“Drew has been incredibly accommodating”
January 2023 – Drew Theological School offers synchronous and asynchronous learning options—as well as blended options—to students across the globe.
The student-centered program allows students to earn a Theological School degree beyond geographic boundaries.
Master of Divinity student Adrian Bruder T’24 is earning his Drew degree online from his hometown in Austin, Texas.
He has been able to participate in an in-person internship at St. Luke United Methodist Church (UMC) in Austin, providing a balance of in-person experience coupled with an online education. “I have learned so much about myself, church community, administration, preaching, and teaching.”
We sat down with Bruder to learn more about his online educational experience and his decision to come to Drew.
What were the deciding factors that led you to pursue an online degree from Drew Theological School?
I was looking for a UMC approved seminary that was most aligned with my understanding of the divine. Drew and the UMC were very generous with my education and I felt really supported.
I don’t think I found perfect academic alignment with my understanding of the divine considering the diverse community I find myself in, but that is a blessing as I try to lead and inspire others into a deeper connection with God in the world that more closely reflects our academic community at Drew. Drew’s diversity is much better for my education and my application of that education in the real world.
What are the benefits to obtaining your Drew degree?
Drew is providing a diverse education with people who all understand the divine with their own lenses. What you believe is regularly tested, and even though I am not finished, I know I will leave Drew with a much stronger faith and deep spiritual formation.
I have also been shown how to believe strongly while allowing grace and space for ideas to “breathe” in diverse communities alongside my own.
Have you experienced any challenges?
Drew has been incredibly accommodating. Forming a deep connection with my peers has been harder because our time together is limited since I am a student, work full time in accounting, and my internship in Austin. Drew has really done a great job of facilitating conversations and sharing what we’ve learned as a community when we meet in class virtually, for in-person sessions, and online.