This section of the catalog includes academic policies and scholastic regulations related to this catalog's academic year.
Each student is responsible for knowing the academic regulations and other program requirements of the school in which they are enrolled. 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.
Topics are listed alphabetically below.
- Academic Advising
- Academic Honesty
- Academic Petitions
- Academic Standing
- Advanced Standing
- Auditing Courses
- Calendar and Student Load
- Challenge Examinations and Achievement Tests
- Change in Degree Program
- Classification of Students
- Clinical Pastoral Education
- Course Numbers
- Course Papers
- Courses in Nonacademic Settings
- Directed Study
- Dual Enrollment
- Earned-To-Required Credit Ratio
- Evaluation of Student Progress
- Experiential Learning
- Extensions for Thesis/Capstone/Dissertation Courses
- Graduation Requirements
- Immunization Requirements
- Military Service
- Registration for Courses at Other Twin Cities Seminaries
- Student Success Advisors
- Surrender of Degree
- Teach-Out Policy
- Technology Requirement
- Time Limits for Degree Completion
- Transcripts and Student Records
- Transfer of Credit
- Verification of Student Status
- Withdrawal and Re-Enrollment
Academic advising is provided by the Office of Student Success and Retention. Each program has a designated Student Success Advisor (SSA) who serves as the first point of contact for student advising and support. Students are introduced to their SSA once they enroll in classes. The SSA will assist students with course selection, program planning, and other academic and registration questions. They are also able to provide referrals to a number of other support offices on campus, based on each student's particular needs. Contact your program's SSA with your questions or concerns or call 651.638.6868. You can also visit the Office of Student Success & Retention website for more information.
Since Bethel University is a Christian academic community, its fundamental purpose is the pursuit of knowledge and the development of growing Christian persons. Essential to the success of this educational mission is a commitment to principles of ethical academic integrity. Each member of the university community is responsible for upholding the highest standards of honesty at all times. Students, as members of this community, are also responsible for adhering to the principles and spirit of academic honesty.
Academic Dishonesty Definitions
Activities that have the effect or intention of interfering with education, pursuit of knowledge, or fair evaluation of a student’s performance are prohibited. Examples of such activities include, but are not limited to:
- Cheating: using or attempting to use unauthorized assistance, material, or study aids in examinations or other academic work, or preventing or attempting to prevent another from using authorized assistance, material, or study aids. Examples: using a cheat sheet in a quiz or exam, altering a graded exam and resubmitting it for a better grade, etc.
- Plagiarism: using the ideas, data, or language of another without specific and proper acknowledgment. Examples: misrepresenting another’s work (paper, lab report, article, or computer work) as one’s own original creation and submitting it for an assignment, using someone else’s ideas without attribution, failing to cite a reference or to use quotation marks where appropriate, etc.
- Fabrication: submitting contrived or altered information in any academic exercise. Examples: making up data for an experiment, misrepresenting data, citing nonexistent or irrelevant articles, etc.
- Multiple submission: submitting, without prior permission, any work submitted to fulfill another academic requirement. Example: submitting the same paper for two classes, etc.
- Misrepresentation of academic records: misrepresenting or tampering with, or attempting to tamper with, any portion of a student’s transcripts or academic record, either before or after coming to Bethel University. Examples: forging a registration form or a change of grade slip, tampering with computer records, etc.
- Facilitating academic dishonesty: knowingly helping or attempting to help another violate any provision of this code. Example: working together on a take-home exam or other individual assignment, etc.
- Unfair advantage: attempting to gain unauthorized advantage over fellow students in an academic exercise. Examples: gaining or providing unauthorized access to examination materials (either past or present); obstructing or interfering with another student’s efforts in an academic exercise; lying about a need for an extension for an exam or paper; continuing to write even when time is up during an exam; destroying, hiding, removing, or keeping library materials; etc.
- Computer crimes: damaging or modifying computer programs without permission. Examples: software piracy, hacking, constructing viruses, knowingly introducing viruses into a system, copying programs and data belonging to others, etc.
Students who have a concern or dispute related to any academic policy matter in a class (e.g. grading, scheduling, instruction, deadlines etc.) should confer with their instructor to express their concerns, exchange information, and discuss a possible resolution. In the event that a satisfactory resolution is not achieved, a student may submit an academic petition.
An academic petition may also be submitted by a student for concerns or disputes within or outside of a specific class if the student believes 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.
