5.2.3.a Changing Program or Emphasis/Concentration
A student enrolled in an M.Div., M.A.R., M.A.C., M.A.U.M., or Certificate program who is interested in changing to another program must submit to the Registrar’s Office a Change of Program form. As stated on the form, certain changes will require reapplication through the Admissions Office. In addition, the student is required to speak with the Dean of Student Development and also his/her academic advisor. A student enrolled in a Th.M., Ph.D., or D.Min. program who is interested in changing to another program must apply through the Admissions Office after notifying their advisor and the appropriate field committee.
A student who wishes to change emphasis within an M.Div., M.A.R. , M.A.C., or M.A.U.M. program must submit to the Registrar's Office a Change of Emphasis form. A student who wishes to change concentrations within the Th.M., Ph.D., or D.Min. program must contact the Registrar’s Office.
Program and emphasis changes become effective at the beginning of the following semester. Please see section 8.3.c for the processing fee.
5.2.3.b Leave of Absence
Any student who encounters unusual career or family circumstances that cause interruption in participation in his or her program may submit to the Registrar’s Office a request for one leave of absence, for a period of up to three years. The letter should specify the reasons for the request and the amount of extra time desired. The deadline to receive the request is two months before the student’s next registration. If the leave of absence is approved, the student will be notified by the Registrar’s Office. While on a leave, the student is considered a current Westminster student. However, since during a leave the student is not working on his or her program and is exempt from fees, it is expected that the student will not be using Westminster facilities or personnel.
A student who is a member of a military reserve unit and whose studies are interrupted by a call to active duty must inform the Registrar of his or her call to active duty and the duration of the call. The student shall then be granted a leave of absence from his or her academic program. A student who returns to his or her academic program within one year of his or her release from active duty shall be reinstated and allowed to repeat, without charge, those courses in which he or she was enrolled when called to active duty, provided he or she enrolls in those courses the first time the courses are offered after his or her return. A student who fails to return within one year of his or her release from active duty shall be automatically withdrawn.
The student will notify the Registrar of any change of address while on leave and will confirm by letter to the Registrar, one month before the expiration date of the leave, that he or she will resume the program.
Students receiving Title IV financial aid assistance who wish to take a leave of absence should contact the Financial Aid Office for possible restrictions. Please see section 9.12 for more information.
5.2.3.c1 Personal Withdrawal
A student planning to withdraw from the Seminary, whether during or between an academic semester or term, should inform the Registrar's Office in writing. If the “Personal Withdrawal” notification is received during a semester/term, the date of withdrawal will be the date of notification. If the notification is received between semesters/terms, the date of withdrawal will be the last day of exams of the previous semester. A student who withdraws from the Seminary following the final date to withdraw from a course (see the Academic Calendar),will receive a failing grade for each course not completed.
Automatic withdrawal: A student is automatically withdrawn if a) he or she does not register in a given semester (Fall or Spring) by the end of the drop/add "grace" period, b) he or she drops or withdraws from all of his or her courses during the progress of any semester, c) he or she fails to return after an approved leave of absence. Exceptions to this policy: 1) if a student in the Certificate program has already completed at least one course, that student is considered enrolled for two consecutive semesters in which he or she is not registered for any courses or withdraws from all of his or her courses during the progress of the semester. In the semester following the two consecutive semesters, if the certificate student does not register and complete at least one course, that student is withdrawn by default. 2) A Th.M. or Ph.D. student may request approval to remain enrolled as a current student for a given semester by submitting a petition to the Registrar’s Office, which will seek approval from the appropriate faculty field committee. If granted, the student’s current enrollment status for that semester would be considered “less than half time”.
5.2.3.c2 Administrative Withdrawal
A student is administratively withdrawn if he or she has 1) a grade point average too low to continue, (see Academic Withdrawal and Academic Probation sections), 2) a bill outstanding, or 3) violated the seminary’s standards for student conduct, which includes violation of the Honor Code. (For the seminary’s standards of student conduct see section 3.3. For the Honor Code, please see section 2.6.)
