OTS follows the quarter system. The academic year is divided into three12 week terms: Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters.
Admission on Condition
In few cases admission is granted to candidates with condition. In such cases “No Candidacy” is granted till the candidate’s proficiency is proven in the first year by demonstrating:
(a) A desirable life style of commitment and dedication to ministry.
(b) A matured life style during his/her one year of seminary life.
(c) His/her academic ability to undergo a master level of study and research by maintaining a GPA of C+ and above.
If these conditions are not made apparent in the first year, the student will be asked to withdraw his/her study from OTS.
This course is counted as an F in the compilation of the grade point average (GPA) until the student’s work is completed and submitted. Incompletes are granted only when a student can demonstrate sufficient cause for not completing the course work on time. Acceptable reasons are limited to illness, family crisis and other significant hindrances. Approval must be obtained from both the Instructor and the Dean prior to the last day of the class. Incompletes are due 15 days after the end of the term. Thereafter, an incomplete becomes an F and will be counted as an F in the compilation of the grade point average (GPA). This is not to be confused with a straight fail in the subject, where the student is permitted to retake the course when offered. An incomplete turning to F is part of academic discipline and therefore, in order to retake the course the student will need a special permission from the Dean.
Policy of Grade Reduction for Late Submission of Assignments
For assignments that are past due, but do not fall under the incomplete policy, grade reduction will be determined by the course instructor. Any extension beyond three days will be directly petitioned to the Dean. Extension may be granted or else grade turned to IC (Incomplete). Even if extension is granted, there will be a reduction of 5 points (not percent) from the percentage given to that particular assignment. It should be noted that at OTS, late submission of assignments are considered a reflection of the student’s poor academic disciplines.
Students who fail in three subjects (courses) in one academic year and whose GPA falls below C will not be promoted and therefore, be required to repeat another year (in the same class). If no improvement is seen on the part of the student he/she will be asked to withdraw his/her study from OTS. No petition to continue shall be entertained. In such a case, transcript will be issued with “FAILED AND WITHDRAWN” marked on the transcript. Students with such record shall not be considered alumni of OTS and no transfer nor recommendation letter to other institution be issued by the institution.
Failed & Withdrawn
Students in who fail in four or more subjects (courses) in the first year (i.e., M. Div) and whose GPA fall below C will not be allowed to continue his/her study in OTS. No petition from M. Div students who failed and are not promoted to the second year will be entertained for transfer of study to M. Min.
MDiv first year students who otherwise pass in all subjects but whose GPA stands below C will be given the option to accept a one year theological study or repeat the first year. If a student cannot improve his/her GPA to C+ and above in the second year he/she shall be given a one year theological studies certificate and leave the seminary. This certificate should not be considered as graduating from OTS. Students with such record will not be considered alumni of OTS and therefore, no recommendation for transfer to other institution issued by the authority.
A student is placed in academic probation for his/her poor performance in studies. If a student remains in this status for more than three consecutive terms, unless there are extenuating circumstances the student shall be dismissed from studies at OTS.
A student is also placed in academic probation when he/she receives any disciplinary action from the faculty. The academic probation in this case serves as a warning to the student. If the student fails to conduct himself/herself as specified during the probation period, he/she shall be terminated from the seminary without any further considerations. It should be noted that academic probation status is not always necessary for the student to be terminated. Breaking any rules and regulations as stated in the Student’s Maxim constitutes enough reason for a student to be terminated.
Leaves and Transfers to Other Schools
A student who expects to drop out of OTS permanently, or who expects to transfer to another institution, should notify the Academic Dean in writing. In no case will there be a refund of admission fees.
A student who intends to leave the seminary temporarily due to health reasons and expects to return to studies at OTS should petition the Academic Dean before leaving for permission to return to studies. This temporary termination of studies is granted to a student only on medical grounds, and therefore, the petition should be substantiated by a certification from a medical doctor.
Since reinstatement is expected after a quarter there will be no refund of fees. Student in this category should have all the outstanding fees paid before taking such a leave.
If a student medical leave exceeds two quarters, upon his/her return he/she should produce a fitness certificate to continue study from a medical practitioner.
A transcript will be issued to all students free of charge for the first time. A fee of Rs. 500 will be realized towards request for subsequent issue of original transcripts. If, however, a student’s record of transcript is to be mailed by post or sent electronically (scanned copy, email) directly to an individual or an institution, a request letter along with Rs 1000 has to be submitted to the Academic Office. Only then the record will be released.
Diploma (certificate) is issued to a student only after all the academic differences are cleared and dues paid. The seminary cannot issue any provisional diploma. Issuance of Diploma would mean that the student has successfully completed his/her studies and is entitled to the degree. A fee of Rs. 500 will be realized towards request for subsequent issue of original Diploma.
Transfer of School to OTS
OTS does not encourage admission of transfer students. However, in unavoidable circumstances a case may be considered. In this case, the student will have to go through a normal interview. The seminary will have to make a direct contact with the school where the student previously attended to clarify the reasons for such a transfer. In any case, the student should carry out at least two years of residency at OTS.
A student whose GPA falls below C+ will have to attend one more extra quarter for the degree to be awarded. This arrangement is made with the Academic Dean.
This applies to students who for some reasons have not finished part of the requirements, though have been permitted to go through the commencement exercise. In this case, no diploma is given and the students will have to pay a continuation registration fee of Rs. 10000 (ten thousand) annually until the requirement is submitted and diploma granted. However, after one year if the student still does not complete the requirement(s) he/she will have to pay normal admissions and registration fees and all other fees applicable. After the work is finished, the diploma will be granted only after the dues are cleared.
Duration of Studies
MDiv in OTS is a three years residential study program. Students who for one reason or another cannot finish his/her study within the stipulated period should petition to the Academic Dean for extension. Under normal circumstances six months extension can be granted. Any extension beyond that will be done upon the evaluation of the student’s performance by the faculty. In any case, it should be noted that under no circumstances the duration of study for MDiv shall exceed six years from the year of enrolment. This does not apply to students who failed and have to repeat.
Senior Comprehensive Evaluation
Senior Evaluation is comprehensive in nature which consists of both written and oral sections. The purpose of the evaluation is to test the student’s ability to integrate his/her theological knowledge in a particular field. The questions are designed in such a way that the student will seek a balanced integration of the biblical, theological, and historical knowledge, relating it to ministry. The oral exam will be more general and will provide opportunity to amplify what has been tested in the written exam. It will also enable the student to assess his/her theological position: (a) assist the student to evaluate his/her gifts; (b) ascertain if he/she has a realistic view of his/her abilities. The final grade will be determined by the candidate’s performance in the written and oral exam.
Guidelines and evaluation procedures stated below will be followed:
The faculty will then, in the light of the knowledge of the student evaluate the student and place the record in the student’s file for future reference. This evaluation includes:
Students will be evaluated as follows: Pass (B- and above); Pass with condition (C+ and C); and Fail (C- and below). Students who pass with condition do more or all of the followings. Revise and sit for another oral exam, do some extra reading in a particular field to fulfill any deficiencies. Students who fail will be asked to rewrite the whole thing and sit for another oral exam. In any case, time limit will be specified by the faculty. Although extension(s) are usually possible, it will not be granted automatically. The extension, in no case shall exceed the academic year in which the student is to graduate. If a student cannot fulfill the condition(s) given by the faculty in a given period, he/she will be given the option either to accept a diploma certificate or repeat a complete academic year and go through the evaluation process again.
In case the student accepts the option to repeat a one year academic study, the Academic Dean in consultation with the Academic Committee decides the courses and work to be done. In such a matter the academic work may be fully/partially related to the improvement of the skills and standard of the student in doing independent research.
Senior Project for MDiv
OTS does not require thesis for the M. Div degree. However, as part of the academic exercise seniors are required to write a Project Paper. This is done so to enable students to incorporate what they have learned in any disciplines into a scholarly treaty. The project should reflect a critical-analytical reflection of the subject matter. Originality of research is a must and research methodology should be strictly followed. The project should not be less than 25 pages and not more than 30 pages, excluding bibliography. Students are expected to start their writing during Fall Quarter. Topic has to be approved by the Academic Dean and each student will be assigned a mentor to supervise his/her Project Paper.
Bible Content Exam
The purpose of this exam is to enhance the student’s knowledge of the Bible. Every student is expected to thoroughly read the whole Bible through as he/she finishes his/her studies at OTS. The exam will be conducted at the end of the Spring Quarter. Exams will be conducted as follows: Genesis to Psalms (First Year), Proverbs to Malachi (Second Year), and Matthew to Revelation (Third Year).
This exam will be purely based on the content of the Bible.
Those who score 45% and above will be considered passed. Those who scored below 45% will have to retake the exam in consultation with the Academic Dean.
Junior over-all Evaluation
Admission to Oriental Theological Seminary is based on the standard specified in the admission requirements as stated in the Admission Policy. However, it is the policy of the seminary that at the end of the Winter Quarter of the first academic year all students (Juniors) go through an over-all evaluation. The evaluation covers areas such as academic, spiritual, social and other areas that pertain to seminary life as stated in the Students’ Maxim. The Principal and the Dean in consultation with the faculty will seat with the students individually and convey the evaluation result to the students.
Students are evaluated as follows:
If the student fails to demonstrate a graduate level standard in his/her academic performance he/she will be asked to withdraw from the seminary or else be detained and repeat the course. If no improvement is seen in the student’s academic performance in the first two quarters of the probationary year, the students will be asked to withdraw from the seminary.
If the student demonstrates an inconsistent life style that is not in keeping with the seminary code of conduct both spiritual and social, the student will be asked to leave the seminary.
The student’s weaknesses and strengths as a prospective Christian leader will be evaluated and communicated verbally during the evaluation.
Student should make all necessary financial arrangements before joining the seminary. Unless other arrangements are made all fees are to be paid during admission. Late payment of fees will result in 3% additional charges on the balance.
The fees structure and payment methods are updated annually. A copy of the current fees is normally given out during the interview process or it can also be requested from the Admissions Office.
Refunds of Fees
Refund of fees paid to the seminary for admission is possible under certain categories: