This section of the catalog includes academic policies and scholastic regulations related to this catalog's academic year. Topics are listed alphabetically below.
- Academic Advising
- Academic Integrity
- Academic Load
- Academic Petitions
- Academic Policy
- Academic Probation & Dismissal Policies
- Advanced Standing
- Auditing Courses
- Challenge Examinations and Achievement Tests
- Change in Degree Program or Campus
- Classification of Students
- Course Numbers
- Course Papers
- Courses in Nonacademic Settings
- Duration of Course Work
- Earned-To-Required Credits
- Evaluation of Student Progress
- Experiential Learning
- Graduation Requirements
- Harassment Policies
- Independent Study
- Leave of Absence/Withdrawal Policy
- Military Service
- Registration Changes
- Registration for Courses at Other Twin Cities Seminaries
- Technology Requirement
- Time Limits for Degrees
- Transcripts and Student Records
- Transfer of Credit
- Verification of Student Status
Each incoming degree program student is assigned an advisor who seeks to understand the academic and vocational goals of the student, as well as their personal needs. In some cases, returning students are assigned advisors according to their concentrations and are encouraged to attend all of the group advisee/advisor meetings during the year.
For St. Paul and Online students academic advising is provided by the Office of Student Success and Retention. Students are introduced to a Student Success Advisor (SSA) once they enroll in classes. The SSA intentionally connects with students throughout the academic year - providing helpful information and resources for students to maintain and track their academic progress and degree completion. The SSA is readily available to answer course and/or program related questions when they arise. The Office of Student Success and Retention seeks to be a consistent entity in the lives of students, initiating regular communication with students through the academic year. However, students are highly encouraged to initiate conversations with their advisor as needed.
In San Diego, student academic advising is provided by the Office of the Associate Registrar in San Diego. The registrar's office not only provides helpful materials for students to track their own academic progress, but is also available to design personal completion plans to accommodate individual student schedule needs.
Written material submitted must be the original work of the student. Academic dishonesty constitutes a serious violation of scholarship standards at Bethel and can result in denial of credit and possible dismissal from the school. Any act that involves misrepresentation regarding the student’s academic work is forbidden. Academic dishonesty includes cheating on assignments or exams, plagiarism, fabrication of research, multiple submissions of work in different courses, misrepresentation of academic records, the facilitation of academic dishonesty, and depriving others of necessary academic resources.
Students are expected to be good stewards of the learning resources available to them. Misuse of library or technological resources will not be tolerated. This includes destroying, hiding, removing, or keeping library materials and damaging or modifying computer programs without permission. Engaging in software piracy, hacking, constructing viruses, and knowingly introducing viruses into a system will be considered breaches of integrity.
Students charged with academic dishonesty have the right to appeal any disciplinary action. Contact the chair of the appropriate academic appeals committee on each campus for details on the appeal process. For more information, consult the Academic Integrity brochure available in the registrar’s office.
Bethel Seminary operates on a semester calendar. A three semester-hour course represents 112.5-130 hours of classroom experience, academic preparation, and research.
At the master’s and doctoral levels, academic load is defined as follows:
- Full time: 6.00 credits or more per term
- Half time: 3.00-5.99 credits per term
- Less than half time: 0.25-2.99 credits per term
Credits carried in interim and spring terms maybe combined for the purpose of determining academic load.
Students are not permitted to enroll for more than 15 semester credits per term without permission of the associate dean of formation and professional development at St. Paul. Students in San Diego should receive permission from the Office of the Dean. If employment or ministry responsibilities conflict with satisfactory school work, a student may be asked to adjust his or her course load. Dropping below full-time academic status may affect the student’s eligibility for certain financial aid programs.
A student whose grade point average is lower than 3.0 (B) is not permitted to carry more than four courses per semester. A reduced load is required when employment, the care of a church, or other activities conflict with satisfactory school work. A student who works 40 hours or more a week must demonstrate his or her ability to earn a B average carrying an academic load of three courses before he or she may increase the course load.
Students who have concerns about any academic policy matter (e.g. grades, schedules, instruction etc.) should first confer with the instructor. If a satisfactory solution is not reached, the student may file an academic petition by contacting their student success advisor.
Petitions may be made by students who believe they are not being treated fairly or in accordance with announced policies, or who have extenuating circumstances beyond their control that warrant an exception to a policy. In this case, a student may contact his or her Student Success Advisor to initiate an Academic Petition.
