Online classes give students the opportunity to receive a quality WBS education with the flexibility of being able to do so wherever there’s a high-speed Internet connection. Professors seek to teach online classes in such a way that the course content and student interactions accomplish the same objectives with a similar community feel as on-site classes.
Asynchronous vs. Real-time Classes
WBS offers two types of online classes: asynchronous and real-time.
- Asynchronous: There is no set time for classes to “meet,” but coursework must all be accomplished according to syllabus deadlines. Through the use of various tools and technologies, lectures, resources, conversations, and assignments are shared across the country and world. Forums allow for student interactions with one another and the professor in order to process material, engage in productive discussion, and learn from each other’s research.
- Real-time: Using video-conferencing, students are brought together in a virtual classroom setting at decided class times for lectures and class interactions.
Most WBS M.A. and M.Div. classes are offered online in either real-time or asynchronous formats. Some classes, such as Greek and Hebrew, may only be offered online in real-time. Other classes, such as some of the M.Div. Teaching and Honors Research concentration classes, are offered solely on campus as summer intensives. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Much of our degrees may be accomplished through online courses, but we maintain an on-campus component—“Residency”—in order to share our ethos and promote true community in our midst. Residencies are a time of community-building, scholarship, worship, and conference participation.
The online program is designed to be part-time to allow for study while continuing ministry. Generally speaking, part-time students taking two classes each semester (including two during the summer) will generally need about three years to complete an M.A. and four to five years to complete an M.Div.
Students taking approximately three classes per semester (and two to three during the summer) may be able to complete the M.Div. in three years (four residencies or equivalent are still required) and the M.A. in two years. Please check course offerings carefully when planning your schedule each semester.
WBS is an accredited seminary, and our distance learning program is approved by the Association of Theological Schools.