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Academic Policies



These topics outline major academic policies at Moody Theological Seminary. Students should become familiar with the information contained in each of these areas.

Grading Systems

The following letter grades and their achievement equivalents are used by instructors at Moody Theological Seminary to reflect a student's performance in a course. Quality points corresponding to each letter grade determine a student's academic average and eligibility to graduate. Each grade, A through F, has a specific quality point value. The quality points earned in any course equal the quality point value of the grade multiplied by the number of semes­ter hours credited. The grade point average (GPA) is determined by dividing the total quality points earned by the total number of semester hours credited in those courses for which quality point grades have been assigned. All semi­nary students must maintain a grade point average of at least 2.5 to graduate.

LI - Academic Policies - MTS Grading System

Grade Scale
X Repeated failed course
W Withdrawal, no penalty
WF Withdrawal failing
WP Withdrawal passing
FN Unofficial Withdrawal
I Incomplete
CR Credit course—passed
CF Credit course—not passed
P Non-credit course—passed
AU Audit

All grade reports submitted to the Academic Records office must have a grade assignment for every student. If, at the discretion of the MTS Academic Stan­dards Committee, a seminary student is granted an assignment extension, a grade of incomplete will be recorded in the grade book. A faculty member has authority to change a grade within six weeks after grades are released to the student (see Grade Reports section for release dates). If this grade is not changed within the appropriate time frame, it will be replaced automatically with a fail­ure mark by the Academic Records office. This grade is binding, unless changed by the Registrar with a formal, written request outlining unusual circumstances. The student has four months from the day grades are issued to appeal the earned grade. After four months, grades are considered final.

Students may only repeat failed courses taken previously at MTS. When a course is repeated, the most current grade will be used to calculate the current and cumulative grade point average. The original grade will be noted with an "X" mark on the student's transcript but will remain.


Students are issued a grade of FN indicating unofficial withdrawal when they cease to attend or participate in course instruction without officially withdrawing from the course. A grade of FN negatively affects GPA and may result in return of financial aid.


Special Credit Options


Students may receive transfer credit for appropriate graduate-level work done at other accredited institutions within the past ten years. The student must have received at least a grade of B- for any course to be eligible for transfer. Any exceptions for meeting the requirements by taking outside coursework need prior approval by the Instructional Supervision Committee and will only be granted for compelling circumstances.

 Note: Transfer credit cannot exceed 50% of the total credits required for any program.


Advanced Standing Credit


  • 300-400 Level — Equivalent undergraduate coursework must be upper level to transfer as advanced standing credit. 
  • B- — The minimum grade a student needs to earn to receive advanced standing credit. 
  • 10 years Limit — Academic/test credits that exceed ten years from the date of completion are not applicable toward current degree curricula. Current students may appeal this policy by passing MTS faculty approved validation exam(s).
  • 25% — The maximum percentage of an MTS degree that can be fulfilled with MBI undergraduate course content and credit hours.


Validation Exam Credit

MTS offers validation examinations for all courses to students who desire to earn graduate academic credit based on undergraduate coursework completed at a Bible or Christian liberal arts college, extensive personal study, or other nontransferable learning. For more information contact the MTS office at 312-329-4314.

The maximum hours of special credit allowed in each program are explained in the following chart:

Master of Divinity 90  22 45
Master of Arts 48  12 24
Master of Theological Studies 52  13 26
Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology 59  14 29
Graduate Certificates 24  6 6


*Note: Advanced Standing, Validation, and Transfer credit combine cannot exceed 50% of the total credits required for any program. 

Students enrolled in a graduate certificate program are allowed a maximum of three credits of directed study. Students enrolled in a master's degree program are allowed a maximum of six credits of directed study. Students enrolled in the Master of Divinity degree program are allowed a maximum of nine credits of directed study. Students should consult with an academic advisor to begin the directed study approval process. 

Records / Transcripts

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as amend­ed, sets forth requirements regarding the privacy of student records. This document outlines the Moody Bible Institute polices for the handling of student educational records, which are protected by this federal law. All edu­cational officials requesting educational records on any MBI (MTS) student must read the following policies and demonstrate a legitimate educational interest in order to access FERPA-protected information.

This information is also provided to all students at Moody Bible Institute and Moody Theological Seminary as required by federal law, in accordance with the Annual Notification Requirement. Students have three primary rights under FERPA. These rights include 1) the right to inspect and review their educational records, 2) the right to seek to amend educational records, and 3) the right to have some control over the disclosure of information from their education records.

