5.0 Academic Policies and Procedures
5.1.1 Canvas LMS (LTSOnline)
Lexington Theological Seminary uses Canvas as its learning management system. Within this learning management system, students will review lectures, participate in online discussions, complete assignments, or examinations, and correspond with faculty and classmates. Students who are admitted to the program will be required to have access to throughout the duration of their time at LTS: a computer, Broadband internet connection, webcam, and a headset with a noise-canceling microphone. For a detailed list of required technological resources see Handbook section 11.7, Minimum Technological Requirements for Participation in LTS Degree Programs.
5.1.2 Course Closing and Due Dates and Times
All academic program times are Eastern Time. The closing of courses and the completion times for assignments for courses are the assigned time on Eastern Time (unless a professor makes other arrangements). Usually, the latest a professor will make an assignment due is 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the last Saturday of the course. Tests and other timed assignments completed through the course learning platform are always due Eastern Time. Instructors may choose to allow other types of assignments (e.g., written projects or papers) to be due in accordance with the student’s time zone. Such exceptions should not be expected. Late penalties will be assessed in accordance with Eastern Time, unless the instructor has granted a time zone extension. The course syllabus is the final authority for due dates and deadlines.
Upon enrolling in the Seminary, each degree-seeking student will be assigned a Faculty Advisor. Advisors are available to help students to plan their academic programs and to counsel on academic and professional matters. Students should be aware that final responsibility for their academic program and its successful completion rests with the student, not the advisor or any other representative of the Seminary.
Master in Pastoral Studies and Doctor of Ministry students will be advised by the respective program directors throughout their program of study. Non-degree seeking students should consult with the Office of the Dean regarding academic programs.
5.2.1 Change of Advisor
Master of Divinity students may request a change of advisor after completing 18 hours of study. Master of Theological Studies students may request a change of advisor after completion of 12 hours of study. To request a change of advisor, the student must notify the Office of the Dean.
5.2.2 Faculty Availability
One of the traditions of the Seminary is the faculty’s availability to students. Members of the faculty want to be helpful and to work with students to enhance their theological education. Students should not hesitate to contact faculty members by telephone, online meeting platforms, or make in-person appointments.
Registration for courses is done through the school’s online registration portal. Courses are available for registration on a quarterly basis (Aug.-Oct.; Nov.-Jan.; Feb.-Apr.; May- July). Registration opens two months prior to the beginning of each quarter. The
registration deadline for a course is 21 days before the beginning of the course. A late fee of $25 per course is charged for registration after that deadline. The late fee may be waived for new students who have just been admitted. Dropping a course after the registration deadline has passed but before the course has begun will result in the assessment of a $50 drop fee.
5.3.1 Course Enrollment Limits
Online courses have an enrollment limit of fifteen students. On-campus courses during intensive sessions have an enrollment limit of eighteen students. For registrations received during the pre-registration period, priority will be given to persons graduating in the current year and then in the order of pre-registration. Courses with fewer than five students registered may be cancelled. Students registered for a course that is cancelled will receive e-mail notification of the cancellation from the Registrar and be allowed to register for another course without being assessed additional fees.
5.3.2 Changes in Registration Once Courses Have Begun
Students may add, drop or withdraw from courses after the course has begun.
188.8.131.52 Adding a Course
To add a course once it has begun, students use the seminary’s online registration portal. This must be done within the time limit noted below and will incur a $25 late fee.
184.108.40.206 Dropping a Course
To drop a course once it has begun, students use the online registration portal. This must be done within the time limit noted below and will incur a $50 drop fee. Tuition will be reimbursed through the drop date. A course which is officially dropped by the drop date receives no grade and is not recorded on the student’s transcript.
220.127.116.11 Withdrawing from a Course
To withdraw from a course once it has begun, students must email a request to the Registrar. This must be done within the time limit noted below. Tuition is not reimbursed for a withdrawal. A course which is officially withdrawn from by the withdrawal date receives a grade of W and is recorded on the student’s transcript.
- Courses from which a student withdraws are counted towards the number of hours of financial aid awarded; therefore, withdrawal from a course ultimately results in the student’s having to pay full tuition for the equivalent hours in order to complete curriculum requirements.
- Withdrawn courses accrue no hours and do not contribute to GPA; they do, however, appear on the transcript.
- Students who need to withdraw from a course after the withdrawal deadline due to extraordinary extenuating circumstances must have such a withdrawal approved by the Dean.
- If a student elects not to complete a course and the withdrawal date has passed, the course grade will be recorded as a failure; it will appear on the transcript.
5.3.3 Time Limits for Adding/Dropping a Course After It Has Begun
18.104.22.168 2-Week Online Courses
Add: 1 day
Drop: 3 days
Withdrawal: 1 week
22.214.171.124 4-Week Online Courses
Add: 2 days
Drop: 1 week
Withdrawal: 2 weeks
126.96.36.199 8-Week Online Courses
Add: 4 days
Drop: 3 week
Withdrawal: 4 weeks
188.8.131.52 On-Campus Intensive Courses
Add: Not allowed
Drop: Not allowed
Withdrawal: 1 day
184.108.40.206 Covenant Groups
Add: Not Allowed
Drop: Before 2nd meeting
Withdrawal: Before 3rd meeting
220.127.116.11 Competency Exercises and Capstone Projects
If a student wishes to withdraw from a competency exercise or a capstone project, he/she must address his/her request to the Dean. The Dean will decide whether to grant the request after consultation with the faculty in charge of the exercise or project.
Voluntary withdrawal from the seminary occurs when a student sends a written notification that he/she is withdrawing from the seminary to the Registrar.
A student will be administratively withdrawn after one year of no activity on the part of the student. See Handbook section 5.7.7, Re-Admission after an Absence.
5.5.1 Principles of Grading
Students should remember the following realities about the grading system:
- Grades are expressions of a faculty member’s judgment on the quality of the student’s work and, thus, are intended to serve as indicators of performance and progress.
- Poor grades are not punitive in intent. A poor grade should be understood as a “red flag” signaling the need for improvement.
- The time and energy spent on a course or assignment are not the determining factors in evaluation of the quality of work accomplished.
- A grade is not an assessment of the student’s worth, but an evaluation of the work submitted.
- The level of work required in seminary, as in all graduate and professional schools, should be substantially higher than that required for completion of an undergraduate degree.
5.5.2 Grade Values
The definitions of grades are as follows:
A: Indicates work is at a level substantially above that required for successful completion of the course.
B: Indicates work is above that required for successful completion of the course.
C: Indicates work meets but does not exceed basic course requirements and expectations.
D: Indicates work may complete basic course assignments but is not at an acceptable graduate level.
F: Indicates work does not fulfill basic course requirements and expectations for the course. Courses for which an F is earned are part of the Grade Point Average (GPA) calculation but do not accrue hours.
CR: Indicates a level of achievement sufficient enough to pass the course, i.e., at C level or higher (73 or higher in LTSOnline).
NC: Indicates a level of achievement sufficient enough to pass the course, i.e., below C (72 or lower in LTSOnline).
S: Indicates satisfactory compliance with the requirements of auditing or non- credit participation in a course by a Certificate in Pastoral Ministry student.
U: Indicates failure to comply with the requirements of auditing or non-credit participation in a course by a Certificate in Pastoral Ministry student.
The use of plus/minus with the letter grades allows faculty members to distinguish levels of performance more carefully and accurately. Pluses and minuses for B, C, and D grades and minuses for A grades are recorded on the official Seminary transcripts. There are no pluses awarded for A or F grades.
5.5.3 Calculation of Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)
The GPA is calculated based on the following values:
5.5.4 Grading Criteria
The following academic factors influence a student’s grade:
- The ability to identify, select and use resources and research methods pertinent to the course.
- The grasp of basic content of the course, including appropriate data, theory, and skills and proficiency in demonstrating them.
- The ability to communicate ideas and insights material to the course, demonstrating skills in the use of language, organization, and clarity of thought.
