APTS believes that seminary education should involve more than intellectual and academic achievement, and that it should also equip the minister with experiences to develop practical ministry skills and foster a commitment to compassion and service.
APTS operates on a trimester system, which involves three terms of 12 weeks each. A normal academic load is 9-12 credits per trimester, depending on the student’s grade point average (GPA). Thus, M.A. programs take one to two years of full-time study. Three years of study encompassing 96 credits are required for the M.Div. Two to three trimesters are required for the 24-credit Graduate Certificate in Ministerial and Theological Studies. The school year begins in late June and ends in late March. (See school calendar.)
Students will remain in good standing with the institution if they conduct themselves with spiritual and moral integrity, maintain at least a 2.5 GPA, and meet their financial obligations to the school. The administration reserves the right to dismiss any student whose spiritual, moral, or financial integrity is unsatisfactory.
In addition to the awards and recognition during the graduation, the Academic Dean’s office publishes a Dean’s List every trimester to recognize students who have achieved a GPA of 3.7 or above while taking 9 credits or more. The List is a means to publicly acknowledge the students’ hard work and excellent academic accomplishments. Also students who earn a 3.7 GPA receive $105 scholarship while taking 9-12 credits and 4.0 GPA in any school term while taking 9-12 credits are eligible to receive a scholarship of $210 to be applied to their next trimester’s expenses. Those in the Chinese BA receive half what the MA students receive, for GPA 4.0 they receive $105, for 3.7 they receive $52.5.
Students who fail to maintain a grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 (2.3 for Graduate Certificate Program), or who obtain two grades of “F”, will be placed on academic probation with accompanying restrictions for the following term. Obtaining a third grade of “F”, or failure to raise the GPA to the required level after completion of 18 credits, and maintain this level thereafter, will result in suspension for at least one year. Reinstatement can only be obtained through petition to the faculty presenting strong evidence that successful academic achievement is possible in future courses. The decision of the faculty will be considered final.
Individuals who are on academic probation will not be allowed to take more than nine credits and will be required to restrict their extracurricular activities.
Students are expected to be honest in writing and speaking. Plagiarism (taking credit for the written work or unique ideas of another person) or dishonesty of any kind is a serious violation of Christian standards and will result in automatic failure of a paper or, in serious cases, the course. Repeated instances may result in dismissal from APTS. Assistance from others must be limited to grammatical and stylistic improvements. Writing for someone else is also considered dishonest and will be dealt with accordingly.
APTS administers competency exams in Greek and Hebrew through three course levels for those who would desire a waiver of language requirements or academic credit for non-formal study. Academic credit is only awarded if no prior credit has been recorded on an academic transcript by a recognized institution. Applicable tuition fees must be paid to the Business Office.
From time to time APTS may make changes in the requirements of its various academic programs. As long as students maintain continuous enrollment (at least one course per trimester for resident students) they may choose to complete the requirements of the program in effect when they initially enrolled, or the revised program. Students who fail to maintain continuous enrollment will be subject to the program requirements in effect at the time they re-enroll.
Each credit at APTS represents 13.45 hours of classroom instruction per trimester (11 weeks) plus out-of-class assignments.
Students not wishing to receive credit for a course may arrange to audit through the Registrar’s Office. Papers, assignments, and exams are not required for audit students. No grades are issued to the student nor are they recorded on a transcript.
A full-time course load during a trimester is 9 -12 credits. Students whose GPA is below 3.0 (B) are not permitted to take more than 9 credits. The Academic Dean, based on the student’s GPA, must approve any consideration of an overload.
Students may add courses only within the first week of classes (one day for block sessions). A student who desires to withdraw from a course after the first three class periods (4-1/2 hours for block sessions) must secure the approval of the instructor. A student may withdraw from the class by the 11th class session with a W; if after the 11th class session a WP (Withdraw Pass) or WF (Withdraw Fail) will be given dependent on the student’s work prior to the withdrawal. The withdrawal notice must be signed and returned to the Registrar. Failure to officially withdraw from a course will result in an automatic failing grade for that course. Absences of more than three class sessions shall be regarded as an unofficial withdrawal and result in a failing grade. [A session is classified as 1 hour and 50 minutes of instruction. A student may change from credit to audit through the 11th class session, as long as the work has been acceptable. Unacceptable work will be recorded as WF and cannot be changed to an audit.
Currently enrolled APTS students who desire to take additional courses elsewhere must have the prior approval of the Academic Dean.
Any M.Div. student who wishes to change to an M.A. degree must apply for the change prior to completing one-third (1/3) of the credits needed for the proposed M.A. degree program. A degree program change fee will be charged.
Students studying at the resident campus are expected to complete the requirements for their degree programs as follows:
- Master of Arts: Maximum of 5 years from date of enrollment.
- Master of Divinity: Maximum of 10 years from date of enrollment.
