SUM’s Distance Education uses the internet to provide live two-way classroom interaction. To enhance this educational experience, SUM helps students organize into study groups, known as Cohorts, which voluntarily meet at locations provided by Partnering Ministries around the world. SUM launches cohorts nationally and internationally to meet the needs of students around the world.
The Cohort Site provides free internet access, a study room, and basic equipment for the Cohort. The classroom facilities are donated by a local church or ministry. The ongoing ministries, programs, and personnel of the Cohort Site can be used by the students to fulfill their Student Ministry and Student Life requirements.
Various class schedules may be modified to meet the needs of the Cohort. A Cohort typically attends classes on Monday or Tuesday (one class in the morning, afternoon, and evening). A fourth class is attended another night during the week. Alternately, a Cohort Site can offer a two day (Monday and Tuesday morning and afternoon) or four day (Monday through Thursday mornings) schedule, eliminating the need for evening classes.
Cohort classes, taught by highly qualified ministry education professionals, are streamed over the internet with live, real time interactive discussion between the instructor and the Cohort students. Typically, students in multiple Cohort Sites attend the same class, sharing the classroom experience and creating a multicultural learning community.