Moody Bible Institute is in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which is designed to protect the privacy of educational records, to establish the right of the students to inspect and review their records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or mis­leading data through informal and formal hearings. Students also have the right to file complaints with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Office concerning alleged failures by Moody Bible Institute to comply with the provisions of the Act. Such complaints should be sent to Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20202-4605.

Students may request a transcript of their academic record or certification of student status through the Academic Records office. The Academic Records office will not issue a transcript or release other nonpublic information except on the written request of the student.

If a request for a transcript is submitted between the completion of a course and the release of a grade, the Academic Records office will send out a tran­script without the latest course grade(s), unless requested otherwise by the student.

The following fees (per transcript) are applied to transcript requests:

  • 3–5 business days' processing ($10 U.S., check, cash or credit card)
  • 1–2 business days' processing ($15 U.S., check, cash or credit card)
  • Overnight within continental U.S. ($40 U.S., check, cash or credit card)

Please make checks payable to "Moody Bible Institute." Only MasterCard or Visa are accepted. For additional information, contact the Academic Records office at (312) 329-2087 or .

Academic Probation/Dismissal

The MTS Academic Standards Committee has the responsibility of determin­ing students' academic status each semester.

A minimum grade point average of 2.5 is required for graduation. Students whose semester grade point average drops below 2.5 will be placed on aca­demic warning. This status will be communicated to the student to enable appropriate action that may be needed to maximize the opportunity for grade improvement.

Students who have a cumulative grade point average below 2.5 after nine hours will be placed on academic probation. If after one semester on academ­ic probation the student's cumulative grade point average remains below 2.5, he or she may be placed on academic restriction. The total credits attempted by the student may be limited at this time.

Students who have a cumulative average below 2.5 for two consecutive semesters may be asked to discontinue their studies at Moody.

The committee uses the following criteria to guide this process:


Good Standing
No restrictions


  1. Cumulative GPA below 2.5
  2. Student will be monitored each semester until GPA is above 2.5

Academic Restriction

  1. Cumulative GPA still below minimum for Satisfactory Academic Progress
  2. Credits attempted may be limited. This limitation may affect the student's eligibility to maintain full-time student status
  3. Student will continue to be monitored until GPA is above 2.5 or Academic Dismissal.

Academic Program Dismissal
Student is academically dismissed from certificate/degree program.

Academically dismissed students are ineligible to apply for readmission to Moody Theological Seminary. Any appeal for an exception to the dismissal policy must be submitted to the Academic Standards Committee within ten days of receiving the dismissal notification. The Academic Standards Com­mittee will then act on the appeal. The decision of the Academic Standards Committee is considered final.

Program Time Limits

Students are required to meet all their academic requirements within their program time limit. The time limits for Moody Theological Seminary programs are as follows:

BI - Academics - MTS Program Time Limits

A formal petition for additional time must be submitted to the Academic Stan­dards Committee through the Academic Records office. An extension fee is required. Extensions are seldom approved for more than one year.

Change of Program

After an enrollment of 12 hours, a nondegree student who wishes to pursue a certificate or degree program should contact the Admissions office for an assessment of his or her application status.

Changes from one M.A. program to another M.A. program or from one M.Div. program to another M.Div. program can be processed entirely in the Academic Records office. Changes from any of the certificate programs to any M.T.S. or M.A. programs or to any M.Div. program begin in the Academic Records office and are forwarded to the MTS Admissions Committee for review. The MTS Admissions Committee will evaluate the student's progress and will assess the request accordingly. A reply will be mailed to the student within one month of the request. Students who change degree programs will be subject to the requirements current at the time of the change.

Attendance Requirements

Students are expected to participate fully in the academic and spiritual pro­grams at Moody. Students who are absent from 25% or more of scheduled class sessions may not receive academic credit for the course. Faculty will inform students of additional policies at the beginning of each course.


Students will be permitted up to two consecutive semesters of nonenrollment at any point during their degree program. If students are not enrolled in any classes during an academic term, they may be required to take heavier credit loads in future terms in order to meet their program time limit. Nonenroll­ment for more than two consecutive semesters will result in discontinuation of the student's status. A discontinued student will need to reapply through the Admissions office and be reaccepted into the current curriculum before continuing studies at Moody Theological Seminary.

A student who is on probation or academic restriction must keep a continual enrollment until a 2.5 GPA is achieved. Failure to keep a continual enroll­ment will result in academic dismissal and the student will have to reapply.

Application for Graduation

All candidates seeking graduation must request candidacy by completing an Application to Graduate Form and submitting it to the Academic Records office. Students who have no more than six hours outstanding will be per­mitted to participate in the commencement ceremony, as long as they are registered to complete the coursework during the summer.


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