- The ability to interpret and integrate ideas and insights creatively, responding with originality to others’ ideas, and demonstrating skill in theological reflection across disciplinary lines.
- The ability to conceive appropriate applications of the course to the profession and practice of ministry.
- Personal maturity (i.e. demonstrating a sense of personal freedom, empathy for fellow students and faculty), a sense of integrity in coursework, a commitment of energy to the work, and openness to dialogue, and a sense of responsibility to the course and fellow members of the class.
5.5.5 Additional Grading Criteria, D.Min. Program
In addition to what has been previously stated, D.Min. students will be graded on a series of criteria, including the following standard assessment of doctoral level work. D.Min. students at LTS will demonstrate their abilities to do critical thinking and sound theological reflection by:
- doing careful, thorough research,
- interpreting evidence accurately,
- identifying salient arguments,
- thoughtfully analyzing and evaluating alternative points of view,
- drawing warranted, non-fallacious conclusions,
- explaining assumptions and reasons,
- justifying key results and procedures,
- being fair-minded in following where evidence and reason lead,
- demonstrating integrative thinking, and
- writing with correctness, clarity, and coherence2.
2 Adapted from Peter A. and Noreen C. Facione, Holistic Critical Thinking Scoring Rubric
(Millbrae, California: The California Academic Press, 1994.)
5.5.6 Grading in Degree and Certificate Programs:
18.104.22.168 Grading in the M.Div. Program
- All 500-level courses taken in the Apprentice Phase (Level I) of the M.Div. program are graded with letter grades.
- SIS courses, LW 577 (Practice Preaching), and Covenant Groups are graded CR/NC.
- Level I courses that are a requirement of the program must be passed with a C grade or higher and must be repeated as many times as necessary to achieve that grade. Scholarship funds will not apply to retaken courses. Every repetition of a course remains on the transcript and the latest grade assigned the course is recorded in the GPA.
- The competency exercises that conclude the Apprentice Phase (Level I or 500-level study) in each subject area are graded by letter grade.
- All 600-level courses taken in the Journeyer Phase (Phase II) of the M.Div. program are graded by letter grade.
- The Capstone Project, taken as the Master Phase (Level III) of the M.Div. program, is graded by letter grade.
- A GPA of 2.3 is required for graduation.
22.214.171.124 Grading in the M.T.S. Program
Except for the M.T.S. project grading in the M.T.S. program is by letter grade. The M.T.S. project is graded by CR/NC grade. A GPA of 2.3 and a CR grade on the project are needed for graduation.
126.96.36.199 Grading in the M.P.S. Program
Grading in the M.P.S. program is by letter grade. A GPA of 2.3 is needed for graduation.
188.8.131.52 Grading in the Certificate in Pastoral Ministry Program When Taken for Credit
Grading in the Certificate in Pastoral Ministry program when taken for credit is by letter grade. A GPA of 2.3 is needed for graduation.
184.108.40.206 Grading in the Certificate in Pastoral Ministry Program When NOT Taken for Credit
Grading in the Certificate in Pastoral Ministry program when NOT taken for credit is by S/U grade.
220.127.116.11 Grading in the D.Min. Program and the Certificate in Congregational Renewal and Leadership Program
Except for the final D.Min. project and the project seminar, DM 890, grading in the D.Min. program is graded by letter grade. DM 890 and the final project are graded CR/NC. A GPA of 3.0 and passing grades for DM 890 and the final project are required for graduation. Thus, all grading for the Certificate in Congregational Renewal and Leadership program is by letter grade, and a GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation.
Should extraordinary circumstances exist which preclude the student finishing work and receiving a final grade, faculty may opt to not record a grade for the student for up to 30 calendar days following the date grades are due. If a grade has not been submitted at the end of the 30-day period, the Registrar will record a grade of NC or F for the course. The grade of NC or F may be changed at the faculty member’s discretion.
