Online Program Frequently Asked Questions
Looking for more information about what the online education experience is like at Talbot School of Theology? See the frequently asked questions below to get more details on what our online theology courses are like, including time commitment, course pace and more.
In which states is Biola authorized to offer online education?
View the State Authorization for Online Programs page to see the states in which Biola is able to offer online education.
What is a typical course like?
Every class will be hosted on the learning platform, Canvas. Your courses will use a variety of methods and tools to help you grasp the subject matter. You can expect to watch recorded lectures specifically designed with online learners in mind (example 1 and example 2). You will interact with your professors and classmates in discussion forums and in video conferences. You will interact with and receive feedback from your professors in a variety of formats. We take a multifaceted and integrated approach to online education leveraging the best strategies to accomplish course goals.
Who teaches in Talbot's online programs and courses?
The same gifted and fully-qualified professors that teach in our campus-based programs teach online. We don’t have a separate team of faculty members who teach online. We also have a small handful of adjuncts who teach online as needed. However, even in courses taught by adjuncts, you’ll watch lecture videos from one of Talbot’s full-time professors and have an opportunity to interact with that professor a couple of times during the course.
Are prerequisite courses required?
The Old Testament Survey and New Testament Survey courses are listed as prerequisites, but you are not required to take those courses prior to admission. If you have not taken these courses in your prior education, these will be required courses during the program.
How big will my classes be?
The general core courses will have an average of 20-25 students, while the concentration courses will average 10-15 students.
What does professor interaction look like?
Professors are expected to respond to emails within 24 hours. Also, professors have online office hours that students are encouraged to sign up for.
What's the difference between an online and hybrid course?
An online course is one that is conducted entirely online. Discussions and other interactions all happen online. There are no “in-person” meetings.
A hybrid course is one in which there is some mixture of online and in-person elements. There will be times during the course when you will meet in-person with your classmates and professor on campus, just like coming to class.
If you are in an online program you will not be expected to take hybrid courses and therefore will not be expected to come to campus.
Does the cost of online courses differ from traditional on-campus courses?
The cost per unit is the same for online, hybrid and traditional on campus courses.
How much time per week should I expect to spend on my studies?
Every course and student is different, but on average you should expect to invest at least 10–12 hours per week, per course, in a typical 15-week semester.
Are the courses self-paced?
Courses are not self-paced. Students will have weekly deadlines for most coursework, following a semester schedule with your classmates in order to maximize the opportunity for collaborative learning and discussion. While you do have flexibility in determining how to complete your coursework throughout the week, some courses will require a live video conference with your professor and classmates.
How many courses can I take in a semester?
The number of courses a student can take varies by student and life responsibilities. A typical full-time student will take at least nine units per semester. Part-time students will take between three to six units.The average student at Talbot working a full time job typically take six units or less.
Can I transfer in courses?
Yes, there are two types of ways students are able to reduce their units for a Talbot degree program.
For students coming with coursework from a Christian undergraduate education, advanced standing will be evaluated by the Registrar’s office once a student is accepted. Advanced standing is typically defined as two related undergraduate courses that can count toward a similar graduate level course.
For students coming with coursework from another graduate level institution, transfer work can be accepted and is evaluated by the Registrar’s office once a student is admitted into the program.
What kind of computer and equipment do I need?
You can minimize technical difficulties by utilizing a computer no more than five years old. Access to a webcam is essential in order to participate in video conferences. For more information on technical specifications, explore the Biola Online Technical Requirements.
Can I use Canvas on my smartphone or tablet?
Yes! While the courses are best viewed on a desktop or laptop with a minimum screen resolution of 1024 x 600, you can use Canvas on both iOS- and Android-enabled devices. Learn more about Canvas on Mobile Devices.