MAR Advanced Standing

Shortened Duration for Master Of Arts (Religion) (MAR)

Students with extensive undergraduate work in theology or ministry programs may be eligible to shorten the duration of their 54 hour MAR degree by as many as 18 hours, thereby allowing degree completion with as few as 36 total credit hours.

During the course of application, the Seminary Acceptance Committee will conduct a review of a student’s undergraduate transcript to determine from which foundational graduate courses*, if any, the student may be exempted to allow Shortened Duration (per ATS Degree Program Standards D.3.2). The committee must conclude that a student has acquired the “knowledge, competence, or skills that would normally be provided by the specific courses for which they” are being exempted. [*These foundational courses will be identified within each concentration’s course requirements.]

The committee will determine a student’s acquisition of “knowledge, competence, or skills” by using the following “appropriate means of assessment” (ATS Educational Standards 7.4.2), also used for the Mdiv:

• Accreditation status of the institution where courses were completed
• Equivalent course descriptions and content between undergraduate course and graduate requirement
• Earned grade of B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or above

The Committee reserves the right to require from a student further evidence of competency before granting Shortened Duration. This evidence may include:

• Oral interview
• Academic writing sample related to course content
• Oral or written competency exam (which may require a $100 non-refundable fee)

If no clear equivalency exists between a single undergraduate class and a Seminary requirement, the Seminary Acceptance Committee can choose to allow multiple undergraduate courses to satisfy a single Seminary course requirement. In order for this to be possible:

• The average of the undergraduate courses must be a B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or above
• No single course may have a grade of B- (2.67 on a 4.0 scale) or below

Appeals for Shortened Duration can be made for undergraduate courses that would otherwise qualify in which a student has earned a grade below a 3.0 if the grade is a 2.67 or above. To appeal a student must:

• Submit a formal appeal to the Seminary Dean
• Pay a non-refundable fee of $100
• Demonstrate competency through an oral or written exam facilitated by an assigned faculty member in the discipline

Shortened Duration is granted by the committee at a student’s admission. Any appeals or exceptions must be granted before the end of a student’s first full-time semester of study or the completion of 9 hours.