Grading policies

Grades are the means by which instructors tell students whether they are meeting the goals of the course. If you are not learning what you should, then we do you a disservice if we cause you to think you have mastered the material.[1]

We want GCS classes to be helpful in your ministry, but the classes are not a measure of your value in ministry. Grades are merely an academic measurement to give you feedback – they are not a measure of intelligence or spirituality. If you did the best you could in the time that you had available, and got a B, then that is an honorable grade. Just as no believer has every spiritual gift, so also no student is good at every subject. People who are good pastors may not be particularly gifted at academic work (and vice versa!).

A indicates outstanding work, with evidence of remarkable skill, creativity or energy. We are pleased with the quality of work that GCS students submit, but if we judge everyone as “remarkable” and “outstanding,” our expectations are too low.

B is an honorable grade, showing work and comprehension beyond the minimum, with some evidence of extra effort, achievement or improvement.

C is for students who fulfilled the assignments, but did not do very well in them.

C- = Below expectations, either because some aspect of the assignment has not been fulfilled or because the number of errors interferes with clear communication. A grade of C- may also indicate failure to follow directions, or failure to demonstrate effort and improvement.

D is given for unsatisfactory work, with no credit given.

F is given when the student did not complete the assignments as directed, or because the level of performance is well below an acceptable level for graduate level work.

The final grade is usually calculated based on a 100-point scale. In most courses, letter grades are assigned as follows:

95 - 100 % = A

90 - 94 % = A-

87 - 89 % = B+

84 - 86 % = B

80 - 83 % = B-

77 - 79 % = C+

74 - 76 % = C

70 - 73 % = C-

60 - 69 % = D

00 - 69 % = F

In general, GCS students are capable of doing good academic work, and they rarely get a C if they devote at least 135 hours for the course. If they receive a C, it is usually because (sometimes through no fault of their own) they did not give the course the time that it needed. However, simply putting in the time is no guarantee that you will receive a B or higher – grades are given based on the quality of the work that we receive.

If you have a complaint about a grade, you should first attempt to resolve the problem with the instructor. If a satisfactory resolution is not reached, the student should contact the Dean of Faculty (if the Dean is the instructor, then contact the President) with a full description of the situation. The Dean will consult with the instructor and the President, and will notify the student of the decision.

Computing grade point averages

Grade point averages are used as criteria for continued enrollment at the Seminary and for graduation. The grade point average for a particular period is determined by dividing the total number of semester hours of all courses for which the student received a grade into the total number of grade points. If a student has taken a course more than once, only the higher grade is included in the calculation. The following table shows the grade points allocated, for each semester unit, to each letter grade:

Letter

A

A-

B+

B

B-

C+

C

C-

D

F

Points

4.0

3.7

3.3

3.0

2.7

2.3

2.0

1.7

0

0



[1] If you are unable to do a particular task of ministry well, and yet we make you think that you are fully capable of the task, and we thereby encourage you to accept ministry responsibilities that exceed your capabilities, then we have done a disservice to you and to all those affected by that ministry. If you attempt further academic work at another institution because we have overrated your academic abilities, then we have done a disservice to you and to the other academic institution.


Last modified: Saturday, June 11, 2022, 10:16 AM