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Online Episcopal Colleges and Schools: How to Choose

Learn about important considerations when selecting an online Episcopal school. Keep reading to get an overview of the program options, typical format, and common courses offered for the field of study.

Online Episcopal schools vary greatly in the formatting of their programs and education options. We help students understand these considerations and look at a few school options.

How to Select an Online Episcopal School

Students considering online Episcopal schools must make their decision based on several key factors. Several traditional Episcopal colleges throughout the country offer coursework and degree programs in online and hybrid format. Students can take religious and non-religious themed courses. Interested parties may want to take into account considerations such as online formats, education options and technological requirements.

Program Format

Both fully online and hybrid course and program options are available through Episcopal colleges. A hybrid course or program provides one an opportunity to complete a combination of on-campus and online classes; this may be a better option for those interested in working with professors and peers face-to-face or taking advantage of special on-campus conferences and workshops as well as regular school-based activities such as community prayer and healing services.

Fully online courses or programs may be more suitable for those who are working full-time or have personal or family obligations that prohibit them from making trips to campus. Individuals interested in either hybrid or fully online options might also want to keep in mind that some courses may be offered in asynchronous fashion - that is, enrollees are not required to adhere to certain set schedules online for real-time participation purposes - while others require some synchronous engagement in the form of Web conferences or chat sessions.

Education Options

Before selecting an Episcopal school, aspiring students may want to explore the possibilities and consider whether they want to enroll in a single course or a full academic program of study. Some Episcopal schools offer only individual courses online, while others offer full programs through distance learning means. For instance, some colleges offer rotating courses in subjects such as the modern church, Christian ethics and biblical languages, while others offer full diploma or master's degree programs in areas such as Christian history, Anglican studies, ministry and biblical studies.

List of Online Episcopal Programs

Online Master of Arts in Religion

Many religious schools prepare students for further seminary training for the pastorate. Courses cover the various aspects of religious-focused topics, such as:

  • Biblical studies
  • History and theology
  • Missiology
  • Ministry and society

Episcopal Schools with Online Programs

The Trinity School for Ministry offers a Master of Arts in Religion program that can be completed fully online or in a hybrid format. Students can choose a thesis or non-thesis option. Each option offers specializations in biblical studies, Christian history and theology and Christian ministry and missiology. Students can customize their program to prepare for ordination.

The Episcopal Divinity School offers hybrid certificate and master's degree programs through its distributive learning option. Distributive learning allows students to take online courses during fall and spring semesters along with on-campus courses during intensive January and June terms and on weekends. Certificate programs are available in theological studies, and master's students can choose from a Master of Divinity or Master of Arts in Theological Studies.

The Church Divinity School of the Pacific also offers a certificate and master's degree program, but these can be completed entirely online. The Continuing Education Certificate in Anglican Foundations consists of eight courses with weekly online discussions and a final assignment. The online Master of Theological Studies program is not intended for ordination, though it can allow current members of the clergy or professionals in other fields to continue their education. Program requirements include a thesis or final project. Students can specialize in one of five areas, including pastoral studies and interfaith relations.

Students pursuing an online degree program from an Episcopal school can find a handful of options. However, students should note that these schools vary in the educational options they offer, and some feature program formats requiring in-person residencies or courses.


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