Academic Petitions fall into two categories:
- Completion of degree requirements from a prior catalog year
- Extension of time to complete a degree
- Extension of time on credit expiration
- Grade change for a course
- Registration changes – Late Adds, Late Drops (with or without request for tuition refunds), Withdrawal past deadline (with or without request for tuition refund)
- Required course or independent study substitution
- Residency requirement
- Exception to other academic policy
- Academic Dismissal
- Co-curricular Dismissal
- Denial of an Exception Request
Academic Petitions must be filed no later than 60 days after the student has reasonable notice of the circumstances (e.g. the faculty or administrative action affecting the student) that give rise to the issues presented in the petition, and must be filed according to the process defined for CAPS, Seminary, and GS.
In St. Paul, the Academic Petition form will be made available to the student upon correspondence with the Student Success Advisor, who should be the first point of contact when concerns arise. Initial filing of the Academic Petition must be submitted to the Student Success Advisor who shall transmit it to the appropriate decision-making person or committee. Students may access all the information they need to contact the Seminary St. Paul's Student Success Advisors at www.bethel.edu/student-success/conteact/.
Each student is responsible for knowing the academic regulations and other program requirements of the school. While the academic dean, the student's student success advisor, and the registrar’s office may provide appropriate reminders, the primary responsibility for knowing and fulfilling all policies rests with the individual student.
Academic Probation & Dismissal Policies
Community Life Violations
By joining the Bethel community, students accept the responsibilities and conditions of Bethel’s Covenant for Life Together: Becoming Whole and Holy Persons. Appropriate action will be taken to teach, influence, discipline, or even dismiss those students who disregard these community expectations.
Academic Dishonesty constitutes a serious violation of scholarship standards at Bethel and can result in denial of credit and possible dismissal from the school. See the Academic Integrity portion of these Academic Policies for further information.
Students who achieve less than a C (2.0) cumulative GPA is placed on academic probation for the following term. Failure to obtain a 2.0 cumulative GPA for the year may result in dismissal. The registrar will notify students if they are being placed on academic probation.
Inadequate Student Progress
Students who are failing to make adequate progress in areas of development or formation may be placed on probation and required to follow a developmental plan designed by their faculty adviser in order to continue in their degree program. The registrar will notify students if they are being placed on probation or if their continuance in a degree program is in question. See the Evaluation of Student Progress portion of these Academic Policies for further information.
Bethel reserves the right to suspend a student from a program or course(s) if there is failure to provide full payment on their student account when due. Any student who is financially suspended during a semester will be withdrawn from their classes. See the Cost of Education section of this catalog for further information.
Students who have concerns about any academic policy matter should follow the instructions set forth in the Academic Petitions portion of these Scholastic Regulations.
Accommodations are determined through the Office of Disability Resources and Services (DRS). Students are responsible to contact the Office of Disability Resources and Services. Once DRS determines that accommodations are to be made, they will notify the student and instructor via email. Students are responsible to contact the instructor within two weeks of this notification to determine how disability-related accommodations will be provided. The instructor will provide accommodations, but the student is required to initiate the process for each accommodation.
Advanced standing allows students to fulfill a course requirement based on prior learning and is granted on the basis of a qualifying examination. For example, students whose undergraduate degree is in a field related to their seminary studies may seek advanced standing. (Note: Similarity of course titles does not necessarily mean overlap of content and methodology.) If advanced standing is granted, the student will take one advanced course in place of each course for which advanced standing was granted. Advanced courses must be taken in the subject area in which advanced standing was granted and must be taken at Bethel Seminary; transferred courses cannot be used. Advanced standing waives a course requirement, not credits. The student must earn the credits associated with the requirement by taking a substitute course. Thus, advanced standing is not a means to reduce the credits or time required to complete a degree at Bethel Seminary. The purpose of granting advanced standing is to provide the student with a better educational experience. Both student and advisor should seriously consider any substitutions. Forms for advanced standing may be obtained from the seminary registrar’s office or website.
Students who have completed Greek language courses before entering the seminary will take an examination covering basic vocabulary, morphology, and elementary syntax to determine readiness for entrance into New Testament exegetical courses. Students who pass the Greek qualifying examination will then receive advanced standing in the Elementary Greek courses and will be able to select other courses in place of the basic language courses.
Students who have completed an approved Bethel bachelor-to-master’s undergraduate degree can apply for advanced standing with credit waiver. If approved, this will reduce the number of overall credits needed to obtain a master’s degree. Advanced Standing with credit waiver is only available for designated courses in bachelor programs with which Bethel Seminary has a partnership that is approved by the Academic Programs Committee. The process for receiving the credit waiver through the approved bachelor-to-master's program is initiated during the admission process.
Students are required to attend at least 75% of class sessions (for example, 11-semester class sessions out of 14). Those who find themselves unable to do so should drop the course completely. If students miss any class sessions, their grade may be affected. Students participating in a course with an intensive cannot pass the course if they miss more than one day of the intensive.
Since the chapel experience and the Community Life Gatherings are both symbolic and expressive of our corporate life as a Christian community, students are expected to attend when they are on campus. Set within the context of various traditions, the primary emphasis of the chapel service is the worship of God expressed in a variety of ways, including the proclamation of the Word, prayer, music, and meditation. Time is also set aside for focusing on other aspects of our corporate life, such as fellowship, growth in mind and spirit, small group experiences, the sharing of concerns, lectureships, and forums.
All master’s level degree students and their spouses may audit courses with the approval of the course instructor. For an audit to be recorded on the transcript, regular attendance at the class sessions and participation in the class, when feasible, are required. Individual instructors may also require some portion of class assignments for auditors.
Master's level students and their spouses may audit courses without charge during any semester the student enrolls in a course for credit. The number of audited courses taken without charge is not to exceed the number of courses taken for credit. To have the auditing fee waived, spouses must complete a registration form for that purpose and complete appropriate financial aid documents.
Pastors and their spouses, full-time employees of Christian ministry agencies and their spouses, senior citizens (60 years of age or older), and Bethel Seminary alumni may audit courses for a minimal fee. A complete “Application to Audit” is required.
Other persons wishing to audit courses should possess a four-year degree or its equivalent, and complete an “Application to Audit.” If the person is not a college graduate, he or she may submit a petition indicating the reason for taking the class and college work completed.
Students seeking to enroll for credit in a course will be given priority over auditors when a class has reached its maximum enrollment.
Students who audit a course and then wish to receive credit at a later date must register again for the course. In no case will a student be allowed to change an audited course to a course taken for credit after the first week of the course. Students who have taken Elementary Greek at the undergraduate level may audit NT541-NT542 as a review before entering NT652.
Challenge Examinations and Achievement Tests
Bethel Seminary does not accept credits through challenge examinations and/or achievement tests.
Change in Degree Program or Campus
Students at Bethel Seminary are admitted to the degree program for which they apply. A student who desires to pursue a second degree must apply to that degree program through the Office of Admissions and Recruitment.
Should a student’s vocational interests change and they wish to change to another degree program, the student must make formal application through the registrar's office. A change in campus or delivery system, even while pursuing the same degree, constitutes a change in degree program and requires formal application. Students who change from Master of Divinity to a Master of Arts, or vice versa, must meet the catalog requirements in effect at the time of change to the new program. Students who change between Master of Arts programs, or make changes between Master of Divinity programs, may remain within their original catalog year.
A change from a certificate program to a degree program, or from any program to the Master of Arts in Marriage/Marital and Family Therapy degree, requires a full admissions application through the Office of Admissions and Recruitment.
Classification of Students
Master of Divinity degree students are classified at the beginning of the fall semester as juniors, middlers, and seniors on the basis of having completed the following number of credits:
Classification of Students
Students who complete their Master of Arts programs in two years are classified as juniors the first year, or when they complete 1/2 of the required credits for their degree, and seniors the second year.
Special students are those who are part time and not enrolled in a degree program. No more than 25% of the courses required for a degree may be taken while enrolled under special student status.
500s – 700s represent master’s level, graduate credit
800s – 900s represent Doctor of Ministry level
All assigned course and term papers in all degree programs (with the exception of those in Marriage and Family Studies) are to be submitted in thesis form in conformity with the most recent edition of Kate L. Turabian’s A Manual for Writers. When this manual is not sufficient, the student should refer to The Chicago Manual of Style. Students submitting papers in the Marriage and Family Studies, Marital and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling programs should follow the requirements of the sixth edition of The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. In addition, students are expected to use inclusive language and images when speaking about or addressing human beings.
Courses in Nonacademic Settings
The faculty has established the following policy regarding academic credit for a seminar or course conducted in a nonacademic setting. The course must meet the following stipulations:
- The amount of time spent in the course must be 65 hours for a 1.5 semester hour course; 130 hours for a three semester hour course.
- The course must be taken under the direct guidance of a Bethel professor who will oversee the work.
- Credit must be arranged with the registrar before taking the course.
- A written evaluation must be prepared and submitted to the Bethel professor overseeing the work.
- Tuition will be billed by Bethel at the current fee for course credit.
Duration of Course Work
Seminary education seeks to achieve a complex goal that includes the personal, vocational, spiritual, and academic formation of the student over a prescribed educational experience. To help ensure a cohesive learning experience, all course credits applied toward Bethel master's level degree requirements should be earned within 10 years of the awarding of the degree.
Degree seeking students are permitted to earn a maximum ratio of 150% of credits required for the degree to which the student is enrolled. All degree requirements must be completed within this limit.
Evaluation of Student Progress
Because of the seriousness of seminary education, all incoming students, including transfer students, are accepted on a provisional basis. Students are evaluated in a variety of formal and informal ways, including developmental assessments and interpersonal communications both inside and outside the classroom. Students are also given an opportunity to report on their thinking and experience in relation to seminary academic work, participation in community life, supervised ministry, growth in life as servants of God, and progress toward their ultimate ministry goals. At Bethel Seminary, we take seriously our goal to prepare whole and holy Christian leaders. Consequently, we are concerned not only with academic preparation, but also with spiritual and personal formation.
In St. Paul, the Associate Dean of Formation and Development and the Student Development Committee act upon recommendations from faculty and staff. Students who are failing to make adequate progress in areas of development or formation may be placed on probation and required to follow a developmental plan to continue in their degree program. Students will be notified if they are being placed on probation or if their continuance in a degree program is in question.
In San Diego, the registrar acts upon recommendations from faculty and staff. Students who are failing to make adequate progress in areas of development or formation may be placed on probation and required to follow a developmental plan designed by their faculty advisor in order to continue in their degree program. The registrar will notify students if they are being placed on probation or if their continuance in a degree program is in question.
No week of final examinations is scheduled, but a professor may elect to give a final examination through a variety of means. Faculty members seek to be sensitive to student needs in the scheduling of examinations.
Bethel Seminary San Diego does not grant credit for prior experiential learning. Experiential learning in the form of a directed study or supervised ministry is available to students once they are enrolled in various programs or degrees under certain circumstances. Please see the independent study and supervised ministry pages of this catalog for more information. Students with specific questions regarding obtaining credit for experiential learning are encouraged to speak with a faculty member or other adviser.
The faculty has adopted a four-point grading system with 12 levels as follows:
Bethel strives to maintain a grading system that accurately reflects the quality of a student’s work and capacity for advanced study. Students are expected to demonstrate graduate-level writing skills, including correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation in all coursework, and to fulfill course requirements as listed in the course syllabus. Professors are encouraged to define their grading criteria and policy on late work and incompletes in the course syllabus. Grades will be assigned using the full range of letter grades (A-F), representing the following levels of performance:
A: Excellent work submitted, evidence of outstanding ability to synthesize and use course knowledge, consistent evidence of creativity and originality, insightful contributions in class, consistent demonstration of integrative and critical thinking skills, regular class attendance, and respectful interaction.
B: Good work submitted, evidence of substantial ability to analyze and use course knowledge, evidence of creativity and originality, thoughtful contributions in class, demonstration of integrative and critical thinking skills, regular class attendance, and respectful interaction.
C: Acceptable work submitted, evidence of adequate ability to analyze and use course knowledge, appropriate contributions in class, attempts at integration and critique, regular class attendance, and respectful interaction. A grade of C represents satisfactory performance. Students are required to hold a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher (C average) to graduate with a degree from Bethel.
D: Poor work submitted, little evidence of ability to analyze and use course knowledge, inconsistent evidence of mastery of course content, few contributions in class, no attempts at integration and critique, inconsistent class attendance, and respectful interaction.
F: Inadequate work submitted, insufficient evidence of ability to analyze and use course knowledge, inappropriate and/or disrespectful contributions in class, poor class attendance, or failure to complete course requirements. The grade of F may be superseded by a second grade when the student retakes the course. The first F remains on the transcript but is removed from computation of the grade point average.
