Have a question?  Chances are, you’ll find the answer here!

I’m new to BeADisciple.  What do I need to know before I begin?

We’ve put together a special FAQ for first-time students just like you. We hope it answers some the questions you may have.


How do I enroll into an online study or course?

To enroll:
To enroll in a course, visit its course page, and click the “Enroll Now” button at the bottom of the page.  Our system accepts the following credit cards: Visa, Master Card, Discover, American Express, and JCB (Japan Credit Bureau).  We’re also happy to accept other forms of payment through special arrangement.

Any problems/questions with enrollment may be directed to Lisa Buffum at


How does an online course work? How much time does it take?

Our online courses are mostly asynchronous, meaning you don’t have to be online at the same time as other students in order to participate. Participants have access to the course environment 24/7 and may choose when to log into Blackboard each day to read course materials, complete assignments, and participate in online discussions with their peers. Occasionally, instructors will call for a “Live Session” which is a time-sensitive event. You will need to make sure that you are available to be online at that exact time in order to participate.  We try to note which courses use Live Sessions in the course description.

We recommend planning one hour in your daily schedule for completing assignments in the online course. Some days are lighter than other days, so this allows flexibility to catch up if you have to miss a day. You should write this time into your schedule rather than expecting to do it in your spare time because, let’s face it, who has spare time?!  Planning your time will make the experience less stressful.

We’ve created a video that gives you an overview of a typical BeADisciple course to help you get a sense for what your online course will look like and how to navigate it:

We’ve created another video showing how to use the discussion board, which is how you will interact with your instructor and fellow classmates:


How long does an online course last?

This is decided by the instructor and based largely on the amount of content he/she wishes to convey. Many courses are two-weeks in duration, which is a nice amount of time for forming an online community and moving through material quickly.  Course start and end dates are posted on each individual course description page.


Are CEUs available? How do I know how many CEUs are available for each course?

Continuing education units are available upon successful completion of most of our online courses based on the standard of 1 CEU for 10 contact hours. Available CEU amounts are listed on each course description.

If the number of CEUs is not posted, and you would like to check to see if there are any offered with the course, please email Lisa Buffum at to inquire.


Once I’m enrolled, where and how will I find the course? How will I know to begin?

By noon (US Central Time) on the advertised start date of your online course, you will receive an email with login information, a link to the web location, and instructions. Occasionally, spam filters will catch this email, so if you do not receive it by noon US Central Time on the day your course is to begin, you should check your email’s spam folder.  If the login email is not in the spam folder either, email Lisa Buffum at

Please mark your course’s start day on your calendar and watch for the email. It is your responsibility to watch for the email and let us know if you do not receive it. If you have not logged in by the 3rd day of the course, we will email you to check in, but by then you may be behind. Don’t let this happen to you! Be kind to yourself and make sure you put your course on your calendar.


What if the course begins today? May I still enroll? How soon will I have access to the materials?

If the enrollment still shows as available (there is an enrollment button on the course page and the enrollment form it links to is still active) then there is still room and you may enroll! Enrollment does not grant immediate access to the materials; it takes a little time for us to receive your enrollment, create a user account in the software, and enroll you into the course site. However, it should never take longer than 24 hours to complete this process and give you access to the course. Rest assured that if we have left the enrollment open it is not too late for you to enroll and move forward with the other group members!


How do I reset my password?

  • To change your password on Blackboard: 
    • Click on the BLACKBOARD button in the menu bar at the top of the page.
    • Log in using your current email and password.  If you don’t remember your password, please click the “Forgot Your Password” link on the page or email Lisa at
    • Once you are logged in, click on the Personal Information link in the left-hand tools column.
    • Select the ‘Change Password’ link in the left-hand tools column.
    • Enter your new preferred password twice and click the submit button at the bottom of the form. Passwords are case-sensitive: capital letters and lower-case letters must be entered exactly how you would like them to be used in your password.


 What if I have technical problems in the course?

We provide guidance through any technical difficulties you might encounter. Email Lisa at and be as explicit as possible about what you are experiencing. Please include which internet browser you are using (find that information by clicking here), what operating system you are using (find that information by clicking here), and the error message you are receiving, if any.  The more information we have, the more quickly we can help you!


What is Blackboard? Do I need any special software?  Are there minimum system requirements?

Blackboard is an online website that hosts all of the courses for  Think of it as a school building that you walk into, where each of your classes meet in separate rooms.  The only thing you need to access Blackboard is a decent internet connection.

You don’t need to download any software to access your course on Blackboard; you will simply go to a website and log in to access your courses.  However, there are minimum browser requirements to use Blackboard Learn and Blackboard Collaborate (the websites we use to host the online courses).  Check the links below to see if your system is compatible.

If your internet browser is Internet Explorer, be sure to turn on the compatibility view and allow all content once you’ve entered the course site. You may also wish to download Firefox to use as an alternative browser if you have difficulty with your preferred browser.

While you don’t need to download any Blackboard software, you might find that you need to update some of the software on your own computer (such as Java, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Adobe Flash, or QuickTime) in order for the course sites to work correctly for you.  These updates are free and simple to install.  Email Lisa at if something does not seem to be working correctly.

If you’d like to check it out and explore, login to Blackboard using username: beadisciple and password: beadisciple. From there, you can look at what these courses look like and how they work.


Can I access my course from my tablet or smart phone?

A tablet or smart phone does work with almost all of our online courses.  There is a free Blackboard app that you will need to access your course from your phone or tablet (there might be a small cost for in-app purchases once the app is downloaded). Visit Google Play for Android devices and iTunes for Apple devices on your mobile device to download the app.  Once the Blackboard app has been downloaded to your device, open the app and search for Southwestern College in Kansas. You will then be right where you need to be.

If the course contains live meeting times, then you’ll need a Blackboard Collaborate app which is free. Not all courses contain live meetings so be sure to read the course description or email to inquire. Some copyrighted video content may not be available on your tablet or smart phone at this time.


Can I get a refund?

Please read the Institute for Discipleship’s Refund Policy.  If, after reading, you feel a refund is warranted and fair to both you and to the ministry of then you may ask for one. Refunds are not issued after a course has begun.


Do you store my card information?

The Institute for Discipleship and BeADisciple do not retain or store payment card information in any form. Payments are processed through’s secure server. We do not take card information in writing, through email, over the phone, or through any method. Card information must be entered by the cardholder. For extenuating circumstances, a participant may make arrangements to mail a check to the Institute for Discipleship to cover his or her enrollment fees.


I’d like to teach a course on BeADisciple.

Great! Our new instructor page will give you the information you need.


I have a question that isn’t answered here!

We’ll be glad to help you! Submit your question by email to Lisa Buffum at