Discover LSTOnline (FAQ)
Is an online degree the same as an on-campus degree?
Yes and no.
On the one hand yes, an online degree is the same as an on-campus degree in terms of the actual award, the learning outcomes, the course content, the LST-quality tutoring and the assessment schedule. On the other hand clearly not. Comparing online and on-campus (also called face-to-face) learning is like comparing apples and oranges. They are different. One is not better than the other, but they each bring a distinctive educational experience.
Students studying on-campus will enjoy a ‘monastic type’ community, where they can focus deeply on their education, but also eat together, enjoy dorm life and share recreation and be shaped in their character within a community. They also benefit from the uniqueness of sitting in lectures and being able to walk into the offices of faculty members for informal conversations. Living in London also has its unique value, and our on-campus students can benefit from a wealth of experiences in many churches as well as in a culture rich environment.
But as an online student you will also enjoy particular benefits in addition to the convenience of being able to reconcile a variety of life situations and study. As you pace yourself through your studies, for example, you will acquire distinct abilities of self-discipline and focus that will transfer to many other areas of life and ministry. You will also benefit from engaging with resources at your own pace and being able to take the necessary time for reflection in participating in online discussions, which is often appreciated if you are more introverted. Surely remaining in your context of church, work and ministry is also a huge asset that will keep your theological study from becoming detached from real life and you will likely finding yourself applying things you learn constantly in your context and gleaning new questions and categories that arise from your context. Much more could be said, but you can confidently also look forward to building lasting friendships through online study with people from many parts of the world that you would never meet otherwise. Although digital communication has often been a superficial and poor substitution for embodied relationships, it has great potential to be otherwise and to expose you to relationships in a new and deeply transformative way.