RTS Announces Plans and Courses for Summer 2020

Updated April 16, 2020 at 12:30 PM CT

We are pleased to announce our course offerings for summer 2020, taught by faculty across all RTS campuses.


April 10, 2020

Dear RTS students (and the rest of the RTS family):

I am excited to announce to you our RTS summer course schedule and plans. The Coronavirus pandemic has forced us to make changes in how we provide a positive learning environment and deliver robust theological education to you in an accessible, helpful way. But the RTS team sees this as an opportunity to give you the best of all of RTS. RTS was built and prepared for this moment, with over thirty years of experience in remote learning. RTS is a pioneer in distance education among accredited theological graduate schools. Now, we want to put that experience to work for you.

So the situation we find ourselves in actually plays into the strengths of RTS’s unique model for theological education, and we want to maximize the benefits of your summer studies, even in these uncertain days. No matter your particular RTS campus or where you are sheltering right now, we want to give you a taste of all that RTS is and has to offer. Our RTS students everywhere will be able to take advantage of the great course material and wonderful instructors from your own campus, and from RTS campuses that you may have never visited before.

Our summer courses will be offered remotely (through a variety of flexible options), but the Provost and his team, working with our presidents, executive directors, deans, registrars and faculty have put together a remarkable plan that will provide you with outstanding course offerings, great teachers, “live” instruction, as well as asynchronous options (where the lectures are pre-recorded and you watch them at your own chosen pace and time) for those of you who need maximum flexibility to navigate your current life situation.

RTS will offer over 80 course options to our students this summer! With almost 40 distance education courses ready to go from RTS Global Education, and with more than 40 live “remote residential” courses being offered, students are going to experience the best possible education options and opportunities even in this current time of disruption.

And we are working hard to keep this affordable for you too. To that end, RTS will honor all student scholarships in full to both remote residential and regular distance education courses. In other words, there will be no “scholarship cap” for our residential students when you take our live “remote residential” and/or Global Ed DE courses this summer.

What do we mean by “remote residential” courses? These are live (or primarily synchronous) courses, with an RTS professor doing fresh class exposition for you via digital technology (Zoom, Canvas, etc.), providing you the opportunity to see, hear and interact live with your teacher and fellow students. These courses will be scheduled within two four-week summer mini-terms, with morning, afternoon and evening timeslots. As allowed by the accreditors, RTS will transcript these “remote residential” courses as residential for purposes of determining the student’s residential-course percentages.

To our RTS Orlando hybrid MDiv students, Orlando and Jackson MAC students, and Jackson Summer Institute for Biblical Languages (SIBL) students, let me say, we’ve made some special provisions for you, given the unique requirements of your programs. Stay tuned for more details about the dates and plans for your courses.

I’m delighted to announce that I will be teaching Theology of the Westminster Standards. I would love to have students from every RTS campus, and beyond, in that course. Join me, won’t you? But let me say, we have an amazing line-up of courses and professors. Mike Kruger of RTS Charlotte will be teaching on the Origin and Authority of the New Testament Canon. Scott Swain of RTS Orlando will be teaching Systematic Theology on Scripture, Theology Proper and Anthropology (the Bible, God the Trinity, Humanity and Sin). Nick Reid, also of Orlando, will teach on Covenant Theology. Provost’s Professor Carl Ellis will teach Christianity as a Cultural Minority. Guy Richard of RTS Atlanta will teach on the doctrine of Baptism. Paul Jeon of RTS DC will teach on the Pastoral Epistles: Greek Text to Modern Meaning. Irwyn Ince will teach Missions. I could go on and on!

So, it doesn’t matter what campus you’ve done most of your studies on, all of RTS is yours, more than ever before. We are doing our best to give you opportunities to avail yourselves of what the whole of RTS has to offer.

And don’t ignore the slate of RTS Global courses available to you. They may give some of you just the flexibility you need to keep moving forward in your pastoral preparation and theological education towards your vocational service.

We will post all our summer courses offering by Wednesday, April 15. At that time, we’ll inform you of when registration will open (and our plan will be to open registration as quickly as possible). We also plan to cap class sizes in order for you to have the best possible educational environment digitally. So, be ready to sign up early so that we can serve you better.

Meanwhile, there will be lots more communication to you about our summer offerings, that will answer lots of questions that I am sure you already have. Just know, I’m genuinely excited. I wish we could all be together right now, un-socially-distanced! But short of that, we are going to do our best to give you a good experience. We believe the more personal theological education is, the better. And so we are going to try our best to give you a rich, personal, devotional, educational experience this summer. Thankfully, over three decades of experience in remote learning has prepared RTS for this moment. Let’s seize it together.


Your friend,

Ligon Duncan, BA, MDiv, MA, PhD (Edin)
Chancellor and CEO
Reformed Theological Seminary