Frequently Asked Questions

About SunsetOnline

Courses and Enrollment

Site Registration/Login

Taking Courses

Hardware/Software Requirements

Troubleshooting

About SunsetOnline

Do I have to pay to use SunsetOnline?

We have made the first lesson of each course available free for you to preview and enjoy. There is a fee to take courses for credit, as well as for other audit courses. See below for more details on course pricing. Credit courses also have required textbooks which must be purchased separately.

What sort of degree or certificate is offered?
Students who take courses for credit may work toward a Bachelor of Biblical Studies from Sunset International Bible Institute. This is the same degree that is awarded to graduates of our Residential Studies division at our main campus in Lubbock, Texas. No credit is awarded for auditing a course, and so there is no certificate available to audit students.
What is Sunset International Bible Institute?
Sunset International Bible Institute (SIBI) is a Bible and ministry training institute that was founded in 1962. Based in Lubbock, Texas, SIBI has trained thousands of individuals over the last 48 years through its residential campus in Lubbock, its branch and satellite schools around the world, and its extensive correspondence learning program. To learn more about SIBI, please visit www.sibi.cc.

Courses and Enrollment

What is the difference between auditing a course and taking it for credit?
When you audit a course on SunsetOnline, it is much like auditing a course in a classroom setting. You get to watch the teacher and listen to the lessons, but don't have to do any assignments or take any tests. When you enroll in an audit course on SunsetOnline, you get full access to all of the lessons in the course, each of which consists of:
  • Streaming video of the instructor teaching
  • Streaming audio of the instructor teaching (an alternative to streaming video for those with slower computers or internet connections)
  • An online study guide (a text outline of important lesson points)

Audit courses are designed for those who want to learn and grow but do not want to pursue credit for their learning. There are no assignments, tests, or other requirements in audit courses.

Taking a course as a credit student allows you to receive full SIBI credit for your accomplishment. The requirements for credit courses are detailed on each course's "Credit Requirements" page, but generally include most or all of the following:

  • Watching or listening to the lessons online
  • Reading of textbooks
  • Assigned readings from the Bible
  • Memory work (Bible verses that must be memorized)
  • Evaluation Papers and/or Research Papers
  • Exams - each course includes a Mid-Term Exam and a Final Exam

When you enroll in a course for credit (as opposed to audit), you are allowed to access the course for a significantly longer period of time. This allows you to take your time learning the material, working on the requirements for credit, and preparing for exams.

What is the cost of courses at SunsetOnline, and what is included?
The first lesson of each of our courses are offered free of charge for your preview. Full Audit courses are $25 each. Audit courses include full streaming video and audio for each lesson, as well as an online study outline.

Credit courses are each 3 credit hours and are $135 ($45 per hour). This includes the same streaming video and audio as the audit courses. Credit courses also include course requirements which must be completed in order to pass the course (see the question above for detail), grading of assignments by SunsetOnline staff, and a grade book to keep track of your grades in the course. Most importantly, every credit course that you pass earns you credit on your transcript at SIBI.

Note: Tuition prices for our audit and credit courses are subject to change without notice at our discretion.

Note: Any required textbooks for credit courses are not included in the price. Your textbooks must be purchased separately. The "Credit Requirements" page for each course lists the required textbook(s) for the course along with links to purchase them online from extensionschool.com (the online bookstore for sunsetonline.org).

How long does my enrollment in a course last?
When you enroll in a course, you are given access to the course for a certain length of time, known as your enrollment duration. The length of this time depends on whether you are auditing the course or taking it for credit, and on how long the course is (how many lessons):
12 lessons 24 lessons
Audit 90 days
(approx. 3 months)
180 days
(approx. 6 months)
Credit 120 days
(approx. 4 months)
270 days
(approx. 9 months)
Is it possible to extend my enrollment in a course?
The combination of enrollment durations and prices (listed above) for our courses are a good value compared to other higher-level online courses that are available out there. There may be certain circumstances, however, in which a student who has enrolled in a course might want to ask for an extension of that enrollment as it nears its expiration. Such requests are handled on a case-by-case basis, and should be submitted by contacting the SunsetOnline Student Office and stating the particulars of your situation.
Are there any scholarships available?
Yes. Scholarships are available for prospective students who otherwise are not financially able to take credit courses online, especially those outside the United States. These scholarships are available for credit enrollments only, not for audit.

To learn more about scholarships and to see the application forms, please see the SunsetOnline Scholarship Info page.

Is there an application for the Bachelor of Biblical Studies degree?

Yes, the application for our online Bachelor of Biblical Studies degree is now available for you to fill out. We would encourage you to go ahead and fill it out now and begin your studies. Your application will be approved upon review. The classes you take for credit until approval will count towards your online degree.

Site Registration/Login

I registered for an account on SunsetOnline, but never received the confirmation email that allows me to login.
If you have spam filtering on your email account, please ensure that you can receive email from sunsetonline.org. Otherwise, you may not receive the confirmation email that was be sent when you registered. We have experienced this problem with several AOL email addresses. First, check your email reader's junk/bulk mail folder. Most email readers (including Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Outlook, and Thunderbird) have junk mail filtering that can sometimes mistakenly filter out your account confirmation email. Look for an email in your junk/bulk mail folder with the subject "SunsetOnline.org: account confirmation". We have experienced some email providers who refuse to deliver our messages. Contact SunsetOnline technical support immediately so that we can confirm you before your initial registration expires.

