See also our Tutorials page for information about how to register, purchase textbooks, get an explanation of online sessions vs. semesters, or see how to get started in your online class.
Frequently Asked Questions
Our online classes are designed similarly to our campus courses, but with more flexibility built into their format. They keep the same types of coursework as residential courses, but with a measure of flexibility that allows you to complete your coursework at any time of day instead of a designated class time. Our online classes have established deadlines similar to residential courses that keep you moving through the material, but you can schedule to do your assignments when you want, prior to their due date.
Coursework can appear in a number of different formats—textbook reading, discussion forums, papers, and/or tests and quizzes. Most courses supplement the material with short video lectures or lecture notes, and some have optional or flexibly scheduled synchronous (live) sessions.
To facilitate discussion and student learning, you will regularly post (write short articles or responses generally under 300 words) to discussion boards or forums, allowing you to interact with each other and the teacher on a topic.
Our online classes do not have set meeting times. Generally, lecture materials are in the form of streaming recordings that you can access at any time. With very few exceptions, you can do your work at 1am in your pajamas or 6pm after work. There will be weekly schedules with due dates, participation requirements, etc. While there are no set meeting times, you will regularly see material from the professor, get feedback, and interact in the discussion forum.
Your coursework will be hosted in a portal called MyMaranatha. Once you have been accepted, you can access the portal using your login credentials at my.mbu.edu. There, you will be able to access your courses, find your assignments, and submit your coursework.
In an 8-week class, an average student will spend 6 hours per credit (3 hours per credit in a 16-week course). That is an average based on the standard definition of a credit, so some students will take a little more or even significantly less time.
Yes. You will also need access to a good internet connection, preferably high speed (cable or DSL). You’ll need to make sure that you have the free Adobe Flash player (http://www.adobe.com/shockwave/download/download.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash&promoid=BUIGP) installed. Our learning management software works best with:
- Internet Explorer 11 or later
- Firefox 55 or higher for Windows
- Firefox 49 or higher for Mac (requires OS X 10.9 or higher)
- Safari 10 for Mac
- Google Chrome 48 or higher (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android)
The Microsoft Edge browser is not recommended at this time.
Opera for Mac or Windows is not recommended at this time.
If you have questions about technology requirements or would like recommendations, please contact the IT Support Desk at (920) 206-2322 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find more information and answers here: https://my.mbu.edu/ICS/Campus_Life/IT/
You may use a PC (Windows 7 or newer) or Mac (10.7 or higher). (Basically, if your computer is less than three years old, you’ll probably be fine.) Webcams and webcam software are optional for most classes. You are encouraged to have the latest version of virus protection software installed (i.e. MacAfee Virus Protection, OneCare).
While some work can be completed on a mobile device (Smart Phone or Tablet) we do not recommend these for work you are turning in for grades.
If a course uses synchronous sessions, you might have some additional technology requirements (https://www.mbu.edu/online/about/synchronous-learning/).
The most recent version of Microsoft Office is highly recommended (and may be required for some classes); you can either access a free version while you are an MBU student or buy a student version (http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/edu) at a very discounted rate.
Some faculty members will want you to have a proctor for tests and quizzes who can unlock and supervise your tests. If so, the teacher will notify you up-front and you will need to find an approved proctor who is available for your testing times.
An approved proctor is someone that is not related to you, someone that is not a peer, someone that is not a spouse, and is ideally in one of the following professions: pastor (senior or assistant), church or school secretary, college/seminary professor, Sunday school teacher, K-12 school teacher, home school teacher from a family not your own, or librarian.
We always advise students to start with just one class in their first session. Adjusting to the style and pace of online learning, navigating our learning management system, and getting in the groove of college classes are all reasons to follow that advice! Students who start in more than once class have proven to be far less likely to succeed in those classes. Once you've completed that first class, you are welcome to decide how much you can handle at one time (1-3 classes is normal), up to 18 credits.
Since our classes have the same amount of content in half the time as a campus-based class, you should only be enrolled in about half as many classes at one time as you plan to complete in a semester.
You may pay your bill in one of the following ways: mail in a check or pay online with a credit card or e-check.
To pay online, log in using your credentials at my.mbu.edu. Once you have logged in, navigate to the finances tab and select “Pay Online.” From there, you can go to CASHNet, select whether you are paying via credit card or e-check, and complete your payment.
Yes, financial aid is available to those who are active students in a Maranatha degree program. Qualification is determined by the federal government. Students applying for financial aid must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Submit your FAFSA as soon as possible according to the following timeline:
- 2017-2018 academic year
- Apply after October 1, 2016
- Use tax information from 2015
- 2018-2019 academic year
- Apply after October 1, 2017
- Use tax information from 2016
- 2019-2020 academic year
- Apply after October 1, 2018
- Use tax information from 2017
First, apply online for a Federal Student Aid ID (FSAID). The FSAID will allow you to electronically sign the FAFSA. If you are a dependent student, your parent must also apply for an FSAID.
Financial Aid Office: 920-206-2318
MBU School Code: 016394
Our online courses, designed to keep you motivated and move through classes, are taught in 8-week, 12-week, and 16-week sessions. Although you can frequently work ahead on assignments, regular deadlines (similar to a class structure) help you to stay focused on the current discussion and keep you moving through the content as a group and not an individual.
Online learning is designed to give you more opportunities to be engaged in the content and to interact, so you’ll be doing lots of reading, writing, and critical thinking. If you enjoy this kind of learning, you’ll do well in an online course.
Many students coming to Maranatha Online bring in transfer coursework from other universities or recognized, credit-granting agencies (Advanced Placement, CLEP/DSST, etc.). Maranatha accepts credits earned from all accredited post-secondary institutions in North America and foreign institutions with similar recognition. We also accept credits earned from many unaccredited institutions on a case-by-case basis as determined by the Registrar at Maranatha. Students may be required to supply official documentation from the school if it is not readily available online. Common factors considered in making a determination include faculty credentials, publication of a course catalog, and compatibility of curriculum with Maranatha. Official transfer determination will only be made after the receipt of an official transcript received directly from the institution awarding credit.
Non-academic coursework credits (e.g. orientation or fieldwork), courses competed with a grade below C-, and audits are not transferred into Maranatha.
While Maranatha may accept credits from other institutions, the Registrar may determine that the content or underlying philosophy does not correspond with Maranatha’s curriculum. For instance, credits earned in study of the New Testament from a secular junior college may be accepted as electives but will not meet the requirements of our Biblical Studies Core. Such situations may require students to “re-take” courses through Maranatha.
Generally, 98 credits is the maximum number of transfer credits accepted into the degree-completion program. Since the program is 128 credits and a minimum of 30 credits must be earned through Maranatha, previously earned credits beyond 98 will not appear on a student worksheet.
Maranatha online faculty sometimes use two products to run live sessions. One is called Adobe Connect and the other is called Zoom. Not all courses use this technology, but here are some hints about this.
The teacher might have a time when he or she will ask you to be online. Generally, there are not a lot of synchronous sessions in the course (no more than 6), and you usually have the option to pick which ones you want to attend. All of the sessions are recorded, so you can watch the ones you might miss.
What you might need to participate:
- Anyone can participate using the chat feature, which allows you to type questions and comments directly to the instructor in real-time.
- If your computer has sound (i.e. you can hear music or watch videos on your computer), you’ll be able to hear the instructor or others talking.
Some teachers or classes (such as Fundamentals of Public Speaking) require the use of your web camera or headset/mic combo. For other classes, those items might be optional:
- If you’re speaking during the session, we recommend purchasing a USB headset/mic combo for the best audio experience. You can get some for $20 at places like Walmart. Although some computers and webcams have mics built into them, they generally do not allow for the best audio experience for other listeners in the session.
- Any web camera (either built-in or external) should work with both Adobe Connect or Zoom. You just cannot have the web camera running in another program (i.e. Skype or Google chat) during the Adobe Connect or Zoom session.
- Students can attend Adobe Connect or Zoom synchronous sessions anytime and anywhere using their mobile devices.
- Download and install the Adobe Connect Mobile App or the Zoom.us App on your mobile device.
- After the app is installed, select it. When prompted, enter the meeting URL (Adobe Connect) or Meeting Number (Zoom) the instructor has given you.