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May 28, 2008
UDTS Distance Learning Staff Spreading the News


Two members of the Distance Education Office at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary (UDTS) have been active in presentations outside the seminary community this year.  UDTS makes quality theological education widely available to those who seek to serve the church as pastors through the distance Master of Divinity program and the Commissioned Lay Pastor (CLP) program.

Nicole Story, assistant director of technology for distance learning, presented a workshop at the Association of Theological Schools' Ed-Tech conference in Tampa, Florida, March 28-29.  Her presentation was titled "Beyond Text:  A Look at Resources for Distance Learning." 

Dr. Melinda Thompson, director of distance education and assistant professor of Old Testament, presented a paper at the Upper Midwest Regional meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature titled "Keeping the 'Theological' in Distance Theological Education."  The meeting took place in St. Paul, Minnesota, March 28-29.  She has also been invited to provide the plenary address for the Presbyterian Communicators Network Regional Conference, August 25-27 at the Stronghold Conference Center in Oregon, Illinois.  Her topic is "Communicating Theology Using Technology." 

UDTS has a strong track record for successful distance learning programs.  In the past eight years, more than 1400 students from across the nation have participated in the innovative Commissioned Lay Pastor program, which offers eight non-credit online courses required by the Presbyterian Church (USA) for non-ordained pastors.  In 2007, UDTS was fully accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) to provide a Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree with courses offered primarily via the Internet.  They had been providing a sampling of online MDiv courses since the summer of 2004.

Online instruction allows participants to benefit from the flexibility of independent learning and the interaction of group learning in a new educational experience that permits participation from nearly anywhere in the world. Interaction with instructors and other students occurs through email and discussion boards on the course website.  The M.Div. distance program offers the same curriculum with the same faculty as the Seminary's M.Div. residential program.

For more information about Distance Education opportunities at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, call toll-free 888-207-8218 or visit http://udts.dbq.edu/distance/index.htm