If you still can't find the confirmation email, it is possible that you had a typo in your email address when registering and it never got to your email in the first place. Contact SunsetOnline technical support and include the following: your name, your email address, and the date that you attempted to register on the site.

I forgot my password; how do I go about resetting it?
Resetting your password is a process that can be done in less than two minutes:
  1. Go to the Forgotten Password page and enter your email address. This must be the same email address you used when you created your account on SunsetOnline, and must be an address that you still have access to. Click the "OK" button.
  2. The page will reload and confirm that an email has been sent to your email address with a link that you must click. Check your email and look for an email with the subject, "SunsetOnline.org: change password confirmation". Click the confirmation link within that email to confirm that you want to reset your password.
  3. Clicking the link in the previous step will bring you to a page confirming that a second email has been sent to you that contains a new, auto-generated password for you. Check your email again and look for an email with the subject, "SunsetOnline.org: Changed password". In the email you will find your username as well as your new, auto-generated password.

If you are content with the new, auto-generated password that was emailed to you in step 3, then you are done. You may not log in to the site using that password. However, you may prefer to change the password to something of your choosing that you'll have an easier time remembering. In that case, go to the Change Password page and enter the following in the fields on that page:

  • Username - your username, as included in the email from step 3 above.
  • Password - your current password, which is the auto-generated one that was emailed to you in step 3 above.
  • New password (twice) - type a new password of your choosing, that you would like to change to.

Taking Courses

How long are each of the lessons in a course?
Most lessons are between 25 and 30 minutes in length (same for video and audio). Of the hundreds of lessons we are making available from our various courses, only a handful are longer or shorter than this, and only be a few minutes at the most.
Is there any difference between the video and audio lessons?
The video and audio versions of each lesson are identical in content and in length. You can think of the audio version as simply being the video version without the picture. The audio version of the lesson is much easier to use on slower internet connections and slower computers. If you are on a dial-up internet connection, or if you are otherwise having trouble watching the video, you should probably choose the audio lessons.
What should I do if I'm having a problem trying to take a course, or something is not working right (video, audio, etc.)?
If you are having technical difficulties trying to take a course, please consult the questions in the Troubleshooting section of this page. If your problem is not addressed there, or if you're still having the problem after trying the solutions offered there, please contact the webmaster.
Print and fullscreen buttonsHow do I print or enlarge the lesson outline?
In the top right part of the outline are 2 buttons, the first is to print and the second will make it fullscreen. This will open a new window with just the outline. You cannot print using the normal print command in your browser.
I have taken Sunset Satellite School Level 2 classes. Can I take any of these courses as Level 2?
Taking a Level 2 class means you are taking a class at a level between full credit and audit. It has limited reading, papers, and other requirements. We do not offer our courses at Level 2.
What is required in a Research Paper/Book Evaluation?
Read this excerpt from the Satellite School Handbook for details on writing papers.
Do I need to submit the "Self-Exam" Questions at the end of some of the lessons?
No, the questions in the Study Guide are for the benefit of the student and do not need to be turned in and do not count towards your grade.

Hardware/Software Requirements

What are the hardware requirements for my computer?
Most computers manufactured in the last five or six years should work fine with sunsetonline.org. Using streaming video will require a more powerful computer than the streaming audio. If you are in doubt, the following are some approximate minimum requirements:
  • PC: 450 MHz Intel Pentium II processor (or equivalent) or faster; 128MB RAM
  • Mac: 500 MHz PowerPC G3 or faster; 128MB RAM

Note: The above are approximations only, and it is possible that the site will still work with computers that don't meet the above specifications. This may be especially true for our streaming audio lessons, which are less demanding than streaming video lessons.

What are the software requirements for my computer?
SunsetOnline has been designed to work as well as possible with a wide variety of computers. There are very good chances that you won't have to download anything at all to use the site. The following are all that is needed:

Operating System

  • PC: Windows 98 or newer
  • Mac: OS X 10.1 or newer

Web Browser

Most any modern web browser should work. Older browsers may or may not work. The following have been tested with sunsetonline.org and work well:

  • Internet Explorer 6 and higher (PC)
  • Mozilla Firefox 1.5 and higher (PC or Mac)
  • Safari 1.3 and higher (Mac)
  • Opera 8.5 and higher (PC)

In addition, your web browser should be configured in the following ways:

  • You must have a feature called Javascript enabled. All modern web browsers have Javascript enabled by default, so this should not be a problem unless you have deliberately disabled it in the past. See below to find out if you have Javascript enabled.
  • Your browser must be configured to accept cookies. Again, most web browsers are already configured this way, but if yours is not then you will not be able to log in to the site.
  • Any pop-up blocking (whether built-in to the browser or through an add-on such as Google Toolbar) must be configured to allow pop-ups from sunsetonline.org. This is necessary for the exams and other areas of the courses.

