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June 11, 2007
Thompson Named Seminary Director of Distance Learning


Dr. Bradley Longfield, vice president and dean of the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary (UDTS), has named Melinda Thompson, instructor of Old Testament, director of distance learning and assistant professor of Old Testament. Thompson has served as the interim director since the retirement of John Jewell in fall of 2006. Jewell had directed the Distance Learning program of the Seminary since its inception in 1999.

Thompson, who holds the Ph.D. in Old Testament from Luther Seminary, has extensive experience in theological education through distance technology. Dean Longfield stated, "We are delighted that Dr. Thompson has accepted our invitation to assume this key position. She is uniquely qualified for this important post, and the faculty of the Seminary is excited about the ways that distance learning can further the mission of the school to prepare faithful pastors."

UDTS has led the way in the development and implementation of distance learning opportunities for the church. Since the program's inception, over 1,100 students from across the nation have taken online courses through the innovative Commissioned Lay Pastor (CLP) program. In 2004, spurred by positive response to the CLP program, UDTS expanded its distance learning program with online Master of Divinity courses. In January of 2007 the Seminary received accreditation from the Association of Theological Schools to offer the M.Div. degree combining courses taken primarily via the internet with residential intensives in a 5-year seminary degree program. The online program makes it possible for people with gifts for ministry to receive a theological education without moving to a seminary. The focus is on education, community, and preparation for pastoral leadership. Of her appointment, Dr. Thompson commented, "I am honored to serve UDTS as director of distance learning and believe that this is an exciting time for our program."

For more information on distance learning opportunities at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary please contact the UDTS Office of Distance Learning: SemTech1@dbq.edu or 563.589.3630.