Course Catalog

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Academic Policies

RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS

A minimum of thirty-six (36) hours of credit toward the M.Div. degree must be earned in the School of Divinity at Gardner-Webb University. These hours are exclusive of any hours gained through testing for Credit by Examination. The final twenty-four (24) hours must be earned consecutively at Gardner-Webb University unless the student obtains permission from the Dean of the School of Divinity.

 

TRANSFER OF CREDIT

Graduate-level credits earned in institutions accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, regional accreditation associations and/or recognized specialized agencies may be considered for transfer credit toward degree programs of students enrolled in the M.Div. program of the School of Divinity at Gardner-Webb University. A request for a transcript evaluation must be submitted to the office of the Dean of the School of Divinity for adjudication. Each course considered for transfer is required to have a grade of at least C (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) and must be substantially parallel to a School of Divinity requirement. All other requests for transfer of credit must be approved by the faculty of the School of Divinity. Graduate-level credits earned at institutions outside the United States and Canada will be evaluated on an individual basis. The evaluation will take into account the institution where the work was taken, the level of the work, and the grades earned.

 

COURSE SUBSTITUTION

Students may substitute up to nine hours of graduate level courses from outside the School of Divinity for credit toward the M.Div. degree. Students must make their requests in writing to the Associate Dean, who will convene the Academic Policies Committee to evaluate the request. Courses for substitution must meet the accreditation standards stated in the Transfer of Credit policy above.

 

SCHOOL OF DIVINITY PROBATION AND SUSPENSION POLICY

A student must have at least a 2.0 overall Grade Point Average to be awarded a degree in the School of Divinity. When the GPA falls below 2.0, the student is placed on academic probation and is so notified. In order to be removed from academic probation, the student may enroll for a maximum of nine semester hours in the following semester and attain a cumulative GPA of 2.0. If at the completion of this semester the student has not attained a 2.0 GPA, the student may be placed on academic suspension. Students placed on academic suspension will be required to withdraw for at least one semester (not including summer sessions). After that time, students wishing to resume studies may seek readmission to the degree program. Students who are readmitted after having been placed on academic suspension will be allowed to take no more than six hours and must earn a semester grade point average of 2.50. Students failing to meet this stipulation may be subject to academic dismissal.

 

SCHOOL OF DIVINITY ACADEMIC DISMISSAL POLICY

Students who fail to satisfy the requirements for removal of academic suspension after having been readmitted will be required to withdraw from enrollment in the degree program. Students who are dismissed under these conditions are not eligible for readmission.

 

REPEATING COURSES

Only courses with a grade of “D,” “F,” or “WF” may be repeated and then only once. When a course is repeated at the School of Divinity, only the higher grade is counted in computing the student's overall grade point average, although the lower grade remains on the official transcript.

 

CREDIT BY EXAMINATION

Applicants holding a baccalaureate degree or the equivalent from a regionally accredited college or university may be granted up to fifteen hours of Credit by Examination toward their Master of Divinity degree. Requirements for Credit by Examination are:

 

  1. Credit by Examination will be determined by a standardized examination in each course requested. The Associate Dean's office administers all exams. (Examinations are currently available in the following areas: Greek and Hebrew, Christian History, Old Testament, New Testament.)
  2. The applicant must (a) have completed an undergraduate course in the discipline attaining a minimum 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, (b) make a written request to the Associate Dean for an examination, (c) pay fee of $100 per credit hour, and (d) score a minimum of 75% on the objective part of the exam and complete satisfactorily a written essay component.
  3. The request and examination must precede the applicant's enrollment in subject areas where consideration for Credit by Examination is requested.
  4. In no case will Credit by Examination be awarded during the student's final semester.
  5. After successful completion of the examination(s), the Dean or the Associate Dean of the School of Divinity will send a memo to the Registrar and to the student confirming that the student should receive the credit hours for the course.

 

COURSE BY ARRANGEMENT/INDEPENDENT STUDY

Courses within both the core curriculum and selected concentrations are scheduled on a rotating basis and in such a manner that students may graduate within three years (six fall and spring semesters consecutively) of study. All courses offered by the School of Divinity are found within the current catalog.

 

A Course by Arrangement is a course found in the current catalog but which is not being offered in the published schedule during the semester in question. A course of Independent Study is a course not found in the current catalog but which a student seeks permission to take.

 

Course by Arrangement

Courses by Arrangement are not encouraged and may occur only due to exceptional circumstances when the following criteria are met:

 

  1. The course being requested must be in the current catalog but not found in the currently published schedule.
  2. The request must be made in writing to the Dean.
  3. If the request is approved, the Dean will enlist a faculty member for the course.

 

Independent Study

Independent Studies are not encouraged and may occur only due to exceptional circumstances when the following criteria are met:

 

  1. The course being requested is not found in the current catalog.
  2. The request must be made in writing to the Dean.
  3. If the request is approved, the Dean will enlist a faculty member for the course.

 

ACADEMIC APPEALS

A student who experiences a problem concerning a grade or any other aspect of a course, including issues relating to but not limited to academic dishonesty, should first discuss the matter with the professor. If the problem is not resolved, the student should go next to the Associate Dean of the School of Divinity. If the student or the professor is not satisfied with the decision of the Associate Dean, either party may take the matter to the Appeals Committee, whose decision is final.

 

The Appeals Committee consists of the Dean of the School of Divinity, who serves as chair, and two School of Divinity faculty members.

 

To initiate an appeal, the dissatisfied party should address a letter to the Dean of the School of Divinity, stating the reason for the appeal and explaining the circumstances. The Dean will convene the Appeals Committee. If the student or the professor is asked to appear before the committee, he or she at that time may bring a representative from within the University to act as counsel. The deadline for an academic dishonesty appeal is seven days after the date of the decision being appealed. The deadline for other types of academic appeals (except for grade appeals) is eighteen months after the date of the decision being appealed. Grade appeals must be completed prior to the last day of the following semester. Grade appeals relating to courses taken during the summer must be made prior to the last day of the following fall semester.

 

ACADEMIC HONESTY AND PERSONAL INTEGRITY

All work submitted by students in each course is presumed to be the student’s own. Cheating, plagiarism, or any other expression of dishonesty will be subject to the University’s policy in a cademic dishonesty (see Student Handbook).

 

It is presupposed that all persons enrolling in the School of Divinity, at whatever level of admission, will exemplify a high level of Christian commitment as well as a high degree of academic and personal integrity. It is expected that this commitment will be reflected in personal relationships, academic performance, and conduct inside and outside of the classroom. A student's continuing enrollment may become the subject of a formal review if any of the above expectations are not being fulfilled. A member of the administrative staff, faculty member, or student may request a formal review and action by the Associate Dean of the School of Divinity. Upon the conclusion of the formal review, the Associate Dean may take action which may include but is not limited to probation, suspension, counseling, etc. If any party to the review, student, faculty, or administrator, is not satisfied with the decision of the Associate Dean, he or she may request a hearing by the Appeals Committee, whose decision is final.

 

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

Students must meet the above requirements and have maintained a grade point average of 2.0 or better on a 4.0 scale.

 

TIME LIMITS

The minimum time for completion of the M.Div. degree is three years. The maximum time allowed for completion is six years from the date of first enrollment. Beyond the six-year time limit, students may petition the faculty for an extension of time.

 

STYLE GUIDE FOR WRITING ASSIGNMENTS

A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 7th Edition, by Kate L. Turabian, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.

 

GRADING SCALE

A=100-94C=84-70F=59 and below
B=93-85D=69-60