GENERAL ACADEMIC POLICIES
Academic Calendar – The academic year is divided into a fall semester, a spring semester, two summer terms and, from time to time, intensive, week-long mini-terms. Schedules, requirements, and credit for all courses are measured in terms of semester hours, regardless of when they are offered. HGST publishes an official academic calendar each year in the front of the catalog and on the website.
Academic Probation – A student will be placed on academic probation for the following reasons:
- A student whose cumulative GPA falls below the published minimum for his or her degree program will be placed on academic probation according to the following scale:
DMin – 3.00
MTS – 2.75
MAC – 2.75
MDiv – 2.25
MASD – 2.25
MAML – 2.25
- A student receives three or more failing grades over three or fewer successive terms.
A student placed on academic probation may register for no more than 10 credit hours per regular semester (6 hours in the summer) until the student’s cumulative GPA rises above the minimum requirement. A student placed on academic probation due to a low cumulative GPA shall automatically be removed from academic probation when the student’s cumulative GPA rises above the minimum required for his or her degree program. A student whose cumulative GPA remains below the minimum requirement for two consecutive terms after being placed on academic probation will ordinarily be discontinued from the seminary.
Academic Standing and VA Benefits – A student receiving Veterans Administration educational benefits must maintain the published minimum cumulative GPA for his or her degree program. Any student whose GPA falls below the minimum for two consecutive terms will no longer receive VA benefits. Students who fail to achieve or maintain the published minimum shall be placed on probation for one semester. If the student achieves a semester GPA above the minimum during the probationary semester, but has not achieved the required cumulative GPA, the student may be continued on probation for one more semester.
If the student on probation fails to achieve the published minimum at the end of the first probationary semester, the student shall be reported to the Veterans Affairs Regional Office as making unsatisfactory progress. If it appears unlikely that a student can benefit from seminary education, he or she may be advised not to continue on the basis of one semester of unsatisfactory work. A student who fails to achieve the published minimum for two consecutive probationary semesters shall be reported to the Veterans Affairs Regional Office and dismissed from school. Students who achieve the minimum published cumulative GPA or higher at the end of either their first or second period of probation shall automatically be removed from academic probation.
AIDS Policy – Individuals diagnosed as HIV positive or with AIDS are provided equal protection under state and federal law against discrimination. The Seminary will make reasonable accommodations for any persons with AIDS or HIV to ensure their full participation in the Seminary community. This reasonable accommodation is assured by our concern for equitable treatment of all who study and work in the Seminary community, and to follow the legal guidelines for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Except as required or permitted by law, the Seminary will not ask students, faculty, or staff to respond to questions about the existence of HIV infection or AIDS, nor will any person, group, agency, insurer, employer, or institution (including churches and church judicatories) be provided with medical information of any kind without the prior written consent of the person. Any member of the Seminary community who has AIDS or HIV will be treated fairly and compassionately and her or his right of privacy will be respected. The potential for discrimination and mistreatment of those persons who are known to have HIV or AIDS requires that confidential information concerning any aspect of HIV infection or AIDS be handled with extraordinary care.
The Seminary should and will condemn all such occurrences of discrimination and mistreatment as intolerable and will respond to them quickly and effectively through those preexisting channels most relevant to the nature and context of the discrimination or mistreatment.
Attendance – Regular attendance is expected in all classes. Students are responsible for obtaining information from fellow students about missed lectures or announcements made in their absence and assume the risk of missing assignments or quizzes by unexcused absence. Whenever possible, the instructor should be notified prior to the absence. Attendance is especially important in intensives, mini-terms, or seminar-style classes. The success of any course depends upon the regular attendance and participation of each member. Therefore, an excessive number of absences, as outlined in the syllabus, may result in a grade of “F” for the course, despite completion of other requirements.
Auditing – From time to time, current HGST students may decide to audit a course rather than take a course for credit. Students may register to audit scheduled courses through their faculty advisors. Anyone who is not a current student, but who would like to audit a course, may apply to HGST as a non-degree student. An “auditor” is defined as a student registered for a course without credit and without obligation to do work assigned to the class. The full non-degree student admission process shall be followed, the applicant must be accepted as a student at HGST, and a faculty advisor will be assigned.
Children on the HGST Campus – In addition to providing graduate-level studies, Houston Graduate School of Theology is a community of faith and caring, concerned with the well-being of every member of its family. However, unattended children can disrupt the teaching and learning process, may damage equipment or facilities, and may cause injury to themselves or others. HGST employees are not qualified to provide adequate childcare and cannot take responsibility for the safety and well-being of children while their parents are in class, conducting business on campus, or studying in the library. Therefore, students with children under the age of 12 should seek alternative childcare arrangements off campus.
Children 12 and older may sit quietly and read or study in the Student Commons or the Library. In every case, parents are responsible for ensuring that their children do not become distractions to fellow students or HGST employees. Noncompliance may lead to the revoking of the privilege of bringing children of any age to campus.
Continuance – HGST is an educational institution that is redemptive in spirit, but rehabilitation of individual students is not its primary mission. The total record of a student is subject to review each time he or she registers for classes. HGST reserves the right to discontinue at any time the enrollment of any student whose quality of academic performance, ethical or moral conduct and life style, or financial standing is considered to be unacceptable.
Copying and Copyright – HGST students are expected to purchase or otherwise obtain a copy of each required textbook. A copy of the required textbook for each HGST course is placed on reserve in the Library every semester; however, reserve books may not be removed from the Library nor may they be photocopied in their entirety. Except in cases where a book is out of copyright (published prior to 1923) or is not available at a reasonable cost, photocopying an entire book is forbidden under U.S. Copyright Law. Following is the actual text that the U.S. Copyright Office suggests posting in libraries and that is posted in the HGST library.
The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.
Course Load – For the MDiv, MTS, MAC, MASD, and MAML programs, a full-time load is defined as at least nine credit hours for fall and spring semesters. A full-time load for summer terms is defined as at least six credit hours. For the DMin program, a full-time load is defined as seven hours in a semester. Full description of full-time and part-time status for the DMin program can be found below under “Doctor of Ministry Definitions and Policies.”
Credit Hour – The unit of measurement for coursework is the credit hour. One credit hour is equal to fifteen “contact hours” of instructional time (the equivalent of one “contact hour” per week throughout a fifteen-week semester). A “contact hour” is equivalent to 50 minutes of instruction. Students should ordinarily anticipate two hours of preparation time outside of class for each hour spent in class. (See Student Workload Expectations, pp. 12-13).
Directed Study – Students may request, on a limited basis, to complete courses on the basis of “directed study” rather than through classroom instruction, subject to the following limitations:
- Full-time faculty members may lead no more than three directed studies in any fall or spring semester and no more than two during the summer.
- Students may enroll in no more than one directed study in any semester.
- Students may count no more than two directed studies toward the completion of the Master of Arts in Counseling, Spiritual Direction, or Missional Leadership or the Master of Theological Studies. Students may count no more than three directed studies toward the completion of the Master of Divinity. Any directed study over the stated limits will not count toward fulfillment of the degree program.
- Students may not take directed studies until completing their first 15 credit hours.
- Ordinarily, adjunct instructors will not be permitted to conduct directed studies. Any exception will be granted upon approval by the HGST Academic Office. Adjunct instructors are not permitted to broach the topic of directed study with students.
- 500-level courses may not be taken as directed study. The 4-hour 501 courses (OT501, NT501, PC501, PR501, CS501, and TH501), and COU 674 Group Counseling and Psychotherapy may never be taken as directed study.
- A Directed Study will not be granted for a course during the semester in which that course is scheduled. If the directed study is a course that is regularly scheduled, the directed study syllabus must show that additional work is required to compensate for the lack of classroom time with the instructor. The instructor should take into consideration the lack of classroom time when designing a directed study syllabus.
- Normal semester schedules apply to directed studies.
- The 790 courses are subject to the Directed Study fee and the above-listed policies since the course is directed. A student registering for a 790 course should include a statement concerning the nature and extent of the proposed research on the Directed Study Request form.
- A course, which is listed on the schedule but does not meet minimum enrollment, may be taught with a modified schedule and will not be considered a directed study.
- Normally, language courses will not be considered directed study courses; therefore, they will not count toward the maximum number of directed studies allowed within a degree program.
Educational Rights and Privacy – FERPA is an acronym for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g, 34 CFR 99). Congress enacted FERPA, also referred to as the “Buckley Amendment,” in 1974. FERPA mandates that schools, including colleges and universities, maintain students’ records in a confidential manner. It requires that students be allowed to inspect and review their education records and request the amendment of records that are inaccurate or misleading. It also prohibits the disclosure of student information except in limited circumstances.
Rights under FERPA apply to eligible students. An eligible student is an individual who is or has been in attendance at HGST. FERPA rights begin on the first day of class in the academic term for which the student is accepted. Applicants who are denied admission or who never attend are not covered under FERPA. Admissions records for students who decide not to matriculate are destroyed after two years.
Education Records Education records are records directly related to a student and maintained by HGST or by a party acting for HGST. Printed documents, handwritten notes, emails, electronic documents, and web pages can all contain education records covered by FERPA. Education records may include but are not limited to:
- Student folders in Admissions/Registrar/Financial Aid/Advisors/Placement offices
- Student classroom activity or homework maintained by HGST as part of the student’s permanent record
- Reports and records
- Class rolls, papers, and tests
- Application forms for student organizations/activities
- Memos between school employees
- Most student disciplinary records
Student files are kept in the Registrar’s Office until five years after the student’s date of graduation or the student’s last day of attendance. Following that date, some records, such as academic transcripts, changes of grade forms, and applications for admission, are maintained by HGST, either in hard copy or digitally, according to an approved Records and Retention Schedule. Records not scheduled for retention will be destroyed.
The following are not included in the definition of education records:
- Employment records where employment is not connected to student status
- Alumni records that do not relate to the person as a student
- Records made by instructional, administrative, and educational personnel that are not shared with others
Directory Information FERPA permits institutions to define some education record information as “directory information” not confidential under FERPA. This is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. HGST considers the following directory information:
Although the above information in not confidential under FERPA, HGST will not disclose this information to third parties who plan to use the information for purposes of commercial solicitation. Students may opt out of the release of directory information by completing a form available in the Registrar’s office.
Student Rights Under FERPA Under FERPA, students may:
HGST is not required to provide a copy of education records unless failure to do so would deny access. Records cannot be destroyed if a request is pending. The school must comply with written requests to inspect and review education records within 45 days. FERPA does not grant the student access to:
School Officials and Legitimate Educational Interests A school official is a person employed by HGST in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position. This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers, and other outside parties to whom the institution has outsourced institutional services or functions, persons serving on the Board of Trustees, and students serving on official committees or assisting school officials in performing their tasks. Only school officials with a legitimate educational interest may access education records. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the school. Upon request, HGST also discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
Electronic Equipment Usage in Classrooms – It is expected that students will use technology (cell phones, laptop computers, iPads, etc.) during classes only for the purposes of class work. Therefore, students should turn off cell phones and refrain from texting and using laptop computers during classes except for the purposes of taking notes or doing research specifically authorized by the course instructor. Students who have emergency needs not covered by this policy must ask for an exception from the course instructor.
English Proficiency Exam – As stated in the Admission Requirements for Master’s students, the English Proficiency Exam will be administered to entering students for admission eligibility according to the following scale:
|Score by Percentage||Results|
|100-92||The student is eligible for admission|
|90-86||Admissions questions will be reviewed for grammar and style. If the writing style is accepted as graduate-level, the student passes the exam and is eligible for admission. If the writing is unacceptable, the student is required to enroll in RE 400 but is eligible for provisional admission.|
|80-84||The student fails the exam and is required to enroll in RE 400 but is eligible for provisional admission.|
|Below 80||The student is ineligible for admission.|
Extensions and Incompletes (Master’s Students) – In cases of extenuating circumstances, and at the discretion of the Instructor, a student may request and apply for an extension on all required assignments that are not completed before the end of the semester or term, subject to a half-letter grade or more reduction on the final grade (e.g., A to A-; B to B-). If an extension is granted, the instructor will record a grade of “I” (Incomplete) and set an extension of time within which to complete the work that shall not exceed thirty (30) calendar days from the end of the term. The student is responsible to ensure that all necessary paperwork is submitted to the Registrar’s Office by the deadline listed in the school calendar.
Additional extensions may be granted either by the Chief Academic Officer or Associate Dean and only after a student has petitioned the Dean in writing. If the course work is not completed within the extended time allotment, the grade of “I” will be converted to the grade earned by the student up to that point. A failing grade, or “F,” will be counted as hours attempted in computing the grade point average.
The fee for filing a “Request for Extension” form with the Registrar is $50.
Grades are assigned according to the following system of notation:
A=excellent; B=good; C=satisfactory; D=low passing; F=failure; P=passing (when a course is taken Pass/Fail)
Pluses (+) or minuses (-) shall indicate an evaluation on the borderline of the full letter grade.
In addition to these letter grades, the following notations may appear on a student’s grade report and/or transcript:
- I/Incomplete – A temporary notation, indicating the student has not completed required work prior to the end of the semester, and the instructor has agreed to allow additional time. An incomplete will be converted to the grade earned by the student after the approved extension period.
- NC/No Credit – A notation used in cases where a student has enrolled for continuations or other courses that carry a course number but for which no credit is offered, e.g., DMin project continuation.
- NCF/No Credit – A notation used in the DMin program for failed courses, once they are replaced with satisfactory grades from repeated courses.
- W/Withdrawn – student has withdrawn from class within the first 6 weeks of a regular semester or within the first 40% of scheduled contact hours for summer or mini terms.
- WP/Withdrawn while Passing – student has withdrawn from class after the first 6 weeks of a regular semester or after the first 40% of scheduled contact hours for summer or mini terms, but prior to the beginning of the 12th week of class in a regular semester or within the first 80% of scheduled contact hours for summer or mini terms, and is passing at the time of withdrawal.
- WF/Withdrawn while Failing – student has withdrawn from class after the first 6 weeks of a regular semester or after the first 40% of scheduled contact hours for summer or mini terms, but prior to the beginning of the 12th week of class in a regular semester or within the first 80% of scheduled contact hours for summer or mini terms, but is failing at the time of withdrawal.
- WA/Withdrawn Administratively – an internal adjustment in a student’s academic record to be used only in cases where the student did not, cannot, or will not be able to complete a class because of circumstances beyond his/her control, and the student did not or was unable to complete the necessary paperwork and is unable to do so at the time the WA is awarded.
When an NC, W, WP, WF, or WA is awarded, no credit hours or grade points are earned and cumulative totals and averages are unaffected.
Grade Point Average (GPA) is based on the four point system: A=4.0; A-=3.7; B+=3.3; B=3.0; B-=2.7; C+=2.3; C=2.0; C-=1.7; D+=1.3; D=1.0; D-=0.7; F=0.0.
Courses in which the student receives a failing grade (“F”) count as hours attempted and are computed in the GPA. If a grade of P, W, WA, WP, or WF is received, the course is counted toward the number of hours attempted but is not computed in the GPA. The minimum cumulative GPA required for graduation is 3.0 in the Doctor of Ministry, Master of Arts in Counseling, and Master of Theological Studies degree programs and 2.5 in the Master of Divinity degree program.
No grade below C- will be considered a passing grade for a required course.
Grade Reports Grade reports are distributed via email to students at the close of each semester. Students who do not wish to receive grades via email may choose to opt out through the Registrar’s Office. In the event a grade of “I” has been given, an adjusted Grade Report will be issued when incomplete work is completed. Students whose business office accounts and library fines remain unpaid at the end of the term will not receive Grade Reports until the accounts are settled.
Graduate Honor Policy (Master’s Students) – For eligibility for academic honors, the student must have completed the degree program in the calendar time allotted for the degree program as stated in the academic catalog and must have earned a cumulative GPA in the following categories: 3.9-4.0=summa cum laude; 3.8-3.89=magna cum laude; 3.7-3.79=cum laude.
Graduation – HGST conducts two commencement ceremonies each academic year, in December and in May, and an August graduation option with no commencement ceremony. Students receiving diplomas at the August graduation may choose to participate in the December commencement. Deadlines for applying for graduation can be found within the Academic Calendar (page 2).
Inactive Status – Failure to enroll in two consecutive regular terms (fall or spring) will result in a student being placed on Inactive Status. After a student has been placed on Inactive Status, he or she may petition the Academic Office for reentry and reinstatement of Active Status. The student will reenter under the provisions of the HGST Catalog for the current academic year. Following failure to enroll in four consecutive regular terms, he or she will no longer be considered a student at HGST and must reapply.
Following graduation, students are automatically moved to Inactive Status. If a graduate desires to take further coursework within two years, he or she may petition the Academic Office for reentry and reinstatement of Active Status. A student that graduated more than two years prior to the desired reentry must reapply. Students will reenter under the provisions of the HGST Catalog for the current academic year.
International Transcripts – Academic transcripts issued by colleges or universities in foreign countries must be evaluated, at the student’s expense, and sent directly from this service to HGST. International transcripts for non-qualifying degrees must be submitted for the admissions file but do not require evaluation. Transcripts must be evaluated according to the guidelines delineated below.
- HGST prefers that prospective students use World Education Services (WES), Foreign Academic Credentials Service (FACS), SpanTran Evaluation Services, or Global Credential Evaluators (GCE). However, HGST will accept other evaluation services who are members of National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).
- Prospective students should have official transcripts sent from the institution directly to the evaluation services. However, some evaluation services offer to verify transcripts for an extra fee. In some cases, HGST may accept transcripts that are verified by the evaluation services.
- Transcripts from some well-known international schools may be exempted from evaluation for admission to HGST, but transcripts for coursework that will be transferred to HGST must be evaluated.
- For transcripts issued in languages other than English, the student may be required to have the transcript translated by a certified translator at the student’s expense. The evaluation service policies will explain these services.
New Student Orientation – New students may not complete the class enrollment process for fall or spring semesters prior to attending a required New Student Orientation session, held on campus twice annually. New students enrolling in summer terms will attend the next available New Student Orientation. In the DMin program, orientations are scheduled on or near the opening of each DMin semester—mid-May and mid-November.
Non-discrimination – As a diverse and welcoming community, HGST does not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, race, national or ethnic origin, or handicap in any of its policies, practices, or procedures, including admission.
Plagiarism is presenting the work of another person as one’s own without giving proper credit for the use of the information. Students must not quote or paraphrase books, articles, essays, or Internet sites without giving proper credit to the author(s). Students should guard against plagiarism by crediting the original author through use of proper citations. Internet plagiarism is a particularly easy and tempting form of intellectual theft. Cutting and pasting sentences and paragraphs from the Internet without citations is plagiarism. Failure to cite Internet sources is plagiarism.
Any student found guilty of plagiarism is subject to a range of consequences as outlined below:
- If a faculty member suspects plagiarism, the instructor will investigate. If suspicions are confirmed, the faculty member will present the evidence to the appropriate Associate Dean as a record of the offense. If the Associate Dean concurs with the allegations, the following procedures should be implemented as applicable:
- The faculty member may discuss the offense with the student following consultation with the Associate Dean, but the student will meet with the Associate Dean.
- For a first offense, the faculty member, in consultation with the Associate Dean, may give opportunity for a rewrite of the assignment or may assign a grade of zero for the plagiarized assignment.
- For a particularly egregious case of plagiarism on a major assignment, the consequences could result in automatic failure of the course.
- The student may appeal the above-mentioned decisions of the faculty member in writing to the Chief Academic Officer.
