Advanced Standing, Transfer Credit, and Cross-Registration
Master’s Degree candidates must earn at least 24 of their 48 credits, including their culminating experience, in St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute. In addition, they may earn credits from advanced standing, transfer of courses taken at other institutions, and enrollment in St. Mary’s School of Theology according to the policies stated below.
All credits toward a certificate must be earned within St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute.
Advanced Standing without Credit
Advanced standing without credit (no reduction in the total hours required for a degree) may be granted for core courses to candidates in the M.A. in Theology or the M.A. in Church Ministries upon the decision of the Dean. Such advanced standing is based on undergraduate credits in theology or religious studies that were earned within the past 10 years and completed with a B or better. For each course waived, the student must substitute an elective course in the same department (as guided by the Dean). A student who desires advanced standing without credit should petition the Dean for a transcript evaluation before registering for the first class. The maximum number of credits that may be replaced with electives on the basis of advanced standing without credit is 12.
Advanced Standing with Credit
The following policy is based on the requirements of the Association of Theological Schools.
Advanced standing with credit (reduction in the total hours required for a degree) may be granted for core courses to candidates for the M.A. in Theology or the M.A. in Church Ministries who have an undergraduate major or similar significant undergraduate work in theology or religious studies after formal assessment in the course(s) they have pursued and for which the credit is desired. Such advanced standing with credit is based on undergraduate credits that were earned within the past 10 years and completed with a B or better. A student who desires advanced standing with credit should petition the Dean for a transcript evaluation, and for formal assessment in the course for which credit is desired before registering for the first course. The maximum number of credits of advanced standing with credit that can be granted is 9.
A transfer student in the M.A. in Theology or Church Ministries programs must complete at least 24 of his or her 48 credits, including the culminating experience, in St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute to be eligible for a degree. Upon the decision of the Dean, up to 24 graduate credits in theology or religious studies may be transferred from another accredited institution into a degree program. Matriculated students must receive approval from the Dean prior to enrolling in a course at another institution in order to insure the transfer of credit. Normally, transfer credits must have been earned within the past 10 years and completed with a B or better to be eligible for transfer. The maximum allowance for the combination of advanced standing with credit and transferred graduate credits is also 24 credits. Grades from transferred credits are not used in calculating the student’s GPA.
St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute does not belong to any consortia of theological schools, but it has working relationships with several schools in the region. Nearby institutions from which transfer credit may be earned with advance approval of the Dean include Wesley Theological Seminary, Howard University Divinity School, and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg.
Credits Earned in St. Mary’s School of Theology
Under certain circumstances, Ecumenical Institute students are allowed to cross-register for specific courses in the School of Theology. They must meet the prerequisites for the classes they wish to take, and normally must request permission to cross-register from the E.I. Dean. E.I. students pay E.I. tuition when they register for School of Theology classes as E.I. students.
Students Related to Other Institutions
St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute welcomes students from neighboring theological schools and other graduate institutions. In recent years, we have had students from Wesley Theological Seminary, Howard University Divinity School, Lancaster Theological Seminary, the Pastoral Counseling programs at Loyola University Maryland, Notre Dame University of Maryland’s graduate program, and other programs in the region. We also encourage students from the Baltimore area who are considering attending other theological schools in any part of the country to begin their theological studies in St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute.