Being a Clinical Psychology student, there aren’t any psychology classes I can take online. There are, however, a plethora of online courses offered through the School of Theology and School of Intercultural Studies which fulfill requirements for my degree. I have taken a few non-face-to-face courses during my time at Fuller. The first was an IDL (Individualized Distance Learning) and the second was an Online class.
They were both valuable experiences, but I’ll focus on my online class, since it was more recent. Much to my surprise, I enjoyed the class. At first, I decided to take it because my schedule was really busy and I wanted the flexibility that is so nicely included with online coursework.
The class was a seminary core requirement called Church and Mission in Global Contexts, and it was taught by Dr. Ryan Bolger. The course focused on introducing us to various contributing groups to what Christianity is today (Orthodox, Catholic, Pentecostal, and then New Expressions of Church). Each of these “units” required us to attend a service of the particular movement, gather information about the movement, write a reflection, and interact with our group about our experience. We watched relevant clips of lectures, YouTube videos, and the like, and read books about each particular movement.
What I really appreciated about the class was the hands-on nature of the class. Despite being online, I interacted with my group every week, and really got a feel for what it was like to attend the various churches. Because I tend to be more of an observant (rather than participatory) class member, I am not typically in the thick of conversation and discussion in class. This is especially true in my Theology and Intercultural Studies classes. However, I was really able to engage in this class because I had the chance to formulate my thoughts and ideas and then type them to my group rather than raise my hand and speak in front of a large (and often intimidating) group of other students.
Although I’m not sure how many more online courses I will take during my time at Fuller, I have to say that my expectations were far exceeded by the caliber of this course. And any online course I take from here on definitely will have some pretty large shoes to fill.
If you have any questions about my experience, please feel free to send me an e-mail.