- The second confirmed offense will result in expulsion from school. The student will be notified by a letter from the Chief Academic Officer. His or her only opportunity for appeal will be to the President in writing. The President’s decision will be final.
Readmission after Dismissal –Ordinarily, students dismissed from school due to unsatisfactory academic progress will not be readmitted. A student who applies for readmission must present written evidence that the cause or conditions that led to the dismissal have been remedied. The evidence must be satisfactory in the judgment of the Chief Academic Officer, who will work with appropriate admissions and/or administrative committees in determining whether to readmit the student.
Repetition of Courses –A student may repeat a course for which he or she has received an unsatisfactory or failing grade. Both grades will appear on the student’s transcript and be included in calculating the GPA, but credit hours will be awarded toward the degree only once. A student may not repeat a course for credit in which the student has received a satisfactory grade except for certain practicum courses where experience is cumulative or when a course number is repeated with different course content. Students are responsible for all tuition and fees related to the repetition of a course.
Satisfactory Academic Progress – The Standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) are:
- Maintain a cumulative GPA that is equal to or greater than the graduation standards published in the HGST Academic Catalog for a student’s program of study;
- Successfully complete degree program according to the following scale:
|Degree||Credit Hours Required||Number of Years to Complete||Annual Completion Pace for SAP|
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and the federal regulations adopted under that act, prohibit sexual harassment in the employment setting. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual harassment, in any educational programs and activities of educational institutions that receive federal funding. Students and employees are covered by Title IX.
As Christians, we affirm that God’s will for both religious institutions and society as a whole is the full and equal participation of all persons without distinction as to gender, race, religion, or physical disability (Gal. 3:26-28). Human relationships in the church should be marked by respect and Christ-like love (Gal 5:16-18). Leadership should be marked by the Christ-like servant character that distinguished the Lord we serve while he was on this earth (Luke 22:24-27).
When sexual harassment or abuse occurs, the Christian community bears a responsibility to offer healing to the victims of such abuse and to correct it. The existence of human sin, however, means that this desirable solidarity and equality in the human community has been and perhaps will continue to be broken by violence and sexual abuse. HGST also has a responsibility to insure that policies are in place both to prevent such abuse insofar as it is possible and to discipline offenders when it occurs.
Sexual harassment is defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as:
Any sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by a individual is used as the basis for employment decision affecting such individual, or (3) such interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
None of the above behaviors will be tolerated by HGST.
Relationships, between students and their teachers, advisors, and others holding positions of authority over them, should be conducted in a manner that avoids potential conflicts of interest, exploitation, or personal bias. Given the inherent power differential, the possibility of intentional or unintentional abuse of that power should always be borne in mind. For example, a conflict of interest arises when an individual evaluates the work or performance of a person with whom he or she is engaged in a romantic or sexual relationship. Romantic or sexual relationships between students and persons in positions of authority compromise the relationship between students and the seminary. No faculty or staff member should be romantically or sexually involved with a current HGST student.
In the case of a student complaint of sexual harassment or inappropriate relational contact with a faculty member, the follow steps will be taken:
- The Chief Academic Officer, President, or designated representative will investigate the incident, including meeting with the student and other involved party or parties. If the incident can be resolved to the satisfaction of all involved, the incident will be considered concluded.
- If the incident is not resolved, a sexual harassment grievance committee will be convened to investigate and recommend a satisfactory solution. The committee, appointed by the President, should include at least one member from the following groups:
- Board of Trustees
- Student Body
- The committee will gather all necessary evidence and make one of the following recommendations.
- Dismissal of charge because of insufficient evidence.
- Recommendation of disciplinary action against the accused, which may include dismissal, a period of probation, or official reprimand, following the general guidelines for disciplinary actions in this manual.
- In an extreme situation, the committee may recommend legal action by the complainant.
- Either party may appeal the decision of the committee to the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees may choose the course of action that they deem appropriate. The Board of Trustees’ decision will be final.
Student Housing is not offered at HGST, nor is there an on-site cafeteria. However, numerous housing and dining options are located near the campus.
