Academic Policies

Course Registration Information

Times of Registration. New Theology I students are registered from the admissions information submitted to Kenrick. Pre-requisites are reviewed by the Academic Dean. All new students are registered for basic first year courses Prospective Theology II, III, and IV students, register for each semester on the date listed on the calendar. Financial arrangements for tuition, room and board, and various fees are to be taken care of with the Director of Operations & Finance.

Student Load.  The student load includes all courses for which a student is registered in any semester, whether for credit or audit, and which is taken either in residence or by cross-registration. A total of more than sixteen hours of academic courses is considered excessive for the majority of students. Those who wish to take more credit hours need the permission of the Academic Dean. A total of twelve hours for credit is the minimum amount to qualify for full-time attendance. Those who wish to proceed at a slower pace scholastically than is the general rule may work out a schedule to fit their individual needs with the help of the Academic Dean. The Dean submits this revised program of studies for consideration and approbation by the Rector and by the Proper Ordinary.

Independent Study.  An Independent Study course is a program of study chosen by a student or a group of students with the approval and supervision of a professor. The topic for Independent Study may either substitute for or supplement courses available at Kenrick Seminary. Ordinarily, these courses do not substitute for the introductory or required courses in the programs offered at Kenrick. Procedure: A student arranges with the professor for the program of Independent Study. The professor writes up a syllabus. The professor and student sign the independent study form with attached syllabus. The Academic Dean gives his final approval and signature. The number of hours for the Independent Study course will be agreed upon by the professor and student. Academic credit will not be given if the form and syllabus has not been submitted before the end of the first 3 weeks of the semester. The professor and student should both keep a copy of the agreed Independent Study sheet; one copy will be given to the Academic Office for the student’s file.

Auditing Courses. A student who wishes to audit a course must obtain permission of the instructor of the class which he wishes to audit and must follow the regular registration procedure. Courses audited are counted as part of the student load, but do not count toward graduation requirements. Regulations applying to credit courses (pre-requisites, etc.) apply to audited courses.

Cross-Registration. Students are entitled to register for courses in the following St. Louis Theological Schools: St. Louis University, Eden Theological Seminary, Aquinas Institute, Concordia Seminary, and Covenant Seminary. Cross registrations must be approved by the Academic Dean and are handled through the Academic Office. The cost of these courses is covered by the student’s regular tuition at Kenrick.

Drop/Add and Withdrawal from Courses. A student may withdraw from a course during the first week of the semester. A student does not need the professor’s permission, nor need he notify the professor, within the stipulated period. The professor will be notified by the Academic Office. Permission is obtained by using the Drop/Add Form available from the Academic Office. The student must complete the form and personally obtain the signature of the Academic Dean or the Registrar. After the first week of the semester, the student needs authorization from the Professor and approval of the Academic Dean to withdraw from a course or to change his registration to an Audit.  At the discretion of the professor, a grade of “WF” or “WP” will be given for the course in which the student has withdrawn. In the case of “WF”, the semester hours involved will be listed as hours attempted and will affect the cumulative G.P.A.

Classroom Procedures

Academic Calendar. The academic year is divided into two l6-week semesters of approximately 70 class days each semester.

Textbooks. The Seminary does not distribute text books. Students may order and purchase their texts and other books from the student store.

Course Syllabi. At the beginning of each course, the student will receive a course syllabus from the professor with the information on objectives, procedures, bibliography, textbooks, assignments, class attendance, grading, and exams. A copy is maintained in the Academic Office for five years. Course syllabi from the previous five years are available for inspection upon request.

Class Attendance Policy. As a general policy, regular attendance at class is expected. When a student misses a class for whatever reason, he/she is to inform the professor in person of the fact and the reason for missing. A professor may demand that work missed be made up. He/she is under no obligation to reschedule a missed examination of any type. In particular cases, the individual professor may decide that a student could substitute regular class attendance with some other arrangement (e.g., tutorial sessions, private study). This policy allows the professor and student to determine the most suitable form of taking a particular course. In addition, a professor may decide to require attendance for some specific class meetings. In all cases, to avoid misunderstandings, professors are asked to notify the members of the class in writing at the beginning of the course about their policy of class attendance. Even if this is not done, it is presumed that the general policy is in effect.

Late Arrival of Professor. The students have been informed that, should the professor be late, they are to wait ten minutes before leaving the classroom. If possible, a professor should send word to the class.

Examinations.  In order to evaluate the progress of students and to assign them a grade at the end of the semester, accountability exercises are assigned according to the discretion of the professor in proportion to the credit hours of the respective class.

Guidelines for Study Time per Credit Hours. The Seminary student is a full-time student and is therefore committed to full participation in the Seminary program. This is his first priority, and the curriculum of the Seminary should occupy a full “work week”, that is 40 hours. As a guide, it is expected that a student spend between one and one-half to two hours of preparation for each class hour carried. This time includes study, requisite research and the writing of assigned papers.

