Frequently Asked Questions
Online Academic Policies
Auditing a Course
Auditing costs 50% of the full online, undergraduate tuition price. The grade of “AU” will be placed on the student’s permanent transcript. Students are not required to complete any coursework.
A student wishing to change from taking a course for credit to auditing mid-course may do so under the following conditions:
- The student must have a C- or above at the time of request.
- The request must be made during the Withdrawal (“W”) Period. This ends at the end of Week 4 in online classes.
- No financial adjustment will be made. A student who makes an audit change mid-course must still pay full price.
Student Complaint Procedures
Please see the Student Complaint Procedures page for more details.
First Session Enrollment
During his or her first session, it is strongly recommended that a student only enroll in one online class to allow the student to adjust to the pace, software, and expectations of Maranatha Online courses.
First Week Participation
All online courses begin on Tuesday. If the student has not participated in the course by noon (Central Time) the first Friday, the student will be dropped from the class and financial aid will not be processed.
Online Academic Probation
The status of Online Academic Probation will be applied to any online student who either (1) earns a semester GPA of less than 2.00, or (2) maintains a cumulative GPA of less than 2.00. Online students who earn this status are permitted to take only one online course per online session. This status will be reevaluated at the end of each semester. Once the cumulative and most recent semester GPA exceeds 2.00, the status and restrictions will be lifted.
Textbooks and Course Materials
Students are responsible for providing their own textbooks and required course materials by the first day of a course.
All transfer determinations are officially made by the Registrar. Any other assessments should be considered preliminary.
Undergraduate/Graduate Dual Credit
Students in an online bachelor’s program may complete up to 17 graduate credits at Maranatha to apply toward both the bachelor’s degree and a future graduate degree. Students must be classified as a junior or senior to take graduate-level courses as an undergraduate student.
Virtual Classes Policies
Who can take virtual classes?
Any Maranatha Online student can take virtual classes. However, online students are not necessarily required to take virtual classes to complete an online undergraduate degree. Virtual classes are often utilized by high school students in our dual enrollment program, students at our Bridge to Campus sites, and many others who enjoy the flexibility that virtual classes provide.
A Maranatha Online student who is not studying at a Bridge to Campus learning center may take virtual classes after reading the Virtual Class Participation Agreement below and submitting the form located at the bottom of this page. Students should register for virtual classes with the help of their academic advisor but may not begin classes until this form has been submitted.
Virtual Class Participation Agreement
Note: This section applies to virtual students not affiliated with a Bridge to Campus learning site. Bridge to Campus students need not submit this agreement.
- Students must meet the expectations of MBU class casual dress while they are participating in virtual class sessions with the exception that women may wear casual slacks. (men’s dress code/women’s dress code)
- Students are expected to attend scheduled classes. Absences in excess of two weeks of class meetings may result in no credit earned for the course, regardless of grades. See the Class Attendance Policy for specific details regarding the MBU class absence policy.
- A qualified proctor is required by MBU policy for final exams, and faculty may also require proctoring for other assessments. If an acceptable proctor is unavailable, a student may request access to the online proctoring service through his or her professor, which must be paid for by the student. Review the full proctor requirements in the next section and plan to communicate proctor information with your instructor when requested.
- The faculty member and course assistant must have access to a telephone number with texting capability for each student participating in a virtual class session. In order to support a high-quality virtual classroom experience, the instructor must be able to contact the student/supervisor during class.
- The room in which the student is located must be free from distractions (background music, television, kitchen noise, other siblings, etc.). If the student is a minor, an adult (e.g., a parent or teacher) must be present to supervise.
- Each student participant must have a computer or tablet (with a hard drive) meeting or exceeding the following specifications:
- A Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10 computer; a Mac OS X 10.9+ computer; or an iOS or Android tablet
- RAM no less than 4 GB with 8 GB or more preferable
- A headset or good headphones with a mic
- A webcam
- A scanner for submitting images of written work
- Each student participating in a virtual class session must have access to either DSL or high-speed internet capable of speeds of at least 512 kbs.
- Exercising both grace and control of the learning environment, faculty members teaching virtual classes are given wide discretion in permissible classtime behavior by independent virtual students. The Student Life Handbook outlines specific policies governing classtime behavior.
To ensure academic integrity, final exams, tests, and other items selected by faculty must be completed under the supervision of third-party proctors.
Proctors must be responsible and reputable individuals. Maranatha faculty members reserve the right to verify proctor qualifications, require additional evidence of eligibility, or require a different proctor be selected. All proctors are subject to approval by instructors and/or a Maranatha Online representative. In the event that a proctor cannot be identified, the student is responsible to make arrangements and pay for utilizing an online, third-party proctoring service through the Maranatha Online office.
- The student must identify an appropriate proctor and provide proctor information through the form below.
- Any fees charged for a testing service (if applicable) are the responsibility of the student requesting the proctor.
- The student must make arrangements with his or her proctor for test dates and times.
Virtual Course Agreement Form (must be submitted before course work can begin)
How do your online classes work?
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 at 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 whenever you want prior to their due dates.
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 other students and the teacher on a topic.
Do I have to be online at a certain time?
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 1:00 AM in your pajamas or at 6:00 PM after work. There will be weekly schedules with due dates, participation requirements, etc. While there will be no set meeting times, you will regularly see material from professors, receive feedback, and interact in discussion forums.
How do I turn in my homework?
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.
How much time will I need to do my coursework?
In an 8-week class, the average student will spend 6 hours per credit per week (3 hours per credit per week in a 16-week class). 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.
Do I need to have a computer?
Yes. You will also need access to a good internet connection, preferably high speed (cable or DSL). MyMaranatha works best with a current version of these browsers:
- Chrome (recommended)
- Internet Explorer
The Microsoft Edge browser is not recommended at this time.
If you have a class that uses Adobe Connect, you’ll need to have a current version of the free Adobe Flash player installed (https://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/).
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 (10.10 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.
While some work can be completed on a mobile device (smartphone or tablet), we do not recommend these for work that you are turning in for grades.
The most recent version of Microsoft Office is highly recommended. While you are an MBU student, you can download the latest free version at https://portal.office.com. If you have problems downloading the free version, contact the IT Support Desk for assistance.
Will I need a proctor for tests?
For tests and quizzes, some faculty members will want you to have a proctor 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 who is not related to you, is not a peer, 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, homeschool teacher from a family not your own, or librarian.
When are courses offered?
How many classes should I take?
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 per semester.
Since 8-week 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.
How do I pay my bill?
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.
Is financial aid available?
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:
- 2021–2022 academic year
- Apply after October 1, 2020
- Use tax information from 2019
- 2022–2023 academic year
- Apply after October 1, 2021
- Use tax information from 2020
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
What if I haven't been to college in a long time?
Our online courses, designed to keep you motivated and moving through, 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.
Can I transfer in my previous credits?
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 Marantha’s Registrar. Students may be required to supply official documentation from the school or credit-granting agency 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 an official transcript is 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 cannot be 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 a bachelor’s degree program.
What is synchronous learning?
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. Most courses have only a few synchronous sessions (no more than 6), and you will 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 a set for around $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 simply cannot have the web camera running in another program (e.g., 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.