Advanced Standing and Advanced Substitutes
Qualified M.Div., M.A., and Graduate Studies Diploma students coming from accredited Bible colleges or Christian liberal arts colleges may request exemption from certain required courses. Requests must be made in writing to the Registrar’s Office prior to or during the first semester of enrollment at Western Seminary. Exemption will be based on one of the following conditions:
When undergraduate studies clearly parallel certain required courses in the master’s-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 1/4th of the masters degree being sought (e.g., M.Div. = 22), with the exception of the M.A. (Biblical and Theological Studies) which allows up to 32 credits of advanced standing by examination. In general, a minimum of 3/4th of M.Div. and M.A. credit hours must be completed through instruction at the graduate seminary level (advanced standing for M.A. in Counseling or Marital and Family Therapy is limited to 13 credits of Bible and theology courses). Advanced standing is granted for a specific required course in a degree program. Enrolling in that course will nullify the advanced standing action. Students taking a course for audit or enrichment may not take an advanced standing exam for that course. If they wish to receive credit for the course, they must retake the course for credit and pay full credit tuition.
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.