- Flexibility: An online Master of Divinity program allows a student to fit course work into an already full daily schedule. Selecting online courses give students the opportunity to plan their study time around the rest of their day, instead of trying to balance their normal daily schedule to accommodate study time. The flexibility of attending class online works with the student’s schedule so as never to miss a family activity or ministry commitment.
- Anywhere study: One of benefits of online study is that a student does not have to get dressed up. Women can attend class without make-up or making certain they are having a good hair day. No one cares if you stay in your pajamas while in the online classroom. You do not have to fight rush hour traffic, commute to campus, locate a parking place, and rush from class to class. Weather is not a factor with online study, never a need to worry about the heat, rain, or snow causing you to be late to class. Choices of location where a student studies is endless; world-wide study from various countries, lake settings, sitting by a warm fireplace in the mountains, in a swing on the porch, relaxing at the beach, or even while soaking in a bathtub.
- Anytime study and Self-paced learning: Most online classrooms are available 24/7, thus making the classroom experience adjustable to the student’s schedule. Anytime study, works for the student who delights in rising early to attend class, prefers going to class during lunchtime breaks, or desires to attend class late in the evening. The opportunity at working at your own pace can provide a more effective learning method for independent learners. Self-paced learning puts the student in charge of when and how much to study for each course.
- Accelerated courses and classroom interactions: Many online programs do one course at a time over a shorter time span with intense learning experiences. A student can download all the course work and begin completing as many assignments as time will permit before the due date to upload into the classroom to their professor. Interaction with classmates in a classroom forum can be a positive learning experience. Generally there is more interaction in an online classroom than in a traditional classroom. Sometime online interaction is less threatening for the quieter more reserved student who will seldom participate in a traditional classroom.
- Affordability: Online learning does not have the cost of maintenance expenses of brick and mortar campuses. Online program many times provide a more affordable option than traditional seminaries. Many textbooks are now available on electronic reading devices lessening the cost of textbooks. Kindle provides a free application that will download onto a computer. There are no costs for commuting to campus or additional required campus expenses.
- Session options: Many online programs provide various sessions or terms during the year instead of taking courses by semester sessions. The session options works for the student who needs to take a term or session off for family, ministry commitments, or financial reasons.
About the Writer: Linda Graber has served as the Director of Alumni Relations and Ministry Partnerships for Rockbridge Seminary, a fully online accredited seminary since 2013. She is 2008 graduate of Rockbridge Seminary having earned her Master’s in Ministry Leadership. Linda is also a Life Purpose Coach/Instructor with Life Purpose Coaching Centers International.