MTSO's hybrid online learning enhances the classroom experience.

Translation: No hour-long video lectures.

When you hear "online education," a number of things pop into your head, and if you care about quality education, not all of them are good. At MTSO, we are committed to facilitating hybrid in-class/online courses that move beyond simple convenience to real educational integrity.

Our approach to hybrid education is pretty specific: At least 60 percent of every course we offer is conducted face-to-face, in person. The remaining online time is carefully crafted to do much more than just bridge gaps.

In creating their hybrid classes, our professors look for the ways the online component can enhance the in-class experience – and broaden the learning experience in ways never before possible. Professor Diane Lobody was anything but a techie when she agreed to develop a hybrid version of the United Methodist History class she had taught for years. It was a transformative experience for her as an educator.

"The challenge of producing sophisticated multimedia course materials was terrifying and thrilling, and the process drew out of me a level of creativity I had never before experienced," she says. "Most unexpectedly, I also discovered that teaching United Methodist History in this multimedia online format invited me as a scholar to see and interpret our tradition in radically new ways – as a vibrantly visual, auditory, tactile, kinesthetic and fiercely interactive community."

Dr. Lobody and her MTSO faculty colleagues are committed to making the most of the new forms of learning that online meeting spaces offer. Participants in our hybrid classes are expected to engage by helping to create and share knowledge, not just absorb it. As a student, you might routinely post your papers for your classmates to read – and you'll be expected to read and learn from the work of your peers.

Lectures are reimagined and integrated with other forms of learning. The marathon video lecture simply isn't done here, and it never has been.

Advances in technology have provided both the opportunity to share knowledge in new ways and the temptation to create educational shortcuts. At MTSO, we won't compromise our commitment to challenging, invigorating education, whether it is offered entirely in a classroom or through hybrid classes.

If you still have questions, let us put you in touch with one of our professors who teaches a hybrid class at MTSO. They would welcome a chance to have a conversation with you about it. Simply contact our admissions office at or 800-333-6876, and we'll make the connection.

Hybrid learning is an essential part of the Connections M.Div. path at MTSO. Learn more about Connections.