FAQ For College Credit Courses

How much do classes cost?

Students can sign-up for an interest free payment plan of four equal monthly payments, always due on the first of the month. For more information, visit the Tuition & Fees page.

When are courses offered?

Online courses are offered in a semester system. The Fall Semester begins after Labor Day in September and the Spring Semester begins the first week of February. Registration for Online Spring 2024 Term opens Nov 13, 2023. There is also an intensive, seven week Summer Semester that begins the first week of June. All courses are offered at least once a year, either in the Fall or Spring Semesters. Only a few courses are repeated in the Summer term. To see when a course is offered, visit the Courses page.

What is an online course like?

Online courses are structured in a very similar format to traditional classroom learning. Courses are organized into 14-week Lessons. Students are assigned a series of tasks to accomplish each week. All activities must be finished by Monday night in order to get credit. Activities not completed will negatively impact the student’s grade. During the week, tasks could include assigned reading, watching video clips of lecture material, participating in discussion forums, submitting assignments to the online platform, and taking quizzes. All of these activities are done within the PBC Online Classroom.

Are my courses and lectures live?

Lectures are not live. Students do not need to log-in at a certain time in order to listen to the lecture. You can listen to them any time during the week that is convenient for you.  Students simply must complete the weekly assignments and lectures by Monday night of each week in order to avoid negative grade impacts.

How much time each week does an online course take?

This will depend on the course. Lectures typically range between 30-40 minutes in length, and with reading, lectures, and discussion participation, two credit courses will require between 3-5 hours of work each week and three credit courses require approximately 4-6 hours per week.  Often students think taking courses online means less work and less time. This is simply not the case. Online classes require the same amount of work as a typical college class on a campus. The benefit of taking courses online is the flexibility it offers.

How do I participate in required Discussion Questions online?

An important part of education comes from interacting with other people An important part of education comes from interacting with other people in regard to topics that are being discussed. Every online course includes a requirement to participate in discussions with other students. Discussions are designed to help each student evaluate and strengthen their own views by seeing how their ideas compare to others.  They also allow students to ‘hear’ more voices than than just the instructor. The number of discussions vary per course from 2 to 10 discussions. Discussions are NOT live, but students post their thoughts into a forum, allowing other student to comment on them on a later date. However, discussion posts must be participated in during the week they are due and can not be made up once the due date has passed.

What are the technical requirements?

There are three primary technical requirements for PBC online education. First, you must have access to a high-speed internet connection to view streaming video segments.  Second, you must install the current version of JavaScript. The PBC Online Classroom player will work on Windows and Mac on most browsers (Firefox, Chrome, etc.). Third, a student must have some version of Microsoft Word (version 2003 or higher) or Mac’s iWork Pages in order to submit assignments.

I haven’t taken a college course in a very long time; do I have what it takes to be successful?

Don’t let this intimidate or scare you from the Bible education you desire. While, it may be weird to have assignments, due dates and grades again, you will be surprised by how rewarding it is to interact with people on new topics and to realize how much you have learned at the end of the process.  It truly is never too late to be a college learner.   All you need is a deep desire to learn and the personal discipline to follow through on that desire.

What if I’m out of town, on vacation, or unavailable while class is in session?

If you have a laptop or can get online, class can always be in session! That’s the flexibility of online education. However, what if you are away from your computer? Remember, online courses do not meet at a certain time in a given day, but course work must be completed by the Monday of each week. Like any course, there are due dates for discussion forums and homework assignments. Hence, if someone knows they will be out of town when a particular assignment is due, the work must be completed early and posted accordingly. Special arrangements or emergencies are handled with the assigned instructor.

How many credits can I take?

The first time a student take courses with Portland Bible online, they can only take up to 8 credits. This is so students can familiarize themselves with what it is like to take a course online. After the first semester, a student can take as many courses as they wish.  If you would like an exception made, feel free to contact the Director of Online Education directly.

What do I do if I experience technical issues?

For a fast resolve to your technical issues, please contact the PBC Help Desk at pbchelpdesk@portlandbiblecollege.org.  All your questions will be responded to within 24 hours except on weekends when they will receive prompt attention on Monday morning.

What are the admissions requirements for PBC?

Online student’s must demonstrate a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and a connection to the local church. Students must have received a high school diploma or GED (transcripts required) and have a Pastoral Recommendation to attend. PBC will allow Seniors in high school to take a PBC online course by submitting proof of enrollment in a high school and current transcripts to establish good grade standing.

Do I need to apply to PBC even if I am only taking one class?

There is a part-time application that you can fill out that requires less information. However, once a student has taken up to 12 credits, they must submit additional information including a pastoral reference.

Do I need a Pastor’s Reference even if I am not pursuing a degree at PBC?

Once a part-time student completes 12 credits with PBC, all students must have a Pastoral reference on file with the admissions office. The mission of PBC is building leaders that serve local churches around the world. A pastoral reference is the one piece of information that demonstrates a student’s connection to the local church. The pastor does not need to be Senior Pastor. It can be an Associate Pastor, Youth Pastor, Elder or the like; however they must be able to speak to your involvement in the local church.

Can I get credit for my service in the local church?

PBC offers up to 4 credits of Practicum to student’s that are pursuing an associate’s degree (one credit per semester). Practicum credit requires at least 30 hours of service over a 14 week semester under the guidance of the leadership at a local church during. This should not be in an area that you are currently employed in, however exceptions will be considered.

I have Church Leadership Training Institute (CLTI) Credit, how can I use it?

The Online Program has replaced the Church Leadership Training Institute (CLTI) at PBC. Our Online Program is a better representation of our on-campus curriculum as students gain access to the same lectures, books and assignments as campus students.

Students that previously ‘completed’ CLTI courses can transfer CLTI credits directly to Portland Bible College. CLTI courses still ‘in progress’ were phased out over a four year period and are no longer accepted. If you have questions or want to transfer your CLTI credits over to PBC, please email us at pbconline@portlandbiblecollege.org and request that your transcript be transferred to PBC. Students must complete the application process and get accepted directly to PBC.

Can I download the course content?

All PBC courses offer comprehensive course notes, which included the points, scriptures and even charts and images that every student can download and keep when the course is done.  However, students are not able to download the actual course lectures to their iPods or computers. The student learns best when they set designated time aside in a quiet place where they can focus on the material being taught as they would in a classroom setting rather than in their car or on a run. Not downloading instructor’s lectures also protects the school from copyright infringement.

Can I choose a special emphasis in my degree?

PBC does not offer specialized tracks for students pursuing Bachelor degrees online. Both Associate and Bachelor degrees online do however give students several electives, in which they can take any course they wish, allowing students to take courses from any specialized tracks.  We are happy to coach students when choosing electives to help them customize their education to their occupational pursuits or interests. PBC also offers a highly flexible Church Leadership Degree to students who are currently employed in ministry and over the age of 25. See Degree Requirements for more details.

What degrees can I get from PBC online?

Portland Bible College currently offers one certificate and three degrees online. To find more information about these degrees, visit our Academics page.

  • Certificate in Theology (32 credits)
  • Associate of Theology (64 credits)
  • Associate of Church Leadership (64 credits)
  • Bachelor of Theology (128 credits)

I am a former student at PBC, can I finish online?

YES! We have a lot of previous Portland Campus students go on to complete their degree online. New upper level courses are offered every term. Students interested in completing their Associate or Bachelor degree online can contact school offices for a personalized degree audit of their current credits to see how to complete their degree online.

I don’t want college credit, can I still get access to the content?

  • Portland Bible College offers an audit option for our online courses that operates as independent study. This independent study option removes the assignments, exams and discussion forum requirements from the students load and simply gives a student access to content for a certain amount of time.
  • Students auditing courses do not need to be accepted to PBC and audit courses do not count toward degree requirements.
  • Click here for more information about Independent Study.
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