1. General

1.1. Academic Regulations is a basic document regulating studies and all issues concerning educational activities in the Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary (henceforth the Seminary).
1.2. Following the Academic Regulations is mandatory for all seminary faculty, staff, and students.
1.3. The Academic Regulations, including changes and additions, are confirmed by the Academic Council.
1.4. Rector’s Council has the right to establish additional regulations for the academic work of the Seminary.
1.5. Explanation of terms used in the Academic Regulations:
European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System's credit point (ECTS) – a study load unit that corresponds to 26 hours of study (including contact hours, independent work, and assessment)
Academic dismissal - exclusion from the list of students.
Matriculation – inclusion to the list of students.
Re-matriculation – restauration to the list of students.
Nominal study period – time required for fulfilling the whole curriculum
Study year – from August 1 to July 31.
Course - a systematic amount of knowledge about a certain discipline or part of it, taught by using different teaching methods, and the acquired knowledge is assessed by examinations and credit tests.
Curriculum – the basic document that defines the objectives, nominal study period, list and study load of courses and the requirements for graduation.
Academic Council – the highest collegial body of the faculty including the Rector, Academic Dean, full-time teachers, the Academic Secretary, representatives of translators and students.
Auditor – a person who has enrolled in a certain course, is taking part in lectures and class discussions, but does not take credit tests or sit examinations.
Elective – a course offered by the Seminary for the completion of the curriculum in addition to the mandatory courses.
Free elective – a course transferred from another school, another curriculum or on the basis of APEL.
Foreign student – a citizen of a foreign country, enrolled as a student at the Seminary, not permanently living in Estonia.

2. Admissions

2.1. Persons eligible to apply for admission to the Seminary must have secondary education and be Estonian or European Union Citizens or have permanent residence or temporary residential permit in Estonia.
2.2. Admission is decided by the Admissions Board (the Superintendent of the Estonian UMC, the Rector, and the Dean) on the basis of the student’s written application, recommendation by the local church minister, and oral interview.
2.3. Students are matriculated upon the decision of the Admissions Board by Rector’s Directive. The student who, without a compelling reason, has not attended the first two study sessions, will be dismissed from the Seminary.
2.4. On an individual bases, the dismissed students can be re-matriculated, and students transferring from other higher education institutions can be matriculated during the course of the study year.
2.5. The student will be re-matriculated upon his/her written application and Rector’s Directive.

3. Curriculum

3.1. The Seminary offers studies at the level of professional higher education, with the nominal study period of three years. The student may opt to complete only the first year of studies: the Foundation Course in Practical Theology.
3.2. The studies are guided by the curriculum. The study load of the Theology and Mission curriculum is 180 ECTS. The study load for one nominal study year is 60 ECTS.
3.3. Every course has a syllabus that defines the course title and code, learning goals and learning outcomes, a short description of the content according to the topics, name of the lecturer, study load, prerequisite courses, reading list, forms of assessment and assessment criteria.
3.4. The Academic Council decides upon the opening of a new curriculum and its alterations, and the termination of the curriculum.

4. Study forms

4.1. The Seminary offers full-time studies divided between study sessions (cylclical studies).
The Seminary offers:
4.2.1. Full-time study – the student has to accumulate at least 75% of the study load by the end of each study year as required by the curriculum (i.e. minimum 45 ECTS).
4.2.2. Part-time study – the student has to accumulate at least 50–74% of the study load by the end of each study year according to the curriculum (i.e. 30-44 ECTS).
4.2.3. External study is for anyone who wants to obtain theological education but is not able to undertake full-time or part-time studies.
External learners are admitted on the same basis as students. External learners are not students but they have the opportunity to complete the curriculum at their own pace, sit exams, and defend the Diploma Paper. External learners attend the studies together with students and complete courses on the same basis as students. At the completion of the whole curriculum, the external learner will receive the diploma and the diploma supplement.
External learner’s tuition contract is made separately for each semester. The contract defines the study load and the study fee according to the amount of credit points taken in that semester.
External learners have an access to the BMTS study system, including an e-mail address, username, and password.
4.2.4. An auditor (VK – vabakuulaja) is a person who as registered on a course, attends lectures, participates in the class discussions, but does not complete assignments and exams. Auditors pay the study fees on the basis of the amount of credit points.
4.3. The study consists of contact hours, independent study, practical work, or online study. The proportions of study forms are assigned in the syllabus.
4.4. Contact hours are lectures, seminars, or other forms of study assigned in the syllabus.
4.5. Practical work is a study form that is designed for achieving the learning objectives through practicums or other forms assigned in the syllabus. Practicum is supervised practical work in the working environment for acquiring work experience.
4.6. Independent work involves student’s independent acquisition of knowledge and dealing with the raised questions under the guidance of the lecturer. This can also take place in an interactive web environment.
4.7. Courses are divided into mandatory courses and electives.
4.7. The student registers for the mandatory courses and electives in the Study Information System at the beginning of each semester by a certain date. Additional enrolments can be made immediately before the courses start by submitting a respective application. It is not possible to drop a course or change from credit to audit when more than half of the course has passed.
4.8. The times of contact hours are assigned in the timetable.
4.9. The student is required to attend 75% of the contact hours of the respective course.

5. Regulations for Examinations, Credit Tests and Diploma Paper Defence

5.1. Learning outcomes are assessed by examinations, credit tests, and defending the diploma paper, marks are registered in the assessment record. Students’ learning can also be assessed during the courses by tests, papers, essays, etc., the marks of which are not shown in the assessment record, but can contribute to the examination or credit test result. The forms of assessment for each course are assigned in the respective syllabus.
5.2. The forms of assessment are graduated assessment (exam), and non-graduated assessment (credit tests) on pass/fail scale. Successful passing of a credit test is marked with P and failure with F.
Marking scale A, B, C, D, E, is used according to the assessment criteria as given in the course syllabus.
F indicates failure, unsatisfactory learning whereby the student has not reached the minimum level of learning outcomes.
Weighted Average Mark (WAM) is used to measure the student’s academic performance throughout the studies. For calculating the WAM, the numerical value of the mark (A = 5, B = 4, C = 3, D = 2, E = 1, F and IC = 0) of each course is multiplied with the credit points of the course, the products for all courses are added up and the sum is divided by the total number of credit points received during the whole study period. For receiving the diploma, the WAM has to be at least 2,0.
5.3. Resitting the exam or credit test that has already been given a pass mark is possible only in agreement with the lecturer and the awarded mark cannot be higher than B.
5.4. At the beginning of the course, the lecturer will inform the students about the of the exam's (or credit test) format and prerequisites that have to be met before being allowed to sit the exam.
5.5. When the course ends with an examination, two dates have to be offered. The second date has to be agreed with the lecturer. A student resitting an exam for the third time has to pay a resit fee determined by the Rector’s Council. When an online exam is opened for more than two days, then a resit fee is applied for the second date.
5.6. Failing a course does not generally prevent the student from taking other examinations or credit tests in scheduled time (unless the faculty examination plan does not state otherwise.)
5.7. A student who fails to appear for an examination will be recorded as “not present” in the exam report. If the student has not made an agreement with the lecturer within two weeks of the end of the semester, a final grade of ‘NP’ (in Estonian: MI) will be awarded. If a student uses unauthorised aids during the examination, it will result in a failing mark in the examination record.
5.8. After three times failing the same course examination or credit test, the student will be dismissed from the Seminary. In the case of re-matriculation, the student has a right for one attempt to resit the examination for that course.
5.9. The examinee has a right:
- to appeal in writing to the Academic Council during two workdays after the examination or credit test results have been revealed if he/she is not satisfied with the results. The Academic Council will solve the question within one week after receiving the appeal.
- to apply for the appointment of an examination committee for resitting an exam or credit test. The examinee has to submit a well-grounded application to the Academic Committee. If required, the appointed examination committee will consist of three members.
- to read his/her written paper during two working days after the presentation of the examination results.
The examiner has the right to assign the form and procedure of the examination (oral, written or in the web environment).
- to remove a student from the examination or credit test for using unauthorised materials or aid from other students.
5.10. Assignment deadlines and examination dates are appointed by the lecturers. In case of late assignments, the lecturer has the right to deduct the mark by one point, unless the student has applied for an extension before the deadline, and received the permission.
5.11. The last assignment submission date for spring semester is August 31, and for autumn semester January 31. After these dates it is not possible to submit assignments and the student has to retake the course next time it is offered and pay a resit fee.
5.12. The precondition for sitting the final examination or defending the diploma paper is the completion of all courses in the curriculum and the ministry practicums. The requirements of the final exam and diploma paper and the composition of the final examination/diploma paper committee are confirmed by the Rector.

