Students or Approved Applicants who have a strong background in the subject matter covered in courses required in their program of study (whether through undergraduate coursework or personal study) may be eligible to receive advanced standing. Students will be tested on their current knowledge of the course content, usually through an informal interview or a written examination. If the examining instructor determines that the student has a competent, current understanding of approximately 80% of the course content, then the student is eligible for advanced standing.
Advanced Standing is based on the student’s knowledge and competence as demonstrated through an examination. Although a written examination may be required, in some cases the examining instructor conducts an interview (in person or by telephone) during which the student is asked open-ended questions to determine if he or she can demonstrate a competent, current understanding of the course content.
Advanced Standing Study guides may be requested from the Registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sample syllabi for all courses are available for download here. Students are encouraged to spend considerable time reviewing the information relevant to the areas in which they will be examined.
To schedule an appointment for an examination, contact the Registrar. An examination fee of $35 must be submitted when taking each exam. This fee is non-refundable regardless of the outcome of the exam. The examination fee is waived for BC 499 and for all graduates of Arizona Christian University (formerly Southwestern College).
A maximum of fifteen hours in the M.Div, ten hours in the M.A.B.L., or four hours in the Graduate Diploma may be waived by advanced standing. Combined Advanced Standing and Transfer Credit may not exceed 47 hours for the M.Div., 32 hours for the M.A.B.L., or fifteen hours for the Graduate Diploma. Advanced Standing cannot be applied to elective credit. See Courses Eligible for Advanced Standing / Course Validation below. If granted, Advanced Standing waives the required course from your program, and also reduces the total number of Phoenix Seminary credit hours required. Courses approved for Advanced Standing are detailed on the Phoenix Seminary transcript but are not considered in the GPA for the purposes of determining academic standing.
Enrolling in a course for which Advanced Standing was granted will nullify the Advanced Standing. Students enrolled in a course for audit or enrichment may not take an Advanced Standing exam for that course. If they wish to receive credit, they must retake the course for credit and pay the full credit tuition.
Please note that requests for Advanced Standing must be made subsequent to admission to a program, but prior to the second semester of enrollment, with the exception of the first-year Greek and Hebrew exams which may be attempted at any time prior to enrollment in Greek or Hebrew.
Questions regarding Advanced Standing should be addressed to the Registrar.
Advanced Standing may also be granted for required practicum or internship courses using proven ministry experience. Students must be enrolled in the M.Div. or M.A.B.L. degree programs. Ministry experience must have been gained prior to enrolling in Phoenix Seminary and must have taken place no longer than 5 years before enrollment began. Please see policy and application by clicking on the link below:
Questions pertaining to Advanced Standing forInternships should be addressed to Dr. Chip Moody, the Director of Field Education.
BC 499 Graduate Writing Workshop
The ability to write well is a necessity for graduate level coursework. For this reason, all incoming credit students are required to enroll in BC 499 Graduate Writing Workshop during their first semester or second semester.
BC 499 is a ten-week, non-credit, reduced-tuition course offered by the Seminary during most semesters. Students may request exemption from this requirement by applying for advanced standing. Applications may be submitted before or during the student’s first and second semesters, but no less than four weeks before the start of the student’s third semester.
To apply, submit a two-to-three-page essay, typed in 12-point font (Times New Roman or Garamond), double-spaced with one-inch margins on all sides. The essay will be evaluated according to the attached rubric based on content, writing style, and grammar. Choose between options 1 and 2 below:
- Submit an essay on a biblical or theological topic that was written for a previous or current course or ministry assignment;
- Write an essay of summary and response that demonstrates critical thinking skills based on the one of the articles contained in the Advanced Standing Application for BC 499.
Submit your essay by email to the Registrar’s Office (email@example.com) with “BC 499 Advanced Standing Application” as the subject line. If you cannot email your essay, you may submit it in printed form using the application page as the coversheet. Your essay will be evaluated by the BC 499 Instructor according to the attached rubric and you will be notified by email of the results (usually within one week).
Students are encouraged to not duplicate coursework completed at the undergraduate level in their studies at Phoenix Seminary. Students or Approved Applicants who have a strong background in the subject matter covered in courses required in their program of study may be eligible to substitute electives in their place. The Registrar, in consultation with appropriate faculty as necessary, will assign Course Validations and determine whether substitute electives are allowed. Courses which meet the following criteria are normally eligible for Validation:
- Completed with a grade of “B” (3.0) or higher as recorded on an official transcript from an accredited undergraduate institution;
- Completed within five years of application to a Phoenix Seminary program;
- Approximately 80% equivalent to the content of a required Phoenix Seminary course (Syllabi, course descriptions, and course assignments may be required) contained in the Courses Eligible for Advanced Standing / Course Validation below.
Where students can show warrant, exceptions to these guidelines may be granted.
In those instances students when a student lacks relevant undergraduate coursework which is eligible for Validation but has considerable knowledge in a subject area through personal study, the student may complete an Advanced Standing examination instead. When such an examination is taken for the purpose of Course Validation, the course requirement will be waived, but not the credit hours. The examination fee is charged regardless of the outcome of the exam. For further details, see Advanced Standing above.
Course Validation results in the waiving of required course(s) and the re-assignment of credit hours to divisional electives in the same course division or a related course division. For example, if BL 502 Survey of the Pentateuch was validated, then any non-required BL Biblical Literature or OT Old Testmanet Hebrew course could be taken instead. When multiple courses from the same division are validated, a portion of the hours may be assigned as general electives rather than divisional electives.
In most instances, all eligible course validations are identified by the Registrar shortly after an applicant is admitted. An official letter detailing the course validations is issued to the applicant before or during his or her first semester of enrollment. Please note that requests for course validation must be made subsequent to admission to a program, but prior to the second semester of enrollment.
If granted, Course Validations result in specific required Phoenix Seminary courses being waived and replaced with divisional electives without a reduction in the total number of credit hours required for a program.
Enrolling in a course for which Course Validation has been granted will nullify the validation. Students enrolled in a course for audit or enrichment may not take an Advanced Standing / Validation exam for that course. If they wish to receive credit for the course, they must retake the course for credit and pay the full credit tuition.
Questions regarding Course Validation should be addressed to the Registrar.
Courses Eligible for Advanced Standing / Course Validation
|BIBLICAL COMMUNICATION (BC)|
|BC 499||Graduate Writing Workshop||Non-Credit|
|BC 501||Methodology of Biblical Communication||2|
|BC 502||Advanced Expository Communication||2|
|BC 509||Advanced Teaching Skills||2|
|BC 591||Biblical Communication Internship I||2|
|BIBLICAL LITERATURE (BL)|
|BL 500||Introduction to Biblical Interpretation||2|
|BL 501||Principles of Biblical Interpretation||4|
|BL 502||Survey of the Pentateuch||2|
|BL 503||Survey of the Historical & Wisdom Lit.||2|
|BL 504||Survey of the Prophets||2|
|BL 505||Survey of the Gospels||2|
|BL 506||Survey of Acts & the Pauline Epistles||2|
|BL 507||Survey of the General Epistles & Rev.||2|
|COUNSELING & FAMILY (CF)|
|CF 506||Soul Care: The Practice of Spiritual Formation||2|
|CF 507||Marriage & Family Ministry||2|
|CHURCH HISTORY (CH)|
|CH 501||History of World Christianity I||3|
|CH 502||History of World Christianity II||3|
|INTERCULTURAL STUDIES (IS)|
|IS 501||Cross-cultural & Diversity Competency||2|
|IS 502||Global Outreach||2|
|IS 503||Evangelism & Discipleship||2|
|LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT (LD)|
|LD 501||Shepherding God’s People||2|
|LD 502||Developing Leaders who Develop Leaders||2|
|LD 506||Survey of Effective Church Ministries||2|
|LD 507||Church Growth & Assimilation||2|
|LD 508||Conflict Resolution in the Church||2|
|LD 509||Competencies in Ministry Administration||2|
|LD 510||Christian Leadership in a Non-Christian World||2|
|LD 591||Leadership Development Internship I||2|
|MINISTRY SKILLS (MS)|
|MS 501||Principles for Ministry Leadership||2|
|MS 502||Introduction to Pastoral Counseling||2|
|MS 506||Creative Bible Teaching||2|
|NEW TESTAMENT GREEK (NT)|
|NT 500||Introduction to Greek||3|
|NT 501||Learning New Testament Greek||3|
|NT 502||Reading New Testament Greek||3|
|NT 503||Using New Testament Greek||2|
|OLD TESTAMENT HEBREW (OT)|
|OT 500||Introduction to Hebrew||3|
|OT 501||Learning Old Testament Hebrew||3|
|OT 502||Reading Old Testament Hebrew||3|
|OT 503||Using Old Testament Hebrew||2|
|TH 500||Survey of Christian Theology||4|
|TH 501||God, Scripture, Revelation, and the Holy Spirit||4|
|TH 502||Humanity, Angels, and the Person and Work of Christ||4|
|TH 503||Salvation, the Church, & the Future||4|
|TH 506||Contemporary Moral Issues||2|