Academic and Personal Advisement

Admissions Office counselors generally provide initial academic guidance to prospective and admitted students. From the time of admission, students are encouraged to begin consulting online resources for academic advisement and their Department’s Office (in the case of MAs) or their Program’s Office or Director, or a faculty member. (Necessary usernames, passwords, and access information to MyTIU are provided upon submission of the tuition deposit, indicating intent to enroll.) The faculty Formation Group leader assigned prior to matriculation, generally in the student’s declared area of interest, is also available for academic and personal counsel.

Students are ultimately responsible for their program progress as outlined in the Catalog at the time of their admission and should carefully consult both the Catalog and the Academic Handbook as they plan their coursework. The online degree audit process through the online Dashboard enables students to marshal the resources of their personal institutional data record in determining completed and outstanding program requirements. This audit process is maintained by the Graduate Records Office.

The Trinity Counseling Center is also available for other types of counseling.

Academic Calendar Year

Trinity’s academic calendar is comprised of a fall, spring, and summer semester. Fall and spring semesters are fourteen class weeks followed by one week of final examinations. Summer semester is generally composed of a one-week May term followed by a six-week Early Summer Session (May/June) and a six-week Late Summer Session, with a one-week holiday around July 4.

General academic calendar dates may be found elsewhere in this catalog. Reference should be made to the current Academic Handbook or to the online Calendar for specific dates and deadlines for registration, thesis submission, comprehensive exams, graduation requests, adding/dropping classes, as well as special sessions and lectures.

Academic Handbook and Catalog

Students admitted to Trinity are subject to the program requirements of the Catalog current at the time of initial enrollment (matriculation). ). Students may elect, by indicating their intention to the Records Office, to complete the program requirements of a subsequent catalog; however, the catalog change policy requires that students complete all degree requirements under any subsequent catalog selected. Students must choose one catalog or the other—not a combination of the two. If a student withdraws and is readmitted, or finishes one program and is readmitted into a second one, the student is subject to the program requirements current at the time of re-enrollment.

Specific policies and procedures related to master’s, Doctor of Ministry, and Doctor of Philosophy programs are contained in the respective program handbook (see relevant doctoral sections later in this catalog). The annually updated Academic Handbook for Master’s Students is available on the myTIU website at the time of enrollment to all incoming master’s students, and an annual electronic addendum updates changes. The Academic Handbook contains detailed policy and procedural matters, detailed Academic Calendar, registration information, advisement tips, exam details, and guidelines regarding program capstone experiences (theses, etc).

Students are well advised to retain at the time of their initial enrollment both the current Catalog and the Academic Handbook and observe changing academic procedures in subsequent Handbooks during their TEDS program. Careful reading and study of these two publications will facilitate timely program completion, the Catalog describing the program curriculum and the Academic Handbook describing the policies and procedures related to the completion of that curriculum.

Academic Integrity

The Trinity community is committed to integrity in all areas of life, including academic integrity, which we believe is essential in the search for and promotion of truth. The pursuit of truth is integrally connected with values of the Trinity community, which include respect for individual intellectual contributions, the development of God-given talents, and the building of relationships in community in a spirit of trust. Therefore, academic integrity is upheld in the Trinity community and any form of cheating and plagiarism is not permitted. Additional information and details are available in the Academic Handbook.

Academic Load

To be considered full time, master’s-level students must enroll in at least 10 credit hours each semester (9 credit hours for students on our Florida campus). Students will be considered part time if they are enrolled in 1-9 credit hours (1-8 credit hours in Florida). However, for financial aid purposes “half time” is defined as 5-9 credit hours (5-8 credit hours in Florida).  Note that tuition fee structures and academic load structures differ.  Doctoral Students refer to doctoral section of the catalog.

The normal course load for full-time students is 10 to 15 credit hours. Registration for more than 18 semester credit hours requires a student to be in good academic standing with a cumulative GPA above the minimum required for graduation in the student’s degree program. Students employed more than twenty hours per week are advised against enrolling for a full-time academic load.

Active and Inactive Student Status

Program students are expected to register at the beginning of each semester for all coursework (including short-term modulars) or other program requirements (Field Education, Internship, Capstones, Thesis, Extensions of Capstones, etc.) they intend to complete during the semester. The status of such students is considered active and campus services such as library, e-mail, faculty, etc. are available to them. Student accounts must also be in good standing for a student to remain active and able to register for the next semester. If students are regularly taking courses each year (such as summer), but their enrollment is not continuous every semester because of regular vocational responsibilities, they should notify the Records Office to ensure their active status is maintained.

