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Frequently Asked Questions About Distance Learning

Can I complete my entire MDiv (or other degree) without ever traveling to Chicago?

No. North Park Theological Seminary is not accredited to offer fully-online theological master’s degrees. You can, however, complete a foundational courses certificate fully online or through regional offerings. Read more about our residency requirements for each degree.

Are online, intensive, and intensive hybrid courses more difficult than standard in-person classes?

Distance learning at the graduate level is challenging and requires both organization and motivation. Coursework is the same as what you would complete in a typical in-person class, though it may feel a little different. Instead of spending three to six hours per week in a lecture with a professor, you’ll be responsible for reading lectures and guiding your own learning process on your own time.

Are there specific days and times I will be required to be online for class?

No. Some professors do offer online “office hours” or collaboration times for student projects, but you will typically be able to log in and do your coursework at whatever time of the day (or night) suits you. Your professors will specify times as part of deadlines for assignments, so be sure to take those into account when you are planning your schedule for readings and assignments.

If I take intensive courses, how long will I actually be in class?

Most intensive courses, either on our Chicago campus or at a regional location, last a full day. If you’re in a one-week intensive you can expect to be in class from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, with breaks for coffee and lunch. If your course is two weeks long, you may meet from 8:30 to noon or 1:00 to 4:30 pm, but you may also have additional individual or group work to complete outside of class hours.

Is there coursework to do before and after I attend an in-person intensive?

Yes. You can expect to complete reading and other assignments before the first day of your intensive class. You will also have post-meeting work, such as a final paper. For intensive hybrid courses, your pre- and post-class work will involve utilizing an online course environment, interacting with your professor and classmates.

Can I complete a degree at my own pace?

While you can take one class at a time as a part-time, distance-learning student, it is important to work with your advisor and Academic Services staff to develop a degree-completion plan. Master’s degrees at North Park Theological Seminary must be completed within seven years. Up to three one-year extensions may be granted under special circumstances.

When you’re registered for a class you will need to complete the assignments outlined by the syllabus according to set due dates. If you’re in a class and having difficulty meeting deadlines due to a reasonable obstacle, please talk with your professor as soon as possible to discuss whatever issue you’re having and work out a solution that is acceptable for both of you.

Will my professor respond to my questions in an online class?

Yes! Our online, intensive, and intensive hybrid courses are all taught by our expert faculty who are all real people. They’re dedicated to helping you succeed in your classes and in discerning your next steps in your vocation. You are encouraged to interact with them through the online course system, as well as to contact them by email or phone if you have additional questions or need guidance in a specific issue.

What technological equipment do I need to be successful?

At North Park, we use an online education tool called Moodle. When you register for an online course at North Park, you’ll be able to log in to Moodle with your North Park network account username and password. You don’t need to buy or download any additional software to use Moodle. All you need is a computer with high-speed internet access and a web browser like Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Safari. Learn more.

What financial aid is available to distance learners?

Financial aid options vary by program and by your status as either a full-time or part-time student. Be sure to talk to your admissions representative about the options available to you as a distance student in the process of applying to North Park Theological Seminary.

How do I apply to the distance learning program at North Park Theological Seminary?

All students use the same applications to Seminary, which only varies by what program you are seeking to complete. In your application process, you’ll be able to indicate if you expect to be an on-campus or distance student, and whether you want to study full- or part-time. Learn how to apply.

Frequently Asked Questions about distance learning