External Degree Program
- First the administration of Grace welcomes you as a student into its external studies program.
- The enclosed materials in your external degree program package are for your own personal program designed to help reach your educational goals.
- As a student, Grace requires you to read the following set of instructions before beginning any of your course work.
- You will find enclosed with your external degree program a set of instructions, study guides and assignment sheets with instructions for building tests for the courses requiring assignment sheets.
- If you need help, please call the office of the college and seminary at (506) 624-9088 between the hours of 9am and 5pm Atlantic time. You may also email us questions, to which we will reply as soon as possible at firstname.lastname@example.org
A Few Words On How To Approach External Studies
An advantage of home study is that it is flexible. You can choose the time and place to study. If you are one of those who tend to put things off, however, this can create problems for you. You should by all means develop a study plan and follow it. Below are some tips that should help you. Make a plan in which you set aside a specific number of hours for study. A weekly study plan calling for a certain number of hours per day or week, is one way to plan your time. You may find it helpful to use a post on your cell phone with which to set your daily study goals. Whenever you choose to do your work, make sure your family, staff and others around you know that this time is your study time. Jealously guard this time! Try to find a time that will present the least interruptions.
If you were going to a local college, you would have to go to class when they had the class scheduled. You are not bound by that restriction. However, your work is just as important. You need to adjust your schedule in order to allow time to do your college work. Even though we do not advocate you neglecting your family responsibilities, your family needs to know that you have class work that has to be done, just as if you were meeting in class at the local college. If you are a pastor, you can get too busy in the affairs of the church and put off doing your work. If you have a secretary, have her take your calls during your scheduled study times, just as if she would if you were attending a local class. Let your people know that there are certain times that you are ‘in class’ and cannot be disturbed. So you see, your attitude toward scheduling your time will make a big difference in whether you actually practice the self-discipline necessary to do this work.
Arrange To Have A Good Study Environment
- Choose a quiet place. No telephones, television, stereos or radios.
- Arrange for a place that has good lighting
- Find a comfortable, well ventilated place to do your school work.
- Make sure you have all the necessary materials (pens, paper, highlighters, etc.) before you begin your study period and make sure you will not be interrupted.
Doing Your Course Work
- Give your undivided attention to the task at hand of learning the material. Try to shut out other thoughts and distractions. This is hard work. “And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end and much study is a weariness of the flesh.”
- Survey the material you are about to study. Read the contents page of your text. Notice your chapter heading. Also, read about the author of the text. Most of the time on the cover sheet of the text, you can learn where the author went to college or university. Read the preface and introduction. Scan paragraphs to discover the main points of interest.
- Read for understanding. Ask yourself questions about the materials you are about to read. See instructions concerning the Reading Log.
- Underline or highlight important ideas. Make notes in the margins of the text.
- When using an assignment sheet, jot down possible questions and answers.
- Complete all exercises and answer all questions. Reread to clear up wrong ideas.
- Be sure when answering a question that you rewrite the question on your own paper, skip a line, then write the answer which you find in the text. Skip another line and write the second question, skip another line and write the answer, etc.
- When a study guide has been provided, the student, for studying a given text, the student is asked to always write his or her name, student number, title of the course, course number, title of the textbook used, and the date on the first page of the assignments in the lower right hand corner. This should be on the first page only. Next, each page of answered questions should be numbered consecutively (1, 2, 3, …etc.). This is in case the papers are dropped or separated, or if the grader needs to refer back to a certain page. Even if you have two textbooks, continue numbering consecutively through the entire course. To fail here will reduce the student’s grade.
- The student is asked to present his or her work to the college or seminary in either typewritten or computer printout form.
- All work must be done on 8 ½ x 11 inch paper.
- It is always a good idea to keep a copy of your work before shipping or keep a copy on computer disk if you use a computer. Courses can and will be lost or damaged in shipping and this helps solve potential problems.
