1) How does the online Master of Divinity differ from your residential programs?
The online Master of Divinity at Denver Seminary is meant to be an online version of the residential Master of Divinity with No Concentration. Both programs are 78 credits and include 60 core hours of Bible and Theology credits. As an online MDiv student, you will still take New Testament, Old Testament, and Theology survey courses, Greek and Hebrew language and exegesis courses, and a mixture of Apologetics, Christian History, Expository Preaching, and Ministry Leadership courses to round out a core of classes that will prepare you for a variety of ministry positions. For the final 18 credits of open electives, we’ve chosen a well-rounded collection of electives from the various residential concentrations which will give students additional training for leadership, pastoral care, Christian formation, and evangelism.
Our goal is to make the Master of Divinity accessible to students for whom a move across the country is simply impossible. Our online MDiv has no residential component; rather we are creating online classes that closely replicate the classroom experience from the comfort of your home. The classes will still be rigorous, which is why we’ve mapped out the online MDiv to take four years instead of three, with 6-7 credits each semester instead of the 9-10 typical for students in a residential program.
2) I’ve heard the program doesn’t officially launch until fall 2017…
It’s true, the official launch of the online Master of Divinity program is fall 2017. However, we have created enough online classes to offer a soft launch of the program starting fall 2016. The 2016-2017 academic year is essentially Year Four of the online MDiv and is primarily composed of elective courses that meet the 18 credits of elective requirements for the degree. Starting next fall, students will begin taking the classes that would typically be in the first few semesters of our degree programs (GS 500, TM 500, CH 500, and onward). Regardless of which semester a student begins with, you can expect the program to take four years if you follow the outlined degree plan.
3) Is it possible to cobble together an online and residential Master of Divinity program?
The short answer is: yes, but the completion timeline could get complicated. We’ve talked to many students who would like to complete part of their degree program online and then move to Denver at some point during their Master of Divinity to continue their education residentially for some length of time. There are several things to consider as you think about cobbling together a Denver Seminary education in this way.
- The online Master of Divinity is only guaranteed to have a four-year completion if you closely follow the degree worksheet. If it is possible to take residential classes that mirror the degree worksheet (i.e. If you are close to an extension campus and are able to take a residential elective in the place of an online elective), you would remain on track to finish in four years. However, if you choose to deviate from the degree worksheet by taking a class that isn’t reflected in that semester of the online MDiv degree worksheet, we can no longer guarantee completion of the program in four years and you should communicate closely with the Academic Advising Coordinator (Jason Dill) to ensure you are taking the best classes each semester.
- If you are planning to move to Denver within the first year of your program, it would still be best to enroll in the residential Master of Divinity and take the online classes that have already been and will remain available to students across our various programs (ie. NT 511/512, OT 511/512, TH 501/502, etc). Once you are a residential student you could begin working on the remainder of your classes, including any for your desired concentration. It is important to note that many concentration classes are only offered every other year in a specified semester so while it may be possible to complete a concentration that you start in your second year, it is not a guarantee.
- The online classes are meant to closely resemble residential courses. With only 50% of each week being content delivery, you will spend the other half of every week in your courses interacting with fellow classmates and your professor to a similar or greater degree than you would interact in the classroom. Your professor will be accessible for questions, you’ll be able to learn the names and faces of your classmates and engage in ongoing dialogue with them, and will experience a practical component to each class. If you are concerned about missing out, try one of our 2.0 online classes! We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find you experience an education that mirrors the benefits of residential education without having to uproot your family.
4) How does financial aid change for online Master of Divinity students?
Because our online MDiv program is meant to be completed at 6-7 credits/semester, half-time enrollment requirements for financial aid will be 3 credits/semester and full-time enrollment requirements will be 6 credits. These enrollment requirements will apply to all scholarship, grant, and federal loan payment options.
5) Do I have to start in the fall?
Nope! Online Master of Divinity students can start in fall, spring, or summer semesters and your program will be completed four years from that starting point. As the program matures, we hope to increase the number of online options each semester to better accommodate starting students by always having first year classes readily available.
6) Does Advanced Standing and Transfer credit still apply to the online Master of Divinity?
Yes. We can still apply up to 19 credits of comparable undergraduate work and up to 39 credits of graduate level credit to our online Master of Divinity to reduce the total credits you would have to complete. However, it may not lessen the total time it takes to finish your online MDiv degree. Because you would potentially be removing classes that are currently scattered throughout the degree, you would most likely come to semesters when some of the classes would no longer apply to you without the ability to sub in other classes. (For example, if you transfer in credit for NT 511 and NT 501, currently listed in the spring semester of the second year of our online MDiv, you would perhaps only have the opportunity to take TM 501, a 1 credit class, in that semester.) We are planning to introduce more classes and semester flexibility as the Master of Divinity matures.
1) What kind of computer / Internet access do I need?
Because all coursework is online, students will need to have the following:
- Reliable desktop computer or laptop
- Computer with webcam and microphone capabilities
- Regular access to reliable internet
Our courses are designed for interactive learning in a dynamic classroom setting. As a result, some web browser’s function better with the video and media used throughout courses. Firefox and Chrome preferable. Students will also want to have the following software installed:
- Adobe Digital Reader
- Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Adobe Flash Player
- Windows Media player (Mac users will need Quick Time)
- Most recent version of your preferred web browser
- Microsoft Word (or Pages for Apple users)
2) What kind of Tech support is provided for students?
Registered students in the online program will be contacted by an Online Student Support Specialist who will assist with basic questions. For assistance with technical issues throughout courses, personal in the IT and Education Technology department are available. Online tutorials, references, and links are also available and provided during online student orientation.
3) Where do the classes take place?
Orientation to Moodle, our online learning platform, will be provided before classes begin. Within the Moodle site is where students will interact with course work, professors, and other students. Students will also use Moodle to turn in assignments, check grades, and oversee their class progression.
4) When will my courses show up in Moodle?
Courses will open to students within the Moodle site first day of each semester.
5) Can I access the online classroom on my mobile device?
Yes, however, there will be limitations. Projects, papers, and other course assignments will be best accomplished on a desktop or laptop computer.