The institution publishes admissions policies consistent with its mission. (Admissions policies)
_X_ Compliance ___ Partial Compliance ___ Non-Compliance
The primary purpose of Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary (MABTS) is to provide undergraduate and graduate theological training for effective service in church-related and missions vocations through its main campus and designated branch campuses . MABTS publishes admissions policies based upon widely accepted standards that are consistent with its mission. These policies are clear, reasonable, and consistently implemented, and are designed to identify qualified students for successful completion of school programs. The institution publicizes their policies in the 2014-15 MABTS Catalog (available in print and online) , which is the official resource of program requirements and regulations. It delineates the policies for admission to different programs (associate, bachelor, master, and doctoral), the policy for readmission of former students, and the admission of international students.
In addition to the admission policies of the institution, accepted students agree to abide by policies involving the practical missions ministry program, the personal witnessing requirement, the policy of nondiscrimination, requirements concerning Christian experience and conduct, a regulation regarding divorce, and regulations regarding female students in the divinity program. The institution also receives application for degree seeking students, non-credit students, and students being readmitted.
Admissions policies are based upon information given on applications for degree seeking students, international students, non-credit students, and former students, which may be found in the 2014-15 MABTS Catalog. Application for admission for the undergraduate and graduate programs and all supporting documents must be received at least 30 days before the student’s first registration to allow processing and consideration by the Admissions Committee. Students may register for classes only after receiving written notification of admission approval from the Registrar’s Office. (Doctoral students should refer to the respective program guidelines for information regarding application.)
Application for Degree Seeking Students. The application for degree seeking students serves as a basis for admissions policy decisions. The application requires potential students to include information concerning demographic and vital information, the program for which the potential student is applying, family information, church membership information, vocational goals, military service (if applicable), and previous academic information (ACT, SAT scores, previous academic institutions, etc.) . The institution asks for financial information, employment information (secular and ministerial), an autobiographical form (marital status, salvation experience, baptismal statement, statement of call to Christian service, statement of educational purpose), and other personal information. Students must agree to the MABTS standard of conduct, submit a health record and student immunization form, a church endorsement, a pastoral recommendation, two personal recommendations, a letter of credit reference, a transcript request, and an authorization to release information .
Application for International Students. The application for international students is identical to that of a degree-seeking student. Additional information concerning country of citizenship, approximate date of entry to the United States, non-immigrant legal status, “Green Card” status, highest educational degree attained, and the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required .
Application for Non-Credit Students. The application for non-credit seeking students serves as a basis for entrance admission for auditing students. The application requires auditors to include information concerning demographic and vital information .
Policies pertaining to admission for undergraduate and graduate degree programs include the following:
Practical Missions Ministry Service. Each full-time student (twelve or more hours per semester) must complete two mission assignments per week during the semester. Each part-time student (eleven or fewer hours a semester) must complete one mission assignment per week during the semester. A mission assignment consists of approximately one hour of ministry time and normally provides the student with the opportunity to present the type of witness described in this section .
Personal Witnessing. All enrolled students must witness to an average of at least one person per week during the semester. To constitute a personal witness, the interview is to include a presentation of the plan of salvation to a person believed to be unsaved and an invitation for that person to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The essential elements of the Gospel - faith in Jesus Christ alone and repentance of sin - are what the seminary holds to be necessary for salvation. In order to fulfill the personal witnessing requirement, no other element should be involved in the Gospel witness (i.e., baptism, church membership, etc.) .
Policy of Nondiscrimination. MABTS admits students of any race, color, national, or ethnic origin. The seminary does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, national, or ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, or other school-administered programs. The rights, privileges, and activities accorded to students are given equally to all students who have been admitted .
Christian Experience and Conduct. MABTS is a Christian institution whose primary purpose is to provide graduate theological training for effective service in church related and missions vocations. Applicants to the seminary must have professed Christ as Savior for at least one year before registration. Maturity of character, personal integrity, and commitment to Christian service are necessary for acceptable study in the seminary. It is required of students preparing for the ministry that they shall conduct themselves in a manner deemed by the seminary as consistent with biblical standards of moral purity. In particular, married students are expected to maintain marital fidelity, and single students are expected to maintain sexual abstinence. Departure from biblical standards of moral purity disqualifies individuals for admission to the seminary or continued enrollment .
Regulation Regarding Divorce. The seminary does not admit as a student anyone who has ever been divorced or whose spouse has ever been divorced. This regulation applies without exception both to those who are innocent parties of divorce and to others. Such a policy does not judge the manner of life of any divorced person. The regulation, however, is established as a witness to God’s original intention for the lifelong covenant of marriage. Matthew 5:32; 19:3-9; Mark 10:5-9; Luke 16:18; and Malachi 2:16 are the primary biblical passages that support this understanding .
Regulations Regarding Female Students. The seminary admits women as students in the Associate of Christian Education, Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies, Master of Arts in Christian Education, Master of Christian Education, Master of Missiology and Intercultural Studies, Doctor of Ministry in Missiology, Doctor of Ministry in Christian Education, Doctor of Philosophy in Church History, Education, Missions, and Practical Theology (Biblical Counseling track) programs. These programs are designed to prepare students for ministries in education, counseling, or cross-cultural missions. Degree programs designed to prepare students to serve as ordained pastors (Associate of Divinity, Master of Divinity, Doctor of Ministry in Practical Theology, and doctor of philosophy in Old Testament [including Hebrew], New Testament [including Greek], Theology, and Practical Theology [Pastoral track]) are available only to male students. Female students are welcome to audit or to take for credit any individual course offered in the curriculum for which they are otherwise qualified. This policy accords with the seminary’s conviction that the ordained pastor of a church must be male. The following is the trustee resolution mandating this: “We believe that God has signally blessed women and has given them a position of honor and opportunities for service.” However, we believe that Scripture prohibits a woman serving as pastor of a church .
Degree Specific Policies
Policies for the associate degrees, the Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies, the master degrees, and the doctoral degrees are specific to each program and are illustrated below.
Associate Degrees Requirements. In addition to the “Regulations Concerning General Admission” stated earlier, applicants for admission to the associate degree programs must meet the following requirements . All applicants to the associate degree programs must have graduated from high school or received a General Equivalency Diploma (GED). Students who have graduated from college with a baccalaureate degree will not be admitted to the associate degree programs.
Exceptions to these published requirements must be approved by the faculty upon recommendation of the Admissions Committee. In such cases, students will be granted conditional admission. During this period, students are subject to the same limitations as students under academic probation, described under “Disciplinary Regulations” in this Catalog. Conditional admission will be removed after a student completes fifteen semester hours at the seminary and keeps a grade point average of at least “C” (2.0 on a 4.0 scale).
Bachelor Degree Requirements. In addition to the “Regulations Concerning General Admission” stated earlier, applicants for admission to the bachelor degree program must meet the following requirements . All applicants to the bachelor degree program must have graduated from high school or received a GED. Transcripts from all educational institutions are required. Official high school transcripts or GED test scores are required unless the applicant has more than twenty-four college hours. Only official transcripts will be accepted. The Academic Records Office of MABTS reserves the right to judge which transcripts are official and meet the seminary’s requirements. In no case will the seminary consider as official a transcript marked “Issued to Student.”
All applicants (including home-schooled students) are required to submit scores from either the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or the American College Test (ACT). The SAT code for MABTS is 7039 and the ACT code is 3934. Applicants who are 24 or older, or have passed 15 hours from (a) a regionally accredited college or (b) a college with AABC accreditation, and have maintained at least a C average are not required to submit these standardized test scores. (SAT and ACT scores are not used as a basis of admission to MABTS but are used to help evaluate a student’s ability to do college level work.)
Master Degrees Requirements. In addition to the Regulations Concerning General Admission, applicants for admission to any master degree program must meet the following requirements . All applicants to master degree programs must have graduated from an accredited college or university with a bachelor degree or equivalent. It is recommended that this degree should include at least sixty semester hours of liberal arts studies (other than religious studies). The applicant’s grade point average for all college-level work must be at least a C (2.0 on a 4.0 scale).