Under special circumstances, grades may be left blank for more than 30 days and up to 90 days if the faculty member and student have entered into a written agreement which outlines completion of the work. A copy of this written agreement must be provided to the Registrar prior to the initial 30-day deadline to prevent recording of a NC or F.
Courses for which grades are left blank past 90 days will have a grade of NC or F recorded with any and all resultant penalties imposed.
For a M.T.S. project which is not complete at the end of the term for which it was registered, a No Credit (NC) will be reflected on the transcript until the project is successfully completed.
- If the grade point average for a student with a missing grade places the student on probation or causes dismissal, that action will be suspended until the end of the 30-day period mentioned above.
- If no grade has been recorded by the end of the 30-day period, a grade of NC or F will be factored into the grade point average for the course. If the grade point average results in probation or dismissal, the action will be taken immediately.
NOTE: Students may be billed late for tuition when being placed on probation. (See section 5.7, Academic Probation and Academic Dismissal.)
While on probation, students will not be considered for degree candidacy, will not graduate, and will not receive financial aid.
5.7.1 Probation in Masters Degree and Certificate Programs
Probation occurs when a student falls below a cumulative GPA of 2.3. A student on probation must raise the cumulative GPA to a 2.3 or higher within the next 10 hours of course work. A M.Div. student must have a cumulative GPA of 2.3 or higher before moving to the Master Phase (Level III) of study. Failure to achieve requirements for raising the cumulative GPA will result in academic dismissal.
Students are not assessed for probation until they have attempted at least 12 credit hours of course work.
5.7.2 Full Tuition on Probation
Students pay full tuition while on probation. Because grades are sometimes posted after new courses begin, students placed on probation at the end of the prior course may be billed late for tuition balances currently due. Students on probation who have not paid in full by the “Add/Drop” registration deadline will be dropped from their courses with no opportunity for reinstatement in those courses at that time.
5.7.3 Probation in the D.Min. Program
Probation occurs for Doctoral students anytime their GPA falls below 3.0. Once on probation, students have 4 credit hours to raise their GPA to 3.0. If they are unable to achieve this GPA, they will be dismissed from the D.Min. program.
The Seminary reserves the right to dismiss students at any time due to unacceptable academic work or for other reasons by vote of the faculty. Dismissals may be appealed according to procedures outlined in section
5.8.2, Appealing Other Academic Matter. Reasons for dismissal are not shared with students. See section 3.1.3, Re-Admission for readmission after non-academic dismissal.
5.7.5 Application for Re-Admission after Academic Dismissal
Application for re-admission after academic dismissal will be voted on by the full faculty. Students dismissed for academic performance may apply for re-admission after a lapse of one academic year. Students dismissed a second time for academic reasons may not re-apply for a period of three calendar years and must provide a compelling argument for improvement in their academic abilities or circumstances.
- Requests for re-admission after expulsion or study that has been terminated by action of the faculty shall be made, in writing, to the faculty.
- Requests for re-admission to the program from which the student was terminated shall be made, in writing, to the full faculty, after one calendar year has passed.
- Requests for admission to a different program after termination from another program shall be made, in writing, to the full faculty.
A student dismissed from a degree program can be accepted into a certificate program.
5.7.6 Probation for Students Returning After Dismissal
Students returning to the Apprentice Phase (Level I) of study, after academic dismissal will only be allowed to fail three credit hours of course work before being dismissed again.
Students returning to the Journeyer Phase (Level II) of study, after dismissal retain their record of probation occurrences. (The total number of probationary occurrences counted against the maximum allowed does not re-start upon re- admission. This record is cumulative.)
5.7.7 Re-Admission After an Absence
Students who seek to enroll in courses after more than one year of absence must submit a request for re-admission. A letter must be sent to the Director of Admissions requesting re-admission to the seminary. The Director of Admissions may ask for additional information depending upon the length of absence and the circumstances at the time of the student’s departure.
