Distance Learning

Welcome to Newman Theological College Distance Learning

Distance education courses at Newman Theological College are held to the same academic standards as on-campus courses.

Every distance education course shall be assessed through the same means as on-campus courses, including an opportunity for students to evaluate the course. All distance education courses include regular opportunities for substantive interaction between professors and learners and among learners. There are opportunities for interaction with the professor at least weekly as part of the course. Additionally, instructors make themselves available to distance education students for individual discussions on an as needed basis via Skype, telephone, etc. In some cases individual tutorials of this nature may be part of the course requirements. When these are mandatory it will be indicated on the course syllabus.

Up to date information on the skills and requirements for successful distance learning are below.

Message from the President of the NTCSA - Dr. Chris Pugh

The Liberal Arts and Theology

The Liberal Arts and Theology

Welcome to Newman Theological College! Our motto is fides quaerens intellectum, faith seeking understanding. Our mission is to prepare men and women for a life of missionary discipleship. Founded in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, NTC has been forming minds and hearts for over fifty years through theological education; and this past July, Newman quietly opened a new chapter in its history.

While ministerial degrees and the professional formation of Catholic teachers remains at the heart of our work, in 2020-21 Newman begins offering its first ever, provincially accredited, Liberal Arts degree, a ‘Great Books’ Bachelor of Arts in Catholic Studies. This innovative degree offers for our seminarians a classically-oriented formation that suitably prepares them to take up the advanced study of Theology, through our Master’s of Divinity program. For others, NTC’s three-year Bachelor of Arts affords them the joy of studying the liberal arts in an unapologetically Catholic environment, and provides a gateway to careers in education, business, law, and other areas of service. For all students, our new Bachelor of Arts aims to develop what our college patron Cardinal Newman called “an integrated habit of mind”.

Whatever program you take, NTC teaches students to think deeply about the liberal arts and theology and how to live a faith-filled life in service of the Church and the world. During your time with us you will get to know better the Bible, St. Augustine, St. John Chrysostom, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. John Henry Newman, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, St. John Paul II, and a host of other holy men and women who have shaped the Church and our culture. At our college, we seek to cultivate a community that fosters the intellectual, moral and spiritual development of students, a love for the gospel, and a sense of what it means to live out Christ’s call in the midst of our homes, our parishes, our professions, and our nation.

If you wish to think more clearly and lovingly about the good, the true, and the beautiful, the study of the liberal arts and theology is for you! Be generous with the time you apply to your studies. Be open to transformations. Be willing to risk. As St. John Paul II called us, use this time to “put out into the deep” and be surprised at the abundant catch which the Lord will grant. God will never disappoint you!

2020 Fall Semester Covid-19 Guidelines

General Guidelines

Newman Theological College has developed this document with the guidance from the orders of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the Alberta Government.

General Guidelines

All persons entering the premises must

  • Screen for symptoms every day before entering the building.
  • Wear a face mask when distancing is not possible.
  • Maintain a 2-meter distance from others.
  • Refrain from gathering in groups.
  • Cover your cough and sneezes
  • Sanitize and wash hands often.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Enter and leave classrooms one at a time.
  • Disinfect all appliances, chairs, desks, etc… using the provided cleaning materials after each use.
  • Avoid long line-ups.
  • Be patient.

Anyone experiencing symptoms are required to stay home and self-isolate until proof of a negative test is provided.

What to do if you Feel Sick at the College

If someone is feeling sick while in the building they must immediately return home, report to student services at 780-392-2450 or reception@newman.edu for sanitizing of the areas where they were present, and self-isolate until proof of a negative test is provided.

Students who have to self-isolate will be transferred to an online course if available. Otherwise if possible arrangements will be made with the professor to complete their class from a distance.


Many classes have been transferred to online delivery, some classes remain on-campus but enrollment for these classes has been restricted to accommodate social distancing guidelines.

Social Distancing

Our classrooms have been reorganized to accommodate for social distancing by removing excess tables and chairs and separating the workspaces by meters to accommodate social distancing requirements.


Faculty and students must bring a mask and wear when distancing is not possible.

