Course of Study School Policies and Procedures

Policies and Procedures for Summer Course of Study Session

Student Honor and Conduct Code

The Candler School of Theology Course of Study School is dedicated to training and educating men and women for professional competence in ministry.  All students enrolled in this program are expected to maintain highest academic integrity and to exhibit a spirit of shared trust and intellectual honesty with each other in the utmost possible expression of our shared values as the community of United Methodist Clergy. In addition, students will do their best to submit their finest level quality of work, including their grammar usage, spelling, and punctuation, in order to maintain the high standards necessary for college level work.

Student Academic Honor
Candler School of Theology Course of Study School requires that all material submitted by a student be his or her original work.  It is in direct violation of our moral and social ethical codes of honesty, integrity, and credibility as Christian ministers to:

  • Submit the work of others as our own, including cheating, plagiarism, copying information directly from the internet and pasting it into your work, or in any way knowingly submitting someone else’s work as your own. 
  • Seeking, acquiring, receiving, or passing information about the content of an examination prior to its authorized release or during its administration.
  • Seeking, using, giving, or obtaining unauthorized assistance in any academic assignment or examination.
  • Act in any way that does not convey the professional dignity and integrity expected in conforming to the established academic conduct policies and standards of Emory University and Candler School of Theology. 

Student Pastoral Integrity 

Pastoral Integrity for theological students is defined by the standards of integrity common to all professions and is further specified by those virtues of character required by Christian ministry. To fail to practice these standards diminishes the character and credibility of all students. A person of Christian integrity acts in a way that matches the faith that we profess in words, displays the virtues of truth and fairness, exhibits a consistent Christian character, and takes responsibility for his or her actions, including:

  • Academic honesty, which is demonstrated by students when the ideas and the writing of others are properly cited; and students submit their own ideas, words, and work to fulfill academic requirements.
  • Trust, which is critical to the nature of what we do, who we are, and why we are here. When you set about the task of pre-course or in class work, your intention must be to complete each task in your own words, giving complete credit for any kind of quote taken from any and all sources. 
  • Responsibility, which is demonstrated when each student intentionally to puts forth their best effort to prepare for Course of Study and complete all written tasks. 

Student Appeal Process

Our faculty is committed to evaluating all work fairly and in a timely manner.  In the event that there is a dispute about a grade, the student may submit an appeal to the Academic Honor Committee in which the teacher and the student will appear before the committee.  It will then be up to the committee to determine if the grade should be changed.

Inclusive Language Covenant

The faculty of Emory Course of Study School has adopted a covenant statement encouraging inclusiveness in the use of language, as follows:

Preamble

The Inclusive Language Covenant is designed to create a linguistic environment in which all students, staff, and faculty can grow in understanding and appreciating the rich diversity of God’s people. The COS faculty commits itself—through continued discussion, reflection, and exploration—to using language in such a way that we respond to the fullness of God’s presence among us as much by our choice of words as by our care for one another. Recognizing that our experience with inclusive language is an integral part of theological formation, we invite students and others to share as partners with us in this learning process.

We understand “covenant” more in terms of its biblical and theological meaning than in a legal or contractual context.  Covenant signifies the common commitment of a community of faith in response to God’s revelation and in partnership with one another. The values implied in the covenant have morally persuaded us to try to generate patterns of speech and behavior that bond the members of the community in mutual respect. We expect all members of the community to address issues of diversity constructively. 

Statement

All human beings, male and female alike, are created equally in the image of God. Through sin this image is damaged, resulting in a loss of wholeness and broken patterns of relations. But God’s redemption calls us out of patterns of brokenness into unity with Christ and equality with each other. God’s purpose in creation and God’s grace in Christ are all-inclusive. This inclusiveness in creation and redemption needs to be expressed in our language. Moreover, the spirit of the new creation empowers every believer to be free for creative involvement in the life of the community. A full and mutual participation in the ministry of the church and to the world at large is equally open to women and men of diverse backgrounds.  Where language barriers prevent inclusiveness, divinity does not come to full expression, and God’s relationship with humanity is impaired, as the community of faith fails to be responsive to the wholeness of salvation, and the church falls short of being the people of God.
We believe that restricting the imagery of language for God and humankind to one gender, color, or condition violates the nature and intention of God’s relation to human beings by using the power of language for alienation. Language conventions—idioms, symbols, metaphors, and clichés—are powerful means both to point to the mystery of the divine reality and to control human relations. The way we speak reveals our attitude toward God and other human beings. Language not only forms attitudes but also informs actions.  The faculty seeks a language of participation that incorporates and unites rather than a language of domination that alienates and separates. We respect individual rights to freedom of speech, to academic freedom, and to personal conscience and experience. We also believe that we are called to respond publicly to the reconciling words of Christ and therefore to express the uniting power of the gospel.  