5.8.1 Grade Appeals
The LTS grade appeals policy strives to balance the values of academic freedom for faculty in determining grades and the protection of students from unfairness in grading. A student is ordinarily expected to raise a grading issue with the faculty member. If the student is unable to find an acceptable solution, he or she may appeal the grade. A student’s dissatisfaction with a course grade is not, in general, sufficient grounds for warranting an appeal. Appeals are normally only brought forward on grounds such as discriminatory treatment of the grade determination process significantly departing from the syllabus.
18.104.22.168 An appeal must be initiated within thirty (30) days following the posting of the grade to the LMS. Only grades that appear on the official transcript may be appealed.
22.214.171.124 Students shall use the following procedure to appeal:
The student will submit a written statement to the Dean with evidence explaining why the grade appears unfair, with copies to the professor whose grade is being appealed and the student’s Faculty Advisor.
After consulting with the professor and the student, the Dean proposes a resolution to the matter which may be either that the grade will stand or that it be changed by the professor. The Dean’s recommendation will be communicated in writing to the student, the professor, the student’s Faculty Advisor, and the Registrar (for inclusion in the student’s file). The professor will make a decision about the grade after receiving the Dean’s recommendation.
If the faculty member’s response to the Dean’s recommendation is unacceptable to the student, the student may request in writing that an appeals committee be convened. A committee of two regular or affiliate faculty members and a student will be appointed by the Dean to investigate. The student appealing the grade may make a recommendation to the Dean for one of the two faculty members. The appeals committee will interview the student appealing, the professor whose grade is being appealed, and/or gather other information as deemed necessary, including the Dean’s recommendation. The committee will then arrive at a recommendation, supported by a rationale that the grade either stand or be changed by the professor. The committee’s recommendation will be communicated in writing to the student, the Dean, the professor, the student’s faculty advisor, and the Registrar (for inclusion in the student’s file). The professor will make his or her final decision after receiving the committee’s recommendation.
If the student does not accept the professor’s final decision, he or she may submit a further appeal in writing to the President. The President will review all materials from the prior proceedings and gather additional information as deemed necessary. The decision of the President will be final.
5.8.2 Appealing Other Academic Matters
The following other academic matters may be appealed: termination of study, expulsion – unless by the President or the Dean – for disciplinary reasons, or refusal of the faculty to re-admit a student.
These academic appeals are handled by a sub-committee of the Student Complaint Advisory Committee (see Appendix B: Student Complaint Advisory Committee Policy & Procedure) in addition to the Dean and the student’s Faculty Advisor.
The faculty chair of the Student Complaint Advisory Committee acts as chairperson of the sub-committee unless that faculty member is the appealing student’s Faculty Advisor. In such a case, the Dean shall appoint another faculty member to act as chair. Should the Dean be the appealing student’s Faculty Advisor, the sub- committee chair shall appoint another member of the faculty as alternate to the Dean. Two student members of the Student Complaint Advisory Committee will be appointed to the academic appeals sub-committee by the sub-committee chair, or the Dean shall appoint one or two other students to the sub-committee if such action is necessary to ensure neutrality of the student members with respect to the appealing student, i.e., no compromising relationships may exist between appealing student and sub-committee member(s).
126.96.36.199 Notification of Intent to Appeal
The student must notify the Dean in writing that he/she wishes to appeal a specific action within thirty days of the action. By virtue of this notification, the student is automatically granting release of relevant information to the members of the committee. A hearing will be scheduled at a time convenient to both the student and the committee. After having received written notice of the faculty action with a list of specific reasons for this action, the chair, in consultation with the Dean, will provide a summary of all relevant information which contributed to the faculty’s decision. The student should then prepare his/her appeal as follows:
- The student must prepare a written statement (approximately 1,500 words, double-spaced, and in 12-point font) outlining the major points of the appeal and must submit this statement to the chairperson of the sub- committee at least one week before the hearing date.
NOTE: The student should remember that a specific faculty decision is being appealed and should answer the specific points of the faculty decision. Thus, the student should show that: the faculty misunderstood the facts, or pertinent facts were not considered by the faculty, or circumstances and personal character have changed sufficiently so that the faculty’s decision should be reconsidered. (This latter argument applies only to appeals for re-admission.) A plea for a second chance is not grounds for an appeal to this sub-committee. Nor is disagreement with the decision made by the faculty acceptable as grounds for appeal or as a defense. The student must arrange for evidence or witnesses that will speak on his/her behalf, including making arrangements for the release of any psychological evaluation(s) to be submitted to the committee.
NOTE: References to psychological test(s) or evaluation(s) are not admissible. Written records must be signed by the attending psychologist or psychiatrist, or the psychologist or psychiatrist must appear as a witness. Submission of such data in any form is strictly voluntary. The chairperson may limit the number of witnesses that can appear and the time that each can speak. Written statements may be submitted in lieu of personal appearance(s) of witnesses.
NOTE: Any data or witnesses must speak directly to the issues involved in the appeal. General character evaluations will be ruled out-of-order.
- The student may ask one person to attend the hearing as his/her personal counselor. This may be a fellow student, a faculty member, a minister, or a close personal friend. Because the appeal process is strictly within the structures of the Seminary, the appellant’s counselor may not be an attorney.
188.8.131.52 Hearing Procedure
- The hearing will open with a statement by the chairperson regarding hearing procedures.
- The Dean (or an alternate) will read the statement of the faculty’s action.
- The student will read his/her summary statement.
- The student may introduce data or call witnesses in support of the appeal.
- The members of the committee will have the opportunity to question the student and/or the witnesses.
NOTE: The chairperson may rule as out-of-order any question which probes beyond the scope of the appeal, or which would require an answer in violation of privileged communication or the right of privacy.
- After evidence has been submitted and witnesses examined, the student may make a summary statement.
- The student and witnesses will be excused during the committee deliberations.
- The committee will submit a report of its decision to the President who may or may not accept the decision. The committee can make one of three recommendations: to uphold the faculty decision, to reverse the faculty decision, or, to refer the question to the faculty for reconsideration in light of new or clarified evidence.
- The President will decide upon an action. In informing the student of an action, the President may include the committee’s recommendation, at his/her discretion.
184.108.40.206 General Regulations Governing the Hearing Procedure
- The committee’s decision will be made by a simple majority vote. The vote will be included in the recommendation to the President without reference to how individual committee members voted and without any dissenting opinions.
- Committee members will hold all committee proceedings in strict confidence, even after the decision is made.
- The appellant student should not discuss the appeal procedure or the content of the appeal with any committee member except the chairperson. Attempted communication with or any form of harassment of committee members will be grounds for denying the appeal.
- The committee will keep no record of its proceedings. The only written document will be a report of the decision to the President.
- The student may invoke his/her right to privacy at any time; however, in doing so, he/she may be denying the committee essential information and thereby be undermining the appeal.
5.9.1 Course Loads
For purposes of determining financial aid eligibility, a full-time load is defined as 20 hours per year, and a half-time load is defined as 10 hours per year.
5.9.2 Course Numbers
- 500-level courses are introductory level Masters courses
- 600-level courses are advanced Masters courses
- 700-level course numbers are reserved for the summative exercises at the end of Master’s programs, i.e., the capstone project in the M.Div., the thesis in the M.T.S., and the final research paper in the M.P.S.
- 800-level courses are D.Min. courses.
5.9.3 Directed Studies
Normally, directed studies are undertaken only in areas not offered, or not offered on a regular basis in the regular curriculum. Directed studies may be taken by students in any degree program, subject to the agreement of the professor, completion of a Directed Study Agreement form, and approval of the Dean. Students who wish to take directed studies with a person who is not on the faculty of LTS must receive prior approval of the Dean before completing and submitting the Directed Study Agreement. The student should be prepared to demonstrate to the Seminary that the course professor possesses an appropriate terminal degree and qualifying credentials.
- Directed studies are only allowed for elective courses at the 600-level or higher.
- Credit may be for 1 to 2 hours. The professor and student sign a Directed Study Agreement, accompanied by a detailed syllabus, which must be submitted to the Dean for approval at the time of registration. The Dean will notify the student of approval, disapproval, or tentative approval with changes. The Dean forwards the signed Agreement to the Registrar.