Daily Attendance

Professors will take daily attendance for their classes in case there is a potential exposure to the students. Those who have been in potential contact with COVID-19 will be informed.

Staggered Break Times and Dismissal

Break times will be staggered to avoid crowded hallways, students will be asked to disinfect their workstations before leaving the classroom and dismissing from the classroom will be conducted in a staggered orderly manner to reduce crowding around the exit.

Class Cancellations

If a class cannot be held on-campus due to isolation requirements classes will be held on Zoom at the usual class time. Details will be provided when necessary.

Limited Use

The use of a classroom more than once a day has been limited.

Cleaning and Sanitization

Cleaning materials and hand sanitizer has been made available in all the classrooms. Students and Professors are asked to disinfect their workstations after class using the cleaning materials provided. Classrooms are scheduled for enhanced cleaning and disinfection before classes.

Public Areas

Cleaning and Sanitization

Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of high-traffic areas has been scheduled.

Social Distancing

Public Areas have been reorganized to accommodate for social distancing by removing excess tables and chairs and separating the workspaces by two meters to accommodate social distancing requirements.

Use of Student Kitchen and Appliances

Public coffee and tea station has been removed until further notice to ensure public safety.  A person must sanitize before and after the use of the microwaves, fridges, vending machines, and water cooler using the provided cleaning materials.


Bathrooms capacity is limited to 1 person at a time.


Elevator capacity is limited to 1 person at a time.

Reporting System

A number will be posted to report sanitization concerns, and response will be immediate.

Student Services

Student services will be open for students. Masks, sanitization, and social distancing will be required.


Phase 2 Library Reopening

Beginning Sept 8, 2020, the NTC library will reopen to NTC students only.

Library use is limited to retrieving resources for check-out.

Stack access allows for one student, per shelf range, at a time.

All study, casual reading, photocopier, and computer station areas are closed.

If required, the library will limit access to 8 students at a time.

Library hours are 8:30 - 4:00 M-F.

Circulation services

Standard due dates will resume for newly checked out items.

Overdue fines will either not be charged or will be kept to a minimum.

Item returns are to be made via the book drop outside the library entrance.

Item Recalls and Item Hold requests

These services have been restored to participating NEOS libraries including NTC.  
In most cases, the library send to location will be limited to NTC library.

Item hold pickup

Hold items will be checked out to the requester and be made available on the pickup table just outside the library entrance. Items will be on hold for seven days. Requesters will be notified by email.

Copying, scanning and printing

Photocopying, scanning and printing are available upon request. 

Requests will be accepted in person or by email.

In person requests will be filled on demand. Email requests will be printed and be made available on the pickup table. If time sensitive, please inform library staff.

There is no charge for copying, scanning or printing.

All copyright guidelines remain in force.

Item quarantining

All returned, recalled or hold items will be quarantined for three days before being discharged or checked out to a student.

NTC External Borrowers

NTC external borrowers will not have library access nor access to the hold pick up option via the NEOS catalogue. However, they may request NTC items for pick-up by emailing library staff.

Phase 3 reopening

When safe to do so, and in keeping with other NEOS libraries generally, the library will move into phase three of its reopening plans. This will mean the opening of study, casual reading, photocopier and computer areas, as well as allowing external and secondary borrower access. However, physical distancing guidelines will still be in place.

For assistance: Please phone 780-392-2454 or email:  jim.derksen@newman.edu.


The Bookstore will be open for students. Masks, sanitization, and social distancing will be required and is restricted to 1 person at a time. Orders can be made in advance and is preferred by emailing bookstore@newman.edu or calling 780-352-2457 with your request.


The chapel is restricted to 8 people and one priest for masses until further notice. No set mass schedule has been defined.

Social Gatherings

Social gatherings will be restricted until further notice, all organized gatherings must be approved in advance by the President and must adhere to the policy on gathering with Alberta Health Services.

Student Counselling Services

Confidential student counselling services are available for eligible NTC students through Catholic Social Services (CSS) at the following locations, Edmonton, Camrose, Wetaskiwin, Lloydminster, Vermillion and Red Deer.

