Good afternoon GRTS and Cornerstone University communities,

We are living through difficult times. The landscape of education has changed drastically in the past decade, and this year brought unprecedented new challenges. As a learning community, we are committed to adjusting in necessary ways to ensure not only the physical safety of our students but also to provide additional access to quality education.

Therefore, we are excited to share some important news regarding new ways that GRTS will continue to deliver high-quality graduate, theological education both in the immediate and long-term futures.

Introducing A New Educational Model

For the past several years, our Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program has pioneered an entirely online degree completion track in addition to the on-campus format. This option has allowed us to serve a wide range of students and will continue to be a strength at GRTS. Furthermore, for the fall 2020 semester, on-campus students will have the option of joining class live from their homes through videoconference technology. This gives us flexibility given the complexity of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Historically, our ministry programs, like the Master of Divinity and the Master of Arts in Christian Formation, did not offer the same flexibility as they were only available in-residence. Students had to live locally and be available for classes offered in block scheduling throughout the workweek. As a result, many students faced barriers of distance and time that limited their ability to benefit from a GRTS education.

However, beginning in the fall 2020 semester and going forward, we are moving to a HyFlex approach to the classroom experience for all ministry programs. HyFlex means hybrid-flexible. This innovative course design model combines three different learning modalities into one class. The big gain for students is that it effectively eliminates the barriers of distance and time.

Let us explain. Going forward, students in our ministry programs will now be able to complete their degrees either in residence or entirely online. For each course, they will be able to select one of three learning modalities.

  • On-Site: This modality is essentially our current classroom experience. But now, most courses will offer a “flipped” classroom in a two-hour block, which means professors will provide much of their content through pre-recorded short-form lectures. Having lecture content provided outside of class will allow for even more rich discussion when classes are together.
  • Live: Students can access our live classrooms through videoconference technology during the two-hour course block. This opens up our classroom to students that live across town, across the country and even across the world while still allowing them to interact live with both the faculty and peers!
  • Anytime: This modality has no designated log-in time. Rather, students watch lectures and course content, complete readings and assignments and interact and engage with faculty and peers in discussion forums anytime during the week before the established due dates. However, rather than being in a separate online course, Anytime students will participate in the same structured course as their On-Site and Live counterparts. This flexible format is ideal for students who have time constraints and can’t come to class in the middle of the workweek.

THREE FORMATS, ONE CLASS

The beauty of this model is that all three learning modalities are part of one classroom. All three types of students will interact with each other. All three-course delivery models have unique benefits, and students can count on an excellent learning experience whether they decide to be an On-Site, Live or Anytime student.

We are really excited about this innovation and how it will increase opportunities for students to participate in ways they haven’t before. This model is also beneficial because it allows us to serve students well no matter what circumstances present themselves in the coming academic year. If you have further questions, call our admissions staff at 800.697.1133 or email seminary@cornerstone.edu.

Current students, if you haven’t had a chance yet, make sure to register for your fall 2020 classes! We look forward to welcoming you back to our learning community in each of these new ways.