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Helpful Policy Reminders


Individuals enrolled in an online course are Western Seminary students and are expected to comply with policies and standards as outlined in the seminary catalog.

In specific instances, the practices of distance education require that online campus policies be adapted to meet the specialized needs and circumstances of our students. To help you get started right in your distance learning course this summer, what follows is a brief summary of several of the most-frequently-asked policy areas.

Course Duration

By regulation, distance education courses must be scheduled within the regular semester dates. However, to provide optimal flexibility, our program offers three session choices each semester. As illustrated below, Session “A” is 14 weeks in length. Sessions “B” and “C” are 7 weeks in length and are offered sequentially. Students who miss the regular semester start date, or those who have enrolled in either Session “A” or Session “B” and who have made satisfactory academic progress, may enroll for Session “C”... effectively providing either a late registration or an early semester option depending on your perspective.

Summer 2019 Session Dates

Session Dates Start Week
End Week
A April 27 - August 5 April 27 - May 5 July 28 - August 5
B April 27 - June 17 April 27 - May 5 June 9 - June 17
C June 15 - August 5 June 15 - June 22 July 28 - August 5

Attendance Requirements

If you are registered for either the Session “A” or Session “B”, your online learning center ( will open no later than April 27th at 12:01 A.M. Within the first week of your session you must upload your course affirmation file to register your attendance within that week. This is our way of “taking attendance” in the course; failure to submit the affirmation file within that first week may result in your being dropped from the course.

Just as you are expected to be "present" in the first week of the semester, you must also attend class during the last week of your session. Even if you finish your other course assignments earlier in the session, you still must complete and return your course evaluation in your last week. At the beginning of that week, you will receive a link by email to the evaluation page. Completing and submitting the online form during your last week will constitute a record of your attendance.

Note: First Week Online Confirmations or course evaluations received by 8:00 a.m. on the Monday following the end of your course start week or end week will be considered to have been received within the required one-week time window.

Course Extensions

While the possibility exists of an extension as long as three weeks beyond the end of the semester, in most cases faculty grant an extension of one to three weeks, depending on the severity of the situation faced by the student. All course assignments not completed by the extended deadline will be given a failing grade. Under no circumstances may this period be extended except by academic petition and approval of the Administrative Committee. Please note that continuing progress in the online course must be demonstrated before a request for an extension will be considered.

Financial Aid

Distance education students may be eligible for financial aid if they meet specific requirements. Please contact the Financial Aid office for more information.