An official transcript is required from each institution of higher learning that the applicant has attended. Transcripts from institutions from which the applicant has received a degree must show the date of graduation and the degree granted. Students still in the process of completing an undergraduate degree at the time they apply to the seminary may submit a current official transcript. An official final transcript showing the degree granted and date of graduation must then be submitted by the end of the first semester of study at MABTS.
Undergraduate students who are within eight semester hours of graduation from college may be allowed, with faculty permission, to enroll concurrently in the seminary for a maximum of one semester while completing their baccalaureate degree, provided all other admission requirements are met. All applicants to any masters degree program must be at least twenty years old by the time of their first registration.
The seminary may require students to make up serious deficiencies in their undergraduate studies. All exceptions to published admission requirements must be approved by the faculty upon recommendation of the Admissions Committee. In such cases an applicant will be granted conditional admission. During this period, the student is subject to the same limitations as students under academic probation, described under Disciplinary Regulations in the Catalog. Conditional admission will be removed after a student completes fifteen semester hours at the seminary and keeps a grade point average of at least “C” (2.0 on a 4.0 scale).
Students are admitted from baccalaureate institutions which are not accredited by one of the regional accreditation agencies within the following guidelines:
Doctoral Degree Requirements. Admission policies for the Doctor of Ministry program of MABTS may be found in the current Catalog. Application for admission for the Doctor of Philosophy program may be found in the current Catalog .
Doctor of Ministry Requirements. Applicants must have a Bachelor of Arts degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university. Any exception must be approved by the Doctor of Ministry Committee. Applicants must have completed the Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution. Other two-year master's programs may be considered, but the applicant must complete the Master of Divinity required courses of the seminary to enter the program. In such cases, the seminary does not grant the Master of Divinity degree but establishes its equivalency. An applicant must have maintained an average of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 in his Master of Divinity or equivalent work.
Applicants must have completed two years of ministry experience. Any exception must be approved by the Doctor of Ministry Committee.
The DMin program does not fulfill the residential requirement of an F-1 Visa. Applicants from international seminaries offering the master of divinity or its equivalent may be admitted to the doctor of ministry program on the same basis as students from national seminaries, provided they score a minimum of six hundred on the paper-based TOEFL examination or one hundred on the internet-based TOEFL. Refer to Admission Procedure for International Students in the 2014-15 MABTS Catalog.
An applicant must complete all procedures and requirements for approval by the seminary's Doctor of Ministry Committee. Applicants will receive notice of approval from the Dean of the DMin program. The application must be complete and approved by May 1 to enter the program in the fall.
Applicants must perform satisfactorily on the Miller Analogies Test to demonstrate competency to function at the graduate level. The Miller Analogies Test (MAT) can be taken at any of the regional testing centers. Evaluation of test results is consistent with the practice of similar educational institutions and is in conformity to performance scales published in the MAT Manual and corroborating research reports. The MABTS code number, 1750, must be used to report MAT scores.
An applicant must submit a ten-page essay which includes the following components:
The essay is to be written in accordance with A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 8th ed., by Kate Turabian (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013).
An applicant may be admitted on a conditional basis for the first year of study in the doctoral program at the discretion of the Doctor of Ministry Committee. The Dean of the DMin Program will notify the applicant of the reasons for any conditional status, specify any requirements that must be fulfilled, and state any limitations to be imposed upon the projected seminar load. Students admitted conditionally are evaluated at the conclusion of the first year of study, and the Doctor of Ministry Committee governs the student's continuance in the program. Exceptions to the published admission requirements for the doctor of ministry program must be approved by the faculty.
Applicants for the DMin program who do not enroll in a seminar within one year from the date of approval must submit a new application to the program.