Eligible students include part-time and full-time NTC students of any denomination or faith tradition who are enrolled in the M.Th. M.Div., M.T.S., B.Th., Dip.Th., C.Th. or B.A. programs. Students in the M.R.E. program who are not sponsored by their school divisions are also eligible. Up to five counselling sessions are sponsored by NTC. Beginning with the sixth session, services will be at the student’s expense. Students may set up an appointment with Mercy Counselling by emailing mercy@cssalberta.ca or by filling out an online form found at https://www.cssalberta.ca/Contact-Us or by phoning the CSS intake line at (780) 391-3233, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. All emails and calls are returned within 24 hours during regular business hours. The intake worker will gather your information and work with you to set up an appointment in the location nearest you. The addresses for Mercy Counselling offices can be found on the Catholic Social Services website https://www.cssalberta.ca/Contact-Us

Reporting to Alberta Health

If two or more people from the college are self-isolating Alberta Health Services will be contacted at 811.

Questions or Concerns

Questions may be directed to the president’s office at 780-392-2455 or executive.assistant@newman.edu

Student Services

There will be many times over the course of your academic studies at NTC and even beyond that Student Services will assist you. We are happy to help you on every step of your journey so come and see us!  Click here for our list of services.  Please also direct your attention to the Current Students Menu Item on this website for information.

Student Handbook

The Student Handbook will provide information on the following and more.

  • Hours of Operation
  • Student Services (Payment of Tuition & Fees, Registrar, Dean of Students)
  • How to get an email account.
  • How to get a Student ID and Library Account.
  • IT Support
  • Student Counselling Services.
  • Bookstore Services
  • Library Services
  • Financial Aid
  • NTC Student's Association (NTCSA)
  • Course Information
  • Policies, Procedures, and Regulations
  • Contact Information (Administration and Faculty)
  • Quick Reference guide
  • College floor plans
  • Parking map

Online Course Expectations

Please review the Admissions section on this website or in our Academic Calendar thoroughly so you may understand what is expected of you as a student here at NTC.

The Academic calendar covers many important topics to help you throughout the year.

  • Registration 
  • Changes in Registration Add/Drop/Withdrawal
  • Program Withdrawals 
  • Program Time Limits 
  • Transfer Credit 
  • Course Attendance 
  • Faculty Advisor Forms 
  • Grade Reports 
  • Extensions 
  • Final Exam Schedule 
  • Incomplete Grade Course Policy 
  • Grade Appeal Policy 
  • Reading Courses 
  • Return of Assignments 
  • Academic Standing Policy 
  • Alberta and Canada Student Loans

Student Accounts

Your student account may be accessed by going to the Student Logins Page.  You will be provided with a username and login at the time of admissions via email.

Research and Academic Support

Obtain the required books you need for your course at our bookstore.

Learn more about the services and resources provided by the Library. Find links to library tutorials and other resources to help you develop library and research skills on the Student Research page.

Online Student Community



Online Learning Basics

About Online Courses

Quality Online Learning

Undertaking a distance-learning program does require a different approach to your learning experience.  This is an asynchronous learning experience. This means you can respond to the various elements of the course at any time.  Unless you are involved in a chat room or audio bridge, you cannot ask questions and receive immediate answers.  Though you do not get immediate responses, your instructors will respond within 48 hours to your work. This environment allows you to have more time to digest the information, formulate your questions and then evaluate the instructor's responses.

You are responsible for both sharing your thoughts and also reflecting on the other class participant's insights.  You can ask other participants questions either on the discussion board or by sending them a direct e-mail message.  You can send the facilitator of your course a direct e-mail message if you have a personal question or concern.

Is an online course right for me?

Distance Education courses are every bit as challenging as traditional courses. In order to succeed in a Distance Education course, you must be self-motivated and be able to work well independently with minimum supervision. You do not see your instructor regularly, so you must be able to manage your time effectively and stay on track with your coursework. You also need strong reading and study skills. Detailed information about the skills and equipment you need to be successful in an online course are on this webpage.

You can also take this short Online Learning Readiness Self Assessment from Texas State University.

How does an online course work?

Students in online courses communicate with their instructor and classmates electronically via a course website. The instructor posts such things as lectures, assignments, announcements, and other information to the site. The class may respond with questions, comments, etc.

Will I be required to attend class meetings on campus?

