Apr 17, 2021  
2016-2017 Theological School Catalog 
2016-2017 Theological School Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies

Academic Accommodations

Academic Accommodations are handled in the Office of Academic Services.


Academic Advising

All students are assigned an academic advisor at entrance to the Theological School. While students work with the same advisor throughout their programs, it is common for faculty members who may not be the original advisor to provide mentorship for extended papers, theses, and dissertations. 


Academic Honors and Prizes

The Theological School does not award academic honors. However, several prizes for excellent student performance in a variety of areas are awarded at the annual Honors Convocation and are listed in the graduation bulletin.



Students are responsible for class attendance and for the prompt and regular performance of all assigned work. Faculty members are not obligated to review class material, give makeup examinations, or make special arrangements to accommodate absences. Faculty may indicate in the syllabus a maximum number of absences that are allowed before a student fails a course.


Academic Calendar

Courses are offered in the fall semester, January term, spring semester, and summer term.  Many required courses are offered only in the fall and Spring semesters.  January term and spring semester courses are added together in considering a student’s scholarship and full-time status.


Credit Earned Elsewhere (Transfer Credit)


M.Div., M.A.M, and M.A. Degrees

Every candidate for the master’s degree programs must complete all degree requirements, including any supervised ministry or internship requirement. Transfer credit may not be used to replace required courses. However, after matriculating at Drew, and in consultation with an advisor, students may apply for waivers of required courses based on their coursework elsewhere. This is a separate process. See requirement waivers.

To be considered for a transfer of elective credits, complete an Academic Standing Petition (found on the Registrar’s page). With the petition, the student should provide a transcript and the number of credits requested. This petition will be reviewed by the Academic Standing committee, which is part of the Degree Programs committee of the Theological School. A decision will be communicated to the student and the Registrar by the office of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. 

Previous academic credit must meet the following criteria:

  1. The credit is from a graduate theological school accredited by the A.T.S. in the United States and Canada. Credit from unaccredited seminaries will be considered on a case-by-case basis with appropriate documentation provided by the student.
  2. The grade is no lower than a “C” graded on a conventional grading scale. “Pass” grades are not considered for transfer unless the student has documentation to indicate that the work was at least C level.
  3. The course was completed within 10 years prior to matriculation at Drew.

The following guidelines also apply:

Theologically-oriented credits in an uncompleted degree: Students may transfer up to one-half of the credit hours (42) of the M.Div. program at Drew and one quarter (12) of the M.A.M. or M.A. program.

Theologically-oriented credits in a completed degree: Credits from a completed degree may be considered for transfer credit provided their cumulative Grade Point Average (G.P.A.) for that degree was 3.0 or higher. Drew transfer credit is limited to not more than fifteen hours toward the M.Div. degree. Not more than one half of the credits required for the previous degree may be transferred. M.A. and M.A.M. students may not transfer any credits from a previously completed degree.

Non-Theological Completed Degree: Graduate credit hours in a non-theological degree with a cumulative Grade Point Average (G.P.A.) of 3.0 or higher may be considered for up to twelve hours of transfer credit for the M.Div., provided that the courses are related to studies at Drew. Petitions for such transfer should include a written explanation of how the courses relate to the degree pursued at Drew. M.A. and M.A.M. students may not transfer any credits from a previously completed degree.


S.T.M. Degree

No credit may be transferred into the S.T.M. program.


D.Min. Degree

Students may petition to transfer up to 3 courses (9 credits) from an unfinished advanced degree. Petitions for such transfer should include a written explanation of how the course relates to the degree pursued at Drew. To request a credit transfer, complete the Theological School Academic Standing petition.


Ph.D. Degree

In order to be considered for transfer credit for the Ph.D., the student must first complete one year of full-time study (or the equivalent) and pass at least one language examination.  Students are advised not to present requests until they have met these conditions. No student is guaranteed advanced standing and indeed advanced standing is normally discouraged, regardless of a student’s level of performance.

Students desiring to transfer credit must initiate the process by submitting to the GDR Director a written request supported by syllabi, transcripts, and other academic credentials as necessary (including, for example, copies of major papers written for the courses in question), which will then go to the Area for action, and finally to the Academic Standing Committee.  

The following guidelines apply:

1. No more than one semester (9 credits) of course credit may be given for previous work at the graduate level in a student’s field. The petition should first be brought to the student’s Area. The Area will consider not only whether the student’s previous work is appropriate for doctoral credit but also whether the student will be sufficiently prepared to proceed to comprehensive examinations with less than 36 GDR-earned course credits. On the recommendation of the Area, the petition can be submitted to the Academic Standing Committee.