Attendance at Funerals. In order to have a common understanding of Seminary scheduling arrangements at times of a wake or a funeral, the following guidelines are proposed. In the event of the death of a member of the Seminary community, respectful efforts will be made to adapt the Seminary schedule to honor the memory of the deceased and to allow the Seminary community to respond in an appropriate manner. In the event of the death of a close relative of a member of the Seminary community, the member’s peers are to be free to attend the wake or funeral. If class is not canceled or rescheduled, students are not to be penalized for attending the funeral; however, they are responsible for any work that must be completed. Generally, for funerals out of town, the Seminary will send a representative of the peer group.

Academic Standards

Grading System

A     Work of highest quality achievement combined with a display of special aptitudes and interests. 4.00 quality points

B+   Superior work indicating high level of achievement. 3.50 quality points

B     Average performance at the graduate level. 3.00 quality points

C+   Acceptable but somewhat below average.  2.50 quality points

C     Minimum passing grade; work of marginal acceptability. 2.00 quality points

C–  Any grade below a “C” is considered a Failing Grade. This is a permanent grade and, in the case of a required course, only by a repetition of the course in which the failure was reported can compensate for it. Elective courses in which a failure was received may be compensated for by substitutions of other elective courses.

I  = Incomplete work. This temporary notation indicates that the work for a course has not been completed by the end of the semester. A delay in completing the work for a course is granted only with explicit approval of the professor. A detailed plan of action must be submitted within 10 days of the end of the semester to remove the “I” and the work should be completed within 6 weeks of the end of the semester; otherwise the course grade automatically becomes an “F”. Any further extension must be made by petitioning the Academic Dean.

P  =  Pass. Certain subjects are on a “Pass/Fail” basis only: Supervised Ministry programs and some Liturgical Formation Practica. Neither “P” nor “F” affects the grade point average.

WP  = Withdrawal while passing.

WF  =  Withdrawal while failing.

The grades “A-” (3.75 quality points) and “B-” (2.75 quality points) may be given at the discretion of the professor.

Any student who falls below a 2.75 grade point average is automatically placed on academic probation.  In each semester of work a student must maintain a grade point average of 2.75. A first failure to do so constitutes grounds for academic probation; a second failure constitutes grounds for dismissal from the program.

M.A. Program. All seminarians are understood to be part of the M.Div. program as part of their required theological training in preparation for ordination. In order for a student to be admitted to the M.A. program, he must have a 3.5 GPA from the first four semesters.

Academic Grievance Procedure.  Any student who, for serious reasons, finds an academic decision unfair may appeal it according to the following procedure. The student should first try to resolve the grievance personally with the professor involved. If the student does not believe the matter to have been satisfactorily resolved after having discussed it with the professor, he may submit his grievance in writing to the Academic Dean. The grievance procedure is described in Chapter I, section I of the Student Handbook. In the case of course grades, this procedure may be pursued for “F”s. In exceptional cases, the Academic Dean may consider grievances for non-failing grades. A student contesting a grade has 20 working days from the posting of grades to file his grievance. The Academic Dean, upon receiving the grievance, is to notify the faculty member that a grievance has been filed. The Academic Dean has 10 working days in which to decide whether to entertain the grievance. He is to inform both parties of his decision. The investigation and judgment will be completed within 20 working days of the decision to entertain the grievance.  In all instances of grievance, academic or otherwise, students have access to the Due Process policy, (See “Due Process” in the Student Handbook)

Academic Honors. Kenrick School of Theology awards  academic honors for those who achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or better for courses taken for their degrees. The notation will be published on graduation programs, diplomas and transcripts. Academic honors are given for the following cumulative grade point averages:

3.5 – 3.699            Cum Laude
3.7 – 3.899            Magna cum Laude
3.9 or higher        Summa cum Laude

 The Glenski Award is named after Sister Zoë Glenski (†2006), a Daughter of Charity, who taught Church history at the seminary for 35 years. This award is given at Convocation to students who write an excellent thesis and have achieved a cumulative GPA (through the end of fourth year Fall semester) of 3.80 or higher. To be considered for the award, seminarians must complete their thesis by the end of the Fall semester in the fourth year.

Grade Reports. Grade reports are issued at the end of each semester. The first semester reports are placed in the student’s mailbox, the second semester grade reports are generally mailed to the student about the first week in June per their request. A copy of each report is also sent to the student’s Bishop or Religious Superior. A student who is indebted to the Student Store, the Library, or the Seminary (for his tuition, or any other charges) will not receive his grade report or be allowed to register for the following semester. His transcript of record will be so tagged until this debt is cleared. If the debt is not cleared when grade reports are issued at the end of the semester, the student’s Bishop or religious superior is notified by letter. A copy of this letter is given to the student. Any student not having completed his semester course evaluation will not receive his final semester grades.