Users of America Online, Compuserve, Juno and other providers with specialized internet software: Each of these internet providers uses a modified web browser to access the internet which may be less compatible with the video or audio lessons. To get around this problem, try the following. Make sure you have a copy of one of the regular, modern browsers listed above installed on your computer. Access the internet using your AOL, Compuserve, etc., then minimize your AOL, Compuserve, etc. window. Now open the regular browser (IE, Firefox, Safari, etc.) and go to this site at www.sunsetonline.org. This way you are using your normal internet provider (AOL, Compuserve, etc.) to connect to the internet but a good, modern browser to "surf" the internet.

How can I make sure my web browser has Javascript enabled?
If you see the words "Javascript is enabled" in the box below, you have Javascript enabled.
Javascript is enabled.Javascript is enabled.
Do I need to have Real Player, Windows Media Player, Quicktime or Flash?
No, those programs are not used at all on the new, redesigned sunsetonline.org. All video and audio playback is handled by Flash Player or by HTML5 if Flash is unavailable. Most of the latest verions of browsers, including those on tablets should be able to access the content in the lessons.
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Troubleshooting

I am getting errors about cookies not being enabled in my browser. How can I enable them?
A "cookie" is a small, harmless file that a website (such as sunsetonline.org) stores on your computer while you are visiting the site. It makes it possible for you to log in to a site such as sunsetonline.org and stay logged in throughout your visit.

To enable cookies, simply visit this page and follow the simple instructions for the web browser you are using.

How do I enable Javascript in my web browser?
Javascript is a feature offered by all modern web browsers, but occasionally users have it disabled. Javascript is required for you to be able to view the lessons on sunsetonline.org, and for credit students to be able to turn in assignments and take exams.

To enable Javascript, simply visit this page and follow the simple instructions for the web browser you are using.

The video isn't working -- nothing shows up on the left side on video lessons.
This most likely means you do not have Flash Player version 8 or higher installed or you are using an older browser without HTML5 video support.
The video isn't working -- the video player appears, but when I press play I only hear the audio, there is no picture.
This seems to occur frequently the first time you try to access a video lesson after installing Flash Player, especially in Internet Explorer. Please try closing your browser, then starting it again. Come back to sunsetonline.org and try the video lesson again. Most of the time it will work after closing and re-starting your browser in this way.
The video isn't working -- all I see is a message that says "connecting..."
This is probably due to normal congestion on the internet, and can usually be remedied by simply reloading the page. Try clicking your browser's "Reload" or "Refresh" button. You will see it get to the "Connecting..." message again, but normally after a few seconds the video player will appear.

If the problem is still occurring after several page refreshes, it is possible that your internet connection is simply not fast enough to handle the streaming video. Bear in mind that we offer a streaming audio version of each lesson for users with dial-up internet connections or types of connections that are slower or less reliable. It is also a possibility that our video server is having problems as well. If you believe this to be the case, please contact SunsetOnline technical support.

In the video lessons, the video is choppy, keeps pausing, or keeps starting and stopping.
This kind of playback indicates one or both of the following:
  1. Your internet connection is too slow for the streaming video.
  2. Your computer is too slow for the streaming video.

In this situation, you will be best off listening to the streaming audio version of each lesson rather than attempting to play the streaming video version.

In the video lessons, I can't hear anything, or I can hear it but it is very low.
If you are seeing the picture on a video lesson but not hearing any sound, you probably simply need to turn up your speaker volume. Make sure your speakers are turned on, and try turning up the volume on them. If you still can't hear after turning them up, try double-clicking the speaker icon next to the clock in the lower-right hand corner of your screen (if you are on a Windows machine) and make sure the volume slider is turned up and the "Mute" box is not checked. Finally, there is a small volume slider on the right-hand side of the video player itself on sunsetonline.org; try sliding it all the way to the right.
The audio player isn't working -- I don't see an audio player at all on audio lesson pages.
This most likely means that you do not have Flash Player version 8 or higher installeor you are using an older browser without HTML5 video support.
The audio player isn't working -- the player appears, but the play button doesn't work.
This means the audio player is busy trying to establish a connection to the streaming audio you are trying to listen to. If it does not begin playing within a minute or so, try using the "Refresh" or "Reload" page in your browser to reload the page. If it still does not work after multiple reloads, it could mean either of the following:
  1. You might have an old version of Flash Player installed. Use the instructions here to check your version and update it if needed.
  2. It might simply mean that there are problems due to congestion on the streaming media server or your own internet connection. In this case, the problem will likely go away by the next time you try to access the site.
I tried to take an exam, but nothing happened; it never came on screen.
This is probably caused by some popup blocking software installed on your computer, or built in to your browser. We have particularly seen this occur with the popup blocking in Google Toolbar (a free browser add-on from Google).

If you are having this problem, you will need to configure your popup blocker to allow popups from sunsetonline.org. This is done by adding sunsetonline.org to what is called a "whitelist" in your popup blocker software. For instructions on how to do this with Google Toolbar, click here.

Last modified: Monday, February 18, 2013, 1:06 PM