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Infusing theology and technology: Instructional strategies that build community in online theological courses

, Capella University, United States

Capella University . Awarded


The number of theological graduate schools that have implemented online degree programs pales in comparison to the number of secular distance education programs in existence today. Theological seminaries have historically struggled with creating online communities in cyberspace, and currently are still being challenged to develop vibrant, interactive online communities of practice. Because being in a relationship is crucial during a seminarian's formative years, instructional strategies that can build community and develop relationships online need to be examined, defined and implemented as the means through which relationships can form. This research reports on a qualitative case study of learners who are enrolled in two separate online theological degree programs and reveals emergent themes derived from their feedback regarding what instructional strategies created community and assisted in developing relationships online. Data was collected for two months by interviewing fourteen participants from two different seminaries in a single one-hour interview. The results of this study yield information that identified effective instructional strategies that were conducive to building online communities and relationships in virtual learning venues, some of which are problem based learning, related cases, knowledge through information resources, knowledge modeling tools, coaching, modeling, and a constructivist model, in addition to others. Through the use of these strategies, technology and theological education can be fused together to supplant older models of instruction that have failed to build online communities for theological schools.


Roehrig, K.M. Infusing theology and technology: Instructional strategies that build community in online theological courses. Ph.D. thesis, Capella University. Retrieved October 18, 2019 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

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