In November of 2015, Dallas Theological Seminary launched a new program of free online courses designed for men and women at all levels of biblical understanding. Since 2002, more than 6,000 students have taken masters-level online courses from DTS, and the seminary hoped that approximately 10,000 students would sign up for the new lay-level courses over the first year.
DTS is overjoyed to share that by God’s grace more than 50,000 people have enrolled in the program in its first two months (update: over 100,000).
“I am grateful to see so many students showing a hunger for God’s Word and, like Ezra so many years ago, devoting themselves to study it diligently,” says Dr. Mark Bailey, president of DTS and professor for the inaugural course on the Gospel of John.
Expanding the Mission
For 92 years, DTS has been committed to its mission of “training godly servant-leaders for the proclamation of His Word and the building up of the body of Christ worldwide.” Traditionally, this mission has been realized through training at the masters and doctoral level for those preparing to enter full-time vocational ministry. “In the past decade, we’ve begun to recognize the need to expand DTS’s offerings, and we’re thrilled to be training men and women serving God in settings other than tradtional full-time ministry,” adds Mark Yarbrough, Vice President for Academic Affairs.
These new avenues for learning include a multilingual online education program with hundreds of students outside the United States, a 36-hour masters program designed for business professionals and lay leaders, and now, a series of free online courses for those who need training and equipping, but not at the master’s level.
A Growing Course Catalog
DTS has been pioneering distance education for several decades, with its first masters-level online course in 2002 and first Chinese-language course in 2004. For its first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), DTS created a course that walks through the Gospel of John with president Mark L. Bailey. This material was derived from masters-level coursework and redesigned as an 8-week online study with weekly emails and quizzes to help students evaluate what they’ve learned.
DTS has an exciting slate of courses scheduled to release over the coming year, including courses like “How to Study the Bible Like a Seminary Professor” which includes archival footage of beloved professor Howard G. Hendricks. This will be followed by courses on other books of the Bible as well as courses in theology and ministry.
Stay tuned for a complete release schedule and updated enrollment figures. You can sign up for the current Gospel of John class at http://courses.dts.edu/.