The mission of Candler School of Theology is to educate “faithful and creative leaders of the church’s ministries in the world.” We are “committed to a community of faith and learning inclusive of women and men who are diverse in ethnic, economic, social, and national backgrounds.” We believe that we enhance such a community when we reject negative stereotypes that discriminate against people of different genders, races, cultures, abilities, or sexual orientation. We uphold the principle of inclusiveness by seeking to express the equality of all human beings in all areas of the school’s work and life.

Guidelines for Implementation

We commit ourselves to use inclusive language in all areas of public discourse, such as classroom, publications, worship, and administration. This includes our classroom lectures, discussions, handouts, and other materials (except when quoting historical texts), as well as official communications of the school, and internal office communications. We invite students to join our covenant by using inclusive language in all written and oral presentations, including sermons.
We also commit ourselves and invite students to use inclusive language in worship events or other public functions of the school. The worship of the school is a public event for the preaching of the word and the administration of the sacraments.  By reading Scripture, interpreting Scripture, and engaging in liturgy, the community of faith addresses its theology to the present situation. In the worship of the community, Scripture is recognized as the historic witness to the faith and becomes the living word of transformation. The way we worship expresses who we are and how God works among us and through us in the world. Inclusive language helps us frame this public reading and proclamation. We need to explore ways to enrich traditional language so as to protect it from exclusive patterns of interpretation and inference.

Incomplete Policy

An incomplete may be granted to students who, because of special circumstances, are not able to complete the required work during a given session. To receive an incomplete, the student must submit the appropriate form (available from the COS office) and receive written permission from both the faculty member and the Director of the Emory COS School before the end of the session for which the incomplete is being requested. The completed work must be sent to and received by the instructor no later than 30 days after the last class. The instructor will send the grade and completed work to the Director. If the work is not received within 30 days of the last class session, the incomplete will automatically be changed to an "F".

Course Load

The maximum number of courses a student may take in the Course of Study School, regardless of the school(s) attended is four courses per year. Under unusual circumstances, students may be granted permission to take additional courses with the combined approval of the Board of Ordained Ministry, the Director of the Course of Study School, and by the Assistant General Secretary of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

Transcript Requests

The academic records of all Course of Study Schools are kept by the Director under the guidelines developed by the Division of Elders and Local Pastors and the General Council of Finance and Administration. A report of the progress of each student shall be sent to the Division of Elders and Local Pastors, where grades will be recorded on the student's permanent record. Copies of this permanent record will be sent to the Boards of Ordained Ministry by the Division of Elders and Local Pastors. Grade reports will also be sent to the appropriate Annual Conferences and to the students by the COS School. If you need a transcript of all your academic work, you will need to contact the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry at 615.340.7416.

Guidelines for Written Assignments

Precourse Policy

In fairness to all students, the following policy will apply equally to all Summer Precourse assignments and students:

  • All precourse work must be submitted to the Course of Study Office via email no later than May 1st.
  • Late work will be accepted only until June 20th, but there will be the following penalties:
  • Assignments received between May 2nd and June 1st will receive a one letter grade deduction
  • Assignments received between June 2nd and June 20th will receive two letter grade deductions
  • No precourse assignments will be accepted after June 20th for students attending either Session A or B. Students will not be able to check-in if precourse assignments were not submitted by June 20th deadline. Students will be dropped from any course for which assignments have not been received. For students attending ONLY Session B, again no precourse materials will be accepted after June 20th.
  • In cases where the student has registered late the same precourse policy applies.

Grading Policy

Grades reflect a professor’s evaluation of the quality and comprehension of a student’s work in a course. Grades give feedback to the student and to the organizations to which the student and professor are accountable.

Faculty members have the freedom to design assignments in a variety of ways in order to better “capture” an understanding of a student’s growing competence. Faculty members also have the freedom to assign numerical scales in line with the type of assignment (such as an exam) and desired outcomes of the course.

