Academic Policies

TABLE OF CONTENTS 

  • A Word from the Academic Coordinator
  • Accreditation
  • Academic Calendar
  • Academic Credit Hours
  • Admissions
  • Advisement
  • Assessment (Academic Performance; Professional Development
  • Attendance
  • Bookstore
  • Cell Phones
  • Community Life
  • Competency in English Composition
  • Continuing Education and Partner Church Program
  • Cross Registration
  • Drug-Free Policy
  • E-Mail
  • Faxes
  • FERPA: Compliance
  • Financial Assistance
  • Grades: Definition of;
  • Grades Due
  • Grades: Final Grade Reports
  • Grade Point System
  • Grades: Student Copy
  • Grades: Student Request for Change of Grade
  • Graduation Requirements
  • Inclusive Language: Use of
  • Incompletes
  • Independent Studies Policy
  • Institutional and State Complaint Procedures
  • Non-Discrimination Policy
  • Parking at Pasadena Presbyterian Church
  • Photocopying
  • Plagiarism
  • Policy on the Use of the New Theological Seminary of the West Name
  • Recording Devices
  • Refund Policy
  • Registration
  • Registration: Interrupting Continuous Registration
  • Registration: Leave of Absence
  • Registration: Stop-Out
  • Registration: Withdrawal
  • Retreats
  • Security Requirements: Interchurch Center and Riverside Church
  • Seminary Drug-Free Policy Statement
  • Sexual Harassment Policy
  • Smoking Policy
  • Solicitation
  • Standards of Student Conduct
  • Standards for Written Work
  • Student Classification
  • Student Handbooks
  • Supervised Ministry
  • Syllabus and Course Requirements
  • Time Frame for Completion of Degrees
  • Transcript Requests
  • Transfer of Credits
  • Tuition and Fees

From the Academic Coordinator

Welcome to New Theological Seminary of the West.  You will join adult students who want to explore the Christian faith more deeply in an educational environment where both students and teachers are learners.  Some students come to put their toe in the water in a new endeavor; other arrive certain of the degree program they wish to pursue.  Our commitment to you is that we will come alongside as you prepare yourself for enhanced service and leadership in congregations, educational institutions, faith-based organizations and secular professions.

What is “new” about the New Seminary?  After more than three years of planning and prayer, we launched our first classes in the academic year 2014-2015.  Although our faculty, administration, and trustees bring years of experience to our new venture, we believe we needed a new model of theological education to meet the needs of diverse churches in the rapidly changing cultures of Southern California.

Central to this new model is the kind of faculty who will be your teaching-learning mentors.   All our faculty are actively involved in daily ministry.  What this means for you is their ability to bring together in the classroom theory and practice, and educational and spiritual formation.

We are a student-centered seminary.  We locate our classes where our students not our faculty live.  Not burdened by the expense of maintaining a bricks and mortar campus, we can offer the lowest tuition for our offerings.  Committed to the church, classes are offered in “partner congregations” all across Southern California—from Encino to Riverside to Los Angeles to Long Beach to Santa Ana to Westwood.  Our goal is that by your biblical, theological, and practical education, our students will make a difference both in their Christian communities and in the places where they live and work.

We offer a Master of Divinity degree program for those either seeking ordination in their denomination or enhancement of their ongoing ministries.  We offer a Master of Arts in Christian Practice for those wishing to develop their gifts and abilities either in Learning and Teaching the Bible or Christian Spiritual Formation.  We are in the process of developing several Certificate programs, starting with Spirituality and Aging.  We offer classes in Spanish, and are developing classes for Koreans.

As adult learners, we recognize that you will face challenges of multiple commitments beyond the classroom that might obstruct your educational progress at NTSWest. Please know that as a small institution we are committed to offering you both personal attention and the benefits of strong communal support from our Chaplain, Director of Admissions, faculty, administration, and your student colleagues.

The student handbook contains valuable information useful to your effective journey at NTSWest.  In it, you will find the Seminary’s educational policy on many issues, basic questions from the seminary’s academic calendar to the tuition and fees are addressed in this handbook.  Take the time to familiarize yourself with its content, because it contains the blueprint for the successful completion of your program.

I, along with the faculty, administration and trustees celebrate your admission to this institution.  We pray that your faith journey and educational experiences in this academic year will resonate in the places where you currently live, work, and serve.

Ronald C. White, Jr., Ph.D.

Academic Coordinator

Professor of American Christianity


ACCREDITATION:

The New Theological Seminary of the West (NTSWest) has applied to the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS) for Associate Membership Status.  ATS accreditation will include:

  • Master of Divinity (MDiv.)
  • Master of Arts in Christian Practice (MACP)
    • NOTE: The MACP degree will include flexibility for several different concentrations.

NTSWest is incorporated by the State of California as a not-for-profit Educational Institution.  It has been granted tax-exempt status as a 501 (C) 3 organization by both the IRS and the State of California.

GENERAL ACADEMIC POLICIES

ACADEMIC CALENDAR:

NTSW offers courses on an academic calendar that begins July 1 and ends June 30 of each year.  The Seminary’s Masters Degree programs operate on a two-semester (fall and spring) basis with each semester being sixteen weeks in duration.  The fall semester starts the week of Labor Day in September, while the spring semester starts the first week of February.  Courses at the master’s level are also offered in month-long intensive formats in January (called “the winter” term); as well as in June, July and August (“the summer” term).

The Academic Calendar can be found on the NTSW website and from the Registrar’s Office.

NOTE: The faculty and the Board of Trustees for the seminary are currently considering the possibility of transitioning from a semester to a quarter system. This would not change the total number of credit hours needed for graduation from any of the Masters level programs.

ACADEMIC CREDIT HOURS:

A “credit hour” is the unit by which an institution measures its course work. The number of credit hours for which a course is listed is defined by a combination of the number of hours per week spent in class either face-to-face in a traditional class, or online in either a hybrid or online class, and the number of hours spent in “out of class” preparation (such as completing reading assignments, conducting library research, engaging in required field interviews, or writing papers).

A credit at NTSW typically represents twelve hours of face-to-face or on-line instruction.  For each hour face-to-face or online, students should expect to spend an additional three hours in “out of class” preparation.  While the amount and difficulty of readings will vary from course to course, students should generally expect to be assigned up to 500 pages of reading per credit, and to be required to produce from 5 to 10 pages of writing per credit.  Independent studies are expected to follow these guidelines when computing the number of credits to be awarded for work.

ADMISSIONS:

New Theological Seminary of the West (NTSW) is a professional graduate school whose primary mission is to prepare men and women for ministries in Christian churches and other religious institutions.  Students are admitted without discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, or orientation, and represent a broad range of denominations, theological views, and cultural traditions.  All candidates for degrees or certificates are expected

  • to be able to articulate an understanding of their own particular call to ministry, recognizing that this is interpreted differently across the range of traditions represented within the Seminary
  • to belong to a particular community of faith which has in some manner recognized or affirmed that calling

Further requirements for each degree and certificate are listed elsewhere in this catalogue in the relevant program description sections.

The Seminary has a rolling admissions policy for ALL of its Masters Degree programs.  Applications are reviewed and interviews with prospective students are scheduled on a regular basis throughout the year.  Once they are admitted, students may register and begin attending classes in the next available semester.  Interested candidates should know that the required courses in biblical studies and foundations of ministry are offered sequentially in fall and spring semesters, and are thus encouraged to complete their applications in time to begin the fall semester.  Financial assistance is awarded during the fall and spring of each year in order to assist students with their financial planning for the year.  Applications are available from the Director of Admissions and are sent upon request from the applicant.

Admission to a Certificate Program (CP) is also based on open enrollment. Registration is held at the Seminary offices at the beginning of each semester and online.  Candidates may apply and register for a CP at the same time, provided they complete all necessary application information.

An application for admission must be completed in its entirety in order for a student to be fully admitted into one of the Seminary’s degree programs.  All information contained in a Seminary application is considered confidential and will be kept on file in the Office of the Registrar.  Further information regarding the Seminary’s compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) can be found on page 9 of this Handbook.

Students who have been admitted to a particular Masters Degree program and who wish to transfer to one of the other Masters Degree programs may do so only with the permission of the Academic Dean.  Students seeking to so transfer are not required to complete a new application, but will be asked to complete a supplemental statement indicating the reason for the transfer in programs.

Students who have completed a Masters Degree program and who wish to enroll in one of the other degree programs will be required to complete a new application.

ADVISEMENT:

The purpose of the advisory system is to provide a direct Faculty Advisor for all Masters Program students.  Each student will be assigned a Faculty Advisor who will normally remain in that capacity throughout the entire time the student is enrolled for a degree at NTSW. The Advisor is to meet with each advisee prior to or during registration to approve the courses selected.  These choices should comply with currently approved curricular requirements. Advisors are normally available for counsel regarding academic affairs by appointment.  Students may reach them by phone or email.  Should a student have any questions or concerns regarding advisement, or any aspect of his or her experience at NTSW, the Advisor is the first person to be contacted.  Changes in assignment of Advisors can be made only by the Academic Dean, at the request of either the student or the Faculty member, and after consultation with them both.

ASSESSMENT: Academic Performance and Professional Development:

Assessment is integral to all aspects of learning at NTSW.  The Seminary employs “outcomes-based” learning methods throughout its various degree programs.  In addition, formal assessments are conducted several times a year and include academic performance as well as professional development.  An adverse evaluation of a student in either of these areas may lead to dismissal from an academic program of the Seminary after due process, as described below.

Unless otherwise noted, degree programs of the Seminary are directed toward preparing men and women for ministry who are:

  • informed Biblically
  • steeped in Christian Thought and Tradition
  • skilled in the practice of ministry for personal, ecclesial, and social transformation
  • committed to the call of the Gospel for reconciliation, justice, evangelism and transformation
  • equipped for diverse and inclusive partnerships in congregations, the city, and the world
  • centered in a spiritual tradition which is dynamic in formation and open to God’s continuing revelation

Additional specific learning outcomes appropriate to the various academic disciplines and in accord with these overall outcomes are developed for each area of the curriculum in any degree program of the Seminary.  Regular opportunities for self-assessment and assessment by the faculty throughout the course of each degree program are an integral part of the overall learning experience at the Seminary as well.

As part of the overall process, the faculty reviews the academic performance of all students in degree programs at the conclusion of each semester.  This review is based in part upon the grades received by the students, measured by the student’s cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA).

  • Students in the MACP and MDiv program whose GPA falls below 2.5 are placed on probation.

Notification of probation shall be given by the Academic Dean by regular mail to each student placed on probation within two weeks of the assessment review.  Remaining on probation for at least two consecutive semesters without indication of academic improvement will be considered grounds for dismissal by the Faculty.

The Seminary is permitted to admit into all Masters Degree programs a limited number of students who do not possess an earned bachelor’s degree.  Such students must complete the regular application process and undergo an interview with the Academic Dean to determine their readiness to undertake graduate studies.  In addition, such students will be automatically placed on academic probation during their first year of studies, and will be expected to maintain a 3.0 GPA to remain in good standing.

NTSW is a professional graduate school whose primary mission is the preparation of men and women for ministries in Christian churches and in other religious communities. Candidates for its certificates and degrees are expected not only to maintain good academic standing as defined in this Catalogue and in the Student Handbook published annually for each program, but to demonstrate professional readiness for ministry as well.  Professional readiness for ministry includes emotional, psychological, and spiritual dimensions of a student’s preparation.  Students are assessed regularly by the faculty of the Seminary in a variety of ways, including in confidential sessions that touch on these latter topics.

The faculty normally reviews the professional development of each student twice yearly in the student review process.  However, a faculty member may request, at any time, an evaluation of a student’s professional functioning if there are indications for concern.  During these confidential assessment sessions faculty members may discuss issues of professional development of any candidate for a certificate or degree.  Matters to be considered may include, among other things, psychological readiness for ministry, professional presentation, and personal conduct.  Individual students may be requested by the faculty to undertake a further assessment or outside evaluation regarding the individual’s readiness for ministry.  Failure to undertake such an assessment or evaluation may constitute grounds for dismissal by vote of the full faculty.  Formal notification of dismissal for either academic performance or professional development shall be given by the Academic Dean by regular mail to the student within two weeks of the date that the action is taken by the Faculty.

ATTENDANCE:

As a professional school, the Seminary considers class attendance a critical part of the learning experience.  If absence is necessary, the instructor should be consulted in determining how the lost ground can best be recovered. Every effort should be made to attend all classes and to be on time.

BOOKSTORE:

Required and recommended books for NTSW courses may be found at many online booksellers (AbeBooks.com, Amazon.com, etc.), or at the Archives Bookstore.

  1. Archives Bookshop

509 E. Walnut St.

Pasadena, CA 91101

Phone: (626) 797-4756 (Information only)

Books can be ordered online: https://archivesbookshop.com/

       Store hours: (contact store for updated hours or changes)

Monday                 9:00 AM-6:00 PM

Tuesday                 9:00 AM-6:00 PM

Wednesday            9:00 AM-6:00 PM

Thursday               9:00 AM-6:00 PM

Friday                    9:00 AM-6:00 PM

Saturday              10:00 AM-4:00 PM

Sunday                                    Closed

 

CELL PHONES:

Students are asked to turn off their cell phones or put them on silent/vibrate mode when class begins.