- All course materials must be shipped to the college or seminary in large shipping envelopes with proper postage or by email. If the student is shipping the course materials by post, the student should include a second envelope of the same size and must have the return postage included if the student wants his or her work returned with the grade. The student is responsible for the postage in both sending and returning the grade.
- The other option as mentioned above is email. In this case a grade slip will be returned, but the graded material will not be returned corrected.
- The student is to complete one course at a time. When the course is completed he or she is to mail it to the college or seminary for grading. Be sure to send all of the course-work in to be graded, not just a few chapters. Or if more than one book is assigned, do the work for all books. If this is not done, it will be returned to you with an Incomplete as a grade. If you are still receiving courses because you are on the payment plan, request your next course to be sent to you. This is not done automatically. Your next course will be sent with the returned graded course or grade slip. This way you do not have to be waiting for courses to be sent to you.
- The student should try to complete two hour courses within 14 to 30 days, or a three hour course within 30 to 45 days, and a six hour course within 45 to 60 days. If more time is needed, the student may be allowed more time. This is one reason why the student is asked to complete one course at a time. Another reason why you should work on only one course at a time is that it concentrates your thinking on only one subject area and your mind is not distracted with too many areas of thought.
- The student is encouraged to consult the college or seminary if any questions arise or any help is needed. If you need to call, please try to call during weekdays, from 9am to 5pm Atlantic time if possible. No one is available at night or weekends for consultation. If you have a computer and have internet capabilities with an online service, we can be sent email at email@example.com and we will respond as quickly as possible.
Your Course Materials
A 30, 40, or 64 hour program leading to a Diploma or Degree consists of several textbooks. The student is responsible for purchasing his or her own textbooks.
Each textbook has its own method of studying it. The student may be sent a study guide with essay type questions whereby the student reads the text and answers the questions getting the answers right from the text. Or the student may be assigned an assignment sheet which calls for the student to write a summary of each chapter of the text and then build a test on the entire book. If the text has questions at the end of each chapter, your assignment sheet may instruct the student to answer these questions as you would a study guide. In some instances, you may be asked to construct a study guide and then answer the questions that you prepare yourself.
The questions on the study guide, for most courses, are listed in the same order that the materials are discussed in the text. However, there maybe some courses where this is not the case. On some study guides, the student will find the page on which the answer appears. However, the student should not go chasing for answers before reading the textbooks first.
Student Reading Log
Each student is now required to keep a reading log of his required reading for a course. You will find a copy of the reading log elsewhere in this general instructions section. Also, a copy will be provided with your course assignment. Extra copies may be run off and submitted if needed.
You need to keep track of your reading for each course. List the name of the textbook, the date the reading was done, the number of pages read, and the time spent reading (e.g., 1 hour 15 min.). This will help the instructor to evaluate your work in the course. It will also help you to discipline your time. When you finish your course, the reading log is to be turned in with the course assignment. This is required. Be sure also to return the course syllabus; this is required.
Grace is now incorporating Final Examinations with its course work. These will be sent to you as they are available. If you receive a manila envelope with the final examination enclosed, your record in your file will reflect that you have been sent an examination. You will not receive a final grade on your course until your final examination has been taken and received by the school. You will need to choose a proctor to administer the exam to you. This may be a pastor, a school teacher, or a librarian. This person will have to sign an honor statement on your examination that will say that you followed all instructions and did not cheat. You will be responsible for reimbursing the proctor for their time and expenses.
Extension Courses Evaluation
In an effort to upgrade and improve our curriculum and to maintain a high standard, we now ask students to make an evaluation of the course when they complete a course. The student is asked to fill out the Extension Course Evaluation form that is included with the course at the end. The questions should be self explanatory, but if you need help please contact the office. This must also be included with your course work sent in for grading.
If the student’s program of study calls for written research, or a thesis it is suggested that the student begin right away gathering the needed materials. A thesis guide will be provided from the college/seminary to instruct the student as to how the material is to be submitted. All thesis are to be submitted to the college/seminary in two hard bound copies. One will be kept by the college/seminary and the other will be graded and returned to the student. Sufficient return postage should be included to return this to you. If a student is coming to graduation the graded thesis may be picked up at that time. Independent research papers are not required to be hard bound. Only one copy is sent to the college/seminary for grading.
When the student is concluding Expository Bible Studies, he or she is asked to outline the assigned chapters, then read from a verse by verse, conservative Bible commentary relating to the chapter outlined. The student is to list the doctrinal truths found in the chapter, listing what verses they are found in, and discuss them. Then, he or she is to state how the material could be used in the ministry.
All research material should have a one and half inch margin on the top of the sheet of paper, with no less than an inch margin on the right and bottom margins. The first page of the research paper should be numbered at the bottom, in the center of the page, as well as the first page of each chapter of the introduction. All other pages should be numbered consecutively in the upper right hand corner. For more details, see the thesis guide provided by Grace.
At most schools of higher learning, one must pay their tuition in full before they even start classes. With Grace, you may pay for your work as you complete your courses. If a person is considered a part-time student, or elects to pay for one course at a time, a payment for that course plus matriculation must be paid to the college before the course will be sent. If the student is signed up in a 32, 40 or 64 hour program, your course account can be paid off at the time of admission, in 3 months, 10 months, or 24 months. This was determined by you when you filled out your application for admission…(If you did not indicate a payment plan preference, you were automatically placed in payment plan 3, 10 month pay plan.) Remember that when you signed your application for enrollment, you signed a contract with Grace that you will pay your bill. We know that you will want to maintain a good Christian testimony in this area. Grace asks that you observe the following guidelines in paying your tuition account.
- When sending your tuition payment, be sure your payment slip is included. Be sure your student number and what the check is for (tuition, books, etc.) is on the check.
- If a church or another individual is paying for your course of study, be sure they include the payment slip, and indicate on the check, who the payment is for and what it is for. We get checks from churches and have to return them because we have no idea whose account the check is for.
- Please put tuition payments and book orders on separate checks.
- The best way to send a tuition payment is in an envelope separate from your course work. However, if you must include your tuition payment with your course work, put it in a separate business size (#10) envelope and paper clip it to the front of your course work. Otherwise, it may be left in the shipping envelope and be thrown away.
- You will receive a Tuition Payment Schedule in this binder. Please keep up with this because it tells you on what day your payment is due. It will tell you how much your monthly payment is. You will be sent a Tuition Account Statement when your payment is received for each month. Please keep this and detach the top part to send in with next month’s payment.
- If financial problems arise, please contact the school! Speak with someone about your situation and maybe some arrangements can be worked out. Do not simply stop sending in your payments. If we do not know the situation, and you stop paying on your account, you will be billed.
Notice To All Students
All accounts for tuition or books must be paid in full before any student will receive their degree. There are no exceptions. If you are on a payment schedule, and you have finished your course work and come to graduation exercises, you will not receive your degree until your account has been paid in full. If you are on the 24 month payment schedule, and pay it off early, you are still required to pay handling fees.
Special Instructions Concerning Graduation
The student will find in this notebook section an application for the issuing of the diploma or degree. This application must be mailed to the college or seminary before April 1st if you want your degree. Our degrees are professionally printed and we must enforce these deadlines in order to get the diploma back in time for the graduation ceremonies. Failure to have your application for graduation in by the deadline date will result in you having to wait until the next graduation date to receive your diploma or degree.
All students are requested to attend graduation exercises. Grace is not a diploma mill nor a diploma mail order house and seeks to promote high academic standards. Therefore, we feel your attendance at graduation will certainly add strength to your diploma, or degree.
During the graduation exercises, one receives his or her diploma or degree from the Chancellor in a cap and gown ceremony, held by Grace’s administration.
Remember To Observe The Following:
It is suggested that the student study only one course at a time until you have completed that course and then mail it to Grace for grading. We require you to complete all chapters in a book before submitting it to us for grading. When a student sends only one or two chapters of a book, it makes is hard to keep up with the student’s work. Once your work has arrived at Grace a professor will grade it and make any suggestions he or she feels you might need in doing your course work.
