Distance Learning: Program Details

Calvin Seminary’s distance learning programs provide a high-quality theological education that fits into your life.


Calvin Seminary’s distance education programs are designed to fit into your life by spreading courses out over a longer period of time than you would experience in our residential program. Generally speaking, you might take 3 courses, or about 10 credits each semester instead of the usual 15-17 on campus. Here are projected completion times for each program offered:

  • Master of Divinity – 5 years
  • Master of Theological Studies – 3 years
  • Master of Arts – 2.5 – 3 years
  • Certificate – 1-3 years, including summers

How distance learning works

In each distance program, you will take approximately three courses per semester. Each semester, your courses will begin online through the Canvas learning system.

All of our programs are available in a Hybrid format.  This means in mid-October and late-February or early-March, you will travel to Calvin’s campus in Grand Rapids, Mich., for five days of face-to-face learning with other members of your program cohort. After this “intensive,” you will complete the semester courses online.  While also available in the hybrid format, the Master of Arts in Ministry Leadership and the Certificate programs are also available entirely online, allowing students to complete the program without attending the intensives.

The courses you take through the distance program’s online learning system, Canvas, are done asynchronously, which means that you can complete course materials at the time of day that is convenient for you. There may be set times to meet with other students in your cohort, or to connect with a professor about an assignment, but for the most part, the program is flexible to fit into your life. You can plan to spend about three hours a week on coursework per credit your are taking in the program. The eight-day intensives on Calvin’s campus are almost entirely filled with courses and activities to connect you with other cohort members.

Whole-person learning

Because holistic ministry preparation is just as important in the distance learning program as it is in Calvin’s residential degree programs, the distance programs use online communication tools like Google Hangouts and discussion boards to connect you to your program cohort. You will also participate in mentoring groups online where you can support one another through prayer and discussion. Internship opportunities are also available in this program.

Learn more

Have more questions about Calvin Seminary’s distance learning programs? Contact us or see our Frequently Asked Questions.

View our Academic Catalog

Want to learn more about academics at Calvin Seminary? Here's a downloadable PDF with in-depth information on our programs. Just click on the icon above or here