COMMUNITY LIFE:

New Theological Seminary of the West is a unique institution whose life and mission are closely linked to the city,  the churches, and the world.  The classroom is the principal place each week where the Seminary’s community of learning is constituted and where teaching and learning occurs. Students can expect to experience worship, study, and fellowship taking place in these classes in exciting and challenging ways. Because we are a non-residential school, there are a number of additional activities that are intended to build community among us.  Two Seminary-wide retreats are planned each year that ALL Masters level students are REQUIRED to attend. (SEE ALSO: Retreats)


COMPETENCY IN ENGLISH COMPOSITION:

Students in all Degree programs are expected to be proficient in speaking and writing in English.  An English language assessment test may be administered to those whose first language is not English in order to determine the need for possible further work in this area.  Students who are determined to need further work in English composition will be notified and required to comply.  Continuation in the academic program will depend upon meeting this requirement.

CONTINUING EDUCATION AND PARTNER CHURCH PROGRAM:

As indicated above, the Seminary seeks to extend opportunities for continuing education to graduates and others who are seeking to enhance their professional skills and development in theology and ministry.  In line with its mission to serve the churches and other religious institutions, the Seminary also seeks to extend opportunities to Partner Churches (see the section elsewhere in this Catalogue that describes a Partner Church) to make use of its resources as appropriate.  Such opportunities are usually conferences, public lectures, and other events that the Seminary sponsors, but they may also entail attending a class that is part of a degree program at the Seminary.  Not all courses offered in the NTSW curriculum are open for continuing education or for Partner Church members, due to the content of the course.  The size of a class is also taken into consideration when determining whether or not a class is open to continuing education students and members of Partner Churches.  Continuing education students and Partner Church members pay a reduced fee and are expected to sit in on classes but are not expected to participate in discussions fully, and are not expected to turn in written work that is to be graded.  Upon completion of the course, these individuals will be given a certificate indicating their successful attendance.   The Seminary will not generate transcripts for continuing education students or for Partner Church members who attend a class under these conditions.  For information on courses that are open to continuing education and Partner Churches, contact the Registrar or Academic Dean.

CROSS REGISTRATION:

NTSW has cross registration agreements on a space-available basis for elective courses with New York Theological Seminary.  Cross registration is open to matriculated students in the MACP or MDiv program who are in good standing (2.5 GPA or better).  Students register for a course at New York Theological Seminary as part of their regular registration at NTSW.  It should be noted that semester dates differ among these schools, so any student seeking to cross-register should be sure to check the starting date and register at NTSW appropriately.  Additional information is available from faculty advisors or the Registrar during registration.

DRUG-FREE POLICY:

In accordance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, New Theological Seminary of the West maintains a drug-free environment. The unlawful manufacture, possession, distribution, transfer, purchase, sale, use, or being under the influence of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs while in offices or classrooms and/or while attending Seminary-related activities is strictly prohibited and may lead to disciplinary action, including suspension or dismissal.

E-MAIL:

All Faculty members have email accounts at NTSW, and can be reached through them for regular communication.  Email addresses are found on the Seminary web page (found under “Faculty” at http://ntswest.org/faculty).  Faculty may also provide other email addresses as they deem appropriate for students to use.  Individual members of the Faculty are allowed to establish their own policy regarding reception of papers and other written work by e-mail.  Students are asked not to assume that they may turn in papers this way, but to consult with the individual Faculty member.

FAXES:

Students are NOT to fax copies of their papers to instructors using the NTSW office fax numbers.  If papers are faxed in this way, they WILL NOT be forwarded to instructors. Individual instructors are free to make arrangements regarding the use of other fax machines, including those in their home offices or computers.

FERPA: Compliance with:

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) as amended is a federal law which is designed to protect the privacy of students by limiting access to their educational records.  The law prohibits disclosure of information related to a student to anyone other than a legitimate Seminary official without the student’s explicit written consent.  A Seminary official is someone for whom the disclosure of the information is necessary in order for the person to carry out her or his responsibilities at the Seminary, and includes both faculty and staff.

NTSW will not disclose information of a general nature such as a student address or phone number, or information related specifically to the student’s educational performance such as transcripts or evaluations to anyone who is not a legitimate Seminary official without explicit written consent of the student.  NTSW does publish an internal directory of students that is only available to members of the faculty and staff, and may not be shared beyond the institution.

Students (both current and former) have the right to inspect and review all information contained in their education records, including transcripts or reports.  Students who wish to review their records must make an appointment to do so with the Registrar and Academic Dean.  Students who believe that their records contain information that is inaccurate or misleading may petition the Office of the Academic Dean in writing with a request that such information be changed.  Decisions regarding such changes are the responsibility of the Academic Dean and will be communicated to the student in writing within thirty days from when the petition is received.

Students (both current and former) may file a complaint regarding any alleged violation of the FERPA law with the United States Department of Education by writing at:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5920.

Further information regarding the law may be found at FERPA@ed.gov.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE:

Financial assistance at NTSW is available to students in all Masters Degree and some certificate programs.  It is awarded primarily on the basis of need, although in some cases specific scholarships are available on the basis of merit.  Financial assistance is given in the form of internal scholarships.  The Seminary seeks to be as helpful as possible to students as they plan and manage their educational expenses.  Students are also strongly urged to seek scholarship support through other outside agencies, including their own local church or denomination.

Scholarship assistance is awarded primarily on the basis of need, although several of the Seminary’s named scholarships are awarded on specific merit.  Specific amounts for scholarship awards are set by the Financial Aid Office, and named scholarships are reported by the President to interested donors annually.  Renewal of financial assistance is not automatic, and students must re-apply each term.

Students receiving financial assistance are expected to register continuously.  No financial assistance is awarded to a student who is on a Stop-Out or Leave of Absence (see definition for each above).  The Seminary considers 8 credits per term or 16 credits per year to be the minimum for half-time status in all Masters Degree programs.  Seminary scholarships are awarded only to students who are taking 8 or more credits each semester (for purposes of calculating status, winter and summer sessions can be counted toward either fall or spring semesters).

Scholarship awards are made once a term.  Scholarship awards are meant to reduce student’s tuition costs and may not cover up to 100 percent of tuition.

To be eligible for financial assistance students must

  • Submit a complete and legible scholarship application
  • Be registered for a minimum of 8 credits each semester, or 16 credits for the academic year for the MA or MDiv
  • Maintain a 3.0 semester and cumulative GPA
  • Report any anticipated or received external aid, including but not limited to church/denominational scholarships, tuition reimbursements, private loans, or private scholarships

For further information about financial assistance contact

Office of Financial Aid
New Theological Seminary of the West
54 N. Oakland Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 765-9500
www.ntswest.org

NOTE: The faculty and the Board of Trustees for the seminary are currently considering the possibility of transitioning from a semester to a quarter system. This would not change the total number of credit hours needed for graduation from any of the Masters level programs. 

GRADES:  Definition of;

NTSW awards letter grades for all course work completed for credit toward a degree.  The Core Faculty has adopted the following guidelines defining grades:

A:        Conspicuous excellence, showing a thorough mastery of the material, critical use of sources, exceptional creativity, constructive imagination, outstanding oral and written expression and organization
A-:       Exceptional graduate-level attainment, with conspicuous excellence in most respects, but not uniformly so
B+:      Superior level of attainment, marked by consistently good work, advanced understanding of the material, clear logic, circumspect judgment, originality and clear communication
B:         Good work, with general indication of constructive ability in application
B-:       Satisfactory achievement, with assignments completed accurately and on time, but without significant evidence of excellence or distinction
C+:      Satisfactory understanding of course contents, with significant limitations in analysis, communication, integration, or class participation
C:        Minimal understanding of course content, with significant limitations in several of the following: analysis, communication, integration, and class participation (NOTE: A grade of C or higher must be received in order for a required course to be considered successfully completed)
C-:       Minimum understanding of course content, with significant limitations in all of the following: analysis, communications, integration, and class participation
D:        Faithful participation and effort, but inability to grasp the most important essentials of the course
NC:     Work is unacceptable and fails to meet requirements

Any student who receives an NC for a required course in the curriculum will be required to repeat the course in order to graduate.  When a student has repeated such a course, both the original grade of NC and the subsequent grade will be recorded on the transcript and will be factored into the overall student GPA.  Students repeating a course must pay full tuition

F:         Failure due to Plagiarism
I:          An “Incomplete” may be given when a student is unable to complete all assigned work within the particular semester.  Incompletes are only granted at the discretion of the Professor, for any period of time up to 90 days, and must be reported on the appropriate form that is available from the Registrar’s office.  After 90 days, an Incomplete will automatically be converted to an NC
X:        Final materials presented to the Professor; but final grade not yet submitted
P:         Pass; automatically given for a small number of courses that are so designated in the curriculum. Students may so designate additional elective courses, with permission of the Professor.  A “P” has no effect on a student’s GPA

 

GRADES DUE:

Generally grades for each semester are due to be submitted by professors to the Registrar’s office three weeks following the last day the course meets.  Grades for graduating students are due the first week of May.

NOTE: The faculty and the Board of Trustees for the seminary are currently considering the possibility of transitioning from a semester to a quarter system. This would not change the total number of credit hours needed for graduation from any of the Masters level programs.

GRADES: FINAL GRADE REPORTS

Once a grade is reported to the Registrar’s Office, it is final, except when:

  • A clerical error has been made
  • An extension was granted by the Professor and all work completed, in which case the grade of “I” is changed to the subsequent grade
  • There has been a change in the evaluation of the student’s work by the instructor.  In these cases, the Registrar, on behalf of the instructor, will bring the request for a change to the Academic Dean

The Academic Council of the Faculty, in response to a formal student petition, determines to change a grade.  Such action shall be communicated by the Chair of the committee to the Registrar and the entire Faculty at a regular Faculty meeting.

GRADE POINT SYSTEM:

A         = 4.00             C+       = 2.25             F          = 0.00

A-        = 3.75             C         = 2.00             I           = 0.00

B+       = 3.25             C-        = 1.75             X         = 0.00

B          = 3.00             D         = 1.00             CR       = 0.00

B-        = 2.75             NC      = 0.00

GRADES: STUDENT COPY:

Students no longer automatically receive copies of their grades in the mail.  All students must make a formal request for transcripts through the Office of the Registrar.

Instructors officially have up to 3 weeks AFTER the last class to submit grades.  However, some instructors submit their grades earlier than that; others later.  If a grade is missing on your transcript, the grade may not have been submitted yet.  Please contact the professor first for any questions regarding grades.

GRADES: STUDENT REQUEST FOR CHANGE OF GRADE

Most questions concerning grades can be resolved by a student-instructor meeting. The first step a student should thus take regarding a particular grade that is being challenged is to contact the instructor and discuss the situation.  In those cases where a student is not satisfied with the results of this conversation, the student may petition in writing the Academic Dean within ninety days of the last day of the class to ask for a formal reconsideration.  The Academic Dean shall bring the petition to the Academic Council of the Faculty for a judgment, which shall act as the Academic Affairs committee of the Faculty in order to consider the case and shall report on its action to the full Faculty. If the committee determines that a change of grade is warranted, it will be communicated by the Chair of the committee to the Registrar and to the full Faculty at its next regularly scheduled meeting.  In all cases concerning grades, the decision of the full Faculty shall be final.


GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS:

Graduation is held each year on a Saturday in May.  The deadline for applying for graduation and filing all forms in the Registrar’s Office is no later than January 15th of the year they intend to graduate.

By Jan. 15 all Candidates for graduation must:

  1. File an “Application for Graduation” form
  2. File a Graduation Order Form (for diploma and attire)
  3. Contact their Advisor to schedule a graduation audit
  4. Pay a graduation fee of $200 due by January 15th of the year of graduation

The forms are available from the Registrar’s Office.  Candidates who have any “Incomplete” grades on their transcripts will not be allowed to file for graduation until those grades are resolved, no later than Jan. 15 of the year they intend to graduate.

The graduation fee is charged and must be paid regardless of attendance to graduation ceremonies.

All academic requirements must be completed and all financial obligations must be met by April 15th; prior to a candidate’s participation in the graduation exercises.  Students who fail to meet such requirements by April 30 may not be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony.

Those students completing requirements after a deadline set by the faculty may be granted their degrees at a regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees later in the year.  Such candidates will be invited to march in the commencement ceremony the following May.

INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE: Use of;

The use of inclusive language is a requirement for all written work, and encouraged in all other written or oral communications.  Students are urged to develop greater sensitivity in their written work to issues of inclusion in all forms, but especially regarding humankind.  Terms such as “mankind” or “sons of God” are not inclusive of women.  Students will be urged in classes to consider more inclusive ways of speaking about God as well.

INCOMPLETES:

Individual professors at their discretion may grant a student an extension for any course for up to 90 days following the last session of that course.  The exact amount of time allowed for the extension is to be set at the time when it is granted.  The student is expected to complete all outstanding work for the course within this period.  A student seeking an extension must entirely fill out the appropriate Extension Form found in the Office of the Registrar, and must have it signed and dated by the course professor prior to the end of the semester.  Any student who has been granted an extension receives an “Incomplete” on his or her transcript until such time as the work is completed and the faculty member turns in the regular grade.  Extensions are granted strictly at the discretion of the professor and are not to be considered automatic by students.

