FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Students may now receive credit on their graduate transcripts for their undergraduate experience thanks to a new opportunity offered by the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
In the past, students with experience in such classes as Old and New Testament, Greek, and Hebrew could substitute advanced classes instead of repeating these basic courses. But with this new opportunity, students may take exams to prove their proficiency in a given subject and earn course credit.
“It's not a substitution anymore,” said Mark Leeds, registrar and associate vice president for institutional research and assessment. “It's actual credit posted on the transcript for three hours for every test they pass.”
“A number of students are coming out of these strong undergraduate programs,” Leeds said, “and they're thinking through, ‘Why should I go to seminary?’ … But if they're able to get credit for these basic classes and be well down the road toward a degree, then the value added by coming to seminary is a significant event for them in preparation for ministry.”
Exams exist for all the courses mentioned above, as well as Church History and Baptist Heritage, though no more than 1/4 of a degree may be completed through taking exams. Southwestern faculty created the exams, which are basically the equivalent of final exams.
The exams are free and offered in a timed format. No study guides are available, and students must have completed the courses at the undergraduate level with an A or a B to qualify for taking the exams. Also, students have only one opportunity to take each exam. A grade of 75 percent is the cutoff score for earning credit.
“We certainly are hoping that this will be an encouragement to students to come to Southwestern and be a part of our programs here,” Leeds said.
“[But] this is something that even current students can take advantage of. It isn't just something for the brand new students, but [it] enables even our presently-enrolled students who have this background to receive credit for what they've done. So it will help some of our students be able to graduate more quickly—both present and future students.”
Students interested in taking an exam should contact the registrar’s office and complete the request form. All exams are currently available.