Students must first consult with their student success advisor if they would like to consider submitting 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)
- Substitution of a required course or directed study
- Residency requirement
- Exception to other academic policy
- Academic Dismissal
- Co-curricular Dismissal
- Non-Academic Dismissal
- Denial of an Exception Request
The Academic Petition Filing Process
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. Petitions must be filed according to the process defined for CAPS, Seminary, and GS, which is in compliance with Minnesota Statutes Section 122A.09, subdivision 4, paragraph (c).
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.
Contact information for each student success advisor is available at www.bethel.edu/student-success/contact/.
Academic standing is evaluated based on the student's cumulative GPA at the end of each term in which they have registered for one or more courses, starting with their second term of enrollment. "Term" is defined as Fall, Spring and Summer.
The Office of the Registrar determines and makes the final decision on all academic standing designations assigned to any student.
Some Bethel University programs may have more stringent policies for continued enrollment than those expressed in the university academic standing policies. Specific program requirements are listed with program information and/or the student handbook. Any such program alerts, probations and dismissals are the decision of the deans and program directors for that program and are not under the purview of the Office of the Registrar.
Students have the right to petition their academic standing and are advised to contact their student success advisor for more information about this process.
Good Standing is defined as a cumulative GPA of (2.0) or above.
Difficulties in a particular course or term may be a normal and temporary part of the student experience, or they may be an early indicator of larger academic challenges. An Academic Alert is used to notify a student that they may be at risk of falling out of good standing if challenges continue into future terms. An Academic Alert does not always precede academic probation or dismissal and appears only on the unofficial transcript.
The Registrar’s Office will issue a notice of Academic Alert at the end of a term in which a student has completed one or more courses for an A - F letter grade and all of the following conditions are met:
During the first term of enrollment, the student:
- Earned a term GPA below the minimum GPA required for good standing.
During the second term of enrollment and beyond, the student:
- Earned a term GPA below the minimum GPA required for good standing, but maintained a cumulative GPA above the minimum GPA required for good standing.
Students who receive the Academic Alert are encouraged to work closely with their Student Success Advisor to develop a plan for academic success.
Students will receive a notice of Academic Probation from the Registrar's Office at the end of any term in which they have completed one or more courses for an A - F letter grade and all of the following occur:
- They have been assessed for academic standing.
- They have earned a cumulative GPA below the minimum GPA required for good standing.
Students may remain on Academic Probation for no more than two consecutive terms in which at least one A-F letter graded course is completed in each term.
Academic probation of any student is the decision of the Bethel University Registrar and appears only on the unofficial transcript.
An academic standing of Academic Probation may not always be preceded by an Academic Alert.
Students receive a notice of Academic Dismissal from the Registrar's Office at the end of any term in which a student completes one or more courses for an A - F letter grade and all of the following occur:
- They have been assessed for academic standing.
- They have earned a cumulative GPA below the minimum GPA required for good standing.
They have had an academic standing of Academic Probation for the previous 2 consecutive terms.
Students will also receive a notice of Academic Dismissal from the Registrar's Office for any of the following:
- The requirements for provisional acceptance are not fulfilled at the time of provisional evaluation.
- Patterns of unsatisfactory performance are documented by the dean and presented to the Registrar's Office along with a recommendation for dismissal.
- Other patterns of unsatisfactory performance which are not listed above may also lead to academic dismissal.
Academic dismissal of any student is the decision of the Bethel University Registrar.
An academic standing of Academic Dismissal may not always be preceded by an Academic Alert or Academic Probation.
Programs may have more stringent policies than listed above. Specific requirements are listed with program information and/or student handbooks.
Some students may have unique circumstances which can affect their academic standing. These special cases are detailed below.
An academic standing of No Calculation will appear on a student transcript in the following situations:
- The only course a student has taken in a term is of a grade type not included in the cumulative GPA calculation.
- Students taking courses at more than one level in a term will see No Calculation for the level which does not apply to the degree/credential of pursuit.
- If a student has a grade of I (Incomplete for A-F letter-graded courses only) in one or more courses in a term.
- Once all grades of I for a term have been resolved with an A-F letter grade, academic standing will be re-evaluated and assigned for that term. This may or may not occur at the end of a term.
Provisionally Admitted Students
Provisionally admitted students should refer to the Admissions Categories/Provisional Evaluation section of the catalog for academic requirements unique to their admittance category.
Provisionally-accepted student may require more than one term to complete enough A-F letter-graded courses to be provisionally evaluated. At the end of each of these terms, one of the following Academic Standing notations will appear on the student’s transcript:
- No Calculation
- Academic Alert: this indicates that the provisionally-accepted student’s term GPA or cumulative GPA is under the required minimum.
The Office of Accessibility Resources and Services exists to create equal opportunities for students, faculty, and staff with disabilities at Bethel University by providing reasonable accommodations to assist Bethel in being a community that welcomes people of all abilities. Accommodations and services for students with disabilities are coordinated through the Office of Accessibility Resources and Services. The office serves students with various types of disabilities, including physical, sensory, learning, psychiatric, systemic, and some chronic illnesses. To receive services through this program, students must provide documentation of a disability.
For further information or to schedule an appointment to discuss needs, students should contact the Office of Accessibility Resources and Services at 651.638.6833 (800.255.8706, ext. 6833) or seek the website for more information.
Students whose undergraduate coursework or degree is in a field related to their seminary studies may seek advanced standing. Advanced standing allows students to take one advanced course as a substitution for a required course for which advanced standing was granted. The advanced course must be in the subject area in which advanced standing was granted and must be taken at Bethel Seminary; transferred courses cannot be used. Advanced standing is not a means to reduce the credits or time required to complete a degree at Bethel Seminary. It provides the student with a better educational experience by reducing the repetition of course content acquired in the student’s prior learning. To be eligible for advanced standing, students must contact their student success advisor and apply for faculty approval of their prior coursework.
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 degree programs with which Bethel Seminary has a partnership 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.
If a student misses any class sessions, their grade may be affected. Students are required to attend at least 75% of class sessions (for example, 11 semester class sessions out of 14). Students participating in a course with an intensive may not pass the course if they miss more than one day of the intensive.
At the discretion of the institution, lack of participation during the first two weeks of a course may result in the course registration being dropped. This may affect the student's financial aid award.
Multiple instances of course registrations being dropped for non-participation may result in an unofficial withdrawal of the student from Bethel.
Students are expected to attend both Chapel and Community Life Gatherings when they are on campus for classes.
Auditing a course allows degree-seeking and non-degree-seeking students to benefit from the content of a course that is not graded or taken for credit. 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 from auditors. Instructors may decide not to allow auditors to take their course if they determine it is in the best interests of accomplishing the course objectives.
Students who audit a course and then wish to receive credit at a later date must register again for the course and pay tuition. Students may change their registration in a course from audit to credit only within the registration period for the course.
It should be noted that students seeking to enroll in a course for credit will be given priority over auditors when a class has reached its maximum enrollment.
Master's level students may audit courses for an audit fee of $50.00 per credit at Bethel Seminary.
- The number of audited courses taken during a semester may not exceed the number of courses the student takes for credit in that semester.
- If no credits are taken in a semester or term, students may still audit courses in that term.
- Students desiring to audit courses are responsible for ensuring they make progress toward their degrees and can complete within the time limits for completing the degree.
Spouses of master’s level students are eligible to audit courses free of charge at Bethel Seminary. They must meet the following conditions to do so:
- May audit courses with the approval of the course instructor during any semester in which their student spouse is enrolled in a course for credit.
- The number of audited courses taken during a semester may not exceed the number of courses their student spouse takes for credit in that semester.
- Spouses must complete a registration form prior to registering for a class.
The following individuals are also eligible to audit courses at Bethel Seminary for an audit fee of $50.00 per credit:
- Pastors and their spouses
- Full-time employees of Christian ministry organizations and their spouses
- Senior citizens (60 years of age or older)
- Bethel Seminary alumni
An “Application to Audit” form must be submitted prior to registering for the course.
All others wishing to audit courses (those who are not students, spouses of students, or special individuals listed above) must meet the following requirements:
- Must have earned a four-year degree or its equivalent. If the applicant is not a college graduate he or she may submit a petition indicating the reason for taking the class and college work completed.
- Must submit an “Application to Audit” form.
- Students who have taken Elementary Greek at the undergraduate level may audit NT 541-NT 542 as a review before entering NT 652.
Calendar and Student Load
Students will collaborate with their student success advisor to determine an academic plan appropriate to achieve their educational goal. Bethel operates on a semester calendar (Fall term, Spring term, Summer term). A three semester-hour course represents 112.5-130 hours of classroom experience, academic preparation, and research.
Student load for each academic term is as follows:
- Full time = 6 credits or more
- Part time = 0.1 to 5.9 credits
- Three-Quarter time = 4.5 to 5.9 credits
- Half-time = 3 to 4.4 credits
- Less than half-time = 0.1 to 2.9 credits
Credits must apply toward a student’s graduation requirements. If credits are not toward graduation requirements or a student drops below full-time or half-time status a student's eligibility for certain financial aid programs may be affected.
Receiving an extension or a grade of Incomplete in a course does not extend a student’s enrollment beyond the final date of that class.
Challenge Examinations and Achievement Tests
Bethel Seminary does not accept credits through challenge examinations and/or achievement tests.
Change in Degree Program
Students at Bethel Seminary are admitted to the degree program for which they apply. A student who desires to pursue a second degree should contact their student success advisor. If the second degree is for a program with different admissions requirements, students will need to apply to that degree program through the Office of Admissions.
Should a student wish to change to a different degree program after they have already begun their initial program, the student should contact their student success advisor. 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 follow the requirements as found in 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.
Due to financial aid processes, changing a degree program within an academic year may impact financial aid eligibility. Students are encouraged to connect with their student success advisor about any deadlines before making a program change.
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:
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 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.
Clinical Pastoral Education
Summer, semester or extended programs in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) approved by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) are available for academic credit. Students may receive transfer credit for one CPE unit completed before entering Bethel Seminary if that unit was taken at an accredited CPE site and the student provides written documentation of successful completion.
500s – 700s represent master’s level, graduate credit
800s – 900s represent doctoral level
All assigned course and term papers in all degree programs (including DMin, and 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. An important distinction is that Master's level courses using Turabian should adhere to the newer or parenthetical reference model (author, date). Doctor of Ministry students should adhere to the classic or footnotes model. Students submitting papers in the Marriage and Family Studies, Marital and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling programs should follow the requirements of the seventh 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 rate for course credit.
A directed study course provides the student with an opportunity to pursue a specialized area that may not be available through standard course offerings. A student wishing to pursue a directed study must follow this process:
1. The student must submit a written proposal to the professor for approval.
2. If the proposal is accepted, the student (in collaboration with the instructor and student success advisor) submits the course syllabus and pertinent information electronically, via a Directed Study Application, which automatically goes to the dean and the registrar's office.
Students may engage in a directed study under the following regulations:
- The proposed study will consist of approximately 130 hours of study (for a three-semester-hour class).
- Any course that the student takes in a nonacademic setting will count as a directed study course.
- Only three directed study courses may be taken in the student’s degree program.
- Students may take a maximum of 15 credits in their degree program in combination of directed studies, correspondence courses, or extension courses.
- A directed study course may not substitute for a required course.
Dual enrollment provides an opportunity for students enrolled in one Bethel school (CAS, CAPS, Seminary, or GS) to take specific courses in another Bethel school as a guest. Students must consult their academic advisors in CAS or student success advisors in CAPS, Seminary, or GS before undertaking the dual enrollment process. Requests are subject to approval by advisors, department chairs or program directors, and deans. Limitations may include prerequisites, available space, program restrictions and the number of courses in which a student may enroll as a guest.
NOTE: The College of Adult & Professional Studies courses are not open to students currently enrolled in the College of Arts & Sciences at Bethel University except where specific agreements exist between the deans of both schools.
Earned-To-Required Credit Ratio
Degree-seeking students are permitted to earn a maximum of 150% of the credits required for the degree they are pursuing. All degree requirements must be completed within this limit.
Evaluation of Student Progress
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. All incoming seminary students agree to our community formation standards by signing the Covenant for Life Together. 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.
The Associate Dean of Formation and Professional Development and the Student Development Committee act upon recommendations from faculty and staff. Students who fail to make adequate progress in areas of development or formation may be placed on non-academic probation and are required to follow an individualized developmental plan to continue their degree program. Students will be notified if they are being placed on non-academic probation and/or if their continuance at Bethel Seminary is in question. Appropriate action will be taken to teach, influence, discipline, or even dismiss those students who disregard these community expectations.
(See Academic Standing for policies pertaining to academic probation.)
