Hi. My name’s Jim Ehrman. I’m the Dean of Academic Services and one of the professors in the area of leadership and culture at Evangelical Seminary. Today’s question is, what do we mean by online education at Evangelical Seminary? It’s important to ask that question what do we mean by it because, in the world of education, there’s so many terms that are thrown around when you’re discussing online education. Terms like hybrid or blended, synchronous or asynchronous or on-ground.

Let me just remind you what some of those mean. Right? Hydrid or blended is terms that we use to describe a course where you might come and spend a few days in residency at the school, but the bulk of it then is carried out in an online setting. That online setting could include things like discussion chatrooms or videos you have to watch.

But that would be the classic hybrid or blended approach, a little bit of residency coupled with some online work. Then of course, you have what we would call synchronous online. That’s a fancy word that simply says that while the live class is happening on-ground, you’re actually on a video screen somewhere in the room engaging with the class as its happening. So if that’s synchronous, then there’s something called asynchronous.

And as you can imagine, that means that you at your discretion at your timetable, are watching the videos that might have been recorded in the classroom or other videos that an instructor uploaded. So this leads us to the question, what do we mean by online education at Evangelical? At Evangelical, we do them all: on-ground, hybrid, synchronous, asynchronous. So at one level, it’s what’s you want it to be.

But here’s some things that we think are great about the way we do online education at Evangelical. One of them is the professor, the instructor that wrote the syllabus, is also the instructor that’s teaching a course. And that may seem obvious to you, but just to let you know, it isn’t all the time obvious when it comes to online education. But here at Evangelical, we value that a content-expert professor is actually teaching a syllabus that they built.

So not only are instructors the actual person who built the syllabus, but also here at Evangelical, we have something that we call online with a face. Now, online with a face, here at Evangelical, means that you have a professor who’s touching base with you personally no matter what mode of online education you decide on. So even if you’re an asynchronous student, our professor is going to get in touch with you, right, at your leisure, and that professor will ask you how you’re doing, where these studies are headed for you, and consult with you around the way your understanding of how these studies apply to your context.

Because let’s face the facts, content has to land into context. Right? And so we want our instructors in touch with you to help you figure out what does this mean for where you feel called. So that’s a little bit about online education at Evangelical. And we encourage you to check it out.

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