6. Accreditation of Prior experiental Learning (APEL)

6.1. APEL is evaluated on an individual basis.
6.2. A student who has a Diploma Supplement or other documents certifying courses or electives taken in another professional higher education institution or university during previous seven years can submit an application for these previous studies to be taken into account. In-service training, adult education or other courses can be recognised as electives up to 3 ECTS.
6.3. The extent of recognition of the student’s prior work or ministry experience is decided by the APEL Committee. One year of full-time work experience during previous seven years equals to 10 ECTS of practicums.
6.4. The student requesting the recognition of previous studies and work experience has to submit an application form indicating what exactly should be counted towards the completion of the curriculum.
6.5. Application is made on the Student Information System (ÕIS) by entering the details of the subject, work experience or training as well as the details of the BMTS subject which the student is applying to be replaced by the transfer.
6.6. The applicant must scan and upload relevant documents (diploma, diploma supplement, certificate of continuing education, document describing working experience, etc) of prior studies or working experience. The applicant is responsible for the accuracy of the submitted documents.
6.7. Depending on the content and scope of courses, work, or ministry experience, the evaluator will be the respective subject lecturer or APEL committee. The application is reviewed and assessed within one month.
6.8. The evaluator may require the applicant
• to submit additional documents;
• to provide a portfolio (the applicant’s description of the experience or knowledge acquired through the previous work/ministry or studies);
• to sit an exam or credit test;
• to submit to an interview.
Earlier studies and professional work experience are recognised as part of a course by an agreement between the student and the course lecturer, and do not require an application procedure.
6.9. It is also possible to transfer a course that has been assessed on pass/fail scale, but the curriculum requires an exam. When the previous studies have been assessed on a different assessment scale, the evaluator will consider them as ’passed’.
For recognising one’s prior learning and work experience as part of a course, the student needs an agreement with the lecturer, and does not have to submit the application form.
6.10. Accreditation of prior learning experience from other institutions may be requested through an APEL application to a maximum of 60 ECTS, which is one third of the Theology and Mission curriculum. Transfer of the Diploma paper, or of courses from the Diploma Paper module are not possible.
6.11. Application through the APEL system may be made for accreditation of prior educational and experiential learning from other institutions on the condition that it is not older than 7 years. Previously taken BMTS courses will be counted as expired after 9 years. Exceptions are made for those who have applied for multiple parental leave as well as for external learners who have consistently completed courses with no more than a 2 year pause. Accreditation of expired courses may only be applied for if competency in the course objectives are demonstrated through an examination before the relevant faculty member.

7. Interruption of Studies

7.1. Academic leave:
7.1.2. Academic leave is a permission to be absent from studies upon student’s request once during the studies for no more than one year, for medical reasons, for two years. When a leave is sought for medical reasons the student has to submit his/her doctor’s statement, and for resuming the studies, the student needs a doctor’s permission.
7.1.2. The student who is called upon to perform compulsory military service in the Estonian Defence Forces can request additional leave for one year (on the basis of the notice from the Defence Resources Board).
7.1.3. For requesting an academic leave, the student has to submit an application to the Rector. Academic leave is granted by Rector’s Directive.
7.1.4. Students on academic leave belong to the student body of the BMTS.
7.1.5. During the first semester of studies, the academic leave is granted only on medical grounds.
7.1.6. In full-time studies, it is not allowed to apply for a leave less than two months before the end of the semester, except for medical reasons.
7.1.7. The student can take maternity/parental leave according to the legislation of the Republic of Estonia.
7.1.8. During the academic leave the student has no right to fulfil the curriculum (register for courses, or sit exams), except when the student 1) has a severe or profound disability; 2) is a parent raising an up to 3 year old child, or a disabled child; 3) is on an academic leave due to compulsory military or alternative service.
7.2. Academic dismissal and completion of studies.
7.2.1. A student will be deleted from the matriculation register
a) at the request of the student.
b) at the initiative of the Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary.
c) when transferring to another higher education institution.
d) upon completion of the studies.
7.2.2. The student requesting an academic dismissal has to submit an application to the Rector. Reasons do not have to be explained.
7.2.3. The student will be dismissed at the initiative of the Seminary for following reasons:
a) failure to fulfil the curriculum (lack of progress): when the student has more than two uncleared failures;
b) after failing the second resit of the same exam or credit test;
c) inappropriate behaviour of the student, preceded first by an oral reprimand and written disciplinary warning;
d) not registering for courses within the first two study sessions of the academic year;
e) the student’s divestment of active legal capacity.
f) The reason for dismissal at the initiative of the Seminary has to be indicated in the Rector’s Directive.
7.2.4. Dismissal due to transferring to another higher education institution takes place on the basis of the student’s application, and on the agreement of both higher education institutions.
7.2.5. After the completion of the whole curriculum, the student will be excluded from the enrollment list.
7.2.6. The Diploma will be awarded by the Rector’s Directive upon completion of the curriculum.
7.2.7. The statute and issuing procedures of Diplomas and Diploma Supplements are established by a directive of the Republic of Estonia.
7.2.8. Issuing of Duplicate Diplomas and Diploma Supplements is established by the directive of the Minister of Education and Research.

8. Completion of Studies

8.1. After the completion of the whole curriculum, the student will be excluded from the enrollment list.
8.2. The student who has completed the professional higher education curriculum to the full extent will be awarded a Diploma of Professional Higher Education, Diploma Supplement, and a Diploma Supplement in English, according to the procedure established by the directive of the Estonian Government.
8.3. A diploma cum laude will be awarded to a student who has passed all examinations with marks A, B, and C and received A for the Diploma Paper, and whose weighted average mark has been 4,60 or higher.
8.4. The student who has completed the one-year Foundation Course in Practical Theology will receive a Certificate from the Seminary, and the transcript.