Mark Browning observes that the rapid expansion of distance education raises many ethical and practical questions for students, faculty, and institutions. The increase in students outside the physical community of the academy suggests a parallel with the hermitic tradition that existed alongside monasticism from antiquity until the Renaissance. An examination of the relationships between hermits and society can provide useful insight on the challenges of distance education. Just as English hermits were governed by an ancrene riwle defining the responsibilities of all parties involved, Christian educators should work toward developing a distance education riwle to protect and benefit all parties in that relationship. Mr. Browning is Professor of English at Johnson County Community College (Kansas).