This article proposes that Paul’s letter to the church in Rome can identify processes involved in offering a spiritually formative education from a distance. When Paul wrote the letter to Rome, he wrote to a church he had never visited. We argue that his relationship with the recipients is analogically similar to the relationship between professor and student in an online, educational paradigm. Paul modeled how to offer this spiritually formative relationship by emphasizing the gospel message, grounding his scriptural authority, personalizing his message, anticipating questions, enlisting the community, encouraging the recipients, praying for needs, and explaining the marks of true Christianity.
Keywords: spiritual formation, distance learning, online education, education, Paul, Romans