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Transfer Students

Credits from graduate-level courses taken at other accredited theological schools usually transfer toward a degree program at United. Transfer credits may fulfill degree program requirements or be accepted as elective credits.


Transfer Credit for Theological Coursework

A theological course is defined as one that was intentionally designed to include subject
matters directly attending to theology and/or to contents that might be focused on ministry. A student may petition the registrar to have a theological course transferred into his or her transcript either as a core course and/or as an elective using the following process:

  • The student will write a petition with the request. The petition shall contain a copy of the course syllabus and a statement by the student on how the work coheres with the student’s goals in ministry. The petition will be reviewed for currency, relevancy and integrative potentiality by the faculty member whose field of expertise most closely relates to the area of interest and by the student’s advisor. These faculty members will recommend to the registrar acceptance or rejection of the petition.

Acceptances of theological degree transfer courses are limited as follows:

  • For persons desiring to transfer prior credit, a course shall have been passed with a grade of 2.70 (B-) or better and shall be within the transfer guidelines in terms of age. The course(s) cannot be more than 10 years old to be accepted toward a United degree, except in specifically validated circumstances approved by the registrar, subject to the advice and consent of the dean of the seminary.

Transfer Credit for Non-theological Coursework

A non-theological course is defined as one that was not intentionally designed to include
subject matters directly attending to theology or to contents that might be focused on ministry. A student may submit a written petition to the registrar to have a non-theological course transferred into his or her transcript as an elective.

  • The petition shall contain a copy of the course syllabus and a statement by the student on how the work coheres with the student’s goals in ministry. The petition will be reviewed for currency, relevancy and integrative potentiality by the faculty member whose field of expertise most closely relates to the area of interest and by the student’s advisor. These two faculty members will recommend to the registrar acceptance or rejection of the petition.

Acceptances of non-theological degree transfer courses are limited as follows:

  • For persons desiring to transfer prior credit, a course shall have been passed with a grade of 2.70 (B-) or better and shall be within the transfer guidelines in terms of age. The course(s) cannot be more than 10 years old to be accepted toward a United degree, except in specifically validated circumstances approved by the registrar, subject to the advice and consent of the dean of the seminary.
  • A student may transfer in no more than two such courses for M.A. degrees and three courses for the M.Div. degree.

Transfer Credit for Clinical Pastoral Education Credit

In the case of students who have taken Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) prior to enrolling at United, one unit of CPE may be transferred in as Churches’ Leadership (CL) credits. It normally may not be included as completion of contextual studies requirements. The student petitioning for CPE transfer credit should submit his or her evaluation of the unit, the supervisor’s evaluation of the student and the certificate of completion to the CPE coordinator. The student and CPE coordinator will meet to discuss these documents as part of the transfer process.

Waiver of Theological Coursework

A waiver is permission granted by United that releases a student from specific degree requirements. The granting of a waiver does not release the student from the total number of credits to be taken at United for graduation; instead, the student must take an additional course(s) to make up for the credits from the waived course(s). The benefit of waiving a course is that the student is able to take more elective courses of their choice if a core course is waived. Waivers may be granted based on prior coursework, prior work experience and/or demonstrated competency.

Petitions requesting such a waiver should be addressed to the registrar and include appropriate supporting documentation (e.g., a course syllabus). The registrar will determine whether to grant the waiver, in consultation with faculty in the relevant subject area(s) and the dean of the seminary.

Other Information

Credits from several regional lay ministry licensing and other programs can also be transferred.

To earn a degree from United, a person must spend at least one full academic year (the equivalent of 10 courses for M.Div. or eight courses for M.A.) as a United student.


Admissions Contact Information
Sara Smalley
651.255.6119


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