I: Incomplete (See Incomplete regulation for details.)
P: Pass. C work or above in a course without grade points. Students are allowed to take three advanced-level courses on a Pass/Fail basis. Such courses, however, may not be in the student’s concentration in the Master of Arts or the Master of Divinity program if the student is pursuing a concentration. The work in a Pass/Fail course must be at least C level for a grade of Pass. The decision to take a course Pass/Fail must be made within the first two weeks of the term and the appropriate form completed for that purpose. The professor has the prerogative to require a letter grade if he or she feels that the material involved demands such evaluation. No core courses may be taken on a Pass/Fail basis. Students may take more than three Pass/Fail courses only if they take more than the minimum number of courses required for graduation in that degree program.
W: Withdrawal is allowed during the third through the 11th week of the semester. From the 12th week, a grade of F is recorded for withdrawals. SemPM modular students receive a W if they withdraw in writing by the second class session of a seven-week course.
S/U: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory. The S/U grading option is used in designated courses, such as non-credit requirements.
IP, NR, and N: the grades of IP (In Progress), NR (Not Reported), and N (Not Graded) are generated for administrative use only.
Students are responsible for meeting the graduation requirements set forth in the catalog at the time of their matriculation. Students who take extended leaves of absence of four or more consecutive terms are subject to the graduation requirements set forth in the catalog at the time of their reinstatement, unless written permission was obtained from the Office of the Registrar before the extended leave. If prior permission was obtained, the student may follow the catalog requirements under which the student was initially admitted. Candidates for a degree in the Master of Arts or the Master of Divinity programs must meet residency requirements for their degree.
Commencement is held in the spring of each year. Students must make written application to graduate during the fall semester of the academic year in which they anticipate graduation. Any student who fails to do so by February 1, will not be listed for graduation that year. All degrees are voted on by the Board of Trustees upon the recommendation of the faculty.
The registrar's office will complete a degree evaluation at the end of the fall semester of the academic year in which the student has applied for graduation. In addition to academic requirements for graduation, students in the Master of Arts or Master of Divinity programs must fulfill the following requirements:
- Participate in the required assessment and evaluation program;
- Participate in formation experiences and assessments as indicated in the degree requirements;
- Complete Supervised Ministry requirements, if so indicated in the degree program requirements;
- Achieve a GPA of 2.0 or above (Students in the M.A.M.F.T. and M.A.M.H.C. programs must achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in their M.F.T. program courses);
- Present a clearance on financial accounts.
Participation in graduation ceremonies is expected. Students must request permission to graduate in absentia in writing to the seminary registrar's office by April 1. Students whose attendance status changes after April 1 must contact the registrar’s office to notify it of the change and will be charged an administrative fee. Students must complete all degree requirements in the academic year in which they plan to graduate.
Bethel Seminary is committed to providing a Christ-centered community where students, faculty, and staff can work together in an atmosphere free from all forms of harassment, exploitation, or intimidation, including racial and sexual harassment. All members of the Bethel community are expected to educate themselves about sexual and racial harassment. Copies of the harassment policies are available in the Office of the University Provost in St. Paul and the Office of the Dean and in San Diego, as well as in the libraries and the Seminary St. Paul Handbook. To file an informal or formal complaint, please contact the compliance officer in St. Paul or the dean at San Diego.
The following criteria are established by the faculty for the determination of graduation honors for students in the Master of Arts and Master of Divinity programs: minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.60 cum laude, 3.75 magna cum laude, and 3.90 summa cum laude. Honors are based on the cumulative average as of end of interim term (February 1) prior to graduation and will be adjusted at the close of the record on the student’s transcript only, not on the diploma. Students who have committed acts of academic dishonesty are not eligible to receive honors. Students of Hebrew language who meet the scholastic requirements are inducted each spring into the Hebrew Honor Society Eta Beta Rho.
A grade of Incomplete is granted for emergency situations only. Students are expected to submit all work by the dates set by the course instructors and complete all course requirements on or before the last day of the term. The grade “Incomplete” is temporary and will be granted only in unusual circumstances (such as serious illness or critical emergencies) and will not be considered for a student who is simply behind in the assignments.