Students who desire not to register for classes for a period of one to three semesters (twelve months) should request a Leave of Absence (LOA) from the Student Life Office (see Leave of Absence Policy in this Catalog). This apprises Trinity of student program plans, and enables appropriate services to be provided. If a student desires to leave TEDS, a Withdrawal must be completed through the Student Life Office (see “Withdrawal” in this Catalog).

If a LOA or Withdrawal has not been completed by students, and they do not register and successfully complete coursework each consecutive semester (fall, spring; summer is exempt), their status is rendered inactive (e.g., active students must register for at least one course each semester).

Inactive students must reapply to TEDS with no guarantee of readmission. At the time inactive students reapply, they are subject to a reactivation fee. Students who withdraw appropriately and reapply are not subject to a reactivation fee.

Biblical Languages

A distinctive part of some of the Master of Arts programs and the Master of Divinity program at Trinity is the requirement in biblical languages. Language requirements often are the aspect of the program curricula that either facilitate or delay timely program completion. Students are well advised to exercise careful discernment in following the counsel of faculty and department members related to these requirements.

The biblical Hebrew language sequence for MDiv students includes two semesters of elementary Hebrew and one semester of Hebrew exegesis (10 semester hours) prior to beginning Old Testament canon courses. Master of Arts students with a concentration in Old or New Testament must complete prerequisite language work as outlined in the Catalog.

The biblical Greek language sequence for MDiv students requires one year of beginning Greek met by undergraduate coursework or intensive independent study, or Trinity’s two-semester or summer school undergraduate beginning Greek sequence. Completion of the MDiv in three years is nearly impossible for those beginning their MDiv studies without prior completion of undergraduate beginning-level Greek study or completing it at Trinity in the summer prior to enrollment. The beginning Greek requirement is a prerequisite to enrollment in the two-semester (8 semester hours) Greek exegesis courses, which in turn are followed by New Testament canon courses. Master of Arts students with a concentration in New or Old Testament must complete prerequisite language work as outlined in the Catalog.

All students with biblical language background, whether obtained by formal undergraduate or graduate coursework or independent study, must complete a proficiency exam in Hebrew or Greek for placement into the appropriate level in the Hebrew or Greek language sequence. It is possible that prior language preparation will enable students to demonstrate competency at a level sufficient to exempt them from beginning language courses; however, Trinity’s biblical language programs are intense, and such competency should not readily be assumed. Nor should it be assumed that prior completion of biblical languages at other graduate institutions is equivalent to that required at Trinity, in which case course hours may transfer, but proficiency demonstration must still be demonstrated.

Additional biblical language information may be obtained from the Academic Handbook or from members of the Old or New Testament departments.

Candidacy

Admission to a TEDS program must be followed by candidacy for the degree. Candidacy requirements vary from program to program and are outlined under the specific program description and concentration. Failure to achieve candidacy may result in dismissal from a program or expulsion from the institution. Admission or change to another program is not automatic and must be accompanied by a complete reapplication.

Capstone Events

Most Trinity programs require a capstone event: professional project, major or integrative paper, internship, comprehensive exams, thesis, dissertation, or a combination of these. Note carefully the requirement in your program curricula and consult with your department as to the precise guidelines for that event.

Capstone event writers (papers, theses, dissertations) should note carefully the university writing requirements outlined in the TIU Style and Format Manual and avail themselves of the counsel of the University Student Success Center in their writing.

Capstone Extensions and Fees

Some capstone events are regularly completed during the semester of enrollment (major papers, internships, etc.); however, others often extend one or more semesters beyond the original semester of enrollment. These Capstones also have a Capstone Extension course (ID 7466, ID 7469, ID 7481, ID 7484, XX 7486, XX 8986) in which students must enroll to maintain their active student status (see “Active and Inactive Student Status” above). If students are enrolled in a capstone extension course and in no other courses, a minimal capstone extension course fee is charged for students to maintain their active status and Trinity services. Students who fail to register for a Capstone Extension course to maintain their active status are charged the extension course fee plus late registration fees for each semester in which they failed to register and may be rendered inactive in their program requiring readmission and payment of the reactivation fee (see “Active and Inactive Student Status”).

Course Extensions

During any given semester faculty may change due dates for an entire class for a given assignment or exceptionally grant individual emergencies. All semester course work is due no later than the scheduled time of the final examination for each course (including Reading, Guided Research, Field Education, and Internship). All extensions beyond the date of the final exam are granted only by the Dean or Associate Dean of Students,not individual faculty members.

Course extensions are granted only in the case of an unforeseen emergency such as severe illness/hospitalization or death of an immediate family member. Such emergencies are to be reported immediately, or within seventy-two hours of the occurrence. Requests based on being overcommitted, vacation or travel plans, work or ministry responsibilities, family visits, etc. will be denied.

Note that only the Dean or Associate Dean of Students, not individual faculty members, grants course extensions. The Dean or Associate Dean of Students will notify the students and faculty member of the disposal of the request and may recommend that

  1. no grade penalty be given provided the extension deadline is met or
  2. a grade reduction of one full letter grade be given for each week the extension is effective.

Grading and the duration of the extension will depend on the severity of the emergency. Course extensions will not exceed four weeks from the end of final exam week. All work must be submitted by the assigned deadline, or a Fail (“F”) will be permanently recorded.

Course Registration and Course Withdrawal

Course registration dates are announced annually and posted on the TEDS Academic Information web page in MyTIU. All changes in course registration (dropping and adding courses) must be completed during the first two weeks of the semester. A fee is assessed during the second week. Courses may not be added after the second week of classes. Courses dropped after the second week are considered course withdrawals with a “W” assigned during the first 50 percent of class meetings (e.g., during the first seven weeks of a semester-length course; during the first five days of a ten-day course) and an “F” assigned thereafter.

Note: Students are encouraged to review the Refund policy in the Catalog before dropping or withdrawing from semester, Quad, or Field Education classes. Tuition and fee assessment deadlines and financial aid deadlines may be independent from academic deadlines.

Students are responsible for reviewing Catalog program requirements and the Academic Handbook and for consulting the available academic advisement tools as needed prior to course registration to ensure that their courses apply to their program or personal interests.

Course Registration: Trinity College Undergraduates into TEDS

Trinity College students may register for one TEDS course each fall or spring semester at no additional charge (summers not included). Such coursework may be counted for either undergraduate or graduate credit (not both) and may not be used to fulfill general education requirements.

Registrants must have junior or senior status and a minimum GPA of 3.0. The requisite form, which must be accompanied by the College Dean’s signature in the case for juniors, is available from the Records Office. Undergraduate students registering for graduate classes are subject to all deadlines, grading policies, and late fees of TEDS.

Course Repeat Policy

Courses in which a letter grade of “B-” or lower is earned may be repeated in a regularly scheduled class mode with a different professor (until a grade of “B-” or better is obtained in the repeated course). The higher of the two grades earned will be calculated in the GPA; and the lower grade will remain recorded as originally completed with the notation “This course was repeated” and not calculated in the GPA. No additional credits will be earned, nor any tuition discount given for the repeated course. This policy has been created to assist students dealing with unexpected “real-life issues” that threaten one’s academic record and call for a decision, while at the same time enabling students to make up the course without negative academic reflection.

Course Scheduling and Attendance

One semester hour is equivalent to fifty minutes of class instruction per week for one semester. For the purpose of comparing quarter hours with semester hours, 1 semester hour equals 1.5 quarter hours.

Fall and spring semester classes generally meet once per week in a morning, afternoon, late afternoon, or evening time block. Language classes and some other classes meet twice per week generally on Tuesdays/Thursdays. Daily class hours begin as early as 7:00 a.m. and extend until 10:00 p.m. Evening, short-term modulars, and Friday-Saturday weekend classes are also available. Some morning-afternoon-evening and day-of-the-week rotation of classes occur, except for languages, which remain on Tuesdays/Thursdays. All Master of Divinity core classes are on an evening rotation.

Summer semester classes are generally scheduled in one-week, two-week, or three-week time blocks.

Class attendance is expected in graduate education at Trinity. Participation in class discussions and completion of course requirements are also expected. Absences for illness or other emergencies should be discussed directly with the instructor. Students missing more than a minimal number of class hours can expect to have their final grade penalized or fail a course when absences are excessive. Students participating in intensive short-term courses, such as modulars or weekend classes, are expected to attend all sessions for course credit or should not enroll in the course.

Students are expected to adequately prepare for class sessions. Short-term modular courses require preparation in advance of the first class meeting, or students may be asked to drop the course. Please consult the online course syllabus for short-term modular course preparation expectations.