Most of our online courses do not have class meetings on-campus.  It is best to check the course outline for each course to learn what is expected.  We do offer hybrid courses which are comprised of both online and on-campus requirements, normally these courses are indicated with an "H" following the course number.

Course Management Systems (CMS)

Most of our online instructors use Moodle to communicate with their students.  The Registrar will provide you with information about the program at the start of the semester.

How do I enroll?

Register for our courses just as you would for a regular course. Visit Admissions for more information.


Technical Skills and Equipment

Technical Skills and Equipment

Online students must have at a minimum:


  • Regular access to the Internet and a computer (either a PC with Windows and a Pentium processor or a Macintosh with at least system 9.0)
  • A recent version of a web browser such as Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Explorer, or Safari.  The Course Managements Software works best with the Google Chrome browser.
    An Internet Service Provider (dial up access will not be sufficient for online courses.)
  • An email address (NTC provides an email address if you do not have one.)
  • Current word processing software as required by the instructor such as MS Word or Apple Pages, Acrobat Reader, and Skype

Technical skills:

  • You should know how to use a web browser to navigate the web to locate educational resources and download files.
  • You will need the files management skills necessary to create directories, to save files and to retrieve files.
  • You will need to know how to attach files to an email.
  • You will need to know how to cut and paste text from one application to another.
  • You will need to know how to use word processing software such as Word or Pages.
  • You will need to know how to create an account in an online application.

Some courses may have additional requirements.

ToOLS: Test of Online Learning Success

ToOLS: Test of Online Learning Success

Use this self-assessment to gauge your readiness for online learning. The following four characteristics are common for successful online students: 

  • Basic technical and academic skills
  • Ability to study independently
  • Good organizational skills
  • Willing to devote the same amount of time and effort as a face-to-face course


Online Student Readiness Tutorials

Online Student Readiness Tutorials

The Online Education Initiative (OEI) has developed the Online Student Readiness Tutorials, a series of interactive multimedia tutorials that address the real challenges experienced by online students, new and experienced, while pursuing success in online classes. Therefore the goal of these tutorials is to assist students with developing the skills required to be successful in an online course.


Introduction to Online Learning Multi Media Presentation Text Only Audio (MP3) File
Getting Tech Ready Multi Media Presentation Text Only Audio (MP3) File
Organizing for Online Success Multi Media Presentation Text Only Audio (MP3) File
Online Study Skills and Managing Time Multi Media Presentation Text Only Audio (MP3) File
Communication Skills for Online Learning Multi Media Presentation Text Only Audio (MP3) File
Online Reading Strategies Multi Media Presentation Text Only Audio (MP3) File


Creative Commons License Logo

 Creative Commons License Info:

© 2016 Chancellor's Office, California Community Colleges
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. They are available to everyone and may be repurposed to meet the unique needs of educational institutions.

Setting your Learning Expectations

Setting your Learning Expectations:

  • You do not have a specific time you need to participate in each class session.
  • There is particular work for each week.
  • You do need to maintain a strict schedule of reading, participation, and assignments.
  • Avoid procrastination.
  • You are somewhat responsible for your own learning even though you are engaged with a facilitator and other participants in the course.
  • The following checklist may assist you in preparing for and successfully completing each session:
    • Purchase all class materials well in advance. Course outlines will be available at www.newman.edu one month before the course begins which contain the book list.  Some of the readings are on line. Books can be purchased or ordered from our bookstore or online.
      We encourage students to purchase their books from the NTC bookstore. Call to order at 780-392-2457.
    • You will receive a Course Information e-mail with login details before the course begins.
    • Be thoroughly familiar with the syllabus and course structure.
    • Check the Internet often for weekly updates and other participant's contributions to the discussions.
    • It is best to log into the online course once a day to feel comfortable with the process.
    • Familiarize yourself with your course facilitator. She/he is there to support you in your learning.
    • Note all the due dates. The course is paced with specific assignments for each week. The course does have a beginning and end date.


