Online Degrees - Frequently Asked Questions
How can I register?
If you are not currently a student at Golden Gate, before you can register for an online class, you need to apply for admission.
If you are already admitted to Golden Gate Seminary, you may register simply using the normal registration process. Enter "MyGGBTS" using your ID and PIN numbers and click on "Business & Registration" and then click on the course schedule. Under campus select "eCampus" and then submit. Only the scheduled Online /eCampus courses will show.
Can I earn my degree fully online?
Online students may take the online MTS degree or the Diploma in Theology completely via the Internet. Or they may take up to two thirds of any other masters degree online. The online MTS is dually accredited to be taken completely online with no on campus time required. For the MDiv or any other masters program, the remaining one third of the degree program must be taken in a face-to-face classroom setting. Many one week intensive courses are available in January and summer at the Northern and Southern California campuses. Check the Quick Course Search to see the selection.
Can I take a class without being in a degree program?
Yes, you can use the simplified "special student" application to take online courses. Students in degree programs at other accredited schools may also take Golden Gate online courses and transfer them into their own school. Check with your registrar to confirm acceptability to your program in that case.
What do the online courses look like?
Courses will vary in format depending on the subject matter and the instructor. Typically courses will be arranged in a series of ten weekly lessons. Students will have assigned readings and threaded discussion questions to which they will post their answers online and respond to classmates. Students should expect to put about 10 hours a week into an online class, including reading, writing, posting, online discussion, etc. Some faculty post video lectures, others use PowerPoint lectures with sound. Some lessons have graphics embedded with maps, engravings, and statistical charts. Some classes utilize weekly online live chats between the students and the instructor or chat teams just among the students. All live video chats are archived so students unable to participate live can still review the archived session that week. Tests and quizzes are taken online too. Typically students can expect an email each week from the professor letting the student know how they are progressing.
Can I transfer online courses to another school?
Online courses are accredited just as any other Golden Gate Seminary course. In general, this accreditation should allow them to be transferred to another school or seminary. However, each school has its own policies, so you should confirm transfer courses with the school to which you are transfering. Note that your transcript will not indicate whether or not your courses were taken on campus or online.
Can I get 24-7 technical support to help if there is a problem?
Yes, Golden Gate has contracted with a proven provider of distance education technology so that if the online lectures, quizzes, or any technical aspect is not loading right, then you have a toll-free number and an email address to connect with 24-7 technical support.
Are these courses accredited?
Yes, our accrediting bodies, the Association of Theological Schools in Canada and the USA (ATS) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) have approved Golden Gate to offer the MTS 100% online and additional courses for our other masters degrees up to 50% online.
How much do the courses cost?
Courses cost $215 per credit hour for SBC-related students and $275 for non-SBC students plus a $240 per course technology fee. Please see Tuition and Fees for complete list. So the cost is $885 for a three-hour course for an SBC student. That looks like a lot of money and it is! It feels better when you consider that price against the cost commuting at an average of $3.50 per gallon of gas or the cost of flying in weekly or every other week. The savings of time in commute and the sheer convenience make the economics look better. The three other large seminaries on the West Coast charge an average of $515 per hour or $1545 per three-hour course, and you would still have to commute or relocate to their campus.
Are scholarships available?
There may be scholarships through your local association or state convention, but Golden Gate does not yet have monies allocated to scholarship online students. But we are working on it!
Can I set up a deferred payment plan?
Online class tuition is due in full at the beginning of each semester. There is currently not an option for paying online class tuition in installments.
Can I drop the course if I need to?
Yes, you can drop the course anytime in the first two weeks by contacting the Registrar’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the drop/add policy here in the catalog. Tuition refunds are given on a prorated basis, as outlined in the catalog. Click here to download a form to drop or add a class.
Who can I contact if I have more questions?
Contact Dr. Rick Durst, the director of Online Education or the Online Program Administrative Assistant at The Office of Online Education.