The steps to becoming an ordained minister or preacher from wherever you are just got a little easier.
On September 30, 2020, Tyndale became one of the first accredited seminaries in Canada to offer a fully online Master of Divinity program after receiving Senate approval to remove residency requirements.
“An online delivery option aligns well with the new ways students wish to access graduate education,” says Dr. Arnold Neufeldt-Fast, VP, Academic and Dean of the Seminary. “Our investment in web-based course production over many years has been a solid anchor in the COVID–19 storm and provides the platform for a quality, fully-online MTS or MDiv degree.”
Over the past five years, enrollment in the pre-recorded, asynchronous web courses has grown from 601 in 2015 to 1,433 in 2020 – a 138% increase. Even before the pandemic, Tyndale has been offering the MTS degree completely online since 2015. It also offers a sufficient number of asynchronous web-based courses for the completion of the MDiv Interdisciplinary degree at a distance, with the exception of one internship/residency course. For the past two years, faculty for that course met synchronously with students at a distance and, before the pandemic hit, were preparing to offer the MDiv completely online.
“Our faculty were confident that their online students were not only meeting the stated outcomes for the course as the others but, depending on their learning style and personality, were actually exceeding outcomes,” says Dr. Neufeldt-Fast.
With growing competency in video-conferencing apps, strong technical support, good pedagogical coaching and increased comfort with the “new normal,” Tyndale expects more courses to be livestreamed or made available in a blended form – both livestreaming and offering asynchronous elements – pandemic or not.
“Faculty and students are now seeing that critical dialogue and engagement between students and their professors and peers is possible in an online environment with discussion forums, breakout rooms, digital office or ‘coffee’ hours and more,” says Dr. Neufeld-Fast. “And we know we can only get better in these new forms of pedagogy.”