Distance Learning 2013
These papers are taught by the lecturers who wrote them, using online learning tools and texts from proven authors. Access to a computer with an internet connection, ideally broadband, is required.
Frequently asked questions are answered below.
First Semester (Click here for Second Semester)
Available by distance in the first semester of 2013, commencing on 18 February, there are the following papers:
Second Semester (Click here for First Semester)
Available by distance in the second semester of 2013, commencing on 15 July , there are the following papers:
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a "paper" entail?
These are tertiary-level programmes of study. They start on the specified date, and run for 15 weeks. During that time you are expected to do about 10 hours work per week. There are written assignments, online forums and other assessment tasks associated with each course.
What award can I work towards?
If you already have a degree you can aim to get a Graduate Diploma in Theology. This involves doing 8 papers, 5 of them at stage 3. Otherwise your papers are credited towards a Bachelor of Theology (which requires 24 papers). At this stage only a selection of our papers can be done by distance. More papers will become available in future.
Where should I start?
100-level courses are the normal entry point to university study, but waivers can be given on the basis of previous study. All students are expected to do TH188 Introduction to Catholic Theology and this is recommended as a first paper.
How do I enrol?
Contact the College by email or telephone (09 361 1053) and request the enrolment forms.
What background do I need?
Initially we are offering these papers to people who already have had experience of university study. If you do not have a degree but do have a background that might enable you to handle the studies contact our Dean of Studies to discuss it. Access to a computer and the internet are required.
If I contact the Dean of Studies what will he ask me?
He will want to know your name, e-mail address, where you are in New Zealand, your educational background, why you want to study theology, and in general whether you are likely to be a good on-line student.
What does it cost?
$600 per paper in 2012.
How is the "class" organized?
You will be studying as part of a group, normally involving on-campus students as well. There will be online discussion forums as part of the course. Be prepared to introduce yourself to strangers! You will be expected to make a contribution of some type to the class each week. There are deadlines for assessments. You can use e-mail or GSConline to contact your lecturer. You will receive some materials by post, but the major part of the class materials will be online.
Can I send you a digital photo?
Yes! The enrolment form asks for a recent "passport-type" photo, but a digital one is actually more useful to us. Feel free to e-mail it to us.
Do I have to be online at particular times?
No! The online learning environment (= the Moodle) is not real time. Questions, comments and readings are put there for you to respond to whenever you choose. It is not like a conference call.
What is a recommended programme for the Graduate Diploma? (It doesn't seem clear to me, do I just choose from any papers on the list?)
The Graduate Diploma is deliberately a very flexible award - much depends on what degree you have already done and the background you have. Thus there is no "recommended programme." We do insist on TH188 Introduction to Catholic Theology, and that is a very good place to start. We also recommend including some scripture papers.
Do graduates start with Stage One papers or do they begin at a higher level? It says all students are to do the Introduction to Catholic Theology, and this is a Stage One paper as far as I can see. Do I still do that one?
Yes, you still do that one, unless you have done its equivalent in your prior degree. The first digit of number in the code tells you the level of the paper - so you are correct TH188 is stage one. It is better to do lower level papers first, BUT the Grad Dip allows only three papers below stage 3. Effectively you are soon at the point of picking out stage 3 papers depending on your interest and their availability. It is very much self-directed.
We are still developing these distance papers. Your choices will be wider in future.
Apart from doing assignments and online assessments, are there any end-of-year exams or is it all written/online assessments sent by post?
The assessment varies from paper to paper. You will not be required to come to the College to sit an exam. Some papers are entirely assessed by assignment. Some use a telephone (or Skype) oral examination. We have the possibility of sending a written exam to an exam-centre or supervisor near where the student lives.
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