Admissions

Advanced Standing

Dallas Theological Seminary grants advanced standing to students who demonstrate current competency normally gained through the DTS curriculum. Advanced Standing is a curricular adjustment based on a student’s demonstrated competency (from courses at CCCU, ABHE schools, and other parachurch training). In order to expedite your seminary education and reduce cost, we encourage students to explore the variety of advanced standing opportunities.

Two types of advanced standing are available at DTS—substitution and reduction of credit hours.

1. Substitution of Credit Hours

Candidates may qualify to substitute approved courses for required or core courses with no curricular reduction of degree program credit hours.

A student who desires to substitute approved courses must interview with a faculty member. The faculty member will assess the student’s competency and recommend appropriates substitute courses.

Contact individual academic departments to schedule an interview.

2. Reduction of Credit Hours

Candidates may qualify to reduce their degree program by up to 25% based on a current demonstration of competency. Reduction of credit hours occurs in three ways:

A. Course-by-course

Curricular reduction of a degree program determined by a course-by-course assessment of the student’s competency using diagnostic tools similar to those used to assess competency gained in a DTS course. Students gain advanced standing only for courses in which they demonstrate competency. Course-by-course advanced standing is available to a student before the end of his or her first year of study at DTS..

Students who desire to reduce degree program credit hours on a course-by-course basis must complete an objective exam for each course. At the present time, the exam fee of $30/exam is being waived.

Contact the Advising Center for more information.

B. Customized (for distance education students)

Curricular reduction of a degree program determined by the assessment of a student’s competency in predetermined segments of a degree program. Through customized advanced standing, ThM students can reduce their program by up to 15 credit hours. MA students can reduce their program by up to 9 credit hours. Additional reduction can occur through course-by-course advanced standing up to 25% of a degree program. Customized advanced standing is available to distance education students who matriculate fall 2014 or later.

Students who desire to reduce degree program credit hours at the degree program level must:

Requirements for Customized Advanced Standing
  1. Submit evidence of formal or informal academic education
    Formal academic education includes satisfactory completion of significant undergraduate Bible and theology courses at an ABHE (Association of Biblical Higher Education) or CCCU (Coalition of Christian Colleges and Universities) school. Informal academic education includes validated parachurch ministry training programs. These currently include the following organizations: Kanakuk Institute (Branson, MO), The Forge (Tyler, TX), Young Guns (Denton, TX), Grace Fellowship Program (Denton, TX), and Downline Ministries (Little Rock, AR). Note: Those trained by CRU and Young Life should contact Greg Hatteberg, Dean of Enrollment and Alumni Services, for information on receiving credit.
  2. Complete Engagement Summary
    An engagement summary is a series of open-ended questions designed to assess competency in areas specific to the candidate’s formal and/or informal academic training. These questions will serve as the basis of the interview with the Advanced Standing Committee.
  3. Submit a composition artifact of academic work (completed within one year prior to applying to DTS)
    A composition artifact normally includes a senior thesis, journal article, critical book review, or a research project, preferably in the area of Bible and/or theology. The artifact must be an unmarked copy of least 2,500 words in length and reflect graduate-level aptitude in the following areas: biblical exposition, theological precision, logical and critical reasoning, awareness and understanding of contrary positions, research methods, communication in English, grammar and spelling, and the application of consistent writing form.
  4. Interview with a member or members of the Advanced Standing Committee
    The Advanced Standing Committee will meet with applicants as the final phase of the advanced standing assessment process. This may be conducted in person or through a video-chat service (e.g., Skype).

Contact the Academic Dean’s Office for more information.

C. Accelerated (for Dallas-campus students)

Curricular reduction of a degree program determined by the assessment of a student’s competency in predetermined segments of a degree program and conditioned on satisfactory completion of specially designed accelerated courses. Through accelerated advanced standing, ThM students can reduce their program by 30 credit hours. MA students can reduce their program by 16 credit hours. Accelerated advanced standing is available only to Dallas-campus students who matriculate fall 2014 or later.

Students who desire to reduce degree program credit hours at the degree program level must:

Requirements for Accelerated Advanced Standing
  1. Submit evidence of formal or informal academic education
    Formal academic education includes satisfactory completion of significant undergraduate Bible and theology courses at an  ABHE (Association of Biblical Higher Education) or CCCU (Coalition of Christian Colleges and Universities) school . Informal academic education includes validated parachurch ministry training programs.  These currently include the following organizations: Kanakuk Institute (Branson, MO), The Forge (Tyler, TX), Young Guns (Denton, TX), Grace Fellowship Program (Denton, TX), and Downline Ministries (Little Rock, AR).  Note: Those trained by CRU and Young Life should contact Greg Hatteberg, Dean of Enrollment and Alumni Services, for information on receiving credit.
  2. Complete an objective exam
    For the accelerated ThM program, students must take a 100-question objective exam that assesses a student’s competency in the following areas: Bible study methods and hermeneutics, spiritual life, evangelism, research methods, and biblical and theological knowledge. Students who desire to reduce language hours (either NT Greek or OT Hebrew) can choose to take an additional exam. For an accelerated MA program, a student must take a 75-question exam that assesses a student’s competency in biblical and theological knowledge.
  3. Submit a composition artifact of academic work (completed within one year prior to applying to DTS)
    A composition artifact normally includes a senior thesis, journal article, critical book review, or a research project, preferably in the area of Bible and/or theology. The artifact must be an unmarked copy of least 2,500 words in length and reflect graduate-level aptitude in the following areas: biblical exposition, theological precision, logical and critical reasoning, awareness and understanding of contrary positions, research methods, communication in English, grammar and spelling, and the application of consistent writing form.
  4. Interview with a member or members of the Advanced Standing Committee
    The Advanced Standing Committee will meet with applicants as the final phase of the advanced standing assessment process. This may be conducted in person or through a video-chat service (e.g., Skype).
  5. Complete prescribed accelerated courses
    • In place of 42 prescribed ThM hours, accelerated students must satisfactorily complete the following 18 hours: AS101, AS102, AS103, AS104, AS105, and AS106. ThM students can earn an addition 6 hours of advanced standing by either (option 1) demonstrating ministry and communication competency particular to their training and experience or (option 2) testing out of introductory biblical languages courses (NT101/NT102 Elements of Greek, OT101/OT102 Elements of Hebrew, or NT101/OT101). Option 1 is assessed during the interview. Option 2 is assess through language-specific examination.
    • In place of 28 prescribed MA hours, accelerated MA students (except MA/BEL) must satisfactorily complete the following 12 hours: AS103, AS104, AS105, and AS106. Additional reduction can occur through course-by-course examination, up to 25% of a student's degree program.

Contact the Academic Dean’s Office for more information.