No Incomplete will be granted automatically, except as noted below. The date for completion of the work will be determined by the instructor, but that date cannot extend beyond one semester. If the work is not completed by the specified date, the grade earned will be entered on the student’s record. Special problems regarding a student’s eligibility to receive the Incomplete will be referred to the Academic Appeals Committee.
For Independent Studies, Thesis Projects, and Clinical Pastoral Education, the grade of Incomplete will be awarded automatically at the end of the first term to allow two semesters for completion of the course.
The grade of Incomplete may also be awarded for Professional Internship to allow one year maximum extension.
An independent study course provides the student with an opportunity to pursue a specialized area that may not be explored through normal course offerings. Approximately 130 hours of study (for a three-semester-hour class) will be involved in such courses over a two-semester period. The student must submit a written proposal to the professor for approval. If the proposal is accepted, the student should complete the process outlined for their campus. In St. Paul, the student completes the online Application for Independent Study. In San Diego, both the student and the professor sign the Form for Independent Study Contract, attach a syllabus for the study, and return it to the Registrar's office to complete the necessary registration. An independent study fee will be charged in addition to regular tuition (see Tuition and Fees section under "Cost of Education" in the Tuition and Financial Aid portion of this catalog).
Only three independent study courses may be taken in the student’s degree program. None may be substituted for required courses. Any course that the student takes in a nonacademic setting will count as an independent study course. Students may take a maximum of 15 credits in their degree program in combination of independent studies, correspondence courses, or extension courses.
Leave of Absence/Withdrawal Policy
Leave of Absence
Bethel Seminary does not have a leave of absence policy. Students are expected to complete their program within the normal time for completion. However, there may be special circumstances (such as a program change, illness, relocation to another residence, or military deployment), which might prevent students from completing their programs of study within the normal time frame.
Students not enrolled within the last year (four consecutive terms including interim and summer terms) must contact the Office of Student Success and Retention to request readmission to the Seminary. Students who have not been enrolled within the last three years must reapply and abide by the catalog requirements at the time of their readmission, unless written permission was obtained from the registrar’s office prior to the extended leave (i.e., in cases of military deployment). If prior permission was obtained, the student may follow the catalog requirements under which they last enrolled. Further, the student must contact the Office of Student Success and Retention to request readmission to the seminary.
Students withdrawing from the seminary must do so in writing. If a student withdraws and subsequently desires to re-enroll, he or she must submit a letter requesting reinstatement to the Office of Student Success and Retention. This letter must indicate what the student has done since leaving the seminary, the student's current goals, and how the seminary fits into those goals.
At Bethel Seminary San Diego, in accordance with California law, the student has the right to cancel the enrollment agreement and obtain a refund of charges paid through attendance at the first class session or the seventh day after enrollment whichever is later. The student must follow the procedures specified in the Refund section of this catalog to cancel his or her enrollment and to obtain a refund.
Upon involuntary military call-up, a student so affected will be granted a withdrawal from courses with a full refund. If 70% of the coursework has been completed, no refund will be granted and an incomplete will be activated and remain in force until one year after completion of active status. If the statute of limitations is exceeded, a grade of W will be assigned automatically.
In St. Paul, advisors can help plan and grant approval for course selections. In San Diego, the registrar can help plan course selections.
Registration opens based on the student's number of earned credits. If a standard registration open or close date is on a weekend or holiday, it will be moved to the following business day.
- Opens for students with 30 or more credits: May 1
- Opens for students with 15 or more credits: May 10
- Opens for All Students: May 20
- Closes for All Students: July 15
Interim and Spring Registration
- Opens for students with 30 or more credits: Oct 15
- Opens for students with 15 or more credits: Oct 25
- Opens for All Students: Nov 5
- Closes for All Students: Nov 30
- Opens for students with 30 or more credits: March 15
- Opens for students with 15 or more credits: March 25
- Closes for All Students: April 30
Students who register outside the regular registration times will be subject to a late registration or registration change fee. Students not on the official class list will be asked to leave class to complete registration. In no case will students be permitted to register for two classes that overlap meeting times. Students should consult the registrar’s office in their location with questions and issues related to registration.
Students wanting to drop or add courses must fill out a Change in Registration form and submit the form to the registrar's office. Mere absence from class sessions will not constitute withdrawal. Courses may not be added or changed from audit to credit after the first week of the semester, but students may change from credit to audit, or withdraw from the course, through the 11th week of the semester.
