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Online MTS FAQ

DELIVERY OF INSTRUCTION

What Learning Management System (LMS) will be used?
“MOODLE” will be the LMS. Students will be assigned a Moodle username and password to access and participate in online classes during the semester. To explore Moodle’s format and function, visit the demo site: http://school.demo.moodle.net/login/index.php

What are the computer system requirements needed for online classes?
Updated internet browser software is required to access Moodle. It’s advisable to have updated software for Adobe Flash Player, and Word (or other compatible word processing software).

Can I participate at any time or do I have to attend virtual class at a certain time?
Most classes can be completed any time. Some courses may require participation at a specific time for live discussions or virtual meetings for academic purposes.

How do I communicate with faculty?
Each faculty member will provide a syllabus and outline of the course, the course expectations and method of communication.

How will lectures be delivered?
Recorded lectures, PowerPoints, podcasts, movies, web articles, and additional digital media will replace the traditional “lecture” for distance education. Students will access the course content via the Learning Management System (LMS) “Moodle”.

Will I use e-books or hard copy books?
Textbooks required for courses will vary depending on the instructor. Most course books are available for purchase in print or as an e-book. Instructors can post documents in a variety of formats on the LMS for further reading.

How many hours per week can I expect to devote to a single online course?
A typical online course will include a mix of course readings, content media, interactive discussions, and graded assignments. The average student should anticipate devoting 2-4 hours per week to a single online course, but will vary by each individual.

When can I have my technology questions answered?
General MOODLE LMS assistance can be found through the GTU library, http://gtu.edu/library/studentmoodle. Once enrolled, you will have access to the Online MTS program coordinator.

How many courses per semester? How long until I graduate?
The MTS online degree is structured so students can complete in four semesters of 3-4 courses (plus two intensive residential courses). Most online students take 1 or 2 courses per semester while attending to their work and life commitments.

Will I have an area of concentration and, if so, what are my choices?
The MTS is a general theology degree. Students will be able to concentrate their studies according to their own interests. Students must complete at least three courses in four broad theological areas—totaling 12 courses or 36 credits. The areas are: scripture, systematic theology, culture/ethics, and pastoral theology. Students will easily find courses to meet the distribution requirements and satisfy their individual theological focus.

Can an online MTS student enroll in more than 2 summer courses? Will the course and content be different if a student enrolls in a 3rd summer?
Yes, students can come as often in the summer as they would like. The rotation will be Religion and Culture as the introductory course, and then one additional course (which will rotate over 2-3 years).

Will the Proseminar needed for graduation be offered in the online program and, if so, how often?
Yes, it will be offered online annually. Online and face-to-face students will be able to enroll.

Do I ever need to come to the JST campus?
Yes. All MTS Online students are required to attend one week of class at the beginning of their initial semester. New students enrolling for fall attend in July. New students enrolling in spring attend in January. Students have the option to stay in JST Housing without charge.
The one-week session, will provide a firm academic foundation for the program. MTS Online students will experience a warm welcome and fellowship building among students and faculty. Students will participate in liturgies, social events, and discuss issues of faith, religion and social transformation.

How many classes will I be able to choose from ?
Students will choose from the Jesuit School of Theology’s online course offerings of 2-4 courses per semester and the dozen or more courses offered by other GTU schools. All courses are treated the same for MTS degree requirements regardless of which GTU institution offers the course. Students are encouraged to take courses offered by other GTU schools to broaden their theological and academic formation.

Who takes online courses at JST?
The online courses offered to students taking the MTS online are part of JST’s regular curriculum. Students from any of the seven GTU schools and six academic centers may be enrolled whether they are residential or online students. The cultural, national, and religious diversity of the GTU student body provides a rich and unparalleled learning experience for MTS students. Please contact JST admissions at jstadmissions@scu.edu to determine whether the state you live in is certified through our online degree program.

STUDENT SERVICES

How do I use the library?
The Graduate Theological Union boasts one of the finest theological libraries in the world. MTS Online students will have online access to the Graduate Theological Union library as well as Santa Clara University’s library. Each library serves to complement the other in areas of specialty, electronic databases, ebooks, and digital collections of major scholarly manuscripts to offer a well rounded theological education http://libguides.gtu.edu/start. Notice the special section for JST-SCU students at http://www.scu.edu/library/. Both libraries provide online help for students to access the collections for research.

Is there online tutoring?
Yes. The MTS Online Coordinator will assist students in finding academic or other support according to their needs and may direct students to the Assistant Dean of Student Life for information and services.

Is there an orientation?
Yes. Students will participate in an online orientation and a “Meet ‘n Greet” with other students in their first term. Media and tutorials on most aspects of the program will be available online for student reference. I’m interested in Ministry.

How will professors engage ministerial development over a virtual platform?
Depending on the subject matter of the course, faculty members design assignments that allow students to apply classroom learning to their ministry context. Additionally, the MTS capstone assignment can be designed as a ministry project to integrate and apply classroom learning.

Will I be assigned an academic advisor?
Yes. Students are assigned a faculty advisor and will work with the MTS Online Coordinator, who will help them select the right courses and continue to make good academic progress during the course of their degree work.

COSTS / SCHOLARSHIP / FINANCIAL AID

Is the tuition the same as traditional students?
Yes.

How do I pay?
As with any university degree program, students will be billed by mail or electronically at the beginning of each term for which they are registered.

Are there scholarships available?
Yes. JST ensures that there are generous scholarship opportunities for their students. Students who are enrolled full time, apply for aid, and meet the need criteria will receive scholarship awards. We recommend prospective students submit an application for a JST Scholarship along with their application for admission. The portal for scholarship aid can be found at https://www.scu.edu/jst/future-students/finance-your-education/. For further information on financial aid, visit the GTU’s financial aid section.