- Study Methods
Although we offer distance learning options, RPTS is committed to in-person theological studies. We believe the classroom model provides a superior method of instruction, allowing students to ask questions immediately, to interact during breaks and after class with professors and peers. There are also different events, activities, fellowship, chapel, and ministry opportunities on campus – to name a few. It is an invaluable part of a student’s education.
From one of our graduates: Being able to compare personally classes online and in-person, it is without hesitation that I recommend that you take as many classes in person as possible. I am very grateful for my experience at RPTS, both distance learning and in-person, but if I could have spent more time in person, I would do it in a moment.
The Seminary offers some courses in the evening. The evening program consists of a 4-year rotation of required first-year classes with at least one evening class offered each quarter. For students who are in a season of life where taking day-time classes is more challenging to complete, the evening program allows them to take their first year entirely during the evenings.
Combined with taking a few distance learning courses, taking evening courses provides the opportunity for students to earn their MDiv with a few daytime courses. Except for two one-week intensive courses, an MTS degree can also be earned through evening classes. Students interested in a counseling concentration in both the MDiv and the MTS program will require some daytime class attendance. A Graduate Theological Studies Diploma may also be earned in the evening.
RPTS allows up to 45 credit hours taken through distance learning courses to be applied to the MDiv degree. Transfer credits count against the total number of allowed distance credits for the MDiv. In exceptional circumstances, additional credit hours may be earned through distance learning on a case-by-case basis. A full MDiv degree is not offered through distance learning.
With the exception of two one-week intensive courses, the MTS degree (Biblical Studies and Doctrinal and Historical Studies concentrations only) may be fully earned through distance learning courses.
Also, the Graduate Theological Studies Diploma may be fully earned through distance learning courses.
Distance learning credits transferred to RPTS from other institutions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. RPTS strongly encourages any students taking courses through distance learning to do so under the oversight of the leadership of their local congregation. All students who take distance learning courses for credit or audit must apply and be accepted to RPTS prior to beginning. Distance learning courses are subject to a non-refundable content delivery fee and are generally only offered concurrently with the corresponding on-campus courses.
If you are considering studying as a distance student, keep in mind the following requirements:
- Internet-enabled device (PC, MAC, iPad, tablet, etc.).
- High-speed internet access. All course materials are delivered through the Seminary’s online learning platform. No materials will be mailed, emailed, or otherwise distributed. You must have and maintain a good internet connection to stream video.
- Webcam and microphone, as some professors will want to interact with you via teleconference.
- Students must be able to navigate and use online resources such as email, our student web portal, and Moodle, as well as manage passwords and order books online.
- Students must complete all coursework on time, as it is easy to get behind in a distance learning course. You must be self-motivated and stay on top of your workload.