After the third week of class, a grade of W will be entered for each dropped course. From the 12th week, a grade of F will be recorded for any dropped course unless the student appeals to the Academic Appeals Committee (AAC) citing exceptional circumstances. Failure to submit a written petition form will result in an automatic F.
Registration for Courses at Other Twin Cities Seminaries
Because Bethel Seminary is a member of the Minnesota Consortium of Theological Schools, consisting of Luther Theological Seminary, St. John’s Divinity School, The St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity, and United Theological Seminary, full-time degree students may take courses at these member institutions. To do so they should:
- Contact the seminary registrar's office in St. Paul, who will send a form to the appropriate consortium registrar;
- Register for the course on regular registration materials;
- Pay the tuition rate of Bethel Seminary;
- Complete appropriate registration forms at the consortium school on or before the first day of class (in courses with limited enrollment, the Office of the Registrar will work with the appropriate consortium registrar); and
- Ensure that the consortium registrar sends a transcript back to Bethel.
Courses taken at a consortium school must be electives. Required courses may not be taken without approval of the Academic Appeals Committee.
Candidates for the Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Ministry, Master of Arts (Theological Studies), and Master of Arts (Christian Thought) are not required to take a minimum number of credits in residence at Bethel Seminary. Candidates for the Master of Arts in Transformational Leadership are required to take a minimum of 1/4 of the required credits for their degree in residence at Bethel Seminary. Candidates for the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy, Master of Arts in Marital and Family Therapy, Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling, and Master of Arts in Children and Family Ministry are required to take a minimum of 1/3 of the required credits for their degree in residence at Bethel Seminary. Some programs or concentrations may require courses which are only offered in residential formats. This might result in the need for students to take more courses in residence than is required by this policy.
Candidates for the Doctor of Ministry are not required to take a minimum number of credits in residence at Bethel Seminary. However, some concentrations require courses which are only taught in a hybrid format with a face-to-face component.
Bethel Seminary is approved by the Association of Theological Schools to offer the Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Ministry, Master of Arts (Theological Studies), Master of Arts (Christian Thought) and Doctor of Ministry fully online.
- Basic competency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint)
- Consistent access to a reliable computer
- Computer purchased within the last 4 years (Windows, Macintosh, or Linux)
- Reliable high-speed internet connection (≥1 Mbps)
- Webcam or other digital video recording device
- One of the following:
- Microphone and speakers
- Microphone and headphones
- Headset with combined microphone and headphone
- Assignments must be submitted in Microsoft Office Format (i.e., .doc, .docx, .ppt, .pptx, .xls, .xlsx), unless otherwise specified by the instructor.
- Virus and Malware protection (more information)
- Updated web browser (Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Safari)
Students are expected to develop basic competency in Google Hangouts.
Time Limits for Degrees
All requirements for the Master of Divinity degree are to be met within 10 years of the time of the student’s initial enrollment. All requirements for the Master of Arts degree are to be met within eight years of the time of the student’s initial enrollment. The Doctor of Ministry program must be completed within six years of enrollment. Students are encouraged to consider all other commitments, including family, ministry, and work, when planning their course schedules. Requests for extensions in the Doctor of Ministry program require approval of the Faculty Doctor of Ministry Committee. Approvals for extensions of the time limit in the master’s programs require special action of the Academic Appeals Committee upon written student appeal.
Transcripts and Student Records
Bethel Seminary maintains, for each student granted a degree or certificate by the Seminary, permanent transcript records of all of the following:
- The degree or certificate granted and the date on which that degree or certificate was granted;
- The courses and units on which the certificate or degree was based; and
- The grades earned by the student in each of those courses.
The length of time Bethel Seminary retains other student records, outside of the transcript items listed above, varies depending on the nature of the record. However, most student records are retained for a period of 5 years following the student's last date of attendance or graduation.
For students/alumni to review their records (which may or may not involve receiving copies) students may contact the Registrar's Office. More specific information is available in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) Policy section of this catalog, in the section under "Student Rights" called "Procedure for Inspecting Records."
Visit bethel.edu/registrar for instructions on how to order a transcript. No transcripts are issued for students with unpaid accounts. All transcripts from other schools in the student’s file remain the property of Bethel Seminary and cannot be released to the student or other parties. The Bethel Seminary transcript includes coursework transferred from other schools and coursework completed at Bethel Seminary.
For further questions concerning how to obtain student records or official transcripts, please contact the following offices:
Bethel Seminary St. Paul:
Location: Anderson Center 315
Hours: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (M-F)
Closed on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month from 10-11 a.m.
Phone: 651.635.UREG(8734) or 651.638.6164
Office of the Registrar - CAPS/GS
3900 Bethel Drive
St. Paul, MN 55112
Bethel Seminary San Diego:
Hours: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (M-F)
Office of the Registrar
6116 Arosa Street
San Diego, CA 92115
Transfer of Credit
Bethel Seminary partners with various churches and parachurch organizations to make seminary education more affordable. These partnerships allow prospective students to earn credit toward a Bethel Seminary certificate or degree based on previous training they have received at these partnership organizations. For more information regarding Bethel's partnership organizations, please see the Academic Partnerships webpage.
Although Bethel Seminary will accept credit from other colleges or universities towards a Bethel Seminary degree, Bethel Seminary has not entered into an articulation or transfer agreement with any other college or university.
Complete or nearly complete transfer credit is normally granted for coursework taken at regionally accredited, graduate-level institutions. Upon receipt of an official transcript from another graduate institution, the transcript will be evaluated in terms of required courses and standards of Bethel Seminary. Partial credit may be given for coursework taken at non-accredited seminaries upon completion of validation examinations. Credits for courses graded below C (2.0) will not be accepted. All credits applied toward degree requirements at Bethel must be earned within 10 years of the awarding of the Bethel degree.
Only hermeneutics courses taken at an institution accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) will be accepted in transfer to fulfill BT510 Hermeneutics. Students who have taken hermeneutics at an institution not accredited by ATS may seek transfer approval from a Bethel Seminary faculty member who teaches BT510.
Credit from non-accredited institutions will not normally be accepted. Current students who desire to complete coursework at non-accredited institutions must request approval in advance. The registrar's office in each location will provide direction. The request must be accompanied by evidence that demonstrates the academic rigor of the program (syllabi, course descriptions, textbooks, qualifications of instructors, etc.). Approval is not automatically granted. For students transferring to Bethel, partial credit may be given for coursework completed at non-accredited graduate schools on the basis of validation examinations.
Students are expected to complete their courses at Bethel to the greatest extent possible. Two-thirds of the credits required in a Bethel degree may be granted on the basis of transfer credit. Transfer students will normally be required to complete at least one course in each core discipline at Bethel.
A student with a Master of Arts degree (or its equivalent) in religious studies from Bethel or another school may be granted advanced standing toward a Master of Divinity or Master of Arts degree. Not more than half of the credits required for the previous degree may be used toward a second degree at Bethel. To receive the Master of Divinity degree, such persons will be required to earn at least 39 semester credits and meet all of the other requirements. To receive the Master of Arts degree, such persons will be required to earn at least 21-26 semester credits (depending on the degree) and meet all of the requirements of the degree. See the registrar's office for complete details.
NOTICE CONCERNING TRANSFERABILITY OF CREDITS AND CREDENTIALS EARNED AT OUR INSTITUTION: The transferability of credits you earn at Bethel Seminary is at the complete discretion of an institution to which you may seek to transfer. Acceptance of the degree or certificate you earn in the Seminary is also at the complete discretion of the institution to which you may seek to transfer. If the credits, degree, or certificate that you earn at this institution are not accepted at the institution to which you seek to transfer, you may be required to repeat some or all of your coursework at that institution. For this reason you should make certain that your attendance at this institution will meet your educational goals. This may include contacting an institution to which you may seek to transfer after attending Bethel Seminary to determine if your credits, degree, or certificate will transfer.
Verification of Student Status
Verification of student status for loans, insurance, and other matters is made through the Office of the Registrar.
The seminary is approved for veterans' educational benefits. For students who receive military educational benefits (Title 38 beneficiaries), prior credit from another regionally accredited graduate-level institution is normally granted. The student's transcript will be evaluated in terms of required courses and standards of Bethel Seminary. Veteran students are held to the same Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards as all other seminary students. (For more information, refer to the Financial Aid section of this catalog under "Evaluating Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress." If a veteran finds it necessary to discontinue school during the course of any semester, tuition will be refunded in accordance with accepted governmental regulations.