Redefining the meaning of campus: A case study of theological education at a distance

Donald Lurton Tucker, University of Pennsylvania


Given the nature of theological education with its focus on affective elements of professional socialization involved in training clergy, the usefulness of distance education methods in theological education has not been adequately explored. This study examines the In-Ministry Master of Divinity program of Bethel Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. It answers the question: "How can a community of peer interaction and learning be established in theological education through the use of distance education delivery methods?" Using a case study methodology involving participant observation, research interviews, and student surveys the research analyzes methods in place by the representative seminary. The research shows how a combination of distance education delivery techniques with on-campus intensive courses provides opportunity for interaction and the development of a community of learning. It concludes that the in-ministry program provides a workable model for developing and sustaining interaction and community as required by the accrediting standards of the Association of Theological Schools.

Subject Area

Higher education|Religious education|Educational software

Recommended Citation

Tucker, Donald Lurton, "Redefining the meaning of campus: A case study of theological education at a distance" (1998). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9830680.