Student Workload Expectations:
Approximate Assignment/Effort Equivalencies
- 1 hour for each hour in class (where 50 minutes of class time = 1 hour)
• 1 hour for each 20 pp of assigned reading (as little as 1 hour for each 10 pp for very technical reading)
• 1-2 hours for 1 page of a paper (recognizing research papers require more time than some other kinds of papers)
• 5-10 hours for a major exam or project (recognizing exams/projects may have varying levels of significance in course requirements)
• ¼-1 hour for translation and/or exegesis of a biblical language verse
• 0-2 hours for a quiz (recognizing some quizzes require unique preparation, while others require no other preparation than what is involved in completing other assignments)
Some assignments may not fit this paradigm and require unique quantification of workload value. For example, online assignments may involve varying workload values, depending on whether they require synchronous discussion (where one hour online = one hour of workload) or require additional workload preparation, which should be calculated appropriately.
Hours of Workload for Courses
• For 4-hour course: 135-170 hours of student academic work
• For 3-hour course: 120-150 hours of student academic work
• For 2-hour course: 80-100 hours of student academic work
• For 1-hour course: 40-50 hours of student academic work
DMin Program: For each credit-hour of seminar work: 40-50 hours of student academic work
Transcripts of work will be provided upon written request and payment of transcript request fee by the student. Request forms are available on the HGST website. Transcripts will not be released, however, if any financial obligations remain unsettled.
Transfer Credit – Students may request that HGST consider transfer credits from previously completed graduate work according to the policies below, as well as the policies specific to individual degree programs, as found elsewhere in this catalog.
- The student must have earned the requested transfer credit from schools accredited by CHEA-approved accrediting agencies.
- The student who wishes to transfer to HGST from another seminary must follow the same application procedures and meet the same admission criteria as those set for new students.
- The student must petition the Academic Office, in writing, for the granting of transfer credit. Official transcripts of all seminary work must be mailed to HGST directly from each seminary previously attended and will be evaluated for possible transfer credits applicable to one of the Master’s degree programs. Before transfer credits are granted, the Academic Office may request further information on the courses in question, such as course descriptions or syllabi.
- Because every degree at every school is unique, the Academic Office will scrutinize the potential credits for applicability and correspondence to the HGST degree. While one-to-one correspondence is not always necessary, the degree and transfer courses must be comparable to the HGST degree and courses.
- All coursework accepted for transfer credit must have received a grade no lower than the minimum graduation GPA for the degree entered, i.e., a B- (2.7 on a 4.0 numerical scale) for MASD, MAML, and MDiv applicants and no lower than a B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) for MAC, MTS, and DMin applicants.
- Transfer hours are subject to the following limitations:
- A student may transfer up to two-thirds of the MAC, MTS, MASD, MAML, and MDiv degrees.
- A student may transfer up to one-half of the coursework of the DMin degree (the ministry project may not be transferred).
- In accordance with ATS standard A.3.2.2., courses considered for transfer credits into the MAC, MASD, MAML, and MDiv degrees should be no older than seven years from the start date at HGST.
- Courses considered for transfer credits into the DMin degree should be no older than three years from the start date at HGST.
- In accordance with ATS standard ES.7.3.1, no more than half of the credits from one degree may be shared by a second degree.
Withdrawal from Courses – Students who wish to withdraw from an enrolled course must complete a course drop/add form with the Registrar and pay the course drop/add fee. Note the deadlines related to course withdrawal in the Academic Calendar and descriptions of withdrawal notations listed on page 9 of this Catalog.
Withdrawal from Degree Programs – Students in good standing who decide to change degree programs must submit a formal letter of intent to the Academic Office, expressing their reasons for making the change in order to receive approval to switch degree programs.
Withdrawal from HGST – Students who decide to withdraw from HGST must complete a Withdrawal Form, obtained through the Registrar’s Office. Students are responsible for all outstanding financial obligations (e.g., tuition, fees, and library fines). Transcripts will not be released until all financial obligations are satisfied.