Is online theological learning the end of seminaries?

Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Bill Bumpas (

technology and the BibleWith the popularity of online learning on the rise, Christian higher education institutions are looking at ways to consolidate – and this could mean the beginning of the end of seminary extension campuses.

According to a Christianity Today, Chicago's Moody Bible Institute will be closing both its undergraduate campus in Spokane, Washington, and its distance learning extension site in Pasadena, California. In addition, Fuller Theological Seminary plans to shut down three of its eight satellite campuses and reduce degree options at two more.

Jeff Walton of the Institute on Religion & Democracy, explained that there has been a move away from a residential seminary model towards online – or distance learning options.

"We're starting to see cases where branch campuses that were located in areas that were geographically proximate and helpful to these seminaries just a decade ago are now not economically viable because students that would have been drawn to those branch campuses are now participating in distance learning," Walton pointed out.

He recalled that in the past, students would move outside of their area to attend a seminary, but this is not the case any longer.

"People are more likely to select a seminary that is either geographically proximate to them, or participate in a distance learning option than they are to go and travel to a school which is further away – but perhaps is theologically closer to their orbit."

Walton predicts that there will be more consolidation and change for higher education in the future.

Consider Supporting Us?

The staff at strives daily to bring you news from a biblical perspective. If you benefit from this platform and want others to know about it please consider a generous gift today.



We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details
Jeffress happy to answer questions from Canterbury

Trump signs religious freedom EOThe liberal leader of the Church of England is asking why Evangelicals support Donald Trump while an American pastor is ready with answers.