Distance theological education is frequently considered a lesser form of theological education when compared with the seminary experience. The presentation discusses the perceived limitations of theological distance education on the grounds of community and formation of the student, and considers the role of 'community' as part of the educational mix. There are important lessons for any form of distance education as the importance of 'community' and personal formation are universal at the tertiary level. The presentation draws on extracts of interviews with distance theological education students and suggests a nuancing of the term 'community' to assist with further research in distance education community.
Nichols, M. (2012, August). What does 'community' mean in distance education? Paper presented at the Open Polytechnic Learning Conference 2012: Akonga - to learn, Lower Hutt, New Zealand.