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Distance students should enrol as "External" students.

Theology papers

See the available Theology papers

Distance Learning in Theology

Road Day 1The Theology programme has a comprehensive and well established distance learning programme that serves a very large number of students throughout New Zealand and even overseas.

By offering our papers on the distance learning network we have been able to remove a significant barrier to participation in the study of Theology.  Students in Dunedin who are unable to attend lectures during the day may also enrol in distance learning papers.

Some students who are taking postgraduate research courses choose to do these by distance.

Visit the Distance Learning website

Distance Learning information and support

Our modes of delivering our distance papers

We have thought carefully about how we can make you as a distance student feel connected to – not isolated from – your lecturers and fellow students.  We offer a blended-learning model that involves video conferences, face-to-face teaching days, and online learning.  This mix of delivery methods supplies regular opportunities for you to connect, so you are not left feeling isolated or on your own. You will also have access to the University's Distance Library Service.

Video conferences

Video conferences usually take place during the evening anywhere from three to seven times a semester.  To access a video conference you will need a computer with a webcam and headset microphone.  We use a program called Zoom as the environment for video conferences.  This is easy to use (certainly once you are familiar with it) and brings a number of advantages – not least in being able to see your lecturer and fellow students, and in being able to signal that you would like to contribute to the discussion.

On the page called Essential Student Information you will find the instructions you need to access a video conference.  These are generally run as seminars, with discussion of key questions essential to the course.  A recording will be made available as a podcast shortly after each conference if you have had to miss it, but do attend if at all possible: your preparation and participation make a critical difference to the learning experience not just for you but for all your fellow students.

Some papers may also include elements of face-to-face teaching or online discussion.

Teaching days

Most 200-, 300- and 400-level papers include teaching days. Some video conference-based papers include teaching days.  These days are designed to make face-to-face teaching possible for the majority of enrolled students.  They are usually scheduled early in the semester in order to encourage participation and a sense of community that will enhance the experience of the audio conferences and, where it forms part of the assessment, online discussion.

These teaching days take place in Wellington.

Details of the venue for these days will be provided in the Course Outline and on Blackboard.  You should plan to arrive between 9:00 and 9:30am; the day will finish at 4.00pm.

RSA Cafe-Teaching days are a very valuable part of the student experience, enhancing and reinforcing the various dimensions of the learning process; and it is extremely helpful for students and lecturers to meet, and for students to meet each other.  Shortly after the teaching days have been completed each lecturer will post a podcast summarizing the main learning points of the teaching day for those students who were unable to attend.

Please notethat teaching days are ultimately dependent on enrolments!


Students come together with their lecturer in a centre just before the semester begins, usually for five days.  You will be asked to do some reading beforehand and you will complete your assessment throughout the semester.

Internet-based papers

Students participate in an online forum to discuss questions related to the course materials. Each forum covers about two weeks' worth of material and students can contribute at any time during the period.

In addition to responding to questions set by the lecturer, students are encouraged to raise for discussion other matters from their reading.

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