Criswell offering distance learning

DALLAS?Recognizing the need to train Christian leaders in different settings, Criswell College is offering a new distance learning program this fall, giving students the opportunity to receive a quality education away from Criswell’s Dallas campus.

Under the direction of Barry Creamer, recently named dean of distance education, the program will offer students two unique means of accessing classes.

The first opportunity is off-campus distance classes. These classes will be offered at Glen Meadows Baptist Church in San Angelo. Students on the Dallas campus and the San Angelo campus will interact with each other and the professor using video conferencing. Students who take classes off-campus will have the same academic requirements as students taking the same class on the Dallas campus. Prerequisites, time, term, and requirements are all the same.

According to Creamer, off-campus distance students will pay regular tuition for these classes, but there will be no other fees associated with these courses. San Angelo students will not pay application, admission, registration or late registration fees. However, this fee exemption is temporary and will change in upcoming semesters.

Classes offered off-campus this fall include Bible Introduction, Preaching from the Old Testament, Organizational Management, Personal Evangelism, Introduction to Biblical Exposition, Introduction to Counseling Psychology, and Bioethics on the undergraduate level. Graduate offerings include Modern-Postmodern Theology and Preparing Expository Sermons.

A second option is Online Distance Classes, which will be distinct from active classes on campus. These courses will provide an option for students with schedule and travel conflicts and provide students with the opportunity to get advanced standing before coming to campus.

Online courses are open to any student who wishes to take them and carry the same academic value as their on-campus counterparts, Creamer said. There is an additional cost for the online option as students will have a $150 fee per online class. This fee is for technology and development costs and is intended to promote on-campus classes and discourage independent studies.

There are also three additional requirements for online students. First, students must have access to a computer and a broadband Internet connection. Second, students must keep up with the pace of the class during the fall term; and third, because online classes are new this semester, students must expect some challenges and be willing to patiently work through any road blocks to complete the course requirements and to help improve the course offerings for future terms.

Undergraduate online courses offered this fall include Old Testament Intensive in the Minor Prophets, Systematic Theology 3, Bioethics, and Organizational Management. Old Testament Intensive in the Minor Prophets and Systematic Theology 3 will also be available on the graduate level online.

Creamer believes these distance learning options fit nicely with the mission of Criswell College.

“Criswell College equips Christian leaders,” Creamer said. “Where those leaders and future leaders have been able to find their way to our Dallas campus, we believe we have served them well with language, theology, Bible, counseling, education, and culture classes for the past 40 years. But there are also many Christian leaders who cannot leave either their current ministry or other obligations to come to Dallas for a few years of education. We want those ministers and lay leaders to be able to complete their education as well.”

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