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 does not grant credit for prior experiential learning. Experiential learning in the form of a directed study is available to students once they are enrolled in various programs or degrees under certain circumstances. Please see directed study within the academic policy section of this catalog for more information.
Students with specific questions regarding obtaining credit for experiential learning via directed study are encouraged to speak with a faculty member or their student success advisor.
Extensions for Thesis/Capstone/Dissertation Courses
Students who do not complete a master’s thesis, master’s capstone project, or doctoral dissertation during the term in which they enroll in their final capstone/thesis/dissertation course will initially be given a grade of incomplete. In each term thereafter, the student will be automatically enrolled in an extension course that carries zero (0) credits, but will result in a thesis or dissertation continuation fee. This automatic enrollment and billing will be stopped when the student either (1) completes the capstone project, thesis, or dissertation, (2) officially withdraws from the program, or (3) reaches the maximum time for degree completion. The full continuation fee will be assessed for the final extension even if the student completes the capstone or withdraws before the full academic term has elapsed. When the thesis or capstone project is complete, the incomplete grade will be changed appropriately on the student’s transcript.
Students who require capstone, thesis, or dissertation extensions must be enrolled in consecutive terms without interruption until they have completed the work. Students whose circumstances require one or more semesters “off” will receive the grade earned for work completed. When students who had a break in their capstone, thesis, or dissertation enrollment return, they must retake the course.
Students who officially withdraw from a program will receive a grade of “U” or unsatisfactory for their capstone, thesis, or dissertation course and must apply for readmission to return to complete their degree. See “Withdrawal and Re-Enrollment” for more details.
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.
AU: Audit See the Auditing Courses section of this catalog for requirements. Students who do not meet the requirements will be graded WZ.
I or IN: Incomplete See the Incomplete section of this catalog for details.
P: Pass. C work or above in a course without grade points.
The following stipulations apply to P/F courses:
- Students are typically allowed to take no more than three advanced-level courses on a Pass/Fail basis. However, students may take more than three Pass/Fail courses if they take more than the minimum number of courses required for graduation in that degree program.
- No core courses may be taken on a Pass/Fail basis.
- Students taking a concentration in the Master of Arts or the Master of Divinity program may not take P/F courses in that concentration.
- If Pass/Fail is an option for a course, the decision to take a course Pass/Fail must be made within the first two weeks of the term. Students should contact their student success advisor to complete a request form for this purpose.
- The work in a Pass/Fail course must be at least C level for a grade of Pass.
- The professor has the prerogative to require a letter grade if he or she feels that the material involved demands such evaluation.
W: The grade W is given to a student who officially withdraws from a course by the withdrawal deadline, which is approximately 60% of the total course length. After the withdrawal deadline, students will receive the grade they have earned. Grades of W do not affect the Grade Point Average (GPA).
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 have re-enrolled are subject to the graduation requirements set forth in the catalog at the time of their re-enrollment.
Candidates for a degree of Master of Arts, Master of Divinity, or Doctor of Ministry must meet residency requirements for their degree, if applicable.
In addition to fulfilling all academic requirements, all Seminary students must fulfill the following graduation 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;
- In addition to maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher (C average), Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy students are required to hold a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher (B average) in their required marriage and family courses to graduate.
Program of Study
For certificates, program of study includes the graduation requirements for all declared certificates.
For master’s degrees, program of study includes the graduation requirements for a master’s degree as well as additional concentrations and certificates declared by the student.
For doctoral degrees, program of study includes the graduation requirements for a doctoral degree as well as additional concentrations and certificates declared by the student.
Commencement is held in the spring of each year. Students may choose to participate in the commencement ceremony if they complete all remaining degree requirements by the end of summer term of the current academic year. All degrees are voted on by the Board of Trustees upon the recommendation of the faculty. Students shall complete the online commencement application and indicate at that time whether they will participate in person or in absentia. Participation in graduation ceremonies is strongly encouraged.
All seminary students must apply for graduation by February 1 of the academic year in which they intend to graduate. Students must also meet internal deadlines set by their program of study in order for their application to be approved. Any student who fails to complete the application by the deadline for their degree will not be listed for graduation that academic year. Any questions concerning eligibility to commence should be directed to the Student Success Advisor.
Commencement Application and Information can be found at bethel.edu/events/commencement.
