How does the quality of Phillips Online compare with an on-campus course?
There is no difference in quality. The curriculum goals are the curriculum goals, regardless of the method of delivery. Every course is carefully evaluated by the students, the faculty member, and the dean—just as every on-campus course is. Every teacher is either a member of Phillips' regular faculty or is an approved affiliate or adjunct professor. In addition, the transcript for a student who has taken an online course is identical to a transcript for a student who has taken all courses on-campus.
I've heard one of the marks of the Phillips experience is the feeling of community. How is the seminary working to provide the experience of community for online students?
The primary claim to community at Phillips is that we are a community of conversation—conversation about matters of faith, conversation about matters sometimes too difficult to talk about in “normal” church and civic circles. We also provide multiple opportunities each week to eat and to worship together. We don’t have the eating part worked out in cyberspace! We offer high quality conversations online, and we post recordings of the midweek chapel service to the website.
Additionally, online students serve on the Student Senate, participate in chapel services, and contribute to community activities much in the same way on-campus students do.
What kind of access can I expect to the library?
How much does the online program cost? Is financial aid available?
The librarians are extraordinarily committed to helping all students learn. They will work with you to ensure you know how to access the high-powered databases of theological material to which our enrolled students can refer. For more information, read the frequently asked questions regarding the library and distance education.
Tuition is $480 per semester hour, just as it is with on-campus courses. There are additional fees each semester that run around $100. Books average about $60 per semester hour. Financial aid is available for online students, just as it is for on-campus students. Most students receive assistance to help cover as much as 80% of the cost of tuition. For more info on costs and financial aid, see the Phillips Costs & Resources page.
I have taken courses online at other accredited seminaries. If I were to enroll at Phillips, how would these credits be handled?
Transfer and residency policies are detailed in the Phillips catalog. The recruitment and admissions staff would be happy to discuss these with you. Please contact MaryAnn Morris in Admissions. In accord with ATS accrediting standards, students in the M.Div. program are required to complete a minimum of 24 semester-hours in residence (on campus) at the institution from which they receive their degree and students in the M.A.M.C. program are required to complete 16 semester-hours in residence (on campus) at the institution from which they receive their degree. The M.A. (S.J.) degree requires a completion of 12 hours in residence. These credit hours can be completed in a variety of convenient formats in spring, summer, and fall terms, including concentrated one-week, weekend, and evening courses. In residence courses at other accredited seminaries will be considered for transfer credit, but they will not be counted toward the residency requirement at Phillips. Transfer courses cannot be applied to our Graduate Diploma program.