How to Enroll

Distance Education (DE) courses provide you with the opportunity to study on the graduate level from anywhere in the world that is serviced by the internet. A DE course is an independent course which connects you to course content, other students and resources using internet technologies.

DE courses use a syllabus to guide you through specific assignments, study guides and lectures. A Course Tutor assists each student through the course requirements and online discussions. DE courses offer graduate-level credit which may be applied to a Trinity program, subject to the stipulations of that program, or transferred to another institution.

Course Times

Courses may be started at anytime, from nearly anywhere in the world. For information on how this functions based on enrollment status and locations, please see the Registration Calendar.


How to Enroll

  1. Look over the selection of courses available through Distance Education and choose a course.
  2. Complete your visiting student application online. If you prefer, you may receive the Programmed Syllabus for your course and fill out and return a visiting student application and request a transcript to be sent to us to show your eligibility for graduate credit (if you are not already admitted to a Trinity program).
  3. You may now submit your course registration form online. If you prefer, you may download the form and  send in the completed course order form with payment or call with a credit card number (Visa, MasterCard or Discover). After downloading a course order form, fill it in, and attach it to an email, fax it to 847.317.7086 or send it in to register.
    Students who have already matriculated into programs at Trinity’s Deerfield campus should contact the Office of Extension and Affiliated Education regarding significant differences in enrollment procedure for DE courses.
  4. Purchase course resources (audio lectures, textbooks, etc) as directed in the course syllabus.
  5. Proceed to take the course and enjoy the benefits of Distance Education!

Course Resources

Materials for the courses are generally available in Trinity’s Online Bookstore. Students are welcome to acquire course materials (books) through other providers.  Institute of Theological Studies lecture material is available ChristianCourses.com.


Completion Time

Visiting Students and students enrolled through Extension sites may enroll anytime and have six (6) months to complete each course (nine months for students overseas). Students enrolled in a degree program through the Deerfield or Davie, Florida campus must begin and complete DE courses within the framework of the regularly scheduled academic calendar.

In the case of a severe disruption in a student’s life, a request for a due-date extension may be made. Read the stipulations below.


Visiting Student Status

Enrollment in DE is available to those who have earned bachelor’s degrees. Students may enroll as a Visiting Student, which allows them to take graduate-level courses without being accepted into a degree program at Trinity. Courses taken may be applied to degree programs at Trinity (although permission to take DE does not imply or guarantee acceptance), or transferred to other institutions.  A visiting student may take up to nine (9) credit hours a semester.  It is recommended, if a student is considering a degree program, they take no more than 12 credit hours as a visiting student before enrolling in their degree program.

Note that before any grade can be recorded on official Trinity transcripts, students must: (1) submit to the Office of Extension and Affiliated Education a completed Visiting Student Application and a one-time-only $25 application fee; (2) have an official transcript showing that a bachelor’s degree has been earned (this should be sent directly to Trinity from the degree-granting institution); and (3) have made complete tuition payment for the course.


Payment, Withdrawals and Refunds

Tuition costs for new students beginning in the 2014-2015 academic year are $620 per credit hour. Students who are are pursuing coursework only through Distance Education or a TEDS Extension site may be eligible for a tuition rebate. Please contact the Distance Education Office for more information. All billing is handled through student accounting.  Upon registration, you will receive an invoice from the student accounting office (typically within 4 weeks), at which time payment is expected.  If payment is not received in a timely manner, we reserve the right to limit or deny you access to your course.  You will remain responsible for the tuition due as per your registration.  If you wish to pay your tuition before receiving your invoice, please send it to Student Accounting, 2065 Half Day Road, Deerfield, IL 60015. Be sure to include your student ID in the memo line of your check.

All withdrawal requests must be made in writing, either by e-mail or hard copy. A withdrawal cannot be effected by a phone call or oral request at the DE Office.

The withdrawal process has both a financial and an academic aspect. For non-Deerfield students these aspects are governed by the following:

  • 100% refund within 30 days with a drop from the course
  • 75% refund within 60 days with a withdraw from the course
  • 50% refund within 90 days and a withdraw from the course
  • No refund after 90 days

After 90 days the student is fully responsible for their course, both academically and financially.  This policy is extended by 30 days in each instance for students overseas. Students enrolled in a degree program through Deerfield must abide by standard campus policies when making a withdrawal. Please contact the Records Office for the appropriate forms.


Limits for TEDS Degree Programs

A maximum of five courses (13-17 hours) in Distance Education may be taken in a TEDS degree program.


Requests for Extended Completion Dates

Trinity understands that many nontraditional students typically juggle many of the responsibilities of family, work and ministry alongside course work. Trinity allows visiting students and those enrolled through extension sites to complete work during a six-month window. This reflects that disruptions are somewhat expected, including job changes, moves and family health issues.

Full-time students in a traditional campus environment are expected to complete work—including Distance Education course work—during the semester for which they have registered. A semester is approximately three and half to four months.

The Distance Education office recommends that nontraditional students plan to complete their course work within five months, allowing a month for unexpected disruptions and inconveniences.

Each extension carries with it a $25 extension fee.

To request an extension, petition the Distance Education office (not your Course Tutor) in writing or by email one month in advance of your assigned completion date, indicating your reasons for requesting an extension and providing a proposed date for completion of the course. You will be notified of the status of your request as quickly as possible. Please continue your course work in the event that your request is denied. If your request is granted, a grade reduction may be recommended, otherwise no penalty will be given.


Deerfield and Davie (Florida) students

All Deerfield and Davie campus-based students must follow the guidelines published in the appropriate academic catalog under which they are enrolled. This normally involves the completion of an extension form followed by a conversation with the dean of students. All extensions approved by the dean of students are honored by the Distance Education office.