Do not use thin paper when doing your work, but use regular 8 ½ x 11 inch sheets of paper. The reason we ask that you avoid using thin paper is that it makes it hard to read. Moreover, we ask that you write only on one side of the paper. Should you write out your course work in longhand, it must be neat and legible. If we can’t read it, we can’t grade it. Do not use pencil. Computer printouts are acceptable if in Neat Letter Quality on a dot matrix printer or printed on a laser or ink-jet printer. All research paper must be typed. If you do not own a computer/printer, you can have someone type it for you.
It is now possible, if you have the expertise and capability to send you course work by your computer and modem as a text file. Send all files to firstname.lastname@example.org and name your file the same as your course number.
Learn to analyze your work as you read, then summarize it in your own words making quotes from the text itself. However, do not copy large portions of the text. When materials from the books are used in research papers, or thesis, be sure to use footnotes. More information on footnotes can be found in the Thesis Guide provided by the college/seminary.
Learn to discipline your personal study program so that you can complete your work on time. If you do this, your church situation will profit more from your study. This will allow you to graduate with others who are graduating during one of Grace’s graduation exercises. If extra time is needed to complete your work, please notify the college or seminary that you will be needing extra time. We ask that, if necessary, you drop us a card or letter or email us every four or five weeks if it is taking you longer than the expected time limit. If we do not hear from you within 6 months, your file may be placed in the inactive file. If this happens, you will have to pay a $35.00 reactivation fee in order to be reinstated as an active student. If your file has gone inactive and you send in course work, your course work will be graded but held until you send in your reactivation fee. A simple postcard or email every couple of months will prevent you from going inactive.
Once a student has completed his 32, 40 or 64 hour program, a diploma or degree will be awarded. For example, when a beginning student completes the first 32 semester hour program, a General Bible Diploma is awarded. Therefore, after each 32 semester hour program is completed, the student is to complete another enrollment application before going on to the next level of study. A student must complete all work and pay all accounts before submitting an application for the next program. Once a student has enrolled, it is not necessary for one to submit a second picture of one’s self or additional transcripts from previous colleges attended. Only when a student is enrolled at another college during the same time he or she is enrolled with Grace (this is called dual enrollment) would one need to submit an additional transcript. However, if one is enrolled in another college at the time he or she is studying with Grace, the student should clear this with the school administration.
Records of the student’s grades are kept at the school office. If a student needs a transcript, this can be sent only upon written request by the student. All transcripts cost $10.00 each. The student will receive a transcript with his or her degree. This is the only free transcript.
Final Note To The Student
If you have elected to pay all of your tuition at the time of enrollment, you should find enclosed all of your materials for study. If you elected to make payments in either plans two, three or four, you will find only part of the required course materials. When you complete a course and send it in for grading, at the time please include a note and request that your next course be sent to you. You may tell us which course you desire to take next. You do not have to take them in any particular order. But you must request it to be sent to you. Thank you for your help in this matter.
In order for the off-campus student to follow the same pace as an on-campus student, the off-campus student should try to complete a two hour course every 15 to 30 days, a three hour course every 30 to 45 days, and a six hour course every 45 to 60 days.
If you cannot follow this time schedule, then you are required to notify the school every 30 to 45 days by letter or email with the monthly payments to give a report of your progress. Be sure to follow the following information:
Course presently studying
Your expected completion date
May the Lord Jesus Christ bless you as you study to show yourself approved.
Honors and Awards
Each year Grace Theological College and Seminary presents to deserving students and friends certain honors and awards. The following is a breakdown on how these awards are made.
For the student who maintains a grade average of 3.91 – 4.0, a certificate of honor is awarded: Summa Cum Laude.
For the student who maintains a grade average of 3.75 – 3.90, a certificate of honor is awarded: Magna Cum Laude.
For the student who maintains a grade average of 3.5 – 3.74, a certificate of honor is awarded: Cum Laude.
These honor certificates are included with the diploma and are issued to students who come to graduation and those who cannot come.