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General Academic Regulations and Policies Which Apply to all Degrees

General regulations and policies governing the Faculty of Theology are outlined each year in the Calendar of the University of Western Ontario and in the guidelines of the Association of Theological Schools. The policies of St. Peter’s Seminary are outlined below. 

1. Registration

Registration is done online between July 1st and the final date for registration set by the UWO Registrar. All other add/drop deadlines may be found in the Calendar of the University of Western Ontario.

Students who have registered in the Faculty of Theology prior to September 2002 follow the norms of the previous calendar, 1999-2000. All others follow the norms of the present calendar. Clarification regarding changes in the program may be sought from the Registrar or the Dean.

Students who are registered either full-time or part-time in the Faculty of Theology, and who fail to register for at least one course in any given year of his or her theological program, is considered to have withdrawn from the program and must seek re-admission.

Full-time registration in the MDiv and MDiv (Adv) programs normally requires a maximum of five courses each semester plus a field education course, and a minimum of four courses, except for those students in the Pastoral Year. Part-time students take a maximum of three courses each semester. Exceptions to this rule require the written permission of the Dean of Theology.

2. Program Expectations and Evaluation

The value of term work, assignments and examinations is outlined for students by the professors for each course at the beginning of the semester. This information is normally found in the course syllabus provided by the professors.

In order to satisfy course requirements a student must have a suitable attendance record and perform acceptable course work in assignments and examinations. Furthermore, a professor may penalize or fail a student for not meeting due dates for assignments. Failure to meet reasonable attendance requirements or to complete term assignments will result in a failure. The course must then be repeated.

There are no supplemental examination privileges or extension dates beyond the last day of classes except in extreme circumstances.

The Rector, in consultation with the Formation Faculty, has the right to require a student to leave the program or to re-register only on a part-time basis at the end of any semester, for failing to fulfill the program’s expectations as outlined above or for any breach of academic protocol. A student who fails more than two courses in any semester will be required to withdraw from the program. Such a dismissal would follow an academic evaluation. The period of academic probation is one full academic year.

Any exceptions to these policies are subject to the approval of the Dean.

3. Academic Evaluation

All courses are evaluated by means of grades, according to the following scale:

A+ 90 - 100% – for profound and creative work: exceptional performance with clear evidence of original thinking; a superior grasp of the subject matter with sound critical evaluations; strong evidence of an extensive knowledge base;

A 80 - 89% – for excellent work: outstanding performance with indication the student is approaching some original thinking; good organization and a well developed capacity to critique, analyse and synthesize; an excellent grasp of the subject matter; thorough knowledge of the relevant literature;

B 70 - 79% – for good work: good performance with evidence of a grasp of the subject matter; some evidence of a critical capacity and analytic ability; a reasonable understanding of the relevant issues; evidence of familiarity with the literature;

C 60 - 69% – for adequate work: intellectually adequate performance of a student who is profiting from his or her academic experience; an understanding of the subject matter and the ability to understand the basic concepts found in the material;

D 50 - 59% – for marginal work: minimally acceptable performance; some evidence of familiarity with the subject matter and some ability to synthesize it;

F below 50% – for wholly inadequate work: a failing performance in which there is little evidence of even a superficial understanding of the subject matter; an overall weakness in critical and analytical skills; limited or irrelevant use of the literature. 

4. Appeals

All students have the right to appeal academic decisions, as outlined in the University’s Calendar under “Academic Rights and Responsibilities”. The successive stages or levels to which an appeal may be carried by a student, and the order in which each stage must be completed, are as follows:
• informal consultation with the appropriate professor or lecturer;
• a written request to the Dean of Theology;
• a written application for a hearing by the University’s Senate Review Board Academic (SRBA). Further information is available at the following website:
http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/handbook/appeals/appealsundergrad.pdf

5. Advanced Standing

“Advanced standing” may be granted for undergraduate courses completed at other accredited institutions. In keeping with the guidelines of ATS, there are two types of advanced standing, that is, with credit and without credit.

(i) At the discretion of the Dean, in consultation with the appropriate professor, a student may be granted advanced standing with credit when the following conditions have been met:
• it must be determined by appropriate written assessment, that is, a written examination, that the student has the knowledge, competence and skills that would normally be provided by the specific course for which the advanced standing is sought;
• such a written exam would be administered and graded, according to the norms of the University, by the appropriate professor under the direction of the Dean;
• the number of credits granted through advanced standing cannot exceed one-sixth of the total credits for the degree;
• the course must have been taken within the previous seven years;
• the grade received must be 60% or higher

In the case of Field Education courses for which advanced standing is sought in recognition of ministerial or life experiences, the ATS guidelines are clear on the following points:
• this work must have been of a type that closely parallels pastoral formation for ministry in the Church;
• there must be some objective evaluation of the student’s progress during that period of ministry or life work; that is, someone must be able to give an appropriate written evaluation of the student and his or her involvement during that particular period;
• the student must submit a theological reflection paper to be graded, according to the norms of the University, by the Director of Field Education under the direction of the Dean.

(ii) Advanced standing without credit may be granted to a student, in recognition of equivalent work done in another degree program, which exempts the student from some course or courses without reducing the total number of academic credits required for the degree. The decision for such standing will be made by the Dean in consultation with the appropriate professor. The maximum number of courses granted advanced standing without credit cannot exceed one-sixth of the total courses required for the degree.

6. Transfer of Credits

Before credits can be transferred from a theological program at another university or seminary, the Dean and the Registrar must determine that the credits being transferred reflect courses that are in compliance with the Seminary’s “Statement of Institutional Purpose” and the specific goals of the Seminary’s own degree programs. Secondly, such credits must be eligible for post-baccalaureate credit at the institution in which they were earned. Thirdly, the total number of transferred credits cannot comprise more than one-half of the credits taken at the institution at which they were earned, and no more than one-half of the credits in the Seminary’s degree program. Fourthly, the credits must have been earned within the previous seven years and the grade received must be 60% or higher.

7. Summer Studies

The Faculty of Theology offers a limited number courses of instruction throughout the summer months, during Summer Session, normally in the first three weeks of July. Registration for these courses must be completed by June 15th. For information on the courses available, consult the Seminary’s website.

In addition to the courses offered, students may pursue other options for credit:
• a placement in Field Education;
• engaging in a Selected Topics reading course, at the discretion of the appropriate professor;
• enrolling in a theology course offered at other theological schools or institutes.

These exceptions are subject to the written prior approval of the Dean.

8. Clinical Pastoral Education

Clinical Pastoral Education is an intensive, experiential training in provision of spiritual care, bringing students into contexts of institutional health care, in order to provide and reflect on processes of care. Students will gain theory and skills and will become attentive to dynamics of effective pastoral relationships while supported by trained supervisors and a small group of peers. (400 hours in set formats)

Students may choose to undertake Clinical Pastoral Education during the summer months. Lay students may choose to pursue such a course of studies in combination with some theology courses, as their timetable allows. For further information contact the Director of Field Education or the Registrar of Theology.

9. Inclusive Language

St. Peter’s Seminary advocates the use of inclusive language on every level of communication - oral and written - in community life, ministerial projects, scholarly writing and reporting, committee work, relations among faculty, students and staff, and in the celebration of the Liturgy where it is dictated by the policies of the Church.

This policy is guided by the expectations of the Association of Theological School in the United States and Canada, which calls for the careful examination of a school’s “... published documents, structures of governance, and ethos, in an effort to guard against sexual bias and discrimination” (ATS Policy Statements available at <http://www.ats.edu/about/PolicyStatements.asp>).

The adoption and publication of this policy also represents our effort to implement the message of the Pastoral Team on Inclusive Language of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, “To Speak as a Christian Community” (Prot. N. 614, 28 July 1989).

10. Eligibility for Graduation and Convocation

Candidates for the MDiv and MDiv (Adv) must formally request to graduate, in writing addressed to the Formation Director of Lay Students, at least sixty days prior to the end of the last semester of studies. This allows for the evaluation of professional competence to take place, and the necessary registration for convocation. Names of students eligible for graduation are submitted by the Registrar of Theology to the Office of the Registrar (UWO), after which time the candidates receive a package of information regarding convocation.

11. Request for Academic Transcripts

Students who graduated with a Bachelor of Theology degree prior to 1976 may request transcripts from the Seminary, by writing to the Registrar of Theology. Students who graduated since 1976 may request transcripts from the Office of the Registrar, Stevenson - Lawson Building, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario. N6A 5B8. The fee for transcripts is $8.00 (“rush orders” cost $10.00), as established by UWO.