Seminaries expand remote learning  as pandemic continues
Seminary classes and events, like this Zoom gathering of Wycliffe College faculty and students, have moved online this year to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Photo: Contributed

"Theological colleges across Canada have adapted their teaching models to the COVID-19 pandemic, as online and remote learning become the new norm.

“In the end, I think my teaching will be different as a result of this experience, and I think that’s true across the academy,” [Daniel Driver] added. “People who are conscientious teachers will look at this as an opportunity to learn things about how they teach, and students will hopefully be served by that.”

"Asked whether COVID-19 had merely accelerated a trend already underway in seminary education towards more online and remote learning, representatives of all three schools suggested that it had. But they also maintained that internet-based learning could not replace the in-person student experience.

“It’s better than not having any education,” Aldred said. “But we’re social beings.… Hybrid [learning] really is the way to go. I think that in the future, that will continue to accelerate. But I don’t think it’s a replacement.”

“The two things that are sort of warnings to me about strictly online education are how [students who use remote learning] technologies keep saying that, ‘Well, it’s like being in person,’ which says there’s a kind of standard at work,” Topping said. “Being in person would be better. The other thing during COVID-19 [is] the mental health issues that arise out of a lack of human contact. That says something about how we’re constituted.”

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