Online Teaching and Learning Certificate OTLC


The Online Teaching and Learning Certificate program is designed for theological instructors or administrators to gain knowledge of and to begin teaching in a virtual environment.

Participants have the ability to discuss theological online best practices and assessment strategies. They will have the opportunity to transition their traditional course and/or have the opportunity to create a new fully online course by program completion.

The Instructors who teach for the certification program are associated with ATS theological schools, have a Doctorate in educational or theological field with deep experience in distance learning. Many have taught with the Wabash Center or in other professional development settings.

Upon completion of the 5 courses and final project the instructor or participant will have the ability to confidently design, develop and teach an online course. The courses are designed to teach components of online course design process. Each of the courses along with the final project will provide a complete learning experience of designing a full course in a LMS environment. Either your environment may be used to demonstrate learning objectives or participants may use our Learning Management System (LMS).

Each course will award 2 CEU’s.

Courses are 4 weeks each and will require about 3-6 hours a week to complete. Students are encouraged to take all of the courses in one term, but may be spread out for additional terms. Single courses may be taken individually, if a certificate is not desired.

Program Success
This program has graduated Instructors, administrators and lay church leadership with a desire to incorporate online pedagogical practices into their unique environment are learning in the OTLC certificate program. Some of our graduates are listed here. Please review the program candidates for online teaching instruction.

Courses/Schedule and Fees

Courses are $400.00 each or if courses are paid in advance a fee of $1,850.00 (a $150.00 discount). Group discounts available.

Course List

Courses in the certificate are offered twice a year, beginning in January or July and may be completed in 5 months. Courses begin fully online for our next session on the following dates.

July 6 – 31
This course will introduce the history, research and merits of online theological learning along with the fundamental components necessary to teach online successfully. The student will begin to learn the elements of student centered pedagogical/andragogical best practices as applied to course planning, and development strategies within a course Learning Management Software (LMS) environment.

Instructor: Richard Nysse
Dr. Richard Nysse is a Professor of Old Testament and Associate Dean for Learning Systems and Technology at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN. He has acquired a large of amount of experience in distance learning over the past decade.

Articles He Has Written Include:
“Online Education: An Asset in a Period of Educational Change,” in Practical Wisdom, Malcolm L. Warford, ed. New York: Peter Lang, 2004. “Technology and the Classroom: Inevitable and Better.” Word & World (1998) In addition to text materials
Regular Contributions to Online Publications Include:
Working Preacher
Enter the Bible

August 3 – 28
This course will define proven learning strategies using a systemic learning approach to course development. Learning theories will be discussed to utilize the best strengths of online delivery and provide a foundation for course structure.

Instructor: Johnathan D. Messer, Ph.D. Candidate
Jon Messer is an academic technology consultant for the University of Richmond and a Ph.D. student at the College of William and Mary studying Curriculum and Educational Technology. He has also created a magazine to help families learn about Baptist heritage.

August 31 – September 25
This course will demonstrate practical methods of formative and summative assessment in online theological course development. Exploration will be made using core assessment criteria to assess essay writing, collaborative and peer review and improved student performance through feedback and critical reflection.

Instructor: Paul Tippey
Paul Tippey is a Ph.D. candidate in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis in University Teaching and Research at Regent University. He is also Director of Library Services at Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky.

September 28 – October 23
Online community building is an effective and necessary strategy for the seminary virtual classroom. In this course different methods of community engagement will be reviewed. Virtual instructors will explore and rethink methods of interpersonal relationships as displayed in asynchronous modalities of engagement. How to manage learning communities and how to develop depth in spiritual communities that promotes leadership and spiritual formation will be analyzed.

Instructor: Ronald Hannaford
Dr. Ronald Hannaford has served as a senior pastor of a local church in Australia for 12 years, as the Director of Distance Learning at Fuller Theological Seminary for distance learning and online programs for 7 years, and since 2009 has established a new Distance Learning department at Biola University serving Biola’s 7 schools, including Talbot School of Theology, as they launch offerings in online and hybrid classes and programs. Dr. Hannaford ensures the learning outcomes for the university’s degree and certificate programs including spiritual formation are accomplished.

October 26 – November 20
The course will review pedagogies and learning strategies often used in online environments for theological education to engage students in interactive and student-centered learning. Assignment and lesson examples (online cases studies, scavenger hunts and group projects etc.) will be discussed that work well in online classrooms influenced by new digital social media practices familiar to most students through engagement with Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms.

Instructor: Mary Lowe
Dr. Mary Lowe grew up in Haiti as the daughter of missionaries and learned firsthand about what was then Theological Education by Extension. She is now the Associate Dean of the Virtual Campus at Erskine Seminary and is working to provide theological education online to those who live locally and globally. Lowe is the Executive Director of ACCESS, the Association for Christian Distance Education. One of the areas of particular interest is the issue of spiritual formation in an online environment and she continues to write and research in this field. Mary teaches a number of online courses related to distance education and is a regular contributor to Christianity Today’s distance learning issue.

Mary co-directed the National Consultation on Spiritual Formation in Theological Distance Education funded by the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion. She and her husband, Dr. Steve Lowe have produced a series of articles from this consultation and both contributed chapters to a volume which Mary co-edited entitled Best Practices for Online Education: A Guide for Christian Higher Education (2012).

Final project due December 18