Tag Archives: Online Classes

Online Classes: Pop Goes the Seminary

Most of my Fuller classes were on-campus, but most on-campus students still take at least a handful of online classes. The best of the online bunch, for me, was TC509: THEOLOGY AND POPULAR CULTURE with Dr. Craig Detweiler. This is the sort of class that anybody can get into because, let’s face it: we’re all pop culture junkies. Theology and Popular Culture takes our steady communal diet of television, internet, and fashion and puts it under the theological microscope, reshaping how we think about and engage with media and entertainment.

Each week was structured around a different sphere of life. The topic that I perhaps found most provocative was advertising. Continue reading


As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been at Fuller for a long time – over 7 years! And the funny thing is that I will be taking my first ever online class this coming Summer. I’m taking Theology and Film as an elective for the MFT program I’m in. So you can imagine – it’s a little difficult for me to write about what it’s like to take online classes here at Fuller.

I did, however, take an IDL class a few years ago. IDL stands for Individualized Distance Learning, and although these classes aren’t technically “online classes,” they are off campus classes that can be taken in the new MATM and MAICS flexible degrees.

I really enjoyed the IDL I took. It was Early Church History taught by Dr. Nate Feldmeth. The way IDL classes work is that at the beginning of the quarter, Fuller sends you a packet of info including the syllabus and necessary paperwork (like quiz/test forms) and a CD with the audio lectures. It’s up to you to work through the class at your own pace. You listen to the lectures, do the reading, and complete the assignments. You can pack it all into a week or two or stretch it out over the 10 week quarter. It’s up to you!

The best part about IDL classes is that you have the audio files of the lectures forever. I’ve gone back to a few of Dr. Feldmeth’s lectures a few times over the last few years to review some of what he taught. I’m particularly interested in the start of the monastic movement in the second and third century, so I went back to those lectures on more than one occasion. IDLs are the classes that keep on giving!

In short, distance/online learning has come a long way over the last several years. 15 years ago, it was an inferior way to study. Now, not only is it equal to the kind of education you get on a campus in a classroom, but it’s infinitely more flexible!

Screen-to-Screen learning

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. Continue reading

my one online class

So, I am three weeks away from finishing all my MDiv classes, which is exciting and bittersweet simultaneously. In the course of my degree, I have taken a grand total of 36 classes…and 35 of these 36 classes took place on campus.

But, I did have one online class.

And I loved it.

Last summer I took a class called Encountering the City online. The class satisfied a ministry class requirement for the MDiv, and it was taught by Dr. Chris Accornero, who is an affiliate faculty member and who did her PhD in Intercultural Studies here. There were students in the class from Fuller’s various regional campuses, students from Fuller’s Pasadena campus, and students who were online-only students (in locations as far away as Thailand and Kenya!).

The purpose of the class was to give us tools to exegete our cities, the way we might exegete the Bible, so that we can serve the people who live in our cities better as pastors, non-profit workers, and even just as residents. To that end, we visited different church and ministry locations in our cities, wrote about these experiences, and, in some cases, got involved in some of these ministries. For example, I volunteered with Fuller’s Food Distribution (which is a food pantry for low-income residents of the city of Pasadena, including Fuller students) for several weeks over the summer. For two hours every Wednesday, I got to help set up and serve our clients. At the end of the quarter, I wrote a paper for Encountering the City about my experience as a volunteer at Fuller’s Food Distribution.

The class was set up so that we would find resources on the course Moodle page, look at these resources, and then go out into our cities to use them. Dr. Chris was responsive, kind, and insightful. She would post links to articles and videos which helped us learn how to observe situations, and to be able to begin to participate. Our assignments challenged us to think critically about the way we interact with other people in our cities.

This class also reminded me that I have a heart for the city. I hope that one day I will serve in a ministry context in an urban area. As someone who grew up in the suburbs, I have ample ministry experience in places where people have yards and fences and don’t always know their neighbors well. But I have served in urban contexts as well, and I love the energy and the connectedness of cities.

So, all of that to say that my experiences with online classes at Fuller have been great. That being said, if you are planning to become an on-campus student, I do highly recommend on-campus classes. There is something gratifying about going to school in real-time. But if you are not currently in a position where you could relocate to Pasadena or one of Fuller’s regional campuses, then I would encourage you to think about applying for admission and taking online classes. You won’t regret it.

A bit on….Taking Online Classes

As you may know, Fuller is now offering three online degrees that do not require you to relocate to a campus.  This is great news going forward, but what are these classes all about?

As a student in the MA in Intercultural Studies program, and as a full-time worker, I have taken advantage of the options Fuller offers for online learning.  I have taken several classes online, and two classes through Individualized Distance Learning (IDL).

Here’s what I liked about my experience with both: Continue reading

A bit on….Online classes at Fuller

Good news coming at you – the online programs for our Master’s degrees* at Fuller are growing, and we’re not even done yet.  Recently, Fuller approved the new residency requirement for most of our MA degrees to be only 1/3rd of the degree, which means that the other 2/3rds of the degree can be done online.  For those of you who are looking at studying from a distance, or do not want to leave your ministry context, this is very good news.

You can read about each of the degree options, and their online possibilities, by clicking here:  www.fuller.edu/fulleronline

Fuller offers two types of online learning: Continue reading

A bit on….What We Offer


Fuller is the largest multi-denominational seminary in North America with over 4,000 students in our distinguished schools in Theology, Intercultural Studies, and Psychology. Fuller is incredibly diverse, with approximately 70 nations and over 110 denominations represented in our student body.

Choosing a Seminary We know that choosing a Seminary is a major decision that is filled with many factors, thoughts and prayers.  Our President, Dr. Richard Mouw, has put together a list of critical factors in choosing a seminary that may help you discover if seminary, and perhaps Fuller, is right for you.

Academic Programs:  We offer 25 Masters and Doctoral degrees through each of our three schools of Theology, Intercultural Studies and Psychology.

Emphasis Options: We offer several different emphases that you can choose once you are in a degree program that will help you sculpt your electives.

Academic Centers and Institutes:  Within Fuller, we have several different institutes, centers, programs and initiatives that help facilitate theology in context. Continue reading