General Student Responsibility
It is the responsibility of the student to comply with the academic policies of the Ecumenical Institute. In addition to timely registration and prompt payment of fees, it is especially imperative to complete the admission requirements and to inform the office in writing of any changes in registration, address, telephone numbers, or email addresses.
It is expected that students already have basic skills in library usage, critical reading , research, and writing term papers. Students are required to research, organize, and write their own papers, and to keep a copy of any work submitted in a course.
Attendance and Participation
Graduate theological education requires a high degree of involvement in the classroom and initiative outside the classroom. Regular attendance and informed participation are expected and evaluated in all classes. A necessary absence should be cleared in advance with the professor. More than one absence from a course may result in additional work or a lower grade, at the professor's discretion. More than three absences may result in administrative withdrawal.
Auditors are required to attend more than 50 percent of a course's class sessions in order to have the course audit appear on their transcripts.
Students are also expected to be on time for class and to deactivate cell phones and beepers. (Exceptions are made only for physicians, pastors, and other professionals who are on call, and for persons whose immediate family medical situation requires availability.) A detailed policy on attendance and related matters may be found in the Student Handbook.
Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
St. Mary's is
committed to providing reasonable accommodations to students with
disabilities. It is St. Mary's policy that all such requests be made
to the office of the Registrar. St. Mary's requires supporting
documentation for these requests.
The Registrar and
Dean will review the request and the documentation, consult with the
student and make a decision about the request. The Registrar will
provide written notice of the approved accommodation to any faculty or
staff member who may be directly involved in implementing the
Unit of Credit
Most courses are designed to yield three graduate credits. Full-time study is normally nine (9) or more credits per semester. Most Ecumenical Institute of Theology students are part-time students taking one or two courses each semester. (See also Course Load.)
St. Mary’s Seminary & University requires that all official records
bear a student’s full and legal first, last, and middle (if
applicable) name. If a student’s name has been changed because of
marriage, divorce, legal action, etc., the student is required to
provide documentation such as a driver’s license, passport, or social
security card before the name can be changed in St. Mary’s records.
Grades represent the evaluation by the professor of the results of class attendance and participation, papers or reports, and written or oral examinations. More specific guidelines about grades and grading are available in the Student Handbook. Any question concerning a grade must be resolved by the student and the professor within one month of the official notification of grades. Appeals beyond this are made first to the Dean and then to the Faculty, according to procedures outlined in the Student Handbook. The decision of the Faculty is final.
per Credit Hour
||Failure for Academic Dishonesty
The grade of "I" is a temporary notation indicating that some course work has not been completed by the end of the term due to some circumstance beyond the student'’s control and that the professor has approved an extension of time. An "I" is never automatically granted; a student must submit a written petition, available
and from the E.I. office, that requires the approval of both the professor and the Dean. Dates for the submission of all work to remove Incompletes are published each term by the Registrar's office. Failure to submit outstanding work to the professor by this date will result in a grade of "F" being assigned by the Registrar.
Course Failures and Repeats
A student who fails a course is subject to probation or, in certain cases, dismissal. (For details, see the Student Handbook.) The grade of "F" is permanently inscribed on the student's transcript. If the Committee on Admissions and Academic Standing places a student on probation and permits or requires a repeat of a course, the student may re-take the course one time, normally no more than two years following the term in which the "F" was received. If the student earns a better grade in the repeat course, the original "F" remains on the transcript but is no longer calculated in the student's GPA, and the new grade both appears on the transcript and is calculated as part of the student's GPA.
A student whose GPA falls below 3.0 is also placed on probation. A student on probation for this reason who wishes to repeat a course voluntarily, in order to improve his or her cumulative GPA, may petition the Committee on Admissions and Academic Standing for permission to do so. Permission is normally granted only if the course grade was less than B- and if the Committee believes that repeating the course will improve not only the student's GPA, but also his or her mastery of the subject. If the student earns a better grade in the repeat course, the original grade remains on the transcript but is no longer calculated in the student'’s GPA, and the new grade both appears on the transcript and is calculated as part of the student's GPA. Voluntary repeat courses must normally be taken no more than two years following the term in which the original course was taken.
A student must maintain a "B" average, i.e., a GPA of 3.0, in order to graduate from a degree program or receive a certificate. (GPAs are never "rounded up"; a 2.99 GPA does not qualify.) Unsatisfactory grades must be balanced by higher grades to maintain the 3.0 average. A required course yielding a failing grade must be repeated by matriculated certificate and degree candidates who are permitted to remain in the program. Only grades from courses taken at St. Mary's are used to calculate the GPA.
Life of Credits
Because of the
nature of theological research and study, students should have a
command of the most recent information available when working toward
a degree. Normally, credits earned at St. Mary’s or transferred
from another accredited institution must have been earned within the
past ten (10) years and completed with a grade of B or better to be
eligible for application to a current degree. Use of these credits
must be approved by the Dean and the Registrar. Grades for work in
transfer courses are not calculated in the current program GPA.
The annual Dean's List recognizes as many as 20 fully matriculated degree candidates (M.A. Theol. or M.A. Ch. Min.) with the highest cumulative GPA. Minimum requirements for consideration for the Dean's List are (1) matriculation in a degree program; (2) completion of 17 or more credits at the E.I., including a total of five or more credits within at least two of the three terms prior to the announcement of the Dean's List (normally about July 1); (3) a cumulative GPA of 3.85 or better; and (4) no course grade below a B. Dean's List students receive a partial scholarship for one course during the following academic year.
All course assignments are to be done with integrity. Written work is to be the student'’s own, and care is to be taken to give full documentation for all material quoted or paraphrased from other sources. The standard for written work is Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 6th ed. (University of Chicago Press). Plagiarism and the submission of work other than one's own are viewed as serious offenses and grounds for dismissal. A detailed policy on academic integrity and honesty may be found in the Student Handbook.
Grade Reports and Transcripts
Grade reports are issued at the end of each term. Grade reports will not be issued for any student who has outstanding financial or library obligations (items checked out of St. Mary's library in the student's name but not returned, plus any library fines).
Written, signed requests (available for
download here) for transcripts, which must include the student's date of birth and years of attendance, should be addressed to the Registrar. Email messages are not acceptable as legal release of records. The charge for both official and unofficial transcripts is $5 per transcript. Transcripts will not be issued for any student who has failed to fulfill his or her financial or library obligations.
Concerns and Grievances
Student concerns about a course or grade may often be resolved directly with the professor. Unresolved issues should be addressed using the procedures described in the Student Handbook. The Student Handbook also contains policies for appeals concerning administrative withdrawal, probation, and dismissal.
Probation and Dismissal
Any student (matriculated or not) whose overall GPA falls below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. The student must then bring his or her average back up to 3.0 within the next four courses (or the end of the program, whichever comes first) to avoid dismissal. Any student (matriculated or not) who fails a course or otherwise demonstrates an inability to meet the academic demands of the Ecumenical Institute of Theology will be placed on academic probation or dismissed. Degree candidates who fail the comprehensive exam, the Colloquium, the thesis project, or Ministry-in-Context are normally not permitted to enroll in future courses at the E.I. for credit, and may be dismissed. In addition, any student who is found guilty of academic dishonesty or other major violations of students'’ responsibilities, as indicated in the E.I.'s Community-Life Agreement and Community-Life Policies printed in the Student Handbook, will be subject to academic probation or dismissal. Further information is available in the Student Handbook.
Academic Planning and Advising
All students taking courses for credit are assigned an advisor. Certificate and degree candidates are assigned an advisor based on their specific area of study. All students are encouraged to seek academic assistance from their advisors, especially in the planning of their program and course selection. Students who need specialized counseling (e.g., regarding further graduate education) should consult also with the Dean.
The average E.I. student takes one or two courses per term and is often somewhat confined, with respect to scheduling classes, by other commitments. The following guidelines are given with the understanding that some students cannot follow the "ideal" program.
All degree and certificate candidates, potential degree and certificate candidates, "seekers" exploring various programs, and students who need a general introduction to theological study should take TH601 during their first or second term. BS600 is also strongly recommended early on for actual or potential degree candidates, and is required for most other biblical studies courses. Students new to theological study may also begin with courses that are part of the Explorations in Theology program.
Degree-seeking students should then normally continue with foundational courses in each of the core theological disciplines. There is no prescribed order, but the ideal sequence for the first four to six courses would be: (1) biblical core (taking Hebrew Bible before New Testament); (2) H601 The Early Christian Church (for the M.A. Theol.); (3) ST601 Foundations of Systematic Theology; (4) MT600 Fundamentals of Theological Ethics. The required course in Spirituality may be taken at any time in the program. Additional required foundational courses (depending on the degree program) may be taken later in the program. Students may take courses only after they have completed the appropriate prerequisites.
Research and Writing Assistance
Students in need of research and/or writing assistance are urged, and in some cases required, to contact the Ecumenical Institute's writing specialist. Students whose performance on the Academic Skills Assessment or in-class work suggests the need for writing assistance may be required to work with the writing specialist and/or to take a non-credit remedial course in academic writing and reading to continue as a student.
Permanent Records Policy
In addition to biographical information
(name, address, state or federally mandated demographic data), St.
Mary’s keeps the following information on all students and it becomes
part of a student’s permanent academic record:
and other test scores
information (for seminarians)
recommendations (when required for admission)
application, acceptance, registration, matriculation, withdrawal
program(s) information at St. Mary’s
coursework, with grades, status, dates and grade point averages
transcripts from other institutions
transferred for credit
of student if needed for admission process
information about other language(s) studied
correspondence with St. Mary’s faculty and administrators relating to student’s program
information on theses
comprehensive examinations and examination scores
information on degree(s) conferred
pertinent documents and information (withdrawal, transfer, leave of absence, financial documents that
pertain to academic status, pastoral year, dismissal etc.)
are placed on student records in compliance with the Family
Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and to protect the privacy
rights of individuals. These documents may be inspected only by those
faculty members or administrators at St. Mary’s who have a legitimate
educational interest in seeing them. Others may inspect these files or
obtain copies of information in a student’s record only after the
Registrar’s Office has received a signed written request or permission
form from the student and the student has paid a nominal fee, or as
otherwise permitted or required by law. No e-mail requests are
accepted. Transcripts will not be issued to any student who has
not fulfilled his or her financial and/or library obligation to the
Mary’s does not designate any student information as “directory
information” under FERPA and therefore does not release personally
identifiable information from educational records without written
authorization or as otherwise permitted or required by law.
are at liberty to inspect their own academic files by making an
appointment with the Office of the University Registrar.
By submitting a letter of
application to the University Registrar, a student may 1) inspect and
review his or her records, 2) petition to seek amendment of records
that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in
violation of the student’s privacy rights. No part of any record may
be inspected by the student without the express written consent of the
University Registrar. Permission will be granted within a reasonable
time and in no case more than forty‑five (45) days from the date of
the receipt of a written request for inspection. Any
suspected inaccuracies in any of St. Mary’s records should be reported
at once to the Office of the University Registrar. Since each
institution is responsible for the accuracy of its own files and for
correcting them when necessary, St. Mary’s will not amend academic
documents from other parties which may be in its possession nor
forward such records to third parties. This includes documents such as
transcripts from other institutions sent to St. Mary’s as part of the
those St. Mary's staff members who are directly responsible for
students’ accounts or billing matters may examine financial documents
that relate to a student’s stay at St. Mary’s.
Submission of Original Work and Retention of
It is customary for students to submit exams, papers, theses and other
projects to their instructors for evaluation during a course or as
part of their culminating experience in a degree program. When work is
submitted for evaluation, the student retains the intellectual
property rights to that which has been created, but the original
hand-written, typed, or word processing document (or, for a thesis,
the original and one copy) or other medium of work (e.g., video tape,
audio tape, electronic file) submitted becomes the property of St.
Mary’s Seminary & University. In the case of course work, the
instructor evaluates the submitted work and communicates the results
of the evaluation to the student. The faculty member, at his or her
discretion, may return the work to the student, retain the work,
discard the work, or request that the administration retain the work
or place the work in the student’s academic record. The administration
of St. Mary’s also retains the right to request the original work from
the instructor and may place it in the student’s academic record,
store the work elsewhere (e.g., in the library or in a special
collection of submitted projects), or discard the work if the student
fails to retrieve it in a timely manner after being asked to do so.
It is St. Mary’s policy to retain all student work about which the
instructor or administration has raised questions about its academic
It is the student’s responsibility to retain a copy of all work
submitted for evaluation, including written materials, electronic
files, and work submitted on other media such as audiotapes and video