What is Hybrid Education?

October 13, 2020

It’s not always just in-person or online anymore — there’s a third option.


Traditional education. Over 100 years ago, Crown College was started as a traditional Bible College. That also meant the traditional scenarios of in-person classes, writing on physical paper, and everything else that came with education in the early 20th century. 

Fast-forward to a world where education is an ever-changing landscape. iPads and laptops are a staple in the classroom. Yet, even the idea of a traditional classroom is being challenged. What happens when you have students who want to develop deeper skills, finally earn that degree they have been putting off, or just want to broaden their horizons all while continuing to work and have a family?


Online education. This is where online education grabbed the baton. Students could study on their own time, where it fit their lifestyle all while working toward their goal of a degree. This works really well for a lot of people. Over ⅓ of the higher education landscape is now at least partially distance learning or online [educationdata.org]. The advantages are undeniable — more flexibility in when they do their coursework and how much of a load they take each semester. There is also the benefit of being able to practically apply what was read in a class to the workforce the next day. However, some students miss the in-class experience.


Hybrid education. Something that is hybrid is made up of different parts — so to understand hybrid education, you have to understand what it is combining. Hybrid education at Crown takes the online curriculum which is flexible and practical, and it adds a touchpoint each week that is in-person. Students that study at Crown Omaha or Crown Atlanta receive the benefits of online education while also gaining in-person class time at their local learning center one night a week. This means they get face-to-face interactions with their professor who can answer questions right there in the room. Beyond the professor, the time and experience face-to-face with the other students in the cohort is also an invaluable addition. 

A mom of three who feels a call to be a counselor lives in Omaha. She knows that having a Biblical foundation is key to offering holistic counseling to her clients someday. However, she is currently working and cannot afford to take off two years to get a degree. She could take a fully-online degree, but she really wants that in-class experience that she had during her undergraduate studies. By joining Crown Omaha, she takes some of her classes online, but she also has an anchor; one night a week, she has her husband take care of the kids, and she travels to The Porch in Omaha to sit in a class with other like-minded students to listen and learn under a professor. This helps keep her on track without cannibalizing her schedule. 

“Combining on-site and online classes into a degree program offers students the “best of both worlds.” Online classes allow for a balance between schoolwork and other job, ministry, and family commitments. On-site evening classes provide students with opportunities to learn from and build relationships with professors who also serve as local field professionals.”
Katelin Knust | Director of Crown College Omaha
Crown Beyond Minnesota

We believe that the mission that Crown started over 100 years ago is still vital today. We want more students trained in a profession that gives them opportunity to influence the world for the sake of the Kingdom of God. The hybrid model fits well in allowing us to take the experience that students have at Crown and enter neighborhoods across the nation. By bringing Crown to people, we believe that we can offer a valuable Christian education that fits for all kinds of students. In other words, students no longer need to travel or live in Minnesota to get the Crown experience.


Our Vision of Hybrid Education

Our values have remained the same throughout our history, and we are excited at the prospect of being able to take the fully-online experience and mix in interpersonal pieces. Hybrid education allows us to still help students to complete our values:

  1. Students will become self-feeding followers of Jesus Christ.
  2. Students will get good at something which would give them a platform to influence others.
  3. Students will live on-mission, helping introduce others to the abundant life Jesus has to offer.

We believe that these can be accomplished best through relationships. Though online programs offer a connection with the professor, we love that hybrid programs turn the dial up on those relationships by giving face-to-face interaction between professors and other students.


Hybrid Education at Crown

At Crown, we offer a variety of programs and believe that each one has different advantages to offer. If a student has the capacity to devote most of their time to an on-campus experience, we offer amazing opportunities on our Minnesota campus. However, for those who have families, careers, or just need extra flexibility, our online programs allow for that. But if a person is looking for a best-of-both-worlds solution, our hybrid programs in Omaha and Atlanta are excellent opportunities to take online courses with an in-class component.