Should a withdrawn student desire to resume studies after an absence of up to three consecutive semesters, he or she should submit a Reinstatement Request Form to the Registrar's Office stating the desired semester or term of return, desired program, along with enclosed fee (see section 8.3.c).The student will be notified by the Registrar’s Office if he or she is approved for reinstatement. If the student had been enrolled in the Th.M., Ph.D., or D.Min. program, a re-entry fee (see section 8.3.c) will apply at the first registration after reinstatement unless the student had been out of the program such a short time that only the current semester’s or year’s continuation fee (Th.M. and Ph.D.) or current year’s continuation fee (D.Min.) is owed.
If a former student has been withdrawn for two or more years (four or more consecutive semesters), he or she must apply for readmission through the Admissions Office.
Approval for reinstatement or readmission is at the discretion of the Seminary. A readmitted or reinstated student will be subject to all program requirements, as well as all financial and academic policies current at the time of return, and will pay the same tuition as new students entering that program at the same time.
5.2.3.d Transfer of Credit/Shared Credit
An official determination of transfer credit will be considered after acceptance into a degree program at Westminster.
5.2.3.d1 Steps to seeking transfer of credit
Step 1. Review the transfer credit policy.
Step 2. Review the catalog’s description of programs and courses to compare work done at the
other institution with Westminster’s requirements.
Step 3. Consult with appropriate office (Admissions office for anticipated students and Registrar’s Office for current students) regarding any questions related to Steps 1 and 2 above.
Step 4. Submit the Transfer of Credit Request form to the Registrar’s office.
Approval for transfer credits must be secured from faculty department heads for M.Div., M.A.R., M.A.C., and M.A.U.M. students and from the appropriate faculty field committee for advanced degree (Th.M., Ph.D., and D.Min.) students. Transfer credit granted will reduce accordingly the number of hours required at Westminster.
5.2.3.d2 Transfer of credit from accredited graduate theological schools
- Credits normally must have been earned in an accredited graduate theological school and must be reported on an official transcript. (Please see “Transfer of Credit from Unaccredited Institutions” section below.)
- The number of credit hours earned via distance education courses will reduce the maximum number of credits eligible for transfer, since both are considered "off-campus" courses.
- Transfer Credit (from an institution from which the student has not received a Master’s degree): The minimum number of credits hours of study that a student must complete on Westminster’s campus, excluding Greek, Hebrew, English Bible Survey and Advanced Theological Writing courses, is 46 hours for the M.Div. degree and 28 hours for the M.A.R., M.A.C. and M.A.U.M. degrees. For all of the degrees cited above, the credits required on Westminster’s campus will normally include the final 24 hours of study. Therefore, the maximum number of “off-campus” credits (transfer credit and distance education credits combined) that will be eligible for approval towards a student’s degree program is 46 for the M.Div. degree, 27 for the M.A.R. degree, and 28 for the M.A.C. and M.A.U.M degrees.
- Shared Credit (transfer credit from an institution from which the student has completed a Master’s degree): Ordinarily, the Seminary may accept up to one-half of the credits earned for a first theological master's degree toward a degree at Westminster, not to exceed one-half of the credits required for the degree at Westminster. The minimum number of credit hours of study that a student must complete on Westminster’s campus, excluding Greek, Hebrew, English Bible Survey and Advanced Theological Writing courses is 46 hours for the M.Div. degree, and 28 hours for the M.A.R., M.A.C. and M.A.U.M. degrees. For all of the degrees cited above, the credits required at Westminster will normally include the final 24 hours of study. Therefore, the maximum number of “off-campus” credits (shared credit and distance education credits combined) that will be eligible for approval towards a student’s degree program is 46 for M.Div. degree, 27 for M.A.R. degree, and 28 for the M.A.C. and M.A.U.M degrees.
- Only courses in which a grade of C- or above was received will be considered for transfer credit to an M.A.C., M.A.U.M, M.A.R., or M.Div. degree program. Only courses in which a grade of B or above was received will be considered for transfer credit to a Th.M., Ph.D., or D.Min. degree program.