- Directed studies are subject to the same deadlines (registration, Drop/Add, grade submission) as other classes and must be completed by the end of the period for which they are registered.
- Normally, Master’s students may register for no more than four hours of directed study work within their degree program.
5.9.4 Auditing Courses
Auditing provides students the opportunity to benefit from a course without being subject to credit requirements. No credit is awarded (nor would be transferred to other institutions) for audited courses. Auditing students neither submit course assignments nor do they complete course examinations.
Auditors’ work will not be evaluated by the professor, and feedback will not be provided. The professor may state in the syllabus specific expectations regarding auditing students’ participation. Auditors must register for courses using the online registration process.
Special Students and Auditors are considered students of Lexington Theological Seminary and as such, are subject to all policies and standards of conduct described in the Seminary’s Student Handbook.
5.9.5 Course Evaluations
Course evaluations are important to the Seminary’s program of assessment for continuous improvement of the learning experience. They are a means for students to share their opinions about the courses they have just completed.
Students are required to complete a standard form online that is embedded in each course. The student’s final grade for the course will not be posted by the Registrar until the form is completed. All evaluations remain anonymous. The professor will be able to access the accumulated results of the course evaluations after he/she has turned in the grades for the course. The evaluations are reviewed by the Dean and are compiled into annual reports for use in faculty performance reviews and in the faculty’s annual assessment of the educational effectiveness of the school’s programs.
5.9.6 Seminary Assessment
All student work may be used as a part of the Seminary’s assessment program. The assessment use of student work in no way affects the grade the student receives. This is an evaluation of the work of the Seminary in terms of the work of the student. Students’ names are commonly removed from the work used in assessment. This evaluation is intended to help the Seminary improve its education programs.
A student in one of the seminary’s Master’s degree programs may receive 2 credits for successful completion of a Level I unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) subject to the following terms and conditions:
- The unit is/was completed at an ACPE-accredited CPE program.
- If taken during the student’s program, the student has registered for course LC 672 on entering the unit. The unit can count in this only if taken after the student has met the requirements of their degree program to begin taking 600-level electives. Upon successful completion of the unit, the student receives a grade of “CR” for the course, providing he or she submits to the Dean a copy of his or her final self-evaluation and the final evaluation by the CPE supervisor as documentation of successful completion. If the student does not complete the unit successfully, the student receives a grade of “NC” for the course.
- If the unit is taken within 5 years of the student beginning his or her program at the seminary, he or she may apply for 2 credits of advanced standing, reckoned as a 600-level elective. Such application should be addressed to the Dean and be accompanied by the student’s final self-evaluation and the CPE supervisor’s final evaluation of the student as documentation of successful completion.
The Seminary accepts credits transferred to or shared from other institutions according to the policy guidelines indicated below. Grades from transferred courses are not used in the calculation of the GPA and show on the transcript simply as the number of hours transferred and the name of the institution. Individual courses transferred are not listed.
5.11.1 In general, to be accepted for transfer, credits must meet the following criteria:
- Must be earned no more than 10 years prior to graduation from LTS;
- Must be graduate level, earned at a seminary or graduate school accredited by the Association of Theological Schools. Credit earned at non ATS accredited but regionally accredited institutions may be approved.
- Must carry a grade of B or above; and
- Must be judged by the Dean as appropriate to the degree sought at Lexington Theological Seminary.
- M.Div. students may transfer up to 24 hours. In order to determine the adequacy of the transferred credit for particular courses the syllabi may be requested by the Dean.
- M.T.S. and M.P.S. students may transfer up to 15 hours.
- Up to 18 hours of credits transferred from a residential program at another ATS- accredited seminary may be counted toward the residency requirements for the LTS M.Div., and up to 12 hours toward the residency requirement for the LTS M.P.S.
- D.Min. students may transfer up to 6 hours as electives.
5.11.2 Shared and Transfer Credit Within Degree Programs
- When students transfer in credits from a completed Master’s degree earned outside LTS, the total number of credits transferred may not exceed the lesser of half the credits earned for the non-LTS degree or the maximum allowable amount of transfer credits for the LTS degree.
- When students complete a Master’s degree at LTS and then wish to apply credits from that degree to a second LTS Master’s degree, the maximum number of credits that applied to the second degree may not exceed the lesser of half the credits earned for the first degree or half of the credits needed to earn the second degree.
- Students who transfer credits from a completed LTS M.T.S. or M.P.S. into the M.Div. program must take at least two out of the four required pairs of competency exercises.
5.11.3 If the student is already enrolled in a degree program at Lexington Theological Seminary and desires to take an elective course at another institution, the student’s request must be approved ahead of time by the student’s advisor and the Dean. Written notice of the approval must be submitted to the Registrar prior to the taking of the course.
5.11.4 Transferred credits earned in courses taken on the quarter system are converted using one quarter hour equal to 0.667 of a semester hour.
5.11.5 Waiver of Requirements
Under certain circumstances, instead of approving transfer of credit, the Dean may approve the waiver of a requirement. The credit hour requirement must still be fulfilled by completing course work in the area where the requirement is waived. There are three such sets of circumstances:
When a M.Div. student transfers in more than half of the credits required at the 500-level in a specific subject area, the competency exercise in that subject area may be waived.
When a M.Div. student transfers 21 or more credits, the requirement for one 500- level covenant group may be waived.
Depending on the quantity, character, and quality of work a student has done in a previous Master’s degree program from which credit is being transferred, the requirement for a specific course may be waived (e.g., the waiver of SIS 570 when a student has successfully completed a humanities M.A. thesis).
5.12.1 Policy Regarding Plagiarism
All sources (whether copyrighted or not) including monographs (books), essay collections, dictionaries and encyclopedias, journal articles, internet articles, audio and video recordings, computer files, lectures, and private communication (letters, conversations, e-mails, etc.) that are incorporated into a student’s work must be cited. LTS makes use of a Plagiarism Review Board (PRB) to review plagiarism violations and to determine penalties for these violations. (See Appendix J: Policy Regarding Plagiarism; Appendix R: Intellectual Property Policy; and Appendix U: Copyright Policy.)
5.12.2 Honor Code
All students registered for courses are expected to do their work with the highest ethical standards of intellectual integrity. As a part of their admission process, they are asked to read and sign the honor code. (See Appendix I: Honor Code).
Lexington Theological Seminary is committed to forming students in all areas of ministerial life, including their success in written communication. To help them achieve this success, all newly admitted degree-seeking students and certificate for credit students must submit all designated written assignments to the Seminary’s online writing center prior to submitting a final draft to the professor. It is expected that students will revise their drafts based on the tutor’s feedback before submitting the assignment to the professor. Even when working with the writing center, students are required to turn in assignments by the dates listed in the course syllabi.
The process for submitting drafts to and receiving feedback from the writing center is outlined in the LTS Common Syllabus and introduced during the Orientation Course. During that course, all students working on the Certificate for Pastoral Studies for credit and all degree seeking students will submit a writing sample to be evaluated. This sample will provide a base line for comparing later improvement.
5.13.1 Completion of Requirement
The Seminary will periodically review students’ writing tutor assessments to determine when a student has reached a level of proficiency meriting release from the requirement. Students may request review of their records for possible release at any time.
Degree seeking students must reach a level of proficient writing before advancing beyond specific points in their programs:
- M.Div. students must receive notification that this requirement has been completed before they will be allowed to take their first competency exercise.
- M.T.S. students must receive notification that this requirement has been completed before they will be allowed to take their competency exercise.
- M.P.S. students must receive notification that this requirement has been completed by the time they complete their Catholic Studies courses.
5.13.2 Continued Use of the Writing Center
Once students have received notification that they are no longer required to work with the Writing Center, they are still allowed and encouraged to use the Writing Center as desired for writing support.
Instructors can require individual students who continue to struggle with writing or entire class rosters to use the writing center for any assignment.