A maximum of 41 credits in the Master of Divinity program may be completed through online learning, whether taken at Phoenix Seminary or transferred from another institution. The Master of Arts (Biblical and Theological Studies), Master of Arts in Ministry with a concentration in Christian Studies, and the Graduate Diploma in Biblical and Theological Studies are offered completely online
Online courses appeal to current on-campus students who may need to commute long distances or have an unexpected schedule conflict at home or work. They also appeal to those accepted to study at the Seminary who must delay moving to Phoenix for a season. Students in other U.S. states or foreign countries also find such courses a good option. Online courses are available for full academic credit to those enrolled in most of the Seminary’s degree and graduate diploma programs and may also be accessed on a noncredit basis in several personal enrichment certificate options. Online courses offered by Phoenix Seminary meet all applicable regulations of State and Federal agencies and the criteria of our professional (ATS) and regional (HLC) accrediting agencies.
The Phoenix Seminary Faculty have approved 28 courses which can be offered online. The Faculty’s philosophy of education places a priority on the importance of face-to-face instruction and ministry formation in traditional classroom settings. Because the development of quality, graduate-level online courses is both expensive and time-consuming, the Seminary has carefully moved forward with its online offerings. The Online Education Committee is currently developing new online courses, focusing on classes drawn from the core curricula of the Master-level programs. As new online courses are completed, they will appear in the semester course schedules with course numbers followed by the letter “o.”
Phoenix Seminary online courses are multifaceted, consisting of learning experiences such as captured lectures, assigned readings, projects, research papers, quizzes, discussion forums, and examinations. The classes require regular and substantive student-faculty and student-student communication. Courses are either taught by resident faculty members who teach the same course on campus, or by a qualified online instructor, using the captured lectures of the professor who developed the course. Online courses follow a traditional 15-week semester format in the fall and spring semesters but are adapted in the summer semesters to follow the accelerated 10-week format.
Phoenix Seminary seeks to offer our online program and classes in as many states, districts and territories as possible. For this reason, we are an institutional participant in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) initiative. In this agreement, the Seminary has reciprocity with other SARA states, districts and territories for its distance education programs. It is intended to make it easier for students in another state to take online courses offered by Phoenix Seminary. Please visit the NC-SARA website (http://nc-sara.org) for the most current list of states that participate in SARA.
Technical Skills Required to Complete an Online Course Successfully
To complete the requirements of a Phoenix Seminary online course you must have the ability: (1) to use a computer word processor such as Microsoft Word; (2) to launch a web browser and complete an online application at the seminary website for admission to Phoenix Seminary; (3) to register and pay tuition and fees for classes online; (4) to log into the seminary’s Moodlerooms Learning Management System and establish access using a password/key provided to registered students; (5) to access course materials and discussion forums by clicking on the items and drop-down menus displayed on the course page in Moodlerooms; (6) to send and receive email; (7) to send assignments to the professor as an attachment to email or through the electronic course Dropbox in Moodlerooms; and (8) to complete course evaluations and related assessment surveys online.
Online Student Services and Support
Academic advising may be obtained from the student’s assigned Student Service Advisor. Career Counseling is provided by the Dean of Students.
Technical assistance is available to online students. Please contact Technical Support at OnlineSupport@ps.edu.
Students with Disabilities
The seminary seeks to provide reasonable accommodation for online students with disabilities. General guidelines for students with disabilities may be found in the Student Handbook and are administered by the Dean of Students.
With regard to online students, support includes accommodation for sighted, but color-blind, online students by ensuring that none of the course and support pages in the Learning Management System require color discrimination. Pages can be scaled for those who lack visual acuity. Additional time is available for online students with learning disabilities who need longer periods to respond to course requirements. Students with limited motor function may be assisted by a helper. A similar approach is also available for blind students. Those with minimal or complete auditory disability may be accommodated by signing. Supplemental Texts and other readings can also be provided for students unable to hear course lectures.
Student Conduct Requirements for Online Students
Student conduct requirements at Phoenix Seminary apply equally to resident and online students. Resident and online education students are required to know and follow the “Student Conduct Policy” located in the appendices of the Phoenix Seminary Student Handbook.
Distance Education Complaint Process
Distance education students are asked to first contact their course instructors to resolve any complaints or concerns. If a problem is not resolved, students may submit an official written complaint detailing the issue to the Provost, Dr. Michael Thigpen, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 602.429.4431.
If we are not able to resolve your issue, or you have complaints against the seminary, you may file a complaint or grievance with:
The Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education ("Board")
1740 W. Adams, Suite 3008
Phoenix, AZ 85007
The Student Complaint Procedure Form can be found on the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education website: https://ppse.az.gov/complaint.
Distance education students, who have completed the internal grievance processes at the seminary and the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education, may appeal non-instructional complaints to AZ SARA Council. To file a complaint against an Arizona SARA Council-approved institution, you must meet the following requirements:
- File within two years of the incident about which the complaint is made.
- Complete the institutional complaint process prior to submission with the Council.
- The complaint must be a formal assertion in writing that the terms of SARA, or of laws, standards or regulations incorporated by SARA, are being violated by a person, institution, state, agency or other organization or entity operating under the terms of SARA.
- You are a student of an Arizona SARA Council-approved institution.
- You are not a student, but have a concern about any of the above.
For additional information on the complaint process, please visit AZ SARA complaint page: https://azsara.arizona.edu/complaints
Online Course Minimum System Requirements
To complete an online course you need the following computer and software minimums:
|Internet Connectivity||High-speed connection (DSL, Cable, Satellite, Wireless)|
|Software||Microsoft Office 2007 or higher, Adobe Acrobat Reader|
|PC Operation Systems||Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10|
|Microsoft Internet Explorer (version 11)|
|PC Browsers||Microsoft Edge|
|Mozilla Firefox (through version 53)|
|Google Chrome (through version 58|
|Legacy browsers with known compatibility issues: Internet Explorer 10 and|
|Mac Operating Systems||OS X Yosemite (10.10.x), OS X El Capitan (10.11.x), Mac OS Sierra (10.12.x)|
|Apple Safari (through version 10)|
|Mozilla Firefox (through version 53)|
|Google Chrome (through version 58)|
|Legacy browsers with known compatibility issues: Safari 7 and below|
|Minimum RAM||2 GB|
|Recommended RAM||4 GB|
|Minimum CPU||Pentium 4, 1.3 GHz|
|Recommend CPU||Intel Core Duo 1.33 GHz. Recommended Intel i3 2.3 GHz|