We know you’ve got questions about how classes work at LCU, and just below, we’ve provided answers to the five most-popular questions we’ve been asked by prospective students. And if you don’t see your question in there, please don’t hesitate to send an email our way, and we’ll help in any way we can!
Well, where are you reading this right now? Because class can be right there.
With the exception of our MA in Counseling, every degree program that LCU offers can be completed online, which means every class in every program has an online option, so that you can attend class from a small town in Illinois, downtown Seattle, or Tanzania. Even more specifically, you can attend class from your living room, your bedroom, the back porch, the front porch, or even the coffee shop down the street.
We know you might not live anywhere near where we could hold an in-person class, so we work tirelessly to make education accessible to you and anyone else who wants it.
Admittedly, this question is a little trickier to answer than the other questions – hence the longer answer below. But please hang with us to the very end. Because we will answer the question, but only on the other side of all of us being on the same page regarding some helpful terminology.
Generally speaking, in online education students attend either a synchronous class or an asynchronous class.
Let’s talk about a synchronous class first.
A synchronous class is a class in which the professor and the students sync their schedules, so to speak, to meet “live” online (from wherever they are) at a designated time and often on a weekly basis. For example, you might take a synchronous class at LCU that explores the Book of Romans, and each Tuesday night you gather online “live” with your professor and fellow classmates from, say, 6:00-8:30pm CST. Or, maybe you’ll take a synchronous class that explores Pastoral Care, and you gather online “live” with your professor and fellow classmates on the third Thursday of January, February, March, and April, 8:00am-4:00pm (CST).
When you think of a synchronous class, think of it this way: “live” and online together.
An asynchronous class is a class in which students engage with course material according to their own schedule. Unlike a synchronous class, there isn’t any sort of weekly “live” element where the class gathers with the professor online. For example, you might take an asynchronous class that explores systematic theology, and each week the professor might, say, post a short lecture or two for you to watch, assign some additional reading, ask you to complete a few reflection questions, and post some thoughts on a discussion board. And you can complete all of this work at 6am or 6pm. And you can do so on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. (Just always by the due date!)
When you think of an asynchronous class, think of it this way: on demand.
At LCU, we offer synchronous and asynchronous classes. So, when someone asks us, “When do classes meet?”, we answer, “It depends on the class.” If the class is synchronous, you’ll probably be meeting weekly, “live” and online together. If it’s asynchronous, you’ll chip away at the class material over time, according to your schedule. And the staff and faculty of LCU will always, always, always let you know if a class is synchronous or asynchronous.
With all of that in mind, there is one more piece of information we want to share regarding when classes meet. We do still offer intensive week classes – that is, classes that meet every day for just one week in the semester (typically from 8:00am-4:00pm [CST], with an hour break for lunch). Intensive week classes are often offered in August, January, and during the Fall and Spring Break periods. While many of these classes include an in-person option (see more about in-person opportunities elsewhere on this page), all of these classes (except for any classes associated with the MA in Counseling) will include an online option.
Yes! There are still opportunities to learn “in person” at LCU!
Remember those synchronous classes we talked about elsewhere? The ones that are “live” and online together? Some of our synchronous classes – some – will also have an in-person option to go alongside the “live” and online option.
Let’s go back to that example of a synchronous class that explores the Book of Romans – the one that meets every Tuesday night from 6:00-8:30pm (CST). The professor might choose to hold that class in a classroom on LCU’s campus, and students can either join online or – if a student lives close enough – they might want to come to campus and be “in the room” for the learning. Or how about that synchronous class on Pastoral Care – you know, the one that meets the third Thursday of every month? The professor might choose to hold that class in a classroom on LCU’s campus, and students can either join online or – if they live close enough – they might want to drive to campus.
To be clear, in-person opportunities won’t be available for every synchronous class, but we promise you it will be for some. Because we still champion in-person learning, while also meeting the online needs so many of our students have.
It depends on the program.
Classes that are a part of the MA in Counseling program or the MA in Organizational Leadership program meet for eight (8) weeks.
All other classes in all other programs meet for sixteen (16) weeks.
Intensive week classes meet for one week (Monday through Friday, 8:00am-4:00pm [CST], with an hour break for lunch).
A lot has changed at LCU, but one thing that hasn’t is the care and concern our professors show our students.
It doesn’t matter if the course is synchronous, asynchronous, online, or in-person: your professor is going to be with you all along the way, answering the questions you have, helping you think scripturally, theologically, critically, and – above all else, Christianly – while shaping your walk with Christ and preparing you for the kingdom work you are called to.
Things are different around here, but that will always be the same.