When I tell people I completed a master’s degree online, they often react with a mixture of curiosity and suspicion. I imagine they probably wonder if the degree could possibly be real. At least, that was what I wondered a few years ago before I began the program. But now, as an alumna of Holy Apostles College & Seminary, I can tell people that I have many reasons for recommending that they look into pursuing an online degree there too. Among the many reasons, here are the six that I consider core:

1) Convenience: If you’re like me, you probably feel like your schedule is so full between work and family that you wonder how continuing your education is possible. The demands of life can weigh heavy at times. When I started my education at Holy Apostles, I began primarily because of the convenience. I was not in a position to quit my job for full time study, so I decided to go for a program that would allow me to work with my own needs and schedule. And the best part was that I didn’t even have to leave my home to go to class. I was able to complete my studies at home during evenings and weekends. The online program gave me a convenience that no on-campus program can provide: the convenience of creating my own weekly schedule.

2) Affordable Tuition: Money does not have to be a barrier between you and a good education, and Holy Apostles knows that. They manage to keep their tuition low. I was able to pay my education on my own at Holy Apostles by taking two classes each semester while working. Not having to depend on student loans gave me both financial freedom and a sense of personal satisfaction when I was done, knowing that my education was all my own.

3) Freedom to Be Catholic: At Holy Apostles, you don’t have to worry about defending your faith. You have the freedom to be Catholic in every class. I have taken classes from several public universities and community colleges and can attest to the difference a Catholic education makes. Not only did I not have to worry about the content of what was taught in the classroom at Holy Apostles, but I also did not have to deal with the frustrations and moral dilemmas that I found at other schools.

4) Intellectually Challenging Classes: My classes were not just interesting, but also challenging. Holy Apostles was my first online program, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. My main concern was whether an online program would compromise the quality of my education. I wondered whether I could really learn the material in any significant way. I cannot speak for other online programs, but I can speak for Holy Apostles with an emphatic yes! Through recorded lectures and online discussions, I received personal instruction in all the same areas I would have received from an on-campus program. And the instructors and students were always there to answer questions and work through course material together. In a certain way, it was a team effort.

 5) Professors Who Transform the Classroom: At some point in my education, I learned that professors set the tone for the way students experience a classroom. Professors don’t just lead; they lead with an attitude and style. That attitude and style can be positive and transforming or negative and discouraging. Some of the professors I find most memorable from my academic history come from Holy Apostles: their attitude and style transformed my classroom experience into a memory worth holding onto.

6) Community: While the professors were deeply committed to their students, my fellow classmates were just as dedicated. We learned together through online discussions and helped each other to succeed each week. We may not have had the opportunity to talk face-to-face about the classes we took, but we nonetheless were surrounded by a sense of community each semester. And the best part was that our sense of community was always rooted in Christ.

To learn more about the online programs offered at Holy Apostles College & Seminary, visit their website at http://www.holyapostles.edu/. To see what others are saying about Holy Apostles, visit their testimonials page at http://www.holyapostles.edu/testimonials-in-praise-of-the-college/.

The opinions expressed by the DPS blog authors and those providing comments are theirs alone; they are not necessarily the expressions or beliefs of either the Dead Philosophers Society or Holy Apostles College & Seminary.