2. Credit toward advanced standing for graduate courses (regardless of the degree earned) is evaluated on a course-by-course basis. Normally, work undertaken for professional degrees such as the M.Div. or D.Min. degrees (or their equivalent) is not eligible for credit toward advanced standing unless the academic content of the courses is clearly demonstrated as appropriate for Ph.D. credit.

3. In the special case of transferring courses from a S.T.M., note that:

a. Ph.D. candidates need to complete the S.T.M. before beginning the Ph.D. program.

b. Each Area may either designate courses not transferable for graduate credit, or individually evaluate S.T.M. candidates.

         c. Completion of the Drew S.T.M. degree does not guarantee admission to the Drew Ph.D. program.


Transfer Credit at Admission

Applicants who meet the requirements for admission and have completed courses at another theological school accredited by the A.T.S. (Association of Theological Schools) may be considered for transfer admission. Applicants who wish to be considered for transfer credits should notify the Admissions office during the application process. A written transfer assessment will be produced for the applicant. All transferrable elective credit can be applied to the student’s permanent record after successful completion of 10 credit hours at Drew Theological School. At such time, the student must request the transfer using the Theological School Academic Standing petition.

Credit Hour Policy

Drew University complies with federal (U.S. Department of Education), Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), and New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) regulations pertaining to degree requirements and credit hours.  Drew University’s undergraduate degree requires the successful completion of 128 semester credit hours. Graduate programs range from 18 to 84 credit hours depending on the degree and the standards. 

Drew University’s academic year is separated into fall and spring semesters, each running 15 weeks, a two to three-week January term, and two summer terms, each six weeks, with two embedded four-week sessions. The Theological School has a three-week January term, a twelve-week regular semester, and a range of hybrid and online course formats. 

Drew adheres to the Federal standard of a total of 45 learning hours for every 1-credit earned in a semester, regardless of the time frame or format of instruction.  A credit hour is the equivalent of one hour of classroom instruction (50 minutes) with an average of two hours of out of class work for each hour in class. For example, a 3-credit hour course requires a total of 135 hours of combined in and out of class work, while a 4-credit hour course requires a total of 180 hours. 

All course formats and schedules are monitored by the curriculum committees or academic dean’s office of each school to comply with the university’s credit hour policy. The credit hour calculation worksheet is completed for every Drew credit-bearing course or experience and are kept on-file in the appropriate Dean’s office. Existing courses are reviewed periodically by the curriculum committees or academic dean’s offices of each school to ensure that the workload is consistent with the credits to be earned. For accelerated and non-traditional course formats, faculty use the credit hour calculation worksheet to document how these courses meet the minimum semester credit hour requirement.  Credit hour calculation worksheets are also reviewed as data for departmental external reviews.

Policy on Undergraduate Students Enrolled in Graduate Courses

Upper-level undergraduate students may, with instructor permission, enroll in graduate-level courses.  The assignment of credit hours in these cases follows all aspects of Drew’s credit hour assignment policy.  In these cases, the increased level of difficulty of graduate work generally requires undergraduates to spend more time completing assignments and reading advanced texts.  As a result, undergraduates in these courses generally earn one more credit than graduate students therein.  

Policy on Graduate Students Enrolled in Undergraduate Courses

In limited cases, graduate students may take courses in the College of Liberal Arts and apply the credits toward graduate degree completion. The assignment of credit hours in these cases follows all aspects of Drew’s credit hour assignment policy. In recognition of the difference in level of undergraduate and graduate coursework and the amount of time that it should take a graduate student to complete work in an undergraduate course, graduate students earn only three credits for completing a four-credit undergraduate course. In addition, faculty teaching undergraduate courses in which graduate students enroll may replace some assignments to ensure appropriate rigor or enhance the graduate student’s professional and disciplinary goals. Such curriculum adjustments include alternative readings, research work, and performance or portfolio work. These curricular adjustments should not exceed the total hours appropriate to a three-credit graduate course.



Drew students may cross-register for courses at Union Theological School (interdenominational), New York Theological Seminary (interdenominational), and General Theological Seminary (Episcopal) through Drew University’s Office of the Registrar. These courses are billed at Drew’s tuition rate and student scholarships apply. To cross-register, fill out the paperwork on the Registrar’s web page: http://www.drew.edu/registrar/registration-guide/cross-registration


Extensions on Coursework (Incomplete Grades)

If a student finds it impossible to complete all course requirements on time, he or she should discuss the situation with the instructor and file an Academic Standing petition for an incomplete. This petition must be submitted on or before the last day of the classes. If the extension is granted, a grade of “I” (incomplete) will be entered for the course, noting the date by which the work must be completed. The work should then be submitted to the instructor who will grade it and give a final grade for the course. See the Academic Calendar for the dates in each term when the previous term’s incompletes will be changed to “F’s”.


