Advanced Standing and Advanced Substitutes

Qualified MDiv, MA, and Graduate Studies Diploma students coming from accredited Bible colleges or Christian liberal arts colleges may request an exemption from certain required courses. Requests must be made via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. prior to or during the first semester of enrollment at Western Seminary. The exemption will be based on one of the following conditions:

Advanced Standing

When undergraduate studies clearly parallel certain required courses in the masters-level curriculum, the student may request advanced standing toward the master’s degree (i.e., actual program reduction of credit hours). Advanced standing is validated by the Registrar following competency exams administered by appropriate Western Seminary faculty under the direction of center chairs. The total amount of advanced standing granted to any student will be no more than 25% of the master's degree being sought: M.Div: 20 credits; MA(BTS): 14 credits; MA in Ministry and Leadership: 13 credits; MA in Global Leadership: 12 credits (Bible and theology); MA in Counseling: 8 credits (Bible and theology). A student may receive a maximum of 8 credits of advanced standing in the BL courses (501, 502, 503) and a maximum of 8 credits in the TH courses (501, 502, 503). They may also receive up to 4 credits of advanced electives for the remaining courses in this area. Students may receive a maximum of 6 credits of advanced standing in Greek (NT) required courses and 6 credits in Hebrew (OT) required courses. No advanced standing is granted for the ThM program or doctoral programs.

Advanced Substitutes

The substitution of advanced divisional courses for required courses (no actual reduction in hours) may be granted in two ways: (1) transcripted courses from undergraduate studies that are equivalent to the appropriate Western Seminary courses; or (2) competency exams related to required Western Seminary courses. With respect to a transcripted course, advanced divisional course substitution will be granted if the undergraduate course(s) was at least 80 percent equivalent of the Western Seminary course, the student earned at least a grade of “B” in the specific course(s) under consideration, and the student has entered Western Seminary within five years of the time he or she completed the undergraduate course. The Registrar, in consultation with the division chair and/or the instructor who regularly teaches the course, will make this determination. Syllabi, textbooks, assignments (et al.) may be required to determine the 80 percent equivalency.

Questions regarding advanced standing and advanced substitutes should be addressed to the Registrar.