Among the most common questions asked by matriculating master’s degree students applying to Midwestern Seminary is, “Why do I need to repeat certain courses in my master’s program when I’ve already taken ones very similar to them my undergraduate studies?”
Through an announcement by President Jason Allen on Feb. 12, Midwestern Seminary has now updated its policies and practices regarding that question. In qualifying for the seminary’s advanced standing option, students can reduce their required masters’ degree credit hours by up to 25 percent.
“Among our primary goals in existing for the local church is to provide high-quality education and training at an affordable cost and to graduate equipped students into the ministry field as quickly as possible,” Allen said. “Through Midwestern Seminary’s advanced standing, we can do just that.
“By meeting specified standards in Midwestern Seminary’s Bible and theology courses with comparable courses they have taken at the undergraduate level at accredited institutions, students can now save time and money in working toward their degrees. This gives them the opportunity to get into their ministry calling more quickly and with less debt.”
Provost Jason Duesing explained, “Advanced standing is granted when master’s degree applicants have successfully completed undergraduate courses that are, in effect, the educational equivalent to their graduate course requirements.
“Advanced standing is different from transferring courses in that we are making an assessment that students have the knowledge, competence, or skills that would normally come from these specific courses,” Duesing added.
“In other words, if the student receives advanced standing for three, three-hour classes, the number of hours for an 81-hour M.Div. degree is reduced to 72 credit hours. This is a savings of approximately $2,250 and allows them to complete their degree to go onto further study or pursue specific ministry service,” he said.
The maximum number of credits a student can apply toward their master’s degree through advanced standing is capped by the Association of Theological Schools at 25 percent of the total degree hours.
“We believe advanced standing is a win-win-win offering for students, Midwestern Seminary, and the churches we serve,” Allen stated.