On March 1, 2001, the AIIAS Management Committee created the Division of Online Learning and charged it with the development and administration of online learning programs to serve the needs of its constituency, under the guidance of the AIIAS Distributed Learning Committee. Since that time, both the School of Graduate Studies and the Theological Seminary have been working to prepare various graduate courses, professional certificates, and degree programs for online learning. Extensive faculty training programs for online teaching were likewise conducted.
By October 2003, the first online course was offered under the Master of Public Health (Health Promotion Emphasis) program. Two years after, in October 2005, Master of Arts in Education (Leadership Emphasis) was started and this was followed by the Seminary’s Master of Divinity in January 2006. As the stakeholders of online education expanded, certificate programs are now also available such as Advanced Certificate in Public Health and Advanced Certificate in Ministry. Online courses are also increasingly being taken by on-campus students as a substitute for face-to-face classes and by non-AIIAS students to earn continuing education units, cross-registration credits, or simply to gain knowledge in any field of interest on a non-degree status. Soon, Master of Business Administration will also be offered online.
To reflect the expanding role of online education at AIIAS, the name “AIIAS Online” was coined in September 2008 to refer to the online learning modality of AIIAS education. AIIAS Online, as the online school is now known, is primarily concerned with delivering Internet-based graduate level courses, facilitating online course development and instruction, as well as providing support to online students from application to graduation.
At present, AIIAS online students come from 36 countries around the world. Thus, just like its on-campus environment, AIIAS Online has become a melting pot of various cultures, a hub of international linkages, and an ideal setting for understanding cultural differences. This set up has given its students a global mind-set and a rich learning environment that is open to varied viewpoints.