Grade Point Average

Only work completed at Drew is included in the computation of the average. Grade points are assigned as follows to each credit hour attempted on a graded basis: A+ = 4.33, A = 4.00, A– = 3.67, B+ = 3.33, B = 3.00, B– = 2.67, C+ = 2.33, C = 2.00, C– = 1.67, D+ = 1.33, D = 1.00, D– = 0.67, F = 0.00.

No other grades are included in the computation of the average. The grade point average (GPA) is determined by dividing the total grade points earned from grades on the A to F scale by the total number of credit hours attempted.


Grades and Information Release

Grades are made available to students via Treehouse Self-Service. Students may also give access to grades via Treehouse Self-Service to a designated proxy.

To set up proxy access to view your grades in Treehouse Self-Service:

  • Navigate to the Treehouse Students Tab.
  • Select Parent/Guardian Proxy Access within the Help & Services box.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to add new proxies and set up authorization to the desired information.

In addition to setting up online access to grades, students may also set up proxy access for registration, billing, and financial aid information. Moreover, students have the option to assign a “passphrase” that can be used to verbally confirm the proxy’s identity and to authorize access to your information when they are speaking with University offices on your behalf. A printable guide to proxy access is also available.



The grades awarded in the Theological School are:


A,A- Excellent
B+,B, B- Good
C+,C,C- Satisfactory
D+,D,D- Marginal
F Fail
I Incomplete
P Pass, quality of work equivalent of D- or higher
IP or X Course in Progress, Grade Deferred
AU Audited
W Withdrew
R Completed, no credit course


Students must earn a C- or better in MDiv required courses to complete the requirement.


Non-Discriminatory and Inclusive Language Policy

The Drew University Theological School affirms the full equality of all persons in God’s all-inclusive love, regardless of gender, race, nation, class, age, ability, religion, or sexual orientation (Galatians 3:28). This theological conviction finds social expression in spoken and written language. In order to live out a crucial practical dimension of our equality in Christ and to avoid marginalizing members of our community, the Theological School expects students to use non-discriminatory and mindfully inclusive language for humanity both in the classroom (that is, in writing assignments, presentations, and classroom discussions) and in the chapel liturgy (that is, in prayers and sermons). Students are also encouraged to use a variety of metaphors when referring to God. While students will not receive grade deductions on specific assignments, they will be evaluated on their overall efforts to engage the theological and social problems of discriminatory and exclusive language. This policy thus encourages students to work to integrate a theology of God’s love and justice with the everyday practice of leadership.

For examples of the non-discriminatory and inclusive use of language, see the student handbook.


Theological students may elect to take elective courses on a Pass/Fail (P/F) basis. Required courses may not be taken on a P/F basis unless the course has been designated as only carrying the P/F grade. Courses graded P carry full credit toward graduation but are not included in the computation of the cumulative GPA. Courses graded F do not carry credit toward graduation and are included in the computation of the cumulative GPA. Students indicate their desire to take a course P/F only prior to or during the first two weeks of the semester. The pass/unsatisfactory option is not available for S.T.M., D. Min., or PhD courses.

Policy for Active Students Not Registered 


Prior to Each Registration Period Ending:

Notify all students of this policy.


First Semester of Inactivity:

A student not registered for classes by the end of the Add/Drop Period and does not have either a Leave of Absence or Withdrawal Status recorded for them, will have their Student Status revised to Inactive Status.


Second Consecutive Semester of Inactivity:

A student not registered for two (2) consecutive Semesters (which excludes Summer and January Term sessions) by the end of the Add/Drop Period of the second consecutive Semester and does not have either a Leave of Absence or Withdrawal Status recorded for them, will have their Student Status revised to Withdrawal.


Student, Financial Aid & Student Accounts Notification:

Students who have had their Student Status revised due to adherence to this policy, will be notified via their Drew Email address and the permanent address of record.  Additionally, both Financial Aid and Student Accounts will be notified for proper processing.


Applying for Re-Entry:

Students who were Withdrawn will need to re-apply through the re-entry process if they wish to be admitted again into Drew University.  Please refer to the ‘Registrar/Students’ webpage (www.drew.edu/registrar/student) and select the tab labeled ‘Re-Entry Forms’.

Policy Enforcement:

The registration of courses in either the January or Summer Terms, do not stop this policy from being enforced since neither Term is required.