Doctor of Philosophy Requirements. Application for admission into the doctor of philosophy program is processed through the Doctor of Philosophy Committee. Applicants must submit an application to the Admissions Office on a form which they provide. The application must be submitted by April 1 in order to begin seminar work in August and by September 1 to begin seminar work in January. Students are not fully admitted into the PhD program until written acceptance is issued by the Dean of the Doctor of Philosophy Program.
The PhD is the highest academic degree offered by the seminary. The program is reserved for students of exceptional academic ability and promise. Students must demonstrate an understanding of the basic techniques of scholarly research and writing, as well as an ability to communicate through effective teaching. They must be committed to the program and demonstrate that they are willing to fulfill the time requirements and the disciplinary standards required for distinguished scholarly achievement. Students’ health, finances, and outside responsibilities must be within such a level of tolerance that they are not unduly distracted from reasonable pursuit of the demands of the program. See the Regulations Regarding Female Students section in the 2014-15 MABTS Catalog.
Applicants must have a Bachelor of Arts degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university, including sixty semester hours of liberal arts content. Any exception must be approved by the Doctor of Philosophy Committee.
Applicants must have a Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent from this seminary or from another accredited seminary which has comparable language requirements. Students must have maintained in their Master of Divinity work the equivalent to a 3.00 grade point average (on a 4.00 scale) or better. Any exception must be approved by the Doctor of Philosophy Committee.
All applicants must have completed a minimum of six semester hours of Greek and six semester hours of Hebrew. However, if the major field of study is to be in New Testament, the student is required to have completed an additional nine semester hours of advanced Greek. If the major field of study is to be Old Testament, the student is required to have completed an additional nine semester hours of advanced Hebrew courses. The Doctor of Philosophy Committee reserves the right to administer preliminary language exams and/or require language instruction in any case in which it is deemed expedient.
Either before or during the first year of PhD study, candidates for the doctor of philosophy degree must complete for credit the course designated Graduate Research and Writing (DR 9910) in order to demonstrate proficiency in research and writing. Equivalent work from another recognized institution may be accepted in fulfillment of this requirement at the discretion of the PhD Committee. A prospective PhD student who is a Master of Divinity, Master of Missiology and Intercultural Studies, Master of Christian Education graduate, or last year MDiv/MMICS/MCE student may be allowed, with permission from the PhD Committee, to enroll in DR 9910.
Candidates for the PhD degree must complete for credit the course designated Graduate Teaching (DR 9920) which is designed to aid students in their proficiency in teaching. Equivalent work from another recognized institution may be accepted in fulfillment of this requirement at the discretion of the PhD Committee. A prospective PhD student who is a Master of Divinity, Master of Missiology and Intercultural Studies, Master of Christian Education graduate, or last year MDiv/MMICS/MCE student may be allowed, with permission from the PhD Committee, to enroll in DR 9920.
Candidates for the PhD in education degree must complete for credit the course designated Graduate Research Methodology (DR 9921) which is designed to aid students in their proficiency in social science methodology. Equivalent work from another recognized institution may be accepted in fulfillment of this requirement at the discretion of the PhD Committee. A prospective PhD student who is a Master of Divinity, Master of Missiology and Intercultural Studies, Master of Christian Education graduate, or last year MDiv/MMICS/MCE student may be allowed, with permission from the PhD Committee, to enroll in DR 9921. This course may be used as a substitute for one classical or modern language requirement.
Students from an international seminary offering the Master of Divinity or its equivalent may be admitted to the PhD program on the same basis as students from national seminaries if they meet all requirements and pass the qualifying examinations. See the Admission Procedure for International Students in the 2014-15 MABTS Catalog.
Application for admission into the PhD program is processed through the PhD Committee. (Applicants must submit an application to the PhD Committee on a form which may be obtained from the office of the Dean of the PhD program.) A non-refundable admission fee of $50.00 must accompany the application form. The application must be submitted by February 15 in order to begin seminar work in August and by September 1 to begin seminar work in January. Students are not fully admitted into the PhD program until written acceptance is issued by the Dean of the PhD program.
Applicants must perform satisfactorily on the MAT to demonstrate competency to function at the graduate level. This test can be taken at any of the regional testing centers in the United States. The results of the test are to be in the PhD office by February 15 for August enrollment and September 1 for January enrollment. Evaluation of test results at MABTS is consistent with the practice of similar educational institutions and is in conformity to performance scales published in the MAT Manual and corroborating research reports. With the approval of the PhD Committee, the MAT may be waived for an applicant who has already taken the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and made an acceptable score. The MABTS code number, 1750, must be used to report MAT scores which are valid for five years.
Applicants to the PhD degree program whose indigenous language is not English must score at least 600 on the paper-based TOEFL or 100 on the internet-based TOEFL. This examination must be completed not more than two years before admission to the seminary. Exceptions to this requirement must be approved by the PhD Committee. International students are not required to take the MAT.
Applicants are required to write a twenty to twenty-five page research paper on a departmentally selected subject from their major field. The paper is designed to probe the student’s general theological or educational background in their area of study and to test their ability to organize their thoughts and express themselves logically, clearly, and in good English form. Applicants will write their papers in conformity to the form and style guidelines set forth in A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 8th ed., by Kate L. Turabian (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2013). The major field research paper is due in the PhD office by February 15 for August enrollment and September 1 for January enrollment.
Applicants must take a written essay examination covering the general scope of their major field. This examination occupies one day of no more than four hours and is designed to test the student’s overall comprehension of the major issues in his designated field.
Applicants are required to have an interview with the faculty members who comprise their major department to discuss their previous academic preparation and future goals in the context of their declared field of concentration in the doctoral program. Arrangements for this interview are made by the chairman of the respective department.
Applicants who are not graduates of MABTS must have an interview with the PhD Committee. In special circumstances, a MABTS graduate may also be required to have an interview with the Committee. The interview focuses on a discussion of the applicant’s prior academic training and practical experience, their purpose for pursuing the PhD degree, and his/her intended utilization of the degree in future vocational commitment. The interview must be held by May 1 prior to entry into the program in August or by October 1 for entry into the program in January. Appointments should be confirmed at the office of the Dean of the PhD Program.
The PhD Committee reserves the right to require any student to supplement deficiencies in preparation in his major field of study by taking for credit courses from the master of divinity curriculum, in addition to his required doctoral seminars. A student may be required to audit certain Master of Divinity courses as a means of maintaining awareness of current developments in his field. PhD students who audit or take for credit Master of Divinity courses are required to follow the procedure for proper registration each term.
At the discretion of the PhD Committee, an applicant may be admitted on a conditional basis for the first year of study in the doctoral program. The Dean of the PhD program provides written notification to advise the student of the reasons for the conditional status, to specify any requirements which he must fulfill, and to state any limitations to be imposed upon his projected course load. The student is reevaluated at the conclusion of his or her first year of study, and the student’s major department makes recommendation with regard to the conditions governing his or her continuance in the program. Any exception to the published admission requirements for the doctor of philosophy program must be approved by the faculty upon the recommendation of the PhD Committee.
Applicants are considered on the basis of: (1) application form for admission to the program, (2) previous academic record, (3) performance on the MAT, (4) demonstration of writing skills on the major field research paper, (5) performance on the written comprehensive entrance examination, and (6) personal interview with the faculty. Although no single criterion is necessarily determinative by itself, the above stated criteria are scrutinized by the PhD Committee to determine the applicant’s competency and motivation to undertake doctoral study. Only those applicants who are approved by the PhD Committee may be admitted into the program.
When an applicant is declined admission to the program, the student may choose to submit another application. Only one opportunity to reapply may be granted with permission from the PhD committee. Materials relative to application are considered confidential and the PhD Committee has no obligation to disclose information regarding an applicant's being declined admission into the program.
If an applicant for the PhD program does not begin advanced studies within one year from the date of approval, a new application must be submitted.
Upon admission to the PhD program, the student requests a major professor in his major department. The major department must approve this choice or assign another professor from the department. The major advisor assists the student in planning a comprehensive program of study. Once the student’s dissertation topic is approved by the PhD Committee, the major professor supervises the student’s work in the writing of the dissertation. The student should initiate a meeting with his major professor at least once each term for advisement in every phase of his academic program while he is taking seminars. Upon completion of seminars, the student is expected to maintain monthly contacts with his advisor.
Applicants who are not citizens of the United States must meet the following additional requirements for admission to the seminary.
The school is authorized by the laws of the United States to enroll nonimmigrant students. All requirements of the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the United States must be satisfied before the applicant will be admitted. The Academic Records office will provide international applicants information about the Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student (Form 1 20A-B). Applications from international students are considered by the Admissions Committee of the various programs on the same basis as all other students.
International applicants must submit documents demonstrating funds available or guaranteed support adequate for international travel, educational expenses, and living expenses in the United States. The seminary will provide a Financial Statement for International Applicants form that must be used for this purpose. This statement also requires certain designated affidavits that must be provided. The seminary, at its discretion, may require the applicant to submit an Affidavit of Support (Form I-134), which is issued by the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the United States Department of Justice.
The seminary will not accept financial responsibility for any part of an international student’s support in connection with its academic programs. Beyond the low cost of tuition, the seminary is not in a position to provide financial support. Students must not depart from their home nation before receiving confirmation of admission approval and the Immigration I-20 form from the Academic Records Office. International students are required to meet the financial deposit required by the seminary. The deposit is refundable to the student upon graduation or withdrawal from the seminary.
International applicants must meet the same academic prerequisites as United States citizens for the program for which they are applying. Official transcripts (translated into English) of all institutions of higher education that the applicant has attended must be submitted. If the applicant has received postsecondary degrees from an institution outside the United States, these degrees must be reviewed by the Academic Vice President and/or an independent credentials evaluation agency. The applicant must pay for all expenses involved in this process. The seminary will provide international applicants with information about this upon request. Applicants who received postsecondary degrees from a United States institution of higher education must submit official transcripts.
All instruction at the seminary is in English. Applicants whose indigenous language is not English must score at least 550 on the paper-based TOEFL or 75 to 80 on the Internet-based TOEFL for master and associate work and 600 on the paper-based TOEFL or 100 on the Internet-based TOEFL for doctoral work. This examination must be completed no more than two years before admission to the seminary.
In the United States, information concerning the TOEFL examination may be received from the Educational Testing Service: P.O. Box 899, Princeton, NJ 08549. Outside the United States, information concerning the TOEFL is available from United States embassies, consulates, or information centers. The MABTS code number, 1712, must be used to report TOEFL scores.
Exceptions to this requirement are presented to the Master and Undergraduate Committee, which must then be approved by the faculty. Students who have received a postsecondary degree from an English-speaking institution of higher learning, particularly from the United States, Canada, or Great Britain, sometimes are not required to take the TOEFL exam. This is not an automatic exception and is determined on an individual basis.
Because of the cultural, language, and educational diversity associated with living in a complex world, international students face a special challenge in succeeding at seminary studies. The seminary makes every effort to admit as students only those who are well-suited to its programs. However, the seminary always reserves the right to evaluate the progress of all students.
International applicants are admitted with the provision that their status and academic progress is reviewed at the end of the first semester of study and thereafter at the end of each year of study. The seminary may require remedial studies or restrict the academic course load of any student, including internationals, if these actions appear to be in the best interest of the student.
Readmission of Former Students. Students who have not been enrolled for more than one semester (excluding special or summer terms) must submit a new application form to the seminary . Applicants must also complete a background check authorization form and answer the personal questions concerning God-controlled living. A nonrefundable readmission fee of $35.00 must also be included. The Admissions Committee reviews these materials, and the applicant will be advised of any special requirements concerning readmission.
International students on a F1 Visa must maintain continuous enrollment as a full-time student in order to maintain the visa status and avoid illegal residence in the United States.
Students who graduate from MABTS and want to return within one calendar year of graduation must complete an Application for Readmission and submit a letter of explanation describing their activities since graduation. A non-refundable readmission fee of $25.00 must be included with the application.
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