without stipulation on our part.”
And on a career level, this opens an opportunity for students to continue balancing their ministerial lives with their educational endeavors.
“I’ve been in ministry for more than 30 years; I know what a pastor’s ministry is like. It’s very busy, and it’s very difficult to travel at different times,” said Flynn. “We also have a good number of military chaplains who are serving in the field. It’s important to deliver that education where they are.”
Flynn is optimistic about the changes taking place in these two programs and hopes the ethos of Regent will continue to embrace being a forerunner in the race of change in higher education.
“Rather than trying to hold fast and steady, we want to ride these changes with the mission to reach the world with the Gospel,” said Flynn. “This is an unparalleled opportunity to reach the world if we do things well.”
In addition to these new learning options, Regent’s School of Divinity also was approved to launch a Master of Theology (Th.M.) program. This specialized, advanced degree prepares students for doctoral-level academics, teaching and spiritual enrichment.