The following grade point average criteria are established by the faculty for the determination of graduation honors for students in the Master of Arts and Master of Divinity programs:
- 3.60 cum laude
- 3.75 magna cum laude
- 3.90 summa cum laude
Honors are based on the cumulative average as of the end of the 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 graduation program. 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.
Minnesota state law requires some students attending college, graduate school, or seminary to show proof of immunization. The law makes others exempt from the requirement. For students in the College of Adult and Professional Studies, Bethel Seminary, and the Graduate School, the following applies:
Students who do not need to provide proof of immunization
- Any student born before 1957
- Any student who graduated from a Minnesota high school in 1997 or later.
- All CAPS students enrolled only in CAPS classes unless required by their program to be immunized*
- GS and Seminary students who:
- Attend only evening or weekend classes
- Study only in online classes who are not otherwise required to provide proof of immunization because of their field of study
- Have intensives or residencies that are seven or fewer consecutive days
Students who must provide proof of immunization
- Any student who attends face-to-face classes during weekday daytime hours if they are not otherwise exempted by the statute because of their age or year of graduation from a Minnesota high school
- Students in particular fields of study (usually in the medical professions)*
- Students who come to campus for residencies or intensives that are longer than seven consecutive days if not otherwise exempted by the statute because of their age or year of graduation from a Minnesota high school
- “Dual Enrollment” students in CAPS, Seminary, or GS who take CAS classes or Seminary daytime classes if not otherwise exempted by the statute because of their age or year of graduation from a Minnesota high school
*Programs that require proof of immunization currently include students in most nursing programs and all students in the MS in Physician Assistant program.
A grade of I or IN (Incomplete) is a temporary grade granted only due to extenuating circumstances (such as serious illness or critical emergencies), beyond the students control, which prevent them from completing course requirements by the last day of the course. The grade “Incomplete" will not be considered for a student who is simply behind in their assignments.
A student seeking an Incomplete due to extenuating circumstances must discuss their situation with the instructor prior to the last day of the course. The request must be approved by the instructor before a grade of I or IN will be allowed. Remaining work must be of the kind that can be done largely through independent effort.
The due date for the remaining work will be determined by the instructor and can be no later than the last day of the subsequent semester. If the work is not completed by the specified due date, the default grade earned will be entered as the final grade for the course.
For Directed Studies, Clinical Pastoral Education, and Marriage and Family Studies-Supervised Clinical Experience (MF 711 Supervised Clinical Experience I and MF 712 Supervised Clinical Experience II), 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 be awarded for Professional Internships to allow one year maximum extension.
Incompletes in master’s thesis projects, capstone projects and doctoral dissertations may be handled differently. See "Extensions for Thesis/Capstone/Dissertation Courses" for more details.
Upon involuntary military call-up, a student so affected will be granted a withdrawal from courses with a full refund. Students must provide a copy of their orders to the Office of Military and Veterans Services. If 75% of the scheduled days of a given course have elapsed, Instead, an incomplete grade will be assigned with a deadline for submission of remaining coursework of one year from the last date of active student status. If the student does not submit the outstanding coursework by the incomplete deadline, a grade of W will be assigned automatically.
Students called to active military service should expect some disruption in their progress toward their desired degree and/or certificate. Disruption could include, but may not be limited to, course availability and time to complete the desired credential.
To add, drop, withdraw, or otherwise change course registration, students should refer to the self-registration website and to MyBethel. The student's unique Academic Plan and other resources for registration are located here. When taking any registration activity, student's should refer to the CRNs (Course Registration Numbers) on their Academic Plan, to identify specific scheduled course sections and streamline self-registration. Regardless of the actual first day that a class “meets” face to face or online, most courses officially begin on a Monday.
Course registrations, and all registration changes are official on the date the student makes the change online or when written notice is received by the student success advising team. Specific add, drop and withdrawal deadlines are listed on the Office of the Registrar’s website. No registration activity is complete until the change is displayed through MyBethel.
Adding a Course
The start date to add a course is the official registration open date for that term:
- Fall registration open date - April 1
- Spring registration open date - August 1
- Summer registration open date - December 1
Once registration opens, students can self-register until two weeks before the course start date. After that date, students must work with their student success advisor to request approval for a late course registration.
The deadline for adding a late course registration depends on the length of the course and is as follows:
- For courses less than 5 weeks long the late add deadline is the 3rd calendar day of the course.
- For courses 5+ weeks long the late add deadline is the first Sunday at the end of the first calendar week of the course.
