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Policies

Academic Dishonesty

It is the responsibility of the faculty member to pursue suspected incidents of academic dishonesty occurring within his/her courses. If a student is found to be guilty of cheating, plagiarism, or another form of academic dishonesty, the faculty member is required to document the incident in writing and submit the report to the Provost. The first documented incident of academic dishonesty will result in the student failing the assignment or the course at the instructor’s discretion, depending on the severity of the incident. Any subsequent documented offense of academic dishonesty by that student (regardless of whether it occurs in the same or any other course taken by the student at the University) will result in automatic failure of the course and expulsion of the student from the University for a minimum of one academic year.


Academic Probation

Academic Probation is a status assigned to students who do not meet satisfactory academic requirements (see below). It is a procedure that helps the Graduate Studies faculty and staff monitor the student’s progress in the program and come alongside those who may need greater assistance to improve their academic skills. Students will only be placed on Academic Probation one semester at a time. Students who satisfactorily improve their academic results during the semester of academic probation will be taken off academic probation for the following semester. Students who are unable to satisfactorily improve their academic results during the semester of academic probation may be placed on academic probation for another semester or asked to take a leave of absence from studies, as deemed by the Graduate Studies administration.

Beginning Students – To enter the Graduate Studies program, prospective students must have a Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in their undergraduate studies, provide a satisfactory educator recommendation, and supply a writing sample that demonstrates competency for graduate level writing and research. For those who do not meet this qualification, the Admissions Committee may place such students on academic probation at the start of the program or deny them admittance to the program.

Current Students – Current students in the Graduate Studies program are required to maintain a Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and a grade of ‘C’ or higher for each class they take. Students who do not meet these standards in a given semester may be placed on academic probation for the following semester. Any class in which the student earns a ‘C-‘ or lower will need to be retaken before graduation at the current cost.

Any graduate student whose cumulative GPA remains below 3.0 or receives grades lower than a C- in classes for two consecutive semesters will be subject to academic disqualification and dismissal from the University. A student subject to disqualification may appeal by submitting a letter to the Provost, stating why he/she should not be disqualified. The student’s request will then be reviewed by the Provost for a final decision.


Active Student Status

Graduate Biblical Counseling students are considered active if they continue taking classes in consecutive semesters (e.g., spring and fall for traditional students, summers for distance students) and they are considered inactive if they do not take classes for more than three consecutive semesters (spring and fall semesters consecutively, or summer semesters consecutively). They will also be considered inactive if they do not take classes for three semesters total for the duration of their studies in the program, even if these semesters are not consecutive (traditional and distance guidelines previously stated apply). Students will be charged a continuing education fee of $50 per semester they do not take at least one class and they may only utilize this option for three semesters total for the duration of their studies in the program. If students are unable to take classes for a fourth semester (consecutively or total) they will be considered inactive as of the beginning of the fourth semester. Students who become inactive must reapply to return to the program and are subject to any applicable fees.


Advanced Standing

Any graduate from TMU’s undergraduate biblical counseling major is immediately eligible for up to six (6) credits of advanced standing in the program. The department also reserves the privilege to award sixteen (16) credits of advanced standing in the program based upon an evaluation of previous study and experience. Students awarded advanced standing will be waived credits on selected program requirements. Advanced standing is not guaranteed and will be decided on an individual basis at the discretion of the program director and Biblical Counseling Department chairperson.

Considering the Graduate Studies program’s unique curriculum and emphasis on biblical counseling and the sufficiency of Scripture to handle all soul-related problems, it is not common for students to receive advanced standing from other graduate schools of study, even if the student majored in psychology, Christian Counseling, or biblical studies. Furthermore, re-admit students are not guaranteed they will receive advanced standing for classes previously taken. Since curriculum can change over the years, along with accreditation guidelines, the Graduate Studies administration may require students to retake some classes for graduation. If a student has not been active in the program for 10 years or more, the Graduate Studies administration may require the student retake all current courses in the program to graduate.

Appeals of Academic Dismissal

A student subject to academic dismissal because of a low cumulative GPA or because of academic dishonesty may appeal by submitting a letter to the Provost within two weeks of being notified of dismissal, along with an explanation of why the student believes the dismissal was unfair. The student’s request will be reviewed by the Provost with input from the student’s advisor, faculty who have had the student in recent classes, and the academic counselor. The Provost will make a decision on the appeal, which will be communicated in writing to the student.


Audit Policy

For non-MABC students or MABC graduates who want to audit classes, an application will need to submitted at least one week before the semester begins (current MABC students wanting to audit MABC classes do not have to fill out an application and can skip to step 2). The cost is $100/unit for everyone and any audit student can take up to 3 classes in our program (MABC graduates can take as many classes as they want). Here is how to register…

  1. Complete an online application. On the application, select that you want to sign up for the MABC and that you are an audit student. A $50 application fee and a pastor’s recommendation is required to submit an audit application to the MABC. But no bachelor’s degree, writing sample, or initial deposit are required to apply. Once you have been accepted, you can begin step 2…

  2. Fill out and sign an Add/Drop Form. Make sure you select “Audit” in the change column. Then send the form to your advisor to sign. Men’s advisor is Mark Smith. Women’s advisor is Jamaica Groover-Skelton. From there, your advisor will pass the form along to the Registrar’s office to finish your registration. You can find out what courses are being offered for the next semester here.

  3. Fill out the Audit Course Payment Form. A valid US credit card is required for payment.


Full/Part-Time Student Status

Any student enrolled in 8 units or more is considered “full-time” in the MABC program. A student must be enrolled in at least 4 units of graduate-level classes to be considered “part-time.”


Graduation

Each student coming to the end of his or her program will need to complete a graduation contract. A link to the contract will be sent by email to all students every year at the beginning of November. Students not planning to graduate by the end of the upcoming Spring semester should not fill out the contract until they anticipate finishing the program before or by the end of the following Spring semester.

The graduation contract is mandatory for all graduating students and provides the Graduate Studies staff and the Registrar with important information, such as remaining coursework, intent to graduate, and diploma details. If students choose to participate in the ceremony, a fee of $125 for cap and gown will be charged. If students do not wish to participate, a fee of only $25 will be charged if the contract is completed and the fee is paid before December 18. This cost will increase to $200 in the case of the former (ceremony) but remain the same ($25) for the latter (no ceremony) if the contract is completed and the fee is paid after December 18 and before March 31, which is the latest date to complete the form and pay the fee in order to graduate.

A student is eligible to graduate with a Master of Arts degree in Biblical Counseling by meeting the following criteria. The student must . . .

  1. Complete all current and required coursework.
  2. Meet the 34 required units with a minimum cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0.
  3. Earn a ‘C’ or higher in every required class (including the elective course).
  4. Finish the program in no more than 18 academic semesters (approximately 6 years).
  5. Pay all applicable costs and fees.

In terms of calculating the number of semesters toward graduation, a semester is included in the total even if the student does not take a class in a semester. For re-admit students, the 18 semesters reset to zero when the student becomes inactive and returns to the program. Failure to complete the program in 18 semesters will result in students being charged an over limit fee of $150 for each semester they exceed the program limit up to three semesters. In cases where students exceed the program limit of 18 semesters, or exceed the three-additional semester limit, the Graduate Studies administration may require them to retake any or all courses in the program to graduate and continue to pay the over-limit fee per semester.


Pass/Fail

Certain courses in our program are graded on a pass/fail basis (no letter grade A-F is given). These courses occur at the end of a students program of study. Due to the nature of these courses and the grading scheme, students are required to submit work within the first 30 days of the class or they will not pass the class and be required to retake it.


Proctor Requirements

All Quizzes and Exams in Graduate Studies Biblical Counseling programs require a proctor who meets the following qualifications (unless the exam is taken on-campus during class; i.e. on-campus students only):

  • Must be an educator, church leader or staff member of a church or educational institution.
  • Must not be a relative (blood or marriage), close friend, roommate, colleague or business partner of the student
  • Must be at least 21 years of age.
  • Must subscribe to standards of honesty and integrity.
  • Chairman of the Biblical Studies Department or Professors reserve the right at their discretion to disapprove proctors even if they meet the preceding specifications.
  • Must provide contact information and be available to discuss the testing process with a staff member from the Graduate Studies Office in the event any verification of the testing procedure, if required.

Remote Library Access

To facilitate research from off-campus locations, the University library provides remote access to many of The Master’s University’s online databases. This access allows the student to search the available databases from any off-campus computer that has an internet connection. Currently, The Master’s University has more than 20 databases available with remote access. Students are welcome to contact the library directly if they need help with their research needs.


Scholarships

Scholarships for the Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling (MABC) program are provided through the Graduate Studies department directly, not through our Financial Aid office. Scholarships are awarded semester by semester, any active MABC student who wants a scholarship must apply each semester. Because scholarship funds are provided directly from our department they are limited. In this way, scholarship applications are considered on the basis of a combination of academic performance, financial need, and ministry potential. Scholarship applications are due to be submitted by the first day of the semester to which they will apply. Scholarship notifications will be provided by the beginning of the third week of the semester. Since scholarships are not guaranteed, students should plan to fund their education separately. See the Tuition tab in the MABC section of the masters website for more information and to apply for scholarships.


Theological Distinction

The Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling program stands firm on the sufficiency of Scripture, specifically, that the Bible is everything a person needs to address the spiritual problems people face (2 Pet. 1:3; 2 Tim. 3:16-17). As a result, the MABC program takes the doctrine of sign gifts seriously and holds to a cessationist position. It is the counselor’s responsibility to help a counselee change based on the standard of God’s Word. If other forms of revelation, such as prophecy or tongues, are allowed in biblical counseling, the sufficiency of Scripture is undermined and called into question. We welcome those who are unsure about the gifts as result of not being taught thoroughly about them. The MABC program offers clear instruction on these issues. However, the following consequences could result for those who are approved to enter the program and maintain a non-cessationist position on sign gifts or those who remain unconvinced of the cessationist position after having been taught about it in the program. First, a student may score lower on the ACBC exam which includes questions about the student’s position on the doctrine of sign gifts. It is also possible that a non-cessationist position will prevent a student from obtaining certification with ACBC. Second, a student may score lower on certain assignments and in certain classes based on their position as well.

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