Seminary students learn by casting Net

Dec. 4 in the Houston Chronicle

Lizbeth Tulloch just could not leave her long career as an oil industry lawyer to spend years at a seminary.

She couldn’t ignore her call to ministry either.

Tulloch finally found a way to explore her faith without risking her legal career: She enrolled in night and online courses at the University of St. Thomas’ St. Mary’s Seminary.

“It took me a long time to listen,” Tulloch, 55, said. “I first felt the call in 1983.”

While online education is no longer a novelty in higher education, seminaries have been slower than other colleges to adopt the format. Most Houston-area seminaries offer night classes and distance learning, but none offers a degree that can be completed solely online.

Some in the field feel that studies must include regular face-to-face time for students to not only learn the facts of their faith, but also live out a spiritual transformation. Others argue the quality of any class, online or not, depends on the professor’s skill at teaching. If seminaries don’t embrace the format, they could isolate potential students with already busy lives who increasingly expect flexible options in the digital age.

Read the full story at HoustonChronicle.com.

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