Dropping a Course
Students must drop a course soon after it begins in order to remove the course from their transcript and avoid charges. The exact number of days depends on the length of the class:
- For courses less than 5 weeks long the drop deadline is the 3rd calendar day of the course.
- For courses 5+ weeks long the drop deadline is the 8th calendar day of the course.
Withdrawing from a Course
A student may withdraw from a course starting the day after the drop deadline. Unlike dropping, a course withdrawal appears on the student’s transcript with a grade of “W.” Students may withdraw from a course until approximately 65% of it has been completed. Specific withdrawal deadlines can be found on the Office of the Registrar’s website.
Students who withdraw may be eligible to receive a prorated refund, starting on the first day of the withdrawal period and ending at the 60% point of the course. After this they are no longer eligible for any refund, even if they are still eligible to withdraw and earn a W on their transcript without petitioning to do so. The refund schedule may be found on the Business Office website.
Students may not withdraw after the course withdrawal deadline, except by petitioning to do so, and they will receive the grade earned for the course.
Changing from Credit to Audit
A student may change their registration in a course taken for credit, to that of audit up until the withdrawal deadline for that course.
Charges Related to Registration Activities
The student is responsible for all charges incurred due to registration activity and for any loss of financial aid or change of loan deferment status as a result. Scheduled online sessions count as “class sessions” when determining tuition refunds and grades. Any refund due to a registration drop or withdrawal will be governed by the refund policy found in this catalog.
Exceptions to Registration Policies
Extenuating circumstances beyond the student's control may warrant exception to a registration policy. Such exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis and may require submitting a petition. Students should contact their student success advisor to discuss eligibility and initiate the petition process.
See "Tuition and Fees Refund Schedule" under Refunds in this catalog for more information.
Registration for Courses at Other Twin Cities Seminaries
Because Bethel Seminary is a member of the Minnesota Consortium of Theological Schools (Bethel Seminary, 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:
- Complete the consortium registration form found on bethel.edu/registrar/forms;
- Return the completed form to the registrar's office;
- Pay the tuition rate of Bethel Seminary; and
- Ensure that the consortium registrar sends a transcript back to Bethel.
Courses taken at a consortium school must be electives only. Required courses may not be taken without approval through the Academic Petition process.
Student Success Advisors
Location: Anderson Center, Suite 300
651.638.6868 (800.255.8706, ext. 6868); email@example.com
Each program has a designated Student Success Advisor (SSA) who serves as the first point of contact for student advising and support. The SSA can assist students with course selection, program planning, and other academic and registration questions. They are also able to provide referrals to a number of other support offices on campus, based on each student's particular needs. Contact your program's SSA with your questions or concerns using the contact information found above. You can also visit the Office of Student Success & Retention website for more information.
Surrender of Degree
When a program, certificate, minor, concentration, or license is eliminated, a teach-out schedule is established with a date for when classes in that program, certificate, minor, concentration, or license will no longer be offered. Students should seek to complete all program, certificate, minor, concentration, or license requirements during the teach-out period. However, students who have not completed all requirements have two academic years beyond the end of the teach-out period to complete any remaining requirements through approved transfer courses. All transfer courses must comply with published transfer policies. Theses, dissertations, and capstone projects must be completed at Bethel within two academic years after the teach-out. The end of that two year period is the date on which the program officially closes and degrees in that program will no longer be granted.
- 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.
Master’s level students may opt to complete a thesis as a free elective option within their degree program. The student is responsible to find an instructor who is willing to work with them throughout the process to completion of the thesis. A thesis is completed once a student satisfactorily finishes the 1.5 credit Thesis Proposal course and a 3 credit Thesis Writing course. If the student does not complete their Thesis Writing course within the term allotted, they must complete the requirements as described in the Extensions for Thesis/Capstone/Dissertation Courses policy.
Time Limits for Degree Completion
Master of Arts: All requirements must be met within 8 years from the term of the student’s initial enrollment.
Master of Divinity: All requirements must be met within 10 years from the term of the student’s initial enrollment.
Doctor of Ministry: All requirements must be met within 6 years from the term of the student’s initial enrollment.
If a student withdraws from their program for a time and then re-enters to complete the program, the time elapsed while they were not enrolled continues to count toward the time limit for degree completion.
