Register Now for Professor Dr. Christopher Ocker's Online Course
Filed under News Items, Home Page News on 8/12/2013 by Author: .

Dr. Christopher Ocker, professor of church history at San Francisco Theological Seminary, has always incorporated art, media, and technology in his seminary classroom. This fall, Ocker will also teach his history course online.

The course, “Christianities: From Jewish Sect to Colonial Religion,” is the same History I course Ocker will teach on campus at SFTS this fall. Like the residential class, the online course will be an introduction to Christianity in the context of world history and religions. The class will cover church history in the second century to 1700 with a particular emphasis on the Mediterranean world, Central Asia, North Africa, and Europe as pluralistic social and cultural environments. Students interested in understanding Christianity as a constantly re-emerging phenomenon, a living faith that constantly adapts to new situations, may find it especially helpful. The course cultivates analytical skills and critical perspectives essential to effective ministry today.

Like students who are enrolled in the residential course, students in the online course will learn from lectures, work with primary sources, and be tested through examinations or have options to write term papers. However, while students in the residential course will take part in discussions and other exercises on campus, students in the online course will do it online. Most of the online course will be asynchronous, allowing off-campus students to fit weekly lectures and the discussion forum flexibly into their schedules. At least three live streaming video conferences will complement the asynchronous elements of the class.

“What students learn in this online course will be the same as what they would learn if they were in the residential course,” Ocker says. “The only difference is the online medium.”

Ocker is excited to be exploring this new method of teaching and sees the potential advantages of online courses for students. “This is a new teaching tool that reflects a new way of learning. The possibilities are incredible, convenient, and fun.

To enroll in this course as a registered SFTS or GTU student, register through Web Advisor between August 19 – August 30. For non-SFTS/GTU students who wish to take this course for academic credit, download and complete the appropriate form by clicking here. For those who wish to take this course for non-academic credit, download and complete the appropriate form by clicking here . For any questions, contact Susan Lawlor, Academic Services Coordinator and Associate Registrar at 415-451-2820 or at

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