Registration and Changes in Registration

Students register for courses at times announced by the Office of the Registrar. Students may add courses during the first week of classes and in the second week with the consent and permission of the instructor. No course may be added after the end of the second week of classes. Courses dropped between the end of the second week and the end of the ninth week of classes are graded “W”. Courses dropped after the ninth week are graded “F”. Students may petition the Academic Standing Committee for changes in registration that do not meet these regulations but must document extraordinary circumstances. Information about registration can be found on the Registrar’s website.


Requirement Waivers

Petitions for waivers of M.Div. required courses are decided on a case-by-case basis by the Area in which the course resides.  In making such a petition, the student must provide a copy of her or his transcript and a copy of the syllabus for the course or courses being considered for substitution.  The following are general guidelines for assessing such petitions:
•    The course or courses to be substituted must have been taken at an accredited institution.
•    The grade received for the coursework by the petitioning student must be at least a C.
•    The course or courses must have at least the same credit value as the course being considered for exemption.  
•    The course or courses to be substituted should be comparable to the course being considered for exemption in terms of content, expectation, level of academic engagement, and student outcomes.
•    Other factors may also legitimately inform such a decision, particularly when courses have been taken outside of the United States.  
Waivers with accompanying materials can be submitted electronically on the Registrar’s web page: http://www.drew.edu/registrar/student/petition-for-exemption-from-division-course-requirement


Reservation of Rights

The University reserves the right in its sole judgment to make changes of any nature in the University’s academic program, courses, schedule, or calendar whenever in its sole judgment it is deemed desirable to do so.  The foregoing changes may include, without limitation, the elimination of colleges, schools, institutes, programs, departments, or courses, the modification of the content of any of the foregoing, the rescheduling of classes, with or without extending the enhanced academic term, the cancellation schedule classes, or other academic activities. If such changes are deemed desirable, the University may require or afford alternatives for scheduled classes or other academic notification of any such change as is reasonably practical under the circumstances.


Retaking a Course

A student may retake a course in which he or she has earned a grade of F, D-, D, D+, or C-.  For courses retaken after a first grade of F, both the original F and the grade earned when the course is retaken are calculated in the GPA. Credits are awarded only for the second course enrollment, assuming the student earns a passing grade. For courses retaken after a first grade of D-, D or D+, both the original and the subsequent grade are calculated in the GPA, but credits for the course are only awarded once.


Separation from the Theological School

Drew Theological School reserves the right, upon recommendation of the deans, to separate from the school any student who fails to meet the standards of academic or community life; or whose character or personal maturity raises reasonable doubts about the student’s fitness for ministry or theological education. Students may also be separated from the school for failure to meet their financial obligations. There will be no refund of tuition and fees for a student who is asked to withdraw.

Students leaving later than the end of the ninth week of classes, and before the end of a given semester, will be subject to grades of “F” at the time of withdrawal, unless a recommendation for withdrawal (“W”) is made by the one of the associate deans of the Theological School.


Student Education Records

Drew University students have the right to access, and the assurance of privacy for their Drew educational records. These rights are in keeping with Public Law 93-380, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (also known as the Buckley Amendment), and University policy. The full text of Public Law 93-380 and a full statement of Drew University policy and procedures with respect to student education records are on file and may be consulted in the Offices of the Registrar and the Dean of Campus Life and Student Affairs and in the Office of Financial Assistance. See the Drew University official FERPA policy on the Registrar’s page.


Transcripts of Record

Consult the Registrar’s office.



Although not available on a regular basis, on occasion a student may arrange to undertake tutorial study for academic credit with an instructor.  Such tutorial arrangements must be proposed by petition and receive approval from the Academic Standing Committee.  The Committee will take into account the nature of the proposed project, the student’s interest and need, and the teaching load of the faculty member involved in reaching its decision.  Not more than one tutorial for a given student may be approved in any one semester.  


Voluntary Withdrawal

A leave of absence is occasionally advisable for any number of reasons—family emergency, financial distress, illness, etc. A student may leave for one or two semesters and return, or choose a different course of action. If you are considering such a break, talk it over with your academic adviser or an Associate Dean of the Theological School. You must fill out a leave-of-absence form, which is available through Registrar’s office, to avoid being billed for the following term. The form will be sent to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for an approval. Students on a voluntary leave of absence who wish to return to Drew must fill out a re-entry form also available on the Registrar’s office page.

Students leaving later than the end of the ninth week of classes, and before the end of a given semester, will be subject to grades of “F” at the time of withdrawal, unless a recommendation for withdrawal (“W”) is made by the one of the associate deans of the Theological School.