Course of Study grades are reported to the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, to the student’s conference local pastor registrar, and to the student. They are used by conferences, in combination with other factors, to determine “appointability” of a local pastor. The annual conferences in the Southeast Jurisdiction require a grade of “C” (meaning they do not accept a “C-“) toward the completion of the Course of Study. If a COS student decides to attend Candler School of Theology, up to nine credits worth of courses in which a student has made a B or higher, are transferable as elective credit (although assigned an “S” rather than transferring the grade).

Assignments to be graded are designed to lead students toward the comprehension and accomplishment of specific outcomes. The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry establishes these outcomes for each course in the Course of Study.

After final grades are posts students who wish to appeal a final grade may do so but should contact the COS Office directly and requesting for the formal view of the grade by the Academic Honor Committee.

Grade

A

B

C

D

F

Comprehension

Superior

High

Good

Evidence of exposure

Gives no evidence of exposure or understanding material

Ability to Interpret Material

Consistently excellent and creative; superior ability to interpret material

Good, but less evidence of ability to interpret

Mix of strengths and weaknesses; moderate level of analysis and interpretation

Inability to interpret material

Incomprehensible

Written and Oral Assignments

Strong and interesting; able to interpret theses and points of view of others in his or her own words.

Interesting, exhibiting a high level of analysis and interpretation; theses are predictable or too broad; may not be fully supported

Theses are too obvious or vague; introductions, conclusions are not very effective; grammar, word choice, and spelling errors present.

Has not followed directions or has failed to present what has been asked for. Unclear or lacking thesis, arguments, and/or evidence. Extremely "quote dependent"

Unreadable, unrecognizable or missing. Evidence of Plagiarism

Grammar, Spelling

Clear, without errors in grammar, spelling, and diction

Clear, without errors in grammar, spelling, and diction

Contains some errors in grammar, word choice, and spelling

Contains many errors in grammar, word choice, and spelling

Indecipherable

Class Participation

Contributes significantly and appropriately to growth and learning of whole class

Contributes somewhat to the growth and learning of the whole class

Speaks up in class occasionally, but contributes little to growth and learning of the class

Student is present but does not participate

Inappropriate, incomprehensible, or absent

Violations of Academic Honor Code

Instances involving an alleged violation of academic honor (including plagiarism) should be reported to the COS assistant director, who will conduct a preliminary investigation of the alleged violation. The assistant director will decide if the case has sufficient merit for a possible honor code violation, whether the case should be resolved using the informal process, or if the case is of sufficient gravity to proceed directly to the formal process. 

Informal Process

The assistant director, associate dean of Methodist Studies, faculty involved, and whomever the assistant director deems appropriate will review the facts of the offense. In the case of a first offense, they may recommend any of the following penalties depending on the severity of the offense:

  • warning
  • require the work to be done again
  • a grade of D or F for the assignment
  • a grade of F for the course

Formal Process

The case will be heard by Academic Honor Code Committee comprised of the following: assistant director of Course of Study, associate dean of Methodist Studies, three faculty members, and one person not directly connected to COS. The assistant director will be a nonvoting member of the committee. The associate dean of Methodist Studies will serve as the chair of this committee. After thorough review of the case, a majority vote of the committee will suffice for a finding of guilt. If the person is found guilty, the committee may decide one or more of the following actions or such other action as the committee deems appropriate:

  • warning
  • require the work to be done again
  • a grade of D or F for the assignment
  • a grade of F for the course

If the student is guilty of a prior offense, the penalty will be much more severe and will result in one or a combination of:

  • a grade of F for the course
  • suspension for the remainder of the term
  • dismissal from the Emory Course of Study School

Upon review of the committee’s recommendations, the assistant director and associate dean will notify the student of the committee’s decision. For both the informal and form process and for each offense, a letter will be sent to the student’s District Superintendent and Board of Ministry Representative alerting them to the Academic Honor Code violation.

Appeal

A student who wishes to appeal the decision of the committee must make such a request in writing to the associate dean of Methodist Studies. The appeal must be made within ten days of the assistant director and associate dean‘s notification to the student. In the letter to the associate dean, the student must indicate the reasons for the appeal and supply any relevant documents supporting the appeal.

After reviewing the request for appeal, the associate dean may deny the request for an appeal, may render a new decision in the