Course Substitutions and Program Modifications

Master’s-level programs may be modified through transfer credit or advanced standing (see the Admissions section of the catalog). Further program course modifications are based on previous coursework or educational objectives, as described in the TEDS Academic Handbook, and are arranged with the faculty. Program course substitutions may be made within the department by the written consent of the faculty advisor or department chair or by the mutual consent of both department chairs if the substitute courses fall outside the department of the concentration. Written signed notification of such substitutions should immediately be filed with the Records Office.

Students in a TEDS program wishing to substitute a required TEDS course with one from another institution should obtain approval from the Academic Exceptions Committee prior to enrolling in the course.

Degree Combinations or a Second TEDS Degree

Students may wish to combine a professional degree, such as the MDiv, with a research degree, such as a Master of Arts, if their future expectations include ministry and teaching. (See “Tips on Selecting the Appropriate Master’s Program” under “Master’s Programs.”) This option is desirable because in most cases students may complete coursework for both degrees in less time than taking the programs separately; however, admission to one degree program at Trinity does not guarantee that a student will be admitted to another program.

Although it is permissible to have simultaneous enrollment in two degree programs, the specific program requirements for each program must be met. Some of TEDS’s present systems (technology) do not always well recognize persons with enrollments in two programs, so additional consultation may be necessary. Manual degree program audits are available through the Records Office.

A student may overlap program requirements up to 50 percent of the shorter degree. For example, a student combining the MDiv and MA in Counseling Ministries (MA in CM) could overlap up to 21 semester hours (50 percent of the 42 semester hours required for the MA in CM) with the MDiv. Such coursework would need to be carefully planned to ensure that the specific program requirements of each program are met. Generally a minimum of four years are required to complete both an MDiv and MA because of the program requirements, including MDiv internship, thesis, and comprehensive exams. (Note: The 50 percent degree overlap is not applicable in the case of a third degree.)

If students complete one Trinity degree and desire to enroll in a second Trinity degree while retaining the first degree, they must complete the program residency (normally a minimum of 16 semester hours) in that second degree.

Students who desire all the hours of a completed TEDS degree to count for another degree program may do so, but only by forfeiting their completed degree. For example, a student who has completed the MA (Christian Studies) program may desire to use all of the completed hours to pursue the MDiv program. In such cases, the first degree is surrendered. Contact the Records Office for details.

MDiv and ThM combinations: MDiv and ThM coursework may not overlap; however, students may take up to nine hours of 7000 level (and above) courses not applied to their MDiv during their final year and apply those hours to their ThM requirements upon matriculating into the ThM program.

Degree Program Definitions

In light of the lack of an industry standard in defining degree combinations and relationships, and in an attempt to provide clarity to students and faculty, the following degree program definitions are used at Trinity:

Concurrent or second degrees—enrollment in two or more programs simultaneously or concurrently in one or more schools of TIU resulting in multiple degrees; a student must qualify separately for enrollment in each program, and meet program requirements for each program as outlined in the Catalog

Advanced placement programs (AP)—programs that grant advanced placement (with or without credit) in a degree program on the basis of a student’s prior academic work (the only TEDS program in this category is the Advanced Placement MDiv)

Dual degree programs—linked undergraduate—graduate program combinations where a student completes and is awarded an undergraduate degree, and moves seamlessly into a graduate degree (both at Trinity International University); admission to the graduate degree is conditional upon completion of the undergraduate degree; some program requirements may be met concurrently, however the awarding of the two degrees is sequential occurring at two different graduations (two programs in this catalog exist at TEDS: the Bachelor of Arts and MA [Intercultural Studies]; and the Bachelor of Arts and MA in Mental Health Counseling)

Accelerated degree programs—accelerated refers to a modification of the curriculum leading to a different type of degree program progression, and resulting in one degree (the only TEDS program in this category is the MDiv with Pre-Seminary Honors)

Joint degree programs—joint degrees are offered in conjunction with other institutions with both institutions noted on the diploma; TIU does not offer any joint programs.

Examinations

All students, whether or not English is their primary language, are expected to complete all examinations—quizzes, midterms, finals, comprehensive exams, and otherwise—within the time allotted for that particular exam. Those students covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should consult with the Associate Dean of Students if they need adjustments in the location, length, or manner of their exams based on their disability.

Final examinations are given during examination week at the end of fall and spring semesters for every regularly scheduled Trinity course. The method and manner of the exam is at the discretion of the instructor. All final examinations must be taken when scheduled.

Expulsion or Dismissal from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

A student may be expelled or dismissed from TEDS under the following circumstances:

  • If a student fails to demonstrate academic improvement after a period of academic probation: Academic dismissal is processed by the Records Office in accordance with Catalog policy.
  • If a student has breached community guidelines of academic integrity as described in the Catalog and Academic Handbook: An expulsion for breach of academic integrity is processed by the Dean of Students in accordance with Academic Handbook policy.
  • If a student has breached community life expectations as described in the Catalog and Student Guide: An expulsion for breach of community life expectations is processed by the Dean of Students in accordance with Student Guide policy.
  • If a student has been denied candidacy for reasons stated earlier or relative to matters of Christian character described in the Catalog and the candidacy process: An expulsion related to candidacy is processed by the Student Life Committee of the TEDS Faculty.

Appeals of expulsion or dismissal should be made in writing to the office or body noted above for a second review. Further appeal is directed to the Dean, whose decision is final.

Field Education and Internships

Field education and internships involve supervised work in a field-based ministry. A variety of these educational experiences are available (see course descriptions for PT 5090, PT 5095 and PT 7465, and PT 7466). All are designed to

  1. integrate classroom studies with field-based ministry,
  2. aid in acquiring, reinforcing, and refining ministry knowledge and skills, and
  3. assist in the assessment and development of Christian character, spirituality, ministerial call and identity.

Field Education and Internship experiences are guided by a field supervisor who serves as a mentor. Opportunities for Trinity students in the Chicago metropolitan area are abundant and diverse. Field Education and Internship courses may also be taken in any semester (fall, spring, or summer) and anywhere in the world under primary supervision of a field-based mentor. Students enrolled at extension sites and regional centers are required to meet the same field education requirements and should consult their extension coordinator for details on enrollment and completion of these courses.

Field education is a program requirement in most programs and a prerequisite for Internship in the MDiv program. All new students enrolling in their first Field Education or Internship must complete a one-time Field Education/Internship orientation. For Field Education, this orientation is offered at the beginning of the fall and spring semester. New extension and Florida students should contact their coordinators on how to complete the field education orientation requirement. Students must complete this orientation before Field Education credit can be obtained. For Internship, this orientation is offered at the middle of each fall and spring semester and serves to fulfill one of the two prerequisites for beginning the Internship (see MDiv candidacy to fulfill the other Internship prerequisite).

Field Education courses require a thirteen-week commitment with a minimum of three to five hours per week; Internship experiences also require a thirteen-week commitment and can be completed either part-time at a minimum of fifteen hours per week over two consecutive semesters or full-time at a minimum of thirty hours per week over one semester.

Students with extensive ministry experience (two to four years or more full time) prior to enrolling in Trinity who desire to obtain a waiver of Field Education or receive advance substitution of Internship requirements are encouraged to contact the Office of Supervised Ministries. For MDiv students, the application deadline for fall admissions is August 1 of the following year and for spring admissions is January 1 of the following year. For MA students, application deadlines are January 1 (for fall admissions) and August 1 (for spring admissions).

Begin working early with the Office of Supervised Ministries before registering for a Field Education or Internship course. Contact the office at 847.317.8030 or e-mail fielded@tiu.edu prior to registering for the course. Students in the MA in MHC and MA/ICS should consult their department. Online information and details may be found at the Office of Supervised Ministries web page at MyTIU.

Formation Groups

Participation in Formation Groups (see detailed information under Community Life) is encouraged for all students throughout their program. MDiv students are required to complete two semesters of Formation Group as part of their candidacy process (see MDiv Candidacy). For students in other masters programs, registration and participation in two semesters of Formation Group can serve to fulfill up to one Field Education requirement. No more than one Field Education requirement can be fulfilled in this manner.

Grading

The following descriptions provide some guidance to the use of grades at Trinity. These descriptions are not precise and should not to be confused with the precision of grade point averages (GPAs), which reflect levels of program progress. GPAs for candidacy and graduation are stipulated by program and are noted under each program in the Catalog.

“A” designates outstanding work—superior achievement of course objectives.
“B” designates good work—commendable achievement of course objectives.
“C” designates acceptable work—satisfactory achievement of course objectives.
“D” designates minimal work—marginal achievement of course objectives.
“F” designates failure—unacceptable work. “F” is also assigned when a course is dropped after 50 percent course meetings.

The following grade points are assigned to letter grades:

A4.0
A-3.7
B+3.3
B3.0
B-2.7
C+2.3
C2.0
C-1.7
D+1.3
D1.0
D-0.7
F0.0


In addition to letter grades, the following grading notations are also used.

AU (Audit): Assigned when one registers to audit a class and is not enrolled for credit. No hours or grade points accumulate. Auditors are expected to attend class.

CR (Credit): Represents successful completion of a course offered on a credit / no credit basis. These hours apply toward program requirements but are not calculated in the grade point average. Only courses such as colloquia and internships, and others as designated in the Catalog course descriptions, are offered CR/NC.

NC (No Credit): Represents failure to successfully complete a course offered on a credit / no credit basis. These hours are calculated as attempted but do not apply toward program requirements and are not calculated in the grade point average.

W (Withdraw): Indicates that a student withdrew from a course after the initial add period and during the first 50 percent of class meetings (e.g., during the first seven weeks of a semester-length course; during the first five days of a ten-day course). Withdrawals are not calculated in grade point average.

Withdrawals after the first 50 percent of class meetings result in the administrative assignment of an “F” grade.

Note: Students may add or drop semester, quad, or Field Education classes or withdraw with a refund within the first two weeks of the semester (short-term modulars may be added/dropped through first day of class). Tuition and fee assessment deadlines and financial aid deadlines may be independent from academic deadlines.

NR (Not Reported): Is posted when a grade has not yet been submitted for a course. “NR” may appear for one of three reasons: a) the instructor has not yet submitted a grade; b) a course extension has been granted by the Dean of Students Office; or c) the course meets as a modular near the end of the semester and all students have been granted an extension for submitting final work at a date announced by the instructor within ninety days of the last class session.

“NR” changes to a letter grade upon submission of the final grade; or to an F when coursework is not completed by the assigned deadline; or if a grade has not been posted by the faculty member at the end of the first semester following the course (second semester in the case of DMin students).

Assigned grades may not be changed by an instructor unless an error was made in computation or in the original recording of the grade. Students who wish to contest a grade may petition the Academic Exceptions Committee but should be aware that an instructor’s assigned grade is rarely overturned.

General Graduation Requirements for All Master’s Programs

The following general requirements apply to all students of master’s programs at Trinity (doctoral students should consult the graduation requirements for the specific doctoral program: PhD/EDS, PhD/ICS, PhD/THS, DMin):

  • Application to graduate must be made by July 15 of the year of intended graduation for December graduation or by December 15 preceding the intended graduation semester for May or August graduation through the filing of the Application for Graduation form in the Records Office. This initiates the processes related to graduation and serves to advise you of the requirements necessary for program completion.
  • Evidence of Christian life and character and recommendation accordingly by the faculty. Regardless of their choice of vocation, students are expected to give evidence of a consistent Christian testimony, a concern for others, and sincere commitment to Christ such as to qualify for Christian service. Cooperation in field education, standards of Christian conduct, and the attitudes manifest toward other students, professors, and all those working with the student, are expected to be such as to commend the gospel, strengthen the church, and honor the Lord.
  • Completion of all program requirements, including coursework, field education, capstone projects, and so on as required by the catalog program curricula in effect at the time of initial enrollment.
  • Completion of residency requirements in each program.
  • Completion of the program during the time duration provided in the degree’s statute of limitation.
  • Settlement of all financial obligations to Trinity and any other ACTS seminaries with the accounting office.

Graduation and Commencement Participation

Students may graduate (complete their degree program and receive their degree) in May, August, or December of the academic year. Specific graduation requirements are listed in the master’s and doctoral sections of the catalog and in the respective program curricula. Graduates are encouraged, but not required, to participate in one of the two annual commencement ceremonies held each year in December and May.

Candidates for graduation (August, December, or May) must submit the online Application for Graduation form (found on the Records web page MyTIU > Campus Services > University Records > Deerfield Graduate Records Forms) to the Records Office by July 15 for the following December graduation, or by December 15 for the following May or August graduation. If candidates later change their intended date of completion, they must immediately update and resubmit their Application for Graduation form. Application for Graduation forms are not “carried” from graduation date to graduation date but must be updated by candidates.

After completing the Application for Graduation form, candidates must indicate their plans to participate through completion of the Commencement Participation form between August 1 and November 15 for the December ceremony, and between January 1 and April 1 for the May ceremony. (Note: Submissions after this date are moved to the following commencement ceremony.) These candidates are then kept informed of the details for the upcoming ceremony by the Commencement Coordinator.  Additional ceremony information is available on the TIU commencement website.

Candidates who have not yet completed all program requirements are eligible to participate in the commencement ceremony and have their name listed in the program, when the following criteria have been met. Program requirements may be tracked by the online student dashboard audit system. (Note: These criteria are established by faculty policy and are nonnegotiable.)

  1. On-time submission of Application for Graduation and Commencement Participation forms.
  2. Six or fewer program hours remain, and the student is registering for these hours in the ensuing semester (spring for December participants or summer for May participants). (This may include Internship in the case of MDiv or MA/ICS students.)
  3. Program candidacy has been granted.
  4. All general and major comprehensive exams have been passed.
  5. Capstone papers or projects have been submitted (including integrative/major papers, projects, etc).
  6. The master’s thesis, DMin project, or PhD dissertation defense is passed by December 1 or May 1.
  7. No other program requirements remain outstanding (e.g., program prerequisites, field education, formation group participation, and so on have all been completed).

Note: The above criteria are set by faculty policy and consistently applied. Waivers are seldom granted.

If the candidate later becomes ineligible for participation by falling short of the earlier stated criteria, immediate notification must be made by the candidate to the Records Office, and the candidate will be removed from the participation list. If a candidate is unable to participate and notification is given, or if one fails to respond to the invitation to participate, such candidates will be considered in absentia.

Candidates may participate, or participate in absentia, in only one commencement for each degree program. Please ensure that your current e-mail and post office mail address are up to date with the Records Office. Participation must occur no later than the May ceremony following program completion.

Graduation with Honors

Graduation honors are awarded to graduates of the Master of Arts and Master of Divinity programs as follows. Honors are awarded on the basis of the cumulative GPA of all coursework completed at TEDS.

cum laudeminimum cumulative average of 3.50
magna cum laudeminimum cumulative average of 3.80
summa cum laudeminimum cumulative average of 3.90

Leave of Absence or Withdrawal from the University

Leave of Absence

A student who desires not to register for classes for a period of one to three semesters (twelve months) should request a Leave of Absence (LOA) via the Academic Withdrawal/Leave of Absence form available from the Student Life Office (gradstudentLife@tiu.edu). The student should schedule an appointment with the TIU Florida Director of Academic Operations at the time of submission of the form to ensure that all matters are in proper order. An LOA may be granted for personal, financial, or other reasons, but the expectation is that students will return to their program within a twelve-month period.

During the LOA the student is considered “Active” but “On Leave” and should maintain contact with TEDS, assuring that address information and other relevant data are kept current through the Records Office. At the end of the leave, arrangements for course registration and returning to school should be made directly with the Registrar’s Office. During the LOA, the program statute of limitation clock keeps ticking; however, students remain in their program of admission, and no continuation fees are assessed. LOA status is not intended merely to delay program deadlines or other program responsibilities, but is rather a genuine absence from the TEDS community.

If during the LOA, students find that they must withdraw from the university or need further extended leave beyond what was originally filed, they must communicate their intentions with the Student Life Office. LOA beyond twelve months is considered withdrawal from the university, and students must reapply with no guarantee of readmission.

Withdrawal from the University

If a student desires to withdraw from the university with no intention of returning, the student must complete a Withdrawal from the University form available from the Student Life Office. Withdrawal is not complete until final settlements have been made with the Registrar’s Office and the Business Office. Withdrawal from the university deactivates students’ files, and if they desire to return at a future date, they must reapply with no guarantee of readmission.

Withdrawal for Students Called to Active Military Duty

Trinity students called to active military duty have the following options:

  1. Receive course grades for the current semester, or extensions for all courses, if approved by your professors.
  2. Receive administrative drops with a refund for some courses and grades/extensions in other courses, if approved by your professors.
  3. Withdraw from all current semester courses with a full refund of tuition and fees.
  4. Contact the TIU-VA Certifying Official in the Registrar’s Office for information on the procedures to follow and departments to inform in the event of call to active military duty.

Probation and Dismissal (Academic) 

Maintaining good academic standing—defined as maintaining the minimum GPA for the program in which a student is enrolled—is the responsibility of the student. Regular monitoring of academic standing results in transcript posting and written notification of academic probation or dismissal in the following categories. It is the responsibility of students on academic probation to inform the Dean’s Office in writing of academic progress, including the steps being taken to remedy their GPA status.

Academic Probation occurs at the conclusion of any semester in which a student’s cumulative GPA falls below that which is required for their program of study. Academic probation is also assigned at the time of admission for students with a low academic record for admission.

Academic Dismissal occurs at the conclusion of two consecutive semesters in which a student’s cumulative GPA falls below the requirements for their program of study. Such a student is immediately academically dismissed from Trinity and administratively dropped from all courses.

Readmission: Subsequent to academic dismissal, the Admissions Committee will consider application for readmission only after the elapse of one semester and only if warranted by exceptional circumstances when applicants can demonstrate that satisfactory progress can be made. If students are readmitted, they must earn and maintain the minimum GPA required for their program of study for each subsequent semester, or they will be immediately academically dismissed.

Following is the minimum GPA required for good academic standing and specific degree program completion:

Program GPA
Special Students2.50
Certificate2.00
Master of Arts, MA in CM, MA in MHC, MA in UM2.50
Master of Divinity, MA in Min2.00
Master of Theology3.00
Doctor of Ministry3.00
Doctor of Philosophy3.20

Residency Requirements

Residency requirements define the amount of Trinity credit that must be taken through:

  • Course work at Trinity
  • Course work on the Deerfield Campus
  • Course work at or near the end of the degree program

Specific residency requirements vary from degree to degree; however, the final 8 credit hours for all Trinity master’s level degrees must be taken through Trinity course work.

Statute of Limitation for Program Completion, Program Extension, Course Sunset, and Program Readmission

Statute of Limitation

The statute of limitation indicates the maximum length of time permitted for completion of a Trinity program. These vary according to the program and are noted under the program curricula. A summary follows:

Certificate: ten years
MA, ThM: five years
MA in Min, MA in UM, or MA/TS, MDiv: eight years

At the time a statute of limitation ends, a student is administratively rendered inactive and dropped from the program unless a program extension is on file in the Records Office. Such students must reapply to TEDS with no guarantee of readmission, and are subject to a reactivation fee (see Active and Inactive Student Status in this Catalog).

Note: Part-time students enrolled in a TEDS program and making consistent and definite program progress by completing program coursework every semester are generously granted program extensions.

Program Extension

A program extension request is considered by petition to the Master’s Exceptions Committee, and generally does not add more than two years to a program’s statute of limitation. The petition should be filed at least one semester before a statute of limitation ends and show evidence of consistent program progress and a definitive plan for program completion. When a program extension is granted, a student is in continuation status and a continuation fee is charged each successive semester (fall and spring) until the student graduates, whether or not the student is enrolled in class work and in addition to any tuition fees.

TEDS does recognize some students who are permanent part-time students and continue to make consistent and definite program progress by completing program coursework every semester; or the student who is a missionary under overseas appointment and unable to continue coursework every semester (though in light of the availability of online distance education curriculum, class schedules, transportation and the changing nature of furloughs continued study is often possible). In such cases, petitions filed for program extensions and/or waiver of continuation fees are welcomed.

Course Sunset and Readmission

Students who withdraw from Trinity (or are administratively rendered inactive) without completing their program and desire to reapply may make application for readmission under the current catalog. Readmission is not guaranteed.

Readmitted students two to five years beyond the date of their original statute of limitation can expect to complete an additional 25 percent program hours, in addition to retaking comprehensive exams, thesis proposal and processes, language competency exams, and other program requirements. Students readmitted more than five years beyond their statute of limitation can expect to complete a significant number of additional program hours, the amount of which is decided on a case-by-case basis. As is the common practice in higher education, and in conformity with the Program Standards of the ATS, TEDS coursework older than ten years is not considered current and must be retaken.

A written statement outlining plans for program completion must be included in application materials. Readmission is solely for the program to which the applicant is making application. Conditions for admission and program requirements will be outlined in the letter of readmission and are determined by the department or program director as applicable. Students who did not withdraw, but were rendered Inactive are also subject to a reactivation fee (see “Active and Inactive Student Status” elsewhere in this Catalog.)

Technology and Students

Most classrooms are equipped with LCD projectors, networked computers, DVD and VCR players, and other audio-visual equipment. Students are given MyTIU password information and a Trinity e-mail account upon receipt of the tuition deposit in the admissions process and are expected to become familiar with and use their computer skills as part of the academic and student process. Graduate education in the twenty-first century demands technology skills, including use of a computer for course assignments.

Transcripts and Records

Admissions documents are retained for an accepted student who does not enroll for two years and for those who enroll for a period of five years beyond the date of last attendance.

Academic records are retained permanently. Official transcripts bear the seal of the school and are distributed in a sealed envelope. They may be requested from the Records Office by presentation of the Transcript Request Form or a signed letter and will be sent directly to the student, to an institution upon request, or may be picked up in the Records Office. Unofficial transcripts are also available and may be faxed.

Allow seven business days for completion of transcript requests. Transcripts are not issued for students who have outstanding accounts unless payment arrangements have been made. Consult the Catalog or the Records Office for any minimal fees for transcripts.