Betty Lewis Kasperski of Georgetown, Delaware
If you had told me three years ago that I would be taking online classes to answer a lifelong calling to ministry; I may have thought you were speaking to the person next to me. But as I complete my last course I have been infused with tremendous knowledge, experienced the intensity and commitment of excellent professors and gained new friends across the nation. Online learning was new to me, but with a little assistance, I was quickly up to speed and enjoying the experience. So if you have some online learning fear, do not let it stop you. There will be late nights, or early mornings spent on the computer, but that is the beauty of flexible learning. No matter what your age or background, move forward, "online angels" will be there for you. God has many new avenues of ministry for us to fill-answer the call!
Kirk Jordan of Haley, Pennsylvania
Education is a joy and UDTS does not disappoint. This is my first online classroom experience and at 47, made it possible to continue my education. At a recent CLP gathering and having heard some stories concerning other seminaries, I feel comfortable saying UDTS is right out front when it comes to online education. Having completed 6 out of 9 courses, each course brought with it a different professor, all being more than capable not to mention very relatable. I would not recommend more than one class at a time; it is not fair to the class, your personal growth or the God you serve. Enjoy the fellowship, take your time, and grow with the season. Churches, institutions, classrooms all have their own air, UDTS is no different, the aroma here is pleasant, the fellowship has been fantastic, in short, UDTS naturally attracts some of Gods finest. Growth is one word, transformation another, both have been present throughout. I am eternally grateful for the support, concern, encouragement, and wisdom shared by UDTS, each professor and fellow classmates. Running a business, preaching on Sundays, the work load has been sufficient. Concerns? If I looked hard enough I may find some, but honestly, UDTS gets the thumbs up, an online blessing. I would encourage future students to not grow weary in well doing, UDTS is rich in its offering, a worthy investment, but do be urgent in season and out of season, continually offering your mind to furthering Gods kingdom. The harvest is great but the workers are few, press on toward the mark of a higher calling. UDTS is a great vehicle to assist you on your journey.
Rodger Clawson of Gresham, Oregon
I grumbled, moaned, and screamed, prior to taking the Online Learning Certification class. I had worked with computers since 1965 and held many computer certifications. I felt there was no need for this training – was I ever wrong! This was like removing my head and reattaching it in a new way so I could use distance learning. A light bulb went off toward the end of the class as I was remotely discussing with other students. The end result of this class taught me this is just like college learning but it was no longer real time or face to face. Any improvement here may be in the class title. Something like “Those that have gone before you say this is critical for your success.” Since I became frustrated by fellow students who did not understand how to respond using Moodle, it could be called “Skills to make your fellow students happy as you respond.”
Cathi Everett of Jacksonville, Florida
I was so reluctant to start the program. I had so many questions. Would I be smart enough? Would the courses be too difficult? When I made my final decision to jump in I jumped in fully. I signed up for four classes, Presbyterian Polity, Reformed Theology, Pastoral Care, and New Testament. The only sad thing about my experience is that these four classes are over.
The New Testament is, of course, something we will be dealing with, learning from and practicing all the days of our lives so there is never enough time to study the New Testament. One thing I came away with that was especially exciting for me was the ability to differentiate the gospels. Incredible lectures and life changing information was shared. The best advice I can give is to come into the classes or class with an open mind and a desire to learn, you will get out of the program what you put into it. After reading the syllabus it gets easier, learn all you can and know that what you learn will make each subsequent week even in terms of adding to your education. If it were up to me all of our church elders would take courses will they were serving. Don’t let anxiety keep you from this rich experience of learning about the Presbyterian Church or Reformed Theology, it is our legacy.