It’s hard to choose the right ONLINE BIBLE COLLEGE! So many promise you the moon, but may not be able to deliver. One problem with the online bible college model (or any online degree program) is the possibility that you may not quite grasp how the information applies in the “real world” without a personal mentor to help the transition in some way. Personal mentoring can happen in the traditional college setting – though it’s not guaranteed. It can happen in an online bible college if you consider “skyping” your professor “personal”.
The “Virtues Campus” model could be the PERFECT combination of an online bible college or online degree education and personal mentoring available. If you find the concept compelling, then, indeed, this is going to be your best online bible college option.
How does it work? The possibilities are endless because it might work with any online degree program or online bible college. The difference is that instead of studying alone, one’s studies are conducted by a local mentor pastor. Online bible colleges or other online degrees often have testing that needs to be “proctored” or monitored by a live human being so usually some form of human interaction is necessary at a local basis. Why not attend a virtues campus that provides not only test monitoring but spiritual formation and career guidance as well?
The “Virtues Campus” is a local church based study centered that partners with a degree conferring accredited online Bible college. Many variations will emerge, but currently this is how the Virtues Campus hybrid online degree program works…
1. Students enroll in the Virtues campus and the degree conferring institution.
2. Students receive discounted tuition from the institution to cover the cost of the Virtues Campus program.
3. While pursuing the online degree,
4. Students participate in the spiritual formation, career guidance, and other activities associated with the virtues campus that add to the value of the online degree.
One major goal for every Virtues campus is to allow students to graduate without burdensome debt.
For the student it provides structure, a local study center, and – most importantly – a church based community of learning.
While that idea seems strange to moderns, it’s because American evangelicalism has been marked in many ways by an “anti-intellectual” bias. Originally the major “Ivy League” schools existed to train ministers. Though they have forgotten their calling and often mock the Christian faith that spawned them, they were not the first church related schools.
Anyone who has ever read “How the Irish Saved Civilization” knows that they ancient Celtic monastic communities preserved and advanced knowledge through the copying of books. They considered their love for literature and learning part of their worship of Almighty God. When Europe’s libraries were destroyed, it was these monastic centers from which learning proliferated again. The Virtues campus hopes to recreate that model in a modern setting.
As a result, it positions the church within the community as a center of higher education and learning where a vibrant community of thinkers is being built up. This program would dovetail perfectly with church based high schools like Jesse Remington High School.
Will this program become available at many locations using many degree providers such as Western Governors University? Undoubtedly such schools would not care WHERE their students did their assignments. A Virtues Campus could exist and allow students studying at a variety of schools to work in the same environment and “cross pollinate”!
As the number of Virtues Campus programs spring up to provide online degree programs and online bible college opportunities with local church based community, expect more exciting programs and options to emerge….This type of hybrid online bible college or online college degree program may be ideal for you or a student you know!