Completion of Courses. Every student is expected to complete course requirements in a timely manner. When a student leaves unmet any requirement of a course, the instructor is to issue him or her failing grade for the course. This is to be done, even if the student’s average grade would otherwise be sufficient to pass the course in the absence of the uncompleted work. The grade of “Incomplete” is to be given only when it is specifically requested by the student and agreed to by the instructor. A student who has not completed the work of a course by the final day of examinations and who has not requested an Incomplete is to be given a failing grade for the course. Incomplete grades are not “automatic,” and an instructor is within his or her rights to refuse a request for one.

Transfer of credits to Kenrick. See Admissions requirements regarding those who transfer from another graduate institution.  After admission to Kenrick, seminarians may transfer up to 6 elective credits from another accredited institution. They must submit a transfer form and request official transcripts from the other institution.  Transfer of credits must be approved by the Academic Dean.

Final Evaluations.  The final evaluation for the M.Div. degree is based on 90% of the student’s earned grade point average and 10% of the score on the oral examination. For the M.A., the final evaluation is based on 80% of the student’s earned grade point average, 10% of the score on the oral examination, and 10% of the score on the written thesis.

Intellectual Integrity. The students of Kenrick School of Theology are to maintain at all times an intellectual integrity. Such integrity entails both a commitment to the truth and a refusal to be false or misleading, even when this course of action may involve inconvenience or embarrassment.  Plagiarism, defined as the use of another’s words or ideas without acknowledgment, is a failure in both of these dimensions. Plagiarism may involve the word-for-word use of another’s phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or longer passages, always without acknowledgment; it may involve the construction of a mosaic or tissue of such passages; it may involve a paraphrase or summary of such passages; it may involve failure to identify use of another author’s exact words by quotation marks or block quotes.  When students make use of ideas or writings that are not their own, they are expected to acknowledge the source from which they are borrowing, either through an acknowledgment in the text or through the use of a footnote.

Plagiarism is a serious failure of integrity, and the faculty and administration of Kenrick view it with grave prejudice. Penalties for plagiarism include a failure in the course, a case review by the Academic Dean and the Dean of Seminarians, and possible suspension from the seminary program.

Classroom Decorum. The classroom should be a place for attentive communal interaction.  Proper classroom decorum requires that students fully attend to the classroom experience. Students ought not to participate in activities unrelated to class nor do anything that interferes with or diminishes active participation.  Students should:
a. not surf the web or play games on an electronic device.
b. not read or answer email, nor text.
c. not read material (print or electronic) unrelated to the current class even if it is related to another class.

Honesty. Students are expected to work under an honor system in taking examinations and in preparing papers, reports, or other class assignments. Take home assignments, quizzes and tests which are open book or open notes are not for “open discussion” among fellow students or professors outside of the class, unless the assignment stipulates otherwise. Should a student find the expectations unclear, it is the student’s responsibility to ask the professor for direction.

Academic Office Information

Contents of Academic Files.

The contents of Academic files are all transcripts including college, and/or universities; transcript of Seminary records; VA certifications; notes from the Deans and other officials.

Policy on Academic Files. The Family Educational rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:

a. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the Seminary receives a request for access.  Students should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The Seminary official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the Seminary official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

b. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask the Seminary to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the Seminary official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.  If the Seminary decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the Seminary will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.

c. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.  One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the Seminary in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the Seminary has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.  A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.

d. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Kenrick-Glennon Seminary to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
600 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605

The policies and procedures which follow in no way impede or restrict the rights of the Ordinary of Saint Louis in the exercise of his responsibility for the seminary and for the evaluation of students for the Archdiocese of Saint Louis.

Likewise, they do not impede or restrict the rights of other Ordinaries and Religious Superiors in reference to the formation and evaluation of students for their respective Diocese or Religious Communities.

Transcripts. A student or alumnus may request a transcript of his scholastic record certifying courses of studies pursued and standing attained. An official transcript is a certified copy of the record of courses and grades, for the use of those who need an official document (other educational institutions, employers, etc.). Transcripts will be issued only upon written request. An unofficial transcript is an uncertified copy of the record of courses and grades. These are issued only to the student, and are intended for his own use. Transcripts are officially certified by the Registrar, or in the absence of the Registrar, by the Academic Dean. Transcripts will be withheld from any student or alumnus who has not fulfilled his financial obligations to the institution.

Information for Veterans

Kenrick Seminary has been duly approved by the State Approval Agency, State Department of Education, Veterans’ Section, Jefferson City, Missouri, under all public laws pertaining to the educational training of veterans. Please contact the Registrar to enroll under the G.I. Bill.