- Credits on a quarter system are figured as a two-thirds equivalent of Westminster's semester system.
- Courses may be transferred as required or elective credit. It is more likely that, if approved, course credit will be applied to elective hours rather than to required courses (since the content or perspective might not be the same).
- The emphasis chosen in the M.A.R. or M.Div. program could make a difference in the number of credits that are transferred. For example, the M.A.R. and M.Div.- General emphasis allows more elective hours.
- A special restriction applies to courses at other institutions in the areas of Old Testament, New Testament, and Systematic Theology, when the courses do not use the original languages. Such courses can normally be transferred for M.A.R. or M.Div. credit only as electives. But the Coordinator of the department (Old Testament, New Testament, or Systematic Theology, as the case may require) may at his discretion allow up to a maximum of three hours to be transferred toward required credit for the M.A.R. or the M.Div. (for a total of nine hours in Old Testament, New Testament, and Systematic Theology combined).
- Courses completed at Westminster or elsewhere that are more than ten years old prior to initial matriculation or readmission will not be considered for transfer credit or be applicable to a present Westminster M.Div., M.A.R., M.A.C., or M.A.U.M program. Course work between five and ten years old will be accepted only with the approval of the appropriate department. This limitation does not hold in the case of reinstatement. (However, please refer to the seminary’s maximum time limit policy for individual programs.)
- Study completed more than five years prior to initial matriculation in the Ph.D., Th.M., or D.Min program cannot be applied for transfer credit to the program that the student is entering. This limitation does not hold in cases of reinstatement or readmission. Credit for study completed in Westminster’s Ph.D., Th.M., or D.Min. program prior to reinstatement or readmission is subject to the approval of the appropriate field committee.
- A maximum of 2 modular courses may be accepted for transfer credit for the D.Min. program.
- No transfer credit is granted for the Certificate program.
- Grades are transferred only from courses taken at Jerusalem University College (JUC) or from a Westminster program in which no degree was earned.
5.2.3.d3 transfer of credit from unaccredited institutions
5.2.3.d3a Transfer of credit from an equivalent degree program at an unaccredited institution
- Students in the M.Div., M.A.R., M.A.C., or M.A.U.M. program who seek transfer credit of courses from an equivalent degree program completed at an unaccredited graduate level theological institution must supply the following:
- A copy of the course syllabus stating the instructor’s name and the course requirements for each course for which transfer credit is requested.
- At least one sample of coursework submitted in fulfillment of course requirements for each course for which transfer credit is requested.
2. All decisions are made on a course-by-course basis. Acceptance of one course from an unaccredited institution for
transfer credit carries no implication regarding the acceptance of other courses from that institution.
3. Only courses in which a grade of B or above was received will be accepted for transfer credit.
4. No more than 15 semester credit hours from an unaccredited institution will be accepted for transfer credit toward a
student's degree program at Westminster.
5.2.3.d3b Transfer of credit from The Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF)
- Upon approval by the Registrar, credit earned for coursework completed at CCEF is transferrable to the M.Div., M.A.R., M.A.C., or M.A.U.M. programs.
- Only courses in which a grade of C- or above was received will be accepted for transfer credit.
- New and Readmitted students matriculating in the 2011-2012 academic year or later: No more than 15 semester credit hours will be accepted for transfer credit toward a student's degree program at WTS. (New policy implemented in the 2011-2012 academic year.)
- Returning and Reinstating students who initially matriculated prior to the 2011-2012 academic year: Normally, up to two courses may be transferred without tuition payment. Students may request approval for two additional courses to be transferred. Full Westminster tuition is required for these additional courses. No more than four courses will be accepted for transfer credit. For any coursework to be considered for transfer from CCEF, the courses must be completed (including having been graded) prior to beginning any coursework at Westminster.
5.2.3.d3c Transcription of credit from The Resurgence Training Center (Re:Train)
- Upon approval by the Registrar, credit earned for coursework completed at Re:Train will be transcripted and accepted toward the M.Div., M.A.R., or M.A.U.M. programs.
- Students in the M.Div., M.A.R., M.A.C., or M.A.U.M. program who seek transcription of courses from Re:Train must supply the following:
- Only courses in which a grade of B or above was received will be accepted for transcription.
- Up to a maximum of 9 semester credit hours from Re:Train will be transcripted and accepted toward a student's degree program at Westminster. The amount of transcribed credits will vary based upon the degree program requirements.
- Courses which have been approved for transcription will be considered elective credit.
- Please contact the Registrar’s Office for the current list of approved courses that may be transcribed from Re:Train.
A limited number of auditors are permitted in most courses. Auditing privileges include regular class attendance, copies of all printed material distributed to the class, the opportunity to ask occasional questions in class, and full library privileges. Normally, auditors will not be permitted to participate in classroom exercises or recitations or to make seminar presentations, nor will assignments or examinations be reviewed or graded by the instructor. Except as specified in the Special Categories section, the cost to audit is one-half the tuition rate for taking a course for credit.
Restrictions: Course availability for audit is subject to the approval of the instructor. A non-Th.M./Ph.D. student must obtain the instructor’s approval in order to audit a Th.M./Ph.D. course. An M.A.C./M.A.U.M. student must obtain the instructor’s approval in order to audit a non-M.A.C./M.A.U.M. course. Auditing of English Bible Survey, Advanced Theological Writing, Mentoring Ministry Seminar, D.Min. modules, Independent Study courses (section 5.8), hybrid courses (section 5.7), and Distance Education courses (section 5.6) is not permitted. For additional courses not available for audit, see course description in Section 7. Permission to audit a biblical language course required for any degree (Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic) is given by the Registrar’s Office only to current students who have previously taken the course or its equivalent and who have received approval by both the professor and Director of the Language program due to extenuating circumstances.
5.2.3.e1 Registering as an auditor
Except for those seeking to audit through our Church Leader Audit (see section 5.2.3.e3) persons desiring to audit are required to secure the permission of the Registrar, complete the necessary registration, and pay a non-refundable fee for each course audited (see section 8.3.c).
5.2.3.e2 Special Categories
Full-time students and their spouses, full-time members of the faculty and staff and their spouses and children, and part-time employees may audit courses without charge.
Former Westminster graduates pay one-fourth the tuition they would be charged to take a course for credit unless the course is at or below the level of the degree they received from Westminster, in which case there is no charge to audit. For this purpose, the Ph.D. and Th.M. degrees are considered as on an equal level. An M.A.C./M.A.U.M degree is considered as a lower degree than the M.Div. and M.A.R. degrees. A Certificate is not considered a degree program. Spouses of full-time students are permitted to audit only up to the number of credit hours for which the spouse is currently enrolled.
Occasional visitors must seek permission of the instructor for each class they wish to attend and will not have the privilege of participation in class discussion. All persons desiring to audit should complete the necessary registration process with the Registrar’s Office.
5.2.3.e3 Church Leader Audit
The Church Leader Audit offers an opportunity for people in positions of church leadership to audit courses. Westminster offers one free course audit per semester for those in official ministry positions in the church. This is available for four people per church per semester. An Application Form from the auditor and a Letter of Recommendation from the sending church is required. Eligible courses are from the M.A.C., M.A.U.M., M.A.R. and M.Div. degree programs of study only. Restrictions mentioned above apply. Please be sure to submit application as early as possible so that classes may be planned for space availability; some courses may be closed due to high enrollment. See the Admissions office webpages or contact the Admissions Office for further information and application forms.
5.2.3.f Transcript Requests
Requests for an official transcript should be submitted in writing from the student to the Registrar’s Office, accompanied by the appropriate fee (see section 8.3.c). Transcript Request Forms are available from the Machen receptionist or on the Registrar's office webpages. Altering a record is an act of fraud.
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