DISTANCE LEARNING - MENTOR STUDY
THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION UNDER A MENTOR
In order to meet the need of men who desire to pursue the B.D., M.Div., or M.M.R.E. degrees, but are unable to relocate to Greenville for their full course of study, the Seminary provides for this education under the guidance and assistance of approved local mentors. For all mentors and students, the following guidelines apply:
- All students seeking credit from GPTS must make regular application for admission to the Seminary. In addition, each non-resident student must a) be under care of Presbytery prior to matriculation, b) have the formal approval of his overseeing Presbytery to study via the Mentor Program (letters from Presbytery must accompany application), and c) attend orientation on campus in the Fall semester of his 1st year.
- All students applying for the distance program must explain their reason for studying by distance in a letter accompanying their application.
- The tuition rate for non-resident students is the same as that of the residents students. The Field Education fee applies to non-resident students and in addition there is a $75.00 distance/mentored student fee which covers all distance program administration and digital media.
- The student is to follow the course syllabus of the degree programs as they are taught at the Seminary. He will use either Internet-based class participation (video conferencing) or class download as part of his study. The student is expected to complete all the regular assignments of the course. The mentor has the freedom to require reading and writing assignments in addition to those specified in the syllabus for each course, in order to round out the work done by the student. This will compensate in part for the student's inability to participate in the regular give-and-take of the classroom environment.
- The regular GPTS faculty will grade all examinations and papers required by each course syllabus.
- At least one year of study for the B.D./M.Div. (no fewer than 24 credit hours) must be completed in residence at GPTS. This requirement does not apply to M.M.R.E. and M.M.D. students.
- With the exception of the resident 24 credit hours, the course work for the degree must be completed in no more than eight (8) years (approximately 16 credit hours per year). For the M.M.R.E., the student has a maximum of five (5) years to complete the degree.
- The student who desires to meet the residency requirement by attending intensive on-campus courses, must take one intensive course per year and average another 16 credit hours per year.
- Mentor students who have not completed 31 credit hours by the end of the second year will be dropped from the program. These limits may only be extended by faculty vote.
The Seminary has several approved mentors who serve students in their areas. Please contact the Director of Distance Education at the Seminary office to inquire whether there is currently an approved mentor in your area. Local pastors may inquire about being accepted as mentors.
At the invitation of several churches in the United States and Canada, the Seminary is offering some courses by extension. Members of the regular Seminary Faculty, as well as qualified ministers, will be teaching the courses. As with the mentor program, all students seeking credit from GPTS must make regular application for admission to the Seminary. Please contact the Seminary for details.
VIDEO CONFERENCING CLASSES
Greenville Seminary broadcasts almost all their classes via video conferencing. Qualified students are able to participate in classes interactively. If the remote site has installed the recommended equipment and has a broadband Internet connection, the student can expect acceptable video along with high-quality audio. Students participating by interactive conferencing will be provided course materials by the individual course instructor. for details on technical requirements and setup, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although GPTS maintains accreditation through the Association of Reformed Theological Seminaries (ARTS), that agency has not yet obtained recognition from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), although an application for CHEA membership is in process. In response to the proliferation of “diploma mills,” some states have tightened their laws regarding which out-of-state institutions can offer classes and degrees to their residents. The tendency in those states is to exclude all institutions which do not have an accreditation recognized by CHEA or the U.S. Department of Education. While GPTS offers classes and degree programs of a very high quality as authorized by the state of South Carolina, prospective students from states other than South Carolina should be aware of this issue. If you live in a state which has adopted restrictions on out-of-state institutions of higher education like the ones described above, GPTS may not be able to offer you the distance education classes described on this website for academic credit. We encourage you to check with your state’s higher education department before enrolling in courses at GPTS.