At the conclusion of the extension period that is identified on the completed Extension Form, all outstanding work is to be submitted and a grade turned in by the appropriate professor to the Office of the Registrar.  Extensions beyond 90 days can only be granted by the Academic Dean with the approval of the professor of the course, and only on the basis of extenuating circumstances.  A new Extension Form must be completed with the Dean’s signature and with an identified expected date of completion.  If no grade is turned in either at the end of the 90-day period or at the end of the additional Extension (when granted), the professor for the course must turn in a new grade to replace the “Incomplete” on the student’s transcript.  If sufficient work has not been completed for a passing grade, the student will receive No Credit for the course.  If the course is required in the curriculum, the student must repeat it.  A grade of No Credit will not be removed from a transcript at a later date, even if the course is repeated and a passing grade for the repeated course is earned.

INDEPENDENT STUDIES POLICY:

During the course of their academic program students may wish to pursue topics that may or may not be included within the regular curriculum.  In such cases, with the special and express agreement of a Faculty member, a student may register for an Independent Study as a core or elective course credit.  The student and Faculty member, in consultation with the Registrar, must agree upon a description of the course, the number of credit hours that it will be for, the work that will be accomplished, a schedule for meetings, and the date of expected completion.  Students register for the course by including its title and credit hours on the normal Registration Form, and are required to have secured Faculty agreement in advance. In addition to the registration process noted in this Handbook, a completed Independent Study Form, available from the Registrar’s Office, shall be submitted at the time of registration.

Independent Studies may take the form of study trips, conferences, or other programs that are deemed relevant to theological education and the preparation for ministry.  In these cases full documentation of the work completed must be provided, and additional written work completed.  In assigning credits students and faculty members should remember that one graduate credit hour requires approximately 12.5 hours of face-to-face contact, plus additional time for research and writing.  In no case will Faculty be expected to consent to guiding such an independent study, nor should students presume that this is a normal means of meeting educational requirements.

Once approved, Independent Studies are considered part of the curriculum of the Seminary and are therefore subject to the rules and regulations governing academic work at the Seminary.

INSTITUTIONAL AND STATE COMPLAINT PROCEDURES:

Students wishing to file a formal complaint concerning academic or operational procedures, or personal grievances with respect to seminary life and policies, are required to follow the following procedures:

  1. Formal notification must be made in writing of the nature of the complaint to the Academic Dean.
  2. If the problem cannot be resolved within ninety days, students are entitled to a hearing before a committee appointed by the President consisting of one representative of the Academic Council, one representative from the Student body and one representative of a program not directly connected with the problem in question.
  3. The process and resolution of the issue within the hearing format is not to exceed thirty days of the final date of hearing.
  4. The Seminary avows that no adverse action will be taken toward students filing complaints concerning any dimension of the Seminary’s life and program as a result of the grievance filed.
  5. Students are to be aware that there is a State Consumer Complaint Process, which can be initiated with the State of California. Information concerning these procedures is available from the state website: http://www.dca.ca.gov/consumer/complaints.shtml.

NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY:

NTSW reaffirms the long-standing history of education policies of non-discrimination. The Seminary is an academic institution that, in compliance with federal, state, and local laws, does not engage in illegal discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, marital or parental status, citizenship status, veteran status or disability in its educational program and activities, including employment, or in admission to programs or activities.  Additionally, it is the policy of NTSW that all actions within the Seminary toward students and employees will be based on performance-related criteria. Attitudes and preferences of individuals that are personal in nature, such as private expressions or sexual orientation, will provide no basis for judgment related to such individuals.

PARKING AT PASADENA PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH:

Parking at Pasadena Presbyterian Church is provided at no cost for seminary students, guests, staff, and faculty in the lot near the northwest corner of Madison and Union Avenues.  Alternative side of the street parking regulations are strictly enforced and students are advised to check them carefully as posted on street signs.  Parking at partner congregations may be available, but students and guests are strongly encouraged to check parking lot regulations wherever classes are held.

PHOTOCOPYING:

The Seminary does not provide photocopy machines for student use. Students may use the commercial photocopy services of such business establishments as Kinko’s located in the area.


PLAGIARISM:

One of the primary learning objectives of the Seminary is to help students acquire the gift of discernment in the form of the ability to think critically. Essential to this task is the requirement that students learn how to investigate the thoughts of others, to organize these thoughts in a fresh way, and, in combination with one’s own thoughts and experiences, to communicate one’s findings effectively.

It is with this conviction that the Seminary does not permit the presentation of someone else’s thoughts as one’s own. Books, articles and other materials used in the presentation of assignments must be credited properly in the footnotes/endnotes and the bibliography. It is the faculty’s view that failure to do so is not only personally dishonest, but a violation of the integrity of the ministry.

Any student turning in written work that is not her or his own, including copying from a published source, copying from the internet, or copying from another student, will be charged with plagiarism.  In those instances where a faculty member suspects that plagiarism has occurred but where the original source cannot be located, the case will be assigned to three members of the faculty who will report their judgment to the faculty.  Judgment of plagiarism in such a case is by majority vote of the faculty. Plagiarism will result in automatic course failure, and in the case of repeated action, possible dismissal from the Seminary.

POLICY ON THE USE OF NTSW NAME:

Unless expressly allowed by the appropriate authorities of the school or their duly appointed representatives no one affiliated with the Seminary may claim to represent it or may use its name, logo, stationery or other means of representation.

RECORDING DEVICES:

The use of audio, video, and other recording devices in any Seminary-related event (including classes, special lectures, worship) is allowed provided special and express permission is obtained from the appropriate Seminary authorities prior to the event.

REFUND POLICY:

Refund for tuition is granted only on the basis of a formal notification of the Registrar of a student’s intention to withdraw from coursework.  All such notifications of Withdrawal must be completed in writing, and must be submitted to the Registrar.  The amount of refund of tuition (if any) that is due for a Withdrawal will be determined by the time and date that the initial request is made.  For purposes of determining time of withdrawal, initial notification can be made in writing, in person, by email or by regular mail sent to the Registrar, but the appropriate form must be filed within two weeks in order for the Withdrawal to be considered complete.  Notification of Withdrawals that are submitted by regular mail will be dated according to the date that the notification was posted.  Notifications of Withdrawal made by email to the Seminary’s Registrar will be dated from the time when the email was sent.

Refund of tuition for withdrawals from MA and MDiv courses are given on the following basis:

  • 100% refund for withdrawals completed prior to the end of the second week of class (for semester-based courses) or the second class session identified on the syllabus (for intensive courses)
  • 50% through the end of the midpoint of the course (determined by contact hours)
  • 0% thereafter

Refund of payment for a Certificate Program is granted according to the following schedule:

  • 100% refund if withdrawal occurs before classes begin
  • 50% refund no later than the second class week
  • no refund thereafter

Refund of fees for audit, continuing education, and Partner Church members in any class is granted in full prior to the first meeting of the particular class, with no refund thereafter.

All fees are non-refundable.


REGISTRATION:

Registration for all master’s level programs takes place several times a year before the beginning of each semester, as posted in the annual Seminary calendar that is available on the NTSW web page or from the Registrar.  New students can expect in general to register the last week of August; Returning students the first week of September for the fall semester and winter courses; the first week in December for winter only; the second week of January for the spring semester; and the second week of May for summer courses.   New students are encouraged to register early in any registration period.

There are regularly scheduled add/drop days and students may change their registration at such time.  As a matter of normal policy refunds are given for tuition only, according to the schedule published both here in the Catalogue and in the Student Handbook.  Late fees are assessed after the first day of classes for any given semester or intensive period (winter or summer months) in any academic program.  It is possible to make arrangements to register early for any program if circumstances warrant.

The registration procedure for all degree programs includes: a) approval by the appropriate faculty advisor; and b) payment or arrangements made with the Student Accounts Office for a payment plan.

Students in all degree programs who enroll in the Seminary’s payment plan are expected to pay 30% of the total cost of tuition and fees that are due at the time of registration.  Payment may be made by check, cash, Visa, or MasterCard.  Financial assistance is available from the Seminary.  A separate application for financial assistance is required.  See the section below on Financial Assistance for more details.

No student will be permitted to register for a new semester with an outstanding balance due.

All auditing and unclassified students must pay in full at time of registration.  Deferred payment plans are available only to students enrolled in an academic program for a degree.

Registration for the Certificate program is held at the Seminary offices prior to the beginning of the fall and spring semesters.  Payment for CP students is expected at time of registration.

NOTE: The faculty and the Board of Trustees for the seminary are currently considering the possibility of transitioning from a semester to a quarter system. This would not change the total number of credit hours needed for graduation from any of the Masters level programs.

REGISTRATION: Interrupting Continuous Registration

Matriculated students in all degree programs are expected to register continuously until such time as they complete their degree and graduate.  Students in all Masters Degree programs are expected to continue to register each semester (fall and spring).  Registration for the winter session (January) or for one of the summer sessions (June, July and August) will be considered to apply toward continuous registration; failure to register for a winter or a summer course, however, does not interrupt continuous registration.

NOTE: The faculty and the Board of Trustees for the seminary are currently considering the possibility of transitioning from a semester to a quarter system. This would not change the total number of credit hours needed for graduation from any of the Masters level programs.

REGISTRATION: Leave of Absence

A matriculated student in any Masters Degree program who does not intend to register for two successive semesters (fall and spring) must apply for a Leave of Absence from the Academic Dean in order to maintain her or his matriculation status. Any student who fails to register for a third consecutive session in any of the Masters Degree programs will be contacted by the Seminary and asked to formally apply for a Leave of Absence.

Any student requesting a Leave of Absence will be asked to provide a reason, and the time at which he or she expects to return to the degree program.  Should a student need further time, a subsequent Leave of Absence may be granted by the Dean or Director.

Any student who does not register for two consecutive semesters (fall and spring) in any Masters Degree program, and who does not submit a Leave of Absence request or is not granted a Leave of Absence will lose her or his matriculation status.  Any student who passes the identified time granted for her or his Leave of Absence without being granted a subsequent Leave will also lose his or her matriculation status.  Such a student must apply for readmission to the degree program in order to continue.

A student cannot apply for a Leave of Absence in any Masters Degree program for a semester in which she or he is currently registered.  A Leave of Absence can only be approved for a semester or year that has not yet begun.  A Leave of Absence will not count toward the maximum time allowed for completing a degree (see below).

NOTE: The faculty and the Board of Trustees for the seminary are currently considering the possibility of transitioning from a semester to a quarter system. This would not change the total number of credit hours needed for graduation from any of the Masters level programs.

REGISTRATION: Stop-Out

A matriculated student in any Masters Degree program who is unable to enroll in a particular semester due to extenuating circumstances may Stop-Out for one semester without losing her or his matriculation status.  Such a student should inform the Registrar in writing prior to the published registration period for that particular semester, and will be asked to complete a Stop-Out form.  A student who fails to inform the Registrar that he or she is Stopping-Out for one semester will be contacted by the Academic Dean and asked to complete the necessary form in order to remain in good standing.  Failure to complete such a form in a timely fashion will endanger the student’s matriculation status.  A Stop-Out semester counts toward the total time allowed for completing a degree.

NOTE: The faculty and the Board of Trustees for the seminary are currently considering the possibility of transitioning from a semester to a quarter system. This would not change the total number of credit hours needed for graduation from any of the Masters level programs.

REGISTRATION: Withdrawal

Any student in any Masters Degree program who begins a semester and then seeks to withdraw from one or more courses must apply to the Registrar for a formal Withdrawal in order to be eligible to receive any refund in tuition that is due (see schedule for refund below).  Students who withdraw from a course within the designated Add/Drop period will not have that course appear on a transcript.  Students who withdraw following the Add/Drop period will receive a “W” on their transcript and will be required to pay for the course in full to register for it again in the future.

Any student who fails to notify the Registrar in writing of their intention to withdraw from one or more courses within the allocated time frame will be held responsible for all tuition that is due for the course or courses.  Students who stop attending classes or otherwise participating in a course and who fail to inform the Registrar that they seek to withdraw from the course will be considered as being enrolled and will be issued a grade at the end of the course.  Notification of a professor does not qualify as formal notification of Withdrawal.  For a Withdrawal to be granted, notification must be given to the Registrar in writing (in person, by email, or by regular post).  Any refunds for tuition will be calculated on the basis of the date that the Registrar was initially notified in writing of the student’s intention to withdraw.  For purposes of determining continuing status, any student who withdraws from all courses in any Masters Degree program in a given semester will be considered to have registered for that semester.  Students receiving scholarship support from the Seminary who withdraw may not keep their award.

NOTE: The faculty and the Board of Trustees for the seminary are currently considering the possibility of transitioning from a semester to a quarter system. This would not change the total number of credit hours needed for graduation from any of the Masters level programs.


RETREATS:

NTSW is a non-residential school, which means times for community life are limited.  In order to facilitate community life and its accompanying spiritual formation, the CP, and all Masters Degree programs include regular opportunities for program-wide retreats during the course of the academic year.  Students in each program are required to attend each of the scheduled retreats for their program, as published in the Academic Calendar.

(SEE also: Community Life)

SECURITY REQUIREMENTS:

New Theological Seminary of the West (NTSW) does not own property.  The Seminary’s administrative offices are located in the Kirkhouse building, a Class – A office building at Pasadena Presbyterian Church.   Classes for its degree programs are held mostly in meeting spaces at partnering congregations in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Each of these institutions – The Kirkhouse, Pasadena Presbyterian Church, and the several partnering congregations, maintains its own security personnel and employs strict security procedures that NTSW students must follow.

All visitors entering Pasadena Presbyterian Church are required to register at the front desk, and must be approved before going to one of the offices.  Anyone entering the Kirkhouse suite who is not a member of the Seminary’s staff or faculty is required to register at the front desk of the Seminary as well.  Records from both the front desk of Pasadena Presbyterian Church and the front desk of the Kirkhouse suite are maintained permanently and are available to any authorized member of the Seminary for review. After 4:00 each day and on weekends and holidays no student may proceed to the church or seminary offices without being escorted.

Pasadena Presbyterian Church in turn passes along such warnings to tenants in the building, including NTSW.  NTSW passes along any such notices to students, or in the case of a situation that might immediately affect evening classes, directly to students through their professors in the classroom; and to faculty and staff through the NTSW office email system.

Members of the NTSW community, including all faculty, students, staff, and visitors, who have either been the victims or observers of a crime taking place in any building or around the immediate neighborhood of Pasadena Presbyterian Church or the seminary’s partnering congregations are asked to report such incidents immediately to the head of security on duty in the building where they are, or to the local city police.


SEMINARY DRUG-FREE STATEMENT:

In accordance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, New Theological Seminary of the West maintains a drug-free environment.  The unlawful manufacture, possession, distribution, transfer, purchase, sale, use, or being under the influence of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs while at work in the Seminary, or while attending or participating in Seminary-related activities is strictly prohibited and may lead to disciplinary action, including suspension or dismissal.  When appropriate, the Seminary may refer the employee or student to approved counseling or rehabilitation programs.  Should an employee or student be convicted of a drug-related crime that occurred on Seminary property or while engaged in a Seminary activity, s/he must notify the President.  Appropriate action, including possible disciplinary action and/or the requiring of participation in a drug-abuse assistance or rehabilitation program, may result after notice of the conviction is received.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY:

NTSW seeks to promote a cooperative work and academic environment that fosters mutual respect for all.  As an institution that seeks to embody Christian principles, it is bound by the injunction to seek the well-being of all who work, study or pass through its programs.  Harassment of anyone based upon sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression is inconsistent with these objectives and contrary to Seminary policy.  Sexual harassment is also illegal under federal, state, and city law.  It is the policy of New Theological Seminary of the West to prohibit sexual harassment of employees and students.  It is a violation of this policy for any member of the Seminary community to engage in sexual harassment, or for any member of the Seminary community to take action against an individual for reporting sexual harassment.  Prompt investigation of allegations will be made on a confidential basis to ascertain the veracity of complaints, and appropriate corrective action will be taken.

Sexual harassment is defined as “unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.” Questions or complaints regarding these policies or initiation of a grievance may be directed to the President; or in a case where the President may be compromised, to the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Seminary.

SMOKING POLICY:

Smoking is prohibited inside Pasdean Presbyterian Church, The Kirkhouse building, and all parterning congregations.  Given the dangers that studies have revealed about second-hand (as well as first-hand) smoke, compliance with this policy should be a priority of conscience.  Your cooperation is requested for the health and comfort of all.

SOLICITATION:

To avoid unnecessary interruptions of Seminary programs and activities, solicitation and distribution of written material by unauthorized persons is strictly prohibited unless approved in advance by the appropriate authorities.   Solicitation includes, but is not limited to: raffles, sales of merchandise, posting or distributing notices or written material, soliciting for membership in organizations, requests for support of social, community, or other organizations.  Persons affiliated with the Seminary who engage in this practice may be subject to disciplinary action.

STANDARDS OF STUDENT CONDUCT:

New Theological Seminary of the West is a school whose primary mission is the preparation of men and women for Christian ministries. In addition to stated policies on discrimination and sexual harassment, as well as academic policy (e.g. plagiarism, cheating on exams) students are expected to act in a caring and courteous manner. Failure to do so will result in a conference with the appropriate program committee within thirty days of the alleged behavior. The committee’s judgment on appropriate action is then recommended to the full Faculty for action.

Students judged to be in violation of academic policies or standards of conduct are subject to probationary status or dismissal. All students on probationary status will have their cases reviewed at the Faculty’s semi-annual student review conference for appropriate action.

STANDARDS FOR WRITTEN WORK:

Graduate level academic standards for written work are required in all classes.

 

Unless otherwise specified by the professor, the form of all written work should follow that outlined in the most current edition of Kate Turabian’s  A Manual for Writers of Theses & Dissertations (7th edition) or The Chicago Manual of Style (15th edition) available in the library and bookstore.

 

Any student can utilize a professor to develop their writing and communication skills. Students are encouraged to work with a professor at any stage of the research and writing process.

 

Citing Resources:

 

The citation system that is required at NTSW is Kate L. Turabian’s Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations.  All students should obtain a copy of the guide when they enter the seminary.

 

STUDENT CLASSIFICATION:

 

A matriculated student is one who is admitted to a designated degree program.  Matriculated students at the Seminary are expected to register continuously from semester to semester in all Masters Degree programs.

 

An unclassified student is one who is admitted to study for credit without having been admitted to a specific degree.  In some cases a student who has not completed the application for a degree program will be admitted as an unclassified student and allowed to complete the application during the first semester of coursework.  Unclassified students also include those enrolled in a degree program in another school with whom NTSW does not have a cross-registration agreement, and who wish to take courses from NTSW in order to transfer these to their other institution.  An unclassified student may become a matriculated student by completing the application process and being admitted into a degree program by the end of and no later than their first semester at NTSW.

 

An auditor is a matriculated student who is taking a class in a degree program without seeking to earn credit.  An auditor pays a reduced fee for the course and is expected to participate in the class.  A professor may limit the number of auditors in a class.

 

Continuing Education students and members of Partner Churches are persons who are not pursuing a theological degree but are interested in pursuing learning opportunities at the Seminary.  Such opportunities are usually conferences, public lectures, and other events that the Seminary sponsors, but they may also entail attending a class that is part of a degree program.  Continuing education students may be graduates of the Seminary or of another institution who are seeking to enhance their professional skills and development.  The Seminary extends the opportunity to any member of a Partner Church (see the section elsewhere in this Catalogue that describes a Partner Church) to sit in on classes from time to time as well.  Continuing education and Partner Church members must register for any course they seek to attend, subject to restrictions that may be imposed by the Academic Dean or the Registrar, and subject to the permission of the professor.  Such persons pay a reduced fee and are invited to attend classes but are not expected to participate in class discussions and will not be asked to complete written assignments for a grade.  Upon completion of the course these individuals will be given a certificate indicating their successful attendance.