APTS follows the grading system outlined below:
4.0 93 - 100% A
3.7 90 - 92 A-
3.3 87 - 89 B+
3.0 83 - 86 B
2.7 80 - 82 B-
2.3 77 - 79 C+
2.0 73 - 76 C
1.7 70 - 72 C-
1.3 67 - 69 D+
1.0 63 - 66 D
0.7 60 - 62 D-
0.0 below 60 F
S Satisfactory (Not to affect GPA)
U Unsatisfactory (D+ or below)
W Course dropped between 3rd-11th class sessions
WP Course dropped after 11th class session;work acceptable
WF Course dropped after 11th class session;work unacceptable
Note: Any course in which a student receives a grade below C- (1.7) is “unacceptable” and must be repeated before credit can be recorded. Any student given an “incomplete” for approved reasons will have four weeks from the end of the term to complete pending work. After four weeks the “incomplete” will be changed to F.
- Students must complete all degree program requirements. (See specific degree.) The general graduation requirements are as follows:
- Satisfactory completion of a course of study.
- B.A. in Ministry (Chinese Program) - 120 credit hours
- Graduate Certificate in Ministerial and Theological Studies - 24 credit hours beyond B.A.
- M.A. in Ministry, Intercultural Studies, Intercultural Education - 36 credit hours beyond B.A.
- M.A. in Theology - 48 credit hours beyond B.A.
- Master of Divinity - 96 credits hours beyond B.A.
- M.Th. – 36 credit hours (including Thesis) beyond MDiv. or equivalency
- DMin. – 30 credit hours (including Doctoral Project) beyond MDiv or equivalency
- Ph.D. - research-based program beyond MDiv or equivalency
- Satisfactory completion of any prerequisite as outlined in each degree program.
- A minimum GPA of 2.5 (C+/B-) for degree programs, 2.3 for the Graduate Certificate in Ministerial and Theological Studies, and 3.0 for Post- Graduate degrees.
- Passing both the Old and New Testament sections of the Bible test, or a passing grade in both Old and New Testament Introduction.
- Approval of the faculty based on assessment of character, spiritual development, and ministry commitment.
- Attendance at commencement exercises (unless permission for absence has been obtained from the Academic Dean).
- Settlement of all financial obligations with the business office.
The faculty grants the following awards each academic year.
Given to the graduates in the Master of Arts and Master of Divinity programs,
respectively, with the highest GPA (min. 3.7).
Given to the outstanding graduates in the Master of Arts and Master of Divinity
programs, respectively, based on spiritual maturity and leadership, exemplary
Christian character, and a high level of scholarship (min. 3.5 GPA).
A student may accumulate a maximum of one-fourth (1/4) of the total credits required for a degree through any combination of independent study, correspondence, and directed research courses.
In addition to the limitations placed on transfer credits and concurrent enrollment at two or more institutions, 12 of the last 15 credits for any degree must be completed through APTS (on campus or at APTS extensions).
Students should register for classes on the days and hours designated by the Registrar and listed on the academic calendar. The process includes conferring with an academic adviser or the Academic Dean regarding the selection of courses and degree program requirements, and then obtaining registration materials from the Registrar’s Office. Financial arrangements must be completed with the Business Office before registration is considered finalized.
A late registration fee is charged to each student who registers after the scheduled registration date. (Consult financial information section for late fees.)
Students are not permitted to register for credit in any course after the first two class sessions (or the first day for block or night classes). [A session is classified as 1 hour and 50 minutes of instruction.]
- Credits from the Graduate Certificate Program may be transferred to a degree program. However, any student graduating with an M.A. degree within two years of earning a Graduate Certificate must surrender the Graduate Certificate before receiving the M. A.
- Credits from one degree may be transferred to another higher degree.
- Credits from only one M.A. may be used toward an M.Div.
- Credits cannot be applied from a higher degree (M.Div.) to a lowerdegree (M.A.).
- Students may be awarded only one M.A. degree from APTS. In addition, restrictions regarding transfer of credits apply.
A five-day orientation session is conducted for new students prior to the beginning of the first trimester. Attendance is required. A shorter orientation period is given at the beginning of the other two trimesters. (See School Calendar.)
Students are to be present at every meeting of the class. If a student knows in advance he/she will be absent, prior arrangements must be made with the instructor. When a student is absent more than three class sessions, a failing grade will be recorded for that particular course (A session is classified as 1 hour and 50 minutes of instruction).
If a student is more than 10 minutes tardy for a class, it will be counted as an absence.
A student who desires to withdraw from the seminary must secure an official withdrawal form from the Registrar and schedule an interview with the Academic Dean. The student must return the completed withdrawal form, signed by the Academic Dean, to the Registrar’s office. Failure to withdraw officially will result in automatic failing grades in the courses in which the student is enrolled and possible refusal of re-entry. Official withdrawal from the seminary is graded the same as withdrawal from courses.
If a student is withdrawing from the seminary with the expressed purpose of returning to APTS in the future beyond the subsequent trimester, he/she must submit the reason for leaving and his/her intent to return in writing to the Registrar’s office and the Academic Dean’s office. It should be noted that if there is a change in the student’s program, then he/she will be enrolled in the current and not their original program.