Time Limits for Credits Applied Toward Degree Requirements
All credits applied toward degree requirements, including both Bethel credits and transfer work, must be earned within 10 years from the calendar date upon which the student's Bethel Seminary degree is awarded.
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 five 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."
Unofficial transcripts may be accessed at any time through the student's MyBethel account. Official transcripts in electronic or paper format, may be requested through the registrar's office. Both electronic and paper versions require a processing fee. To order an official transcript, please visit the registrar's website. Electronic transcripts are processed upon request. Paper transcripts will be printed and mailed the next business day. Some exceptions apply. Transcripts are only sent if all of the student's outstanding financial obligations are met.
The Bethel Seminary transcript includes coursework transferred from other schools and coursework completed at Bethel Seminary. 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.
For further questions concerning how to obtain student records or official transcripts, please contact the registrar's office:
Bethel Seminary Office of the Registrar:
Location: Anderson Center 315
Hours: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (M-F)
Phone: 651.635.UREG(8734) or 651.638.6164
Office of the Registrar - CAPS/SEM/GS
3900 Bethel Drive
St. Paul, MN 55112
Transfer of Credit
Students are expected to complete their courses at Bethel to the greatest extent possible. However, up to two-thirds of the credits required in a Bethel degree may be received as transfer credit. Transfer students are required to complete at least one course in each core discipline at Bethel.
Transfer Coursework and Accreditation Requirements
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. Credits for courses graded S/U, P/F, or below C (2.0) will not be accepted.
Only hermeneutics courses taken at an institution accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) will be accepted in transfer to fulfill BT 510 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 BT 510.
Credit may be given for coursework completed at non-accredited seminaries or graduate schools based on instructor approval. Current students who desire to complete coursework at non-accredited institutions must request approval in advance from the Registrar's Office. 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.
Duration of Credits
All credits applied toward degree requirements at Bethel must have been earned within 10 years of the Bethel degree being awarded.
Students with coursework which does not meet this requirement, or with credits which will become ineligible during the time of enrollment in their Bethel degree program may petition to have the work reviewed for exception consideration.
MDiv/MA Transfer Work
A student with a Master of Arts degree (or its equivalent) in religious studies from Bethel or another school may be granted credits toward a Master of Divinity or Master of Arts degree. No more than half of the credits required for the lesser degree may be used toward the second degree at Bethel.
Bethel Seminary Partnerships
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.
Bethel Seminary does partner 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 training they receive at these partnership organizations. For more information regarding Bethel's partnership organizations, please see the Academic Partnerships webpage.
Transferability of Credits and Credentials Earned at Bethel
The transferability of credits and or acceptance of the degree or certificate a student earns at Bethel Seminary is at the complete discretion of the institution to which the student may seek to 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.
Withdrawal and Re-Enrollment
Students who desire to officially withdraw from Bethel must contact their Student Success Advisor. In addition, students who do not enroll for more than one year (three consecutive academic terms, excluding interim) will be administratively withdrawn from Bethel.
Former students must file an application for re-enrollment. They should contact the Office of Student Success & Retention to learn more and start this process. Former students who have a registration hold on their account from the Business Office are not eligible to seek re-enrollment until the hold is resolved. All requests to re-enroll must be approved by the Program Director or Dean.
Students who have not been enrolled for more than one year (three consecutive academic terms, excluding interim) will enter under the catalog of the year in which they re-enroll.
Students will re-enroll at the academic standing assigned for their last term of enrollment, with the exception of students who were academically dismissed. (See Re-enrollment after Academic Dismissal below for further information)
Re-Enrollment after Academic Dismissal
Academically dismissed students are eligible to apply for re-enrollment no sooner than the third term after the term of their academic dismissal or last term of registration, excluding interim. If approved to re-enroll, students may resume coursework no sooner than the fourth term after the term of their academic dismissal or last term of registration, excluding interim.
Students who are approved to re-enroll after academic dismissal will return on an academic standing equivalent to the second term of academic probation. Students must achieve the minimum cumulative GPA required for good standing at the end of their first term of re-enrollment. The one exception is for re-enrolled students who, in their first term of re-enrollment, achieve the minimum required term GPA for good standing. They will not be dismissed even if their cumulative GPA at the end of that term is below good standing. In this case the student's academic standing remains equivalent to that of a second term of academic probation for no more than one additional term.
Specific academic programs may have different dismissal and re-enrollment policies than listed above. These requirements would be listed with program information and/or the student handbook.