 

NOTE: The faculty and the Board of Trustees for the seminary are currently considering the possibility of transitioning from a semester to a quarter system. This would not change the total number of credit hours needed for graduation from any of the Masters level programs.

 

STUDENT HANDBOOKS:

 

Further information on academic policies and procedures, along with general information each year on the specific program, is published annually in a Student Handbook for each degree program.  Students should consult the appropriate publication for their program for any changes in policies, as well as for additional information.

 

SUPERVISED MINISTRY:

 

Supervised Ministry (the name for Field Education at NTSW) is a significant part of the Seminary’s educational program.  Students are given an opportunity to learn in an action-reflection model of theological education that emphasizes the integration of academic knowledge with hands-on experience of doing ministry under qualified supervision.  The focus is on learning by doing.

 

The purpose of Supervised Ministry is to assist students in personal and professional growth by helping them form a ministerial identity, gain competence in ministry skills, and grow spiritually.  Honest self-assessment and constructive evaluations by others are integral to the process.

 

No credit is given for ministry experience gained prior to entering NTSW, although transfer credit may be granted when field education has been satisfactorily completed at another accredited seminary.  Students who enter the Seminary with extensive ministry experience are encouraged to keep on growing in the practice of ministry, doing so in conversation with others in ministry.  Normally, Supervised Ministry requirements are completed over the course of the third and fourth year of the curriculum (four semesters), at least one of these years (two semesters) completed in a local church other than their home congregation.  Other students wishing to fulfill the 8-credit requirement in fewer than four semesters must secure the written permission of the Director of Supervised Ministry and the Academic Dean.

 

SYLLABUS AND COURSE REQUIREMENTS:

 

A syllabus shall be provided for students by the first session of each course with the understanding that it is a plan, not a contract.  The major course requirements shall be clearly stated in the syllabus.

 

All work (except final papers) submitted by students are normally to be returned to them within a reasonable time period. Final papers are returned (usually within 3 weeks of the last day of the course) and graded with comments where appropriate.

 

The instructor shall return papers to the student by (a) handing back papers in class; or (b) returning them by mail in self-addressed, 9×12 stamped envelopes that the student has provided.  It is the student’s responsibility to retain copies of all materials submitted to meet course requirements, except in-class exams, until notified of a final grade from the Registrar. Students should also keep all graded papers and exams in case of questions concerning their grades.

 

TIME FRAME FOR COMPLETION OF DEGREES:

 

NTSW recognizes that the majority of its students are completing degrees while engaged in professional ministry, secular vocations, or in many cases both.  Students are encouraged to consider carefully their academic work load each year in light of their responsibilities and commitments beyond the Seminary.

 

The minimum and maximum time in which a student can expect to complete his or her degree program is as follows:

 

Program           Minimum and maximum time for completion

 

MACP                         2 to 5 years

MDiv                           3 to 7 years

 

Students who go beyond the maximum time frame for completion of their degree must request from the Academic Dean in writing formal permission to continue.  Approval for continuation beyond the maximum time for completion must be granted each successive year by the Academic Dean until the degree is completed.

 

TRANSCRIPT REQUESTS:

 

Requests must be made to the Registrar, in writing, during weekday business hours, by mail, email or fax.  Transcripts are $10 per copy payable through the Business Office at the time of request.  The Registrar’s Office processes and mails transcripts as soon as possible after  the request is received and payment is confirmed.  No transcript will be released by the Registrar for current or former students if they have outstanding balances due.

 

TRANSFER OF CREDITS:

 

NTSW will transfer in credits toward the MACP and MDiv degrees from another graduate school of theological education that is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Education in the United States and Canada (ATS).  Courses from non-ATS accredited theological schools within the United States and Canada are generally not accepted for transfer except on a case-by-case basis and determined by the Academic Dean.  Transfer of credits from graduate programs in theological education from outside the United States and Canada will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Academic Dean as well, unless a prior agreement with a particular institution is in place.

 

Requests for transfer must be made in writing to the Academic Dean, and will be administered only after a student has completed one full semester at NTSW.  For a transfer of credits, the following must have been met:

Only courses that have received a letter grade of C or above, and

Courses must have been completed within ten years from admission

 

Required courses for the NTSW degree may be met through transfer of work completed at another school of theological education, but in no case shall any required courses be omitted, even if that should eventuate in a total of more than 90 final credits including the transfers.  The decision as to whether a transferred course meets an NTSW requirement is made by the Academic Dean.  Any student graduating with an NTSW degree must complete a minimum of 40 credits in an NTSW program towards an M. Div. degree, and 20 credits in an NTSW program towards a MACP degree, even if that eventuates in more credits being earned than required for the particular degree.  Students may transfer up to one-half the credits earned toward another degree to be applied to a degree at NTSW.

 

NTSW will transfer up to 12 credits toward the MACP or MDiv degree from a non-theological degree program, including courses in religious studies offered in a non-ATS accredited program provided that the course is comparable to an elective that is offered within the NTSW program.  In no case may more than 12 credits from any one or a combination of such programs be accepted for transfer.

 

All decisions regarding transfer of credits from another institution to NTSW are made by the Academic Dean, whose judgment is final.

 

 

Matriculated students at NTSW may take courses at other ATS-accredited theological schools that currently do not have cross-registration agreements with the Seminary (see below for more on cross registration) and transfer the earned credits toward the MACP or MDiv degree at NTSW only with the written permission of the NTSW Academic Dean.  Courses taken at another institution are transferred to NTSW as electives.  It is the responsibility of any student taking a course at another institution to have the grade or evaluation sent to the NTSW Registrar at the end of the course.  In all cases, the judgment of the NTSW Academic Dean is final.

 

Students seeking to complete both the MDiv and an MACP degree at NTSW may transfer up to 24 credits from the MACP to the MDiv, and up to 24 credits from the MDiv to the MACP. Credits being transferred from one NTSW degree to another may be applied to meet the required courses of the additional degree.

 

Generally, no courses are accepted for transfer into the CP at NTSW.  Exceptions for the CP can be made by the Director of that program.

 

TUITION AND FEES:

NTSW seeks to maintain reasonable tuition and fees for all programs as a matter of policy and commitment.  Tuition and fees at the Seminary remain among the lowest in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.  Students who enter any degree or certificate program can expect to see a modest annual raise in the cost of their theological education as they progress through the program.  A list of costs for all programs is published each spring on the NTSW web page under “Admissions” and is available from the Registrar or Academic Dean.