CTU Distance Learning
Are you hungry for theological education?
Are you ready to become a CTU Distance Learner?
All graduate study is demanding. To be successful, students must be willing to set aside and spend the necessary time on their studies (plan on 3-4 hours per credit- hour per week for any course) and on mastering technological challenges they will inevitably face. CTU is ready to help you experience success in this adventure in learning, but you have to be ready and willing to put in the time and work required to meet course demands.
BASIC SKILLS TUTORIALS ARE AVAILABLE
CTU provides a series of free online modules that offer tutorials and information, so that you can learn Essential Skills for Theological Education as you come into our graduate programs: Computer Skills, Research & Citation Skills, Writing Skills; and Presentation Skills. As soon as you are accepted as a CTU student and receive your CTU Student ID number, you will have access to these modules and can start working your way through them. Completing these modules is required for all new MAPS degree students and will help to set you up for success.
STUDENTS AND FACULTY IN ONLINE COURSES TOGETHER BUILD A LEARNING COMMUNITY
Taking courses in an online format is an integral part of the CTU Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (MAPS). What can surprise students new to distance education is how in each course students and professor quickly form an intimate, invigorating, rich learning community. Discussion forums engage you in sharing about your readings, exchanging ideas, asking questions, and offering insights from your particular social and ministerial contexts. It is a wonderful experience to participate in these courses where students bring their ministerial experiences from around the country… and beyond!
BUT DISTANCE LEARNING IS NOT FOR EVERYONE!
Not all people are suited to learning online. If you are considering taking the CTU MAPS degree through our combination of online courses and summer residencies, reflect on the following technological and attitudinal requirements:
You will need to have:
1) a computer readily available that is connected to the Internet (preferably with a high-speed connection);
2) a browser (the free Mozilla Firefox browser works well with our learning platform);
3) updated anti-virus program if you are working on the Windows platform (free anti-virus programs are available);
4) word processing software and basic skills (Microsoft Word is the common software used at CTU, although other programs can produce Word-compatible text files);
5) media player capability;
6) microphone and ear- or headphones;
7) webcam, smartphone, or e-tablet with the capability for creating video reports and conversing via video with your professor and classmates.
WHAT ATTITUDES ARE REQUIRED?
Distance learning requires a willing, can-do attitude. With which statements do you identify?
A. I have the patience required for learning new skills.
B. I get easily frustrated with learning new skills and do not want to deal with technical problems.
A. I persevere despite frustration when dealing with new technological challenges.
B. I readily become frustrated with learning new technology and programs and give up.
A. I am willing to ask for help when I get stuck.
B. I am embarrassed to ask for help.
A. I am good at setting goals and meeting deadlines.
B. I tend to procrastinate and sometimes do not make deadlines.
A. I am willing to work with others on projects.
B. I prefer to work alone and do not like collaborating.
A. I am excited about meeting new people and engaging them in online discussion.
B. I prefer to keep to myself.
A. I can take a week or two in the summer to come to CTU to take a course or courses and to participate in the CTU’s Formation programs.
B. I do not think I can get a week off in the summer for courses and formation at CTU.
A. I have support from my family and co-workers/supervisor to do my studies.
B. I do not have support at home or work to do my studies.
If you find yourself choosing “A” to most of these statements, you may well be a good candidate for CTU’s MAPS degree program for Distance Learners.
If you find yourself choosing “B” to most of these statements, you likely are not a good candidate for doing your graduate studies primarily via distance education.
Our Director of Admissions will be happy to reflect with you on your readiness for studying at our Chicago campus and in our online courses.
EVEN IF YOU ARE A CHICAGO-AREA STUDENT, YOU WILL NEED TO LEARN HOW TO WORK WITH OUR ONLINE LEARNING MANAGEMENT PLATFORM, D2L (DESIRE TO LEARN) AND YOU MAY FIND YOURSELF IN AN ONLINE COURSES. SO DEVELOPING AN OPENNESS TO DEALING WITH THE TECHNOLOGY INVOLVED IN DISTANCE LEARNING OF ANY KIND IS IMPORTANT!
In fact, our New Student Colloquium is an online course in which both Distance Learners and Chicago-area students work together to develop their skills. By offering this course online, we can ensure that the course is available to all MAPS students who take it as their first course. In addition, you should know, a few of our regular CTU courses are offered only online. You might be interested in one of those courses. So getting comfortable with online activities will be a part of your future, whether or not you are a CTU Distance Learner. After all, church leaders today all need to be familiar with how to communicate effectively through the Internet. This will give you practice!
At CTU, whether you are local or a Distance Learner, know that our academic staff and faculty are always ready and willing to help you learn the skills you need for theological education. Just ask!
For more information, please contact: