Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

Academic Regulations

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Academic Planning

You are required to have an academic advisor who will counsel you in planning your course of study. In most cases, this will be the Director of Graduate Theology Programs. Prior to beginning your coursework, you should work out a plan of study with your advisor. When you register each term, you will be responsible for consulting with your advisor to confirm the proper selection of courses.

Courses are offered during the summer, fall semester and spring semester. Weekend courses are available in fall, spring and summer on campus. Several courses are offered in online, Web-hybrid and intensive formats; see Flexible Study Plans for more detail. We grant degrees only at the annual graduation in May.

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Upon acceptance into a degree program (or as a non-degree student) and after consulting with your academic advisor, you may register for classes, using the registration forms that the theology administration secretary sends out each term. For limited-enrollment courses, we encourage you to register as soon as the official registration period begins.

We will accept late registrations only in exceptional circumstances and will assess a $100 late fee. Registrations will not be official until payment is arranged for all outstanding fees from a previous term. If you also need guest housing, please make your reservations through the Office of Theology Administration when registering.

You may drop or add courses at any time during the first week or first weekend of a course, with the permission of the instructor and the Academic Dean. You may not add a course after this period.

You may drop a course, with the permission of the instructor and the Director of Graduate Theology Programs or the Academic Dean, up to the deadline specified in the official school calendar. For courses dropped after the first week or weekend, you will be charged a prorated fee for the portion of the class taken.

Late Drop Fee for Online Courses: Because online courses have limited enrollment, when people drop a course too close to the start date, it often becomes too late for those who were on the waiting list to get what they need to take the course, and the course consequently goes unfilled. Thus there will be a $100 penalty for dropping an online course within one week of the course start date. Please plan accordingly.

You can obtain the forms to alter a course load from the Office of Theology Administration. You must obtain the permission of the Academic Dean and the instructor before enrolling in a course for more or less credit than that stated in the catalog.

To be considered a full-time student, you must be enrolled in at least 9 credit hours each semester and you may register for as many as 15 credit hours. If you wish to take more than the 15-hour limit, you must maintain at least a 3.5 GPA and obtain permission from the Academic Dean.

We reserve the right to withdraw any course listed among our course offerings, to restrict course enrollment or to cancel a course if there are fewer than five registrants.

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Credit Hours

In keeping with standard academic practice, instruction at Saint Meinrad is measured in terms of credit hours. Each credit hour is equivalent to approximately 50 minutes of formal instruction and two hours of out-of-class student work per week per semester (13 to 14 weeks). Alternative-format courses (weekend courses, Web-hybrid courses, etc.) are designed to be roughly equivalent to this standard.

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Credit Waivers

An MA from Saint Meinrad normally requires 36 credits to complete. However, you may complete the degree in fewer than 36 credits by receiving waivers for the following reasons:

  • Undergraduate philosophy or theology credits, no more than 10 years old, from an accredited institution. Specific credit waivers up to 12 graduate credits are permitted, at the discretion of the Director of Graduate Theology Programs and the Academic Dean.

  • Permanent Deacon Formation. If you have completed a permanent deacon formation program, the School may waive up to 12 credits toward your Master's degree.  Participants in permanent deacon formation programs sponsored by Saint Meinrad may be able to earn additional graduate credits through graduate-credit-bearing courses taken as part of the formation program. 

  • Some spirituality and ministry formation certificate programs. You may receive up to 12 waived credits for successful completion of certificate programs. The programs must entail graded writing and reading assignments and be taught at least on the undergraduate level. Other non-credit workshops and programs will not merit waived credits.

Transfer Credit Policy

You may apply credits earned at other accredited theological seminaries or graduate schools of theology toward a Saint Meinrad degree if the following conditions are met:

  • You earned a grade of "B-" or above; and

  • The course is comparable to one taught at Saint Meinrad or, in the school's judgment, complements the educational objectives of your degree.

As a general rule, transfer credits may not exceed one-half of the 36 credits required for a degree. At the school's discretion, you may transfer a maximum of 3 transfer credits of related but non-theological coursework.

Saint Meinrad has a special relationship with several dioceses in regard to the Center for Ministry Development's Youth Ministry Certification Program conducted in those dioceses. You may earn 8 credits as graduate-level transfers for successfully completing the graduate assignments for all eight CMD courses in diocesan-sponsored certificate programs. We charge a nominal fee for these credits.

Saint Meinrad will also accept a Clinical Pastoral Education unit as transfer credit, as long as the unit was completed at an accredited CPE site and the School receives a signed copy of the student's final evaluation. The School awards 3 credits per unit of CPE, up to a total of 3 credits.

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Off-Campus/Distance Learning Regulations

At least 25 percent of your required degree credits must be taken on the Saint Meinrad campus or equivalent in-class instruction. Independent studies, online courses and transferred credits are considered non-residential courses.

You may take up to two Web-hybrid courses as on-campus credit; additional Web-hybrid courses will count as off-campus credit. You may take up to 27 credits in the online and/or independent-study format, with a maximum of nine of those credits being independent studies.

You may take only one independent study per division area (philosophy, systematics, biblical/historical, etc.). You must complete your degree requirements by the end of the tenth year from the date of your first enrollment; courses older than 10 years will no longer count toward your degree requirements.

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Guarantee of Degree Requirements

Any student who enrolls in a degree program is guaranteed the right to complete that degree according to the stated requirements at the time of enrollment. If new requirements are established or a new program inaugurated, students already enrolled will have the option to change to the new program. No student will be required to change programs if the student is still within the approved time limits of the program in which the student first enrolled.

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Graduation Requirements

Saint Meinrad does not guarantee the award of a degree. Rather, the award of a degree is conditioned upon your (1) fulfillment of all academic requirements, and (2) satisfaction of all financial obligations to Saint Meinrad. You must complete your degree requirements by the end of the tenth year from the date of your first enrollment; courses older than 10 years will no longer count toward your degree requirements.

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At the end of each term, students receive (by mail) a report of academic achievement. The quality of work done, as shown by classroom participation, papers, tests and examinations, is recorded in letters having these official interpretations:

Grade (Grade point) Description
A (4.00) Work that shows mastery of the material and method as well as the ability to apply the material and use the method with creativity and insight.
A- (3.68) Work that shows an almost complete mastery of the material and method as well as a good ability to apply the material and use the method in generating new connections.
B+ (3.34) Work that shows a generally good grasp of the material and method as well as an ability to apply the material and use the method.
B (3.00) Work that shows a basic understanding of the material and method and some ability to apply the material and use the method.
B- (2.68) Work that does not show a satisfactory understanding of the material and method.
C+ (2.34)
C (2.00)
C- (1.68)
Work that does not always show even a basic understanding of the material and method.
D (1.00) Work that does not show any appreciable understanding of the material and method.
F (0.00) Work that does not show any understanding of the material and method.

If you receive an "F," you earn no credit for the course and must repeat the course if it is required. If you receive two "Fs" in one semester, or fail a required course twice, you will be dismissed for poor scholarship. If you repeat a failed course (or, because of limited course availability, an equivalent core course) and earn a passing grade, the "F" will show on the transcript, but will not be computed in your cumulative grade point average.

I or Incomplete: An "I" is automatically changed to an "F" if you do not complete your work within six weeks after the course concludes.

W - Withdrew from the course. A student may withdraw from a course at any point before the established deadline listed in the academic calendar. A "W" will appear on the student's transcript and no credit hours will be granted for the course. Under extraordinary circumstances a student may petition the dean for permission to withdraw from a course after the deadline and before final grades are due to the registrar.

DF - Grade deferred. This applies to the research paper concluding exercise option for the MA(T) or the MA(PT). If you do not complete your paper by the appropriate deadlines, you may either take a failing grade ("F") or arrange with the director to receive a grade deferral (DF). The DF grade may be replaced by re-registering (tuition will be charged) for the research paper in a subsequent semester and earning a satisfactory grade.

Grades for all weekday courses are due from instructors to the Registrar's Office one week after the last day of class. Grades for weekend courses are due from instructors to the Registrar's Office three weeks after the last day of class.

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Class Attendance

As a general rule, you are expected to attend all classes, with the professor determining the specific regulations for class attendance. For weekend courses, you may miss up to one full class day, provided you have received permission from the Director of Graduate Theology Programs and the professor and have arranged for additional assignments to make up for lost class time.

Legitimate reasons for missing class are ministry commitments, health and family emergencies, and inclement weather. If weather or emergency results in you missing more than one full class day, the Director of Graduate Theology Programs, in consultation with the professor, will determine on a case-by-case basis if and how you may complete the course.

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Exemptions from Required Courses

You may petition for exemption from any required course by using forms available from the Office of Theology Administration. An exemption does not earn you course credit, but does allow you to take a different course than the normal requirement.

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Students with Disabilities

Saint Meinrad is committed to the success of every student. Appropriate accommodations are made for students with documented disabilities on a case-by-case basis. Students with disabilities are encouraged to inform their professors or the administration of the special challenges they face. School officials will endeavor to implement effective courses of action to ensure that the students in question have an equal opportunity to participate in all curricular and extra-curricular activities.

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Academic Probation

You will be placed on academic probation if:

  • You have received an "F" as a final course grade, and/or
  • Your grade point average falls below 2.0.

You will be removed from academic probation when you have repeated and passed the failed course (if it is a required course for graduation) or when your cumulative grade point average reaches 2.0. If you fail a required course twice or do not raise your cumulative grade point average above 2.0 within three consecutive semesters, you will be dismissed for poor scholarship. You will forfeit any applicable financial aid for the duration of your probation.

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Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology is committed to creating an intellectual environment in which both faculty and students participate in the free and honorable pursuit of knowledge. Therefore, all work submitted by students is presumed to be their own. Any violation of academic integrity--cheating, plagiarism or collusion--is considered a serious offense.
View Statement on Academic Integrity.

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You may request transcripts from the Office of the Registrar by submitting a signed request form; phone or email requests cannot be honored. Official transcripts must be sent directly to the designated school or organization. We charge $5 for each transcript.

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Confidentiality and Access to Student Records

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords you certain rights with respect to your education records. These rights include:

  • The right to inspect and review the student's education record within 45 days of the day the school receives a request for access. Students should submit to the Registrar, Academic Dean or other appropriate official written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The school official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the school official to whom the request was submitted does not maintain the records, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

  • The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes is inaccurate. Students may ask the school to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate. They should write the school official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate. If the school decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the school will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.

  • The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee such as disciplinary or grievance committee or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.

  • The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the school to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA are:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act requires that Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology, with certain exceptions, obtain written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from a student's education records. However, Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology may disclose appropriately designated "directory information" without written consent, unless the school has been advised in writing in the registrar's office to the contrary. A student may file a written restrainer with the registrar requesting that disclosure of this information not be made without written permission.

Directory information includes, but is not limited to, the information in the Registry: name, address, telephone number, email address, home parish, affiliation and class listing. Date/place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, degrees, honors, parents' names and address, along with your photograph, are also considered directory information although they are not listed in the Registry.

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