In Blog

Student Success

Chad Clark, Director of Student Success


Today, I want to talk a little about the ways that United supports student success through our flexible course plans and course offerings. Ensuring that you can pick an individualized plan that adapts to your live and preferred learning styles is crucial to your success.

FlexChoice Plans

One of the ways we support student learning is through our new FlexChoice scheduling, which allows you to choose the pace you move through your degree program. These plans are designed to support a variety of students, from those who want to immerse themselves in their education to those pursuing their education alongside existing work/life commitments. Students typically choose between three options:

  1. Accelerated Plan: Completion time ranges from 1 year (for 36-hour degrees) to 2 years (for the 72-hour MDiv). This plan is a great fit for students with very limited existing commitments who want to immerse themselves in their education.
  2. Traditional Plan: Completion time ranges from 1.5 years (36-hour degrees) to 3 years (72-hour MDiv). This plan is well suited for students with some existing commitments, up to a full-time job, but who can maintain full-time course load in their schedule.
  3. Balanced Plan: Completion time ranges from 2 years (36-hour degrees) to 4 years (72-hour MDiv). This plan is ideal for those who have a full-time job and may have a few other smaller commitments, because it assumes a reduced academic load.


Our scholarship policies are also designed to support students along any of these three plans. We grant our scholarships on a per-credit hour basis, rather than a flat rate for full-time enrollment. This way, you don’t incur increased cost throughout your program by adding additional classes or by taking a reduced load. Because we also offer a tuition guarantee, your tuition will not change while you are continuously enrolled at United, giving you the peace of mind of knowing exactly how to plan financially.

Learning Experience

United offers its courses in a variety of modalities, including traditional on-campus, virtual, fully online, or intensive/hybrid, which are online classes that include a 3- or 5-day trip to campus. These options allow you to choose the best environment to support your learning preferences and accommodate your existing commitments. Although there is a lot of flexibility on how each semester can look, students typically fit into the following learning categories:

  1. On-Campus Student: Students who plan to live near our Dayton campus can take classes Monday evening and Tuesday afternoon and evening. You also have the option to join with other students, faculty, and staff for weekly chapel and meals. We have a beautiful student lounge, an on-campus library and computer lab, and meeting spaces.
  2. Virtual Student: Students who live farther away but prefer learning from live lectures and discussions may choose to take most of their classes virtually. Virtual students simply attend on-campus classes through an interactive video system.
  3. Online Student: Online classes give the greatest flexibility because online classes are all asynchronous, meaning you complete lessons on your own schedule, meeting due dates for assignments along the way. You will be able to learn and engage with other online students through forum discussions.
  4. Commuter Student: Many of our distance students choose to take a portion of their classes in an intensive or hybrid format, which require a week (5-days) or half-week (3-days) on campus, respectively, with the rest of the class available from home. Students taking hybrid classes can take two hybrid classes simultaneously with one week-long trip to campus. Distance students seeking ordination in The UMC usually complete their residency requirement in this way, but this is also an opportunity for distance students to join in community together to further build theological friendships and experience learning in person.

Final Thoughts

Pursuing a degree, and all that goes along with choosing the right school and program, can feel a bit daunting — if not also exciting. It’s not uncommon to feel anxious, especially if you’re someone trying to figure out how you’re going to complete a degree with a job and family. As your advisor, I am here to help you navigate this journey every step of the way, so that something that might appear to be complicated won’t feel that way. Our goal is to figure out what path is best for your life and your learning. That way, you can focus on the incredible formation and education that United has to offer.

Still have questions?

Find out how United can help support your calling at a free Virtual Q&A event.

Posts You Might Like

Recent Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search