  • Self-direction is an integral part of virtual learning.
  • The success of your distance education course is how well you keep yourself focused on making the experience a worthwhile investment of your time.
  • Creating a sense of a 'community of learners' is imperative for the course. This is what makes this different than a 'correspondence course'.
  • Keep in mind that you are an adult learner in search of knowledge and sharing knowledge. It is important to find ways to share new information from additional outside resources - websites, videos/films, or readings (publications). Share these with the other participants in the course.
  • The online course also offers you an opportunity to share how you are or have engaged in teaching and learning about the subject/theme in the past.
Typing in your Comments, Insights

Typing in your Comments, Insights

  • It is important to write clear statements when expressing your ideas. If you wish you can type your comments or ideas in your word processor document and paste them into the message box, if this helps you.
  • Keep your sentences short. Write in simple paragraphs with space between them. This is easier to read.
  • If you are referring to another participant’s comments, it helps to refer to the participant by name.
  • You can always go back more than once to any given section to continue to share your reflections from the readings.  You may even call to the attention of other participants that you have added some new insight into an early class discussion. The more you participate in the course the more effective will be the interaction and learning experience. Remember…this is a new type of adult learning!
  • The advantage of the distance education courses is that it requires you to use knowledge and skills in the context of real life situations or issues.
  • It also integrates the demonstration of multiple learning experiences you have had in the past.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Distance Education?
Distance Education courses are designed for the student who desires flexibility and convenience in scheduling their studies.

What is the difference between online and hybrid courses?
Online courses deliver all course activities over the Internet and can be accessed from a computer with a Web browser (ex.Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari)

Hybrid courses require weekly class meetings; in addition to, course activities delivered through a course management system via the internet and can be accessed from a computer with a Web browser (ex. Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari).

How will I interact with my instructor?
Students in online courses communicate with their instructor and classmates electronically via a course management system via the internet and email.  In our case we use Moodle and Desire2Learn.

Will I be required to attend class meetings on campus?
Online courses do not require meetings on-campus. Hybrid courses require regular class meetings on-campus.

The first class meeting conflicts with another course I want to take, what should I do?
You must contact your instructor via email to receive course information. You must attend the first class meeting if you are enrolled in an online hybrid course. Hybrid courses require weekly class meetings.

Where can I find the instructor’s contact information?
Instructor’s contact information is located on the course outline, on our course offerings pages, and on our faculty pages on our website.

What equipment do I need?
A computer or laptop and high speed internet access. It is recommended that you have a backup source. The campus has computers in the library, learning center and labs.

I don't have a computer at home. Can I still take an online course?
Yes, as long as you're sure you'll have regular access to a computer that's connected to the Internet.

What software do I need?
You will need a web browser, and some courses may require the use of software that allows you to create documents, spreadsheets and/or presentations such as MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Adobe Flash Player, etc.

What kind of computer skills should I have?
In order to succeed in this type of course, you must be computer literate and have experience in computer communication.

What other skills do I need to be successful?
Other skills to be successful in an online course includes a student to be self-reliant, self-motivated, self-disciplined and the ability to read carefully and to follow written instruction. Time management is critical in completing weekly coursework. Do not attempt to procrastinate.

How are examinations administered?
Exams are given on the course management system via the internet. Please read your syllabus.

Will I have to be online at a particular time?
Course Management Systems are open 24/7; however, you must adhere to deadlines for completing assignments, exams, etc.

Will I have to buy books for the course?
Yes, the textbook information will be on the syllabus or on the course management system that the instructor is using.  Our bookstore may be contacted by calling 780-392-2457 or via email at bookstore@newman.edu.

Do Distance Education courses transfer to other schools?
We advise you to check with a counselor at the school you plan to transfer to so you are sure the course will be accepted.

What if I find I can't continue in my course? Can I withdraw from it?
Yes, check the Academic Schedule for deadlines or you may contact the Registrar's office.

What do I do if I need help?
It's very important that you get in touch with your instructor as soon as possible by email. If you find you need further assistance, you may call our Dean of Students at 780-392-2450 ext. 2211 or doreen.bloos@newman.edu.

What do I do if I can't access my course online?
Contact the instructor or the webmaster at webmaster@newman.edu.

I have more questions! Who can I talk to?
Contact the Dean of Students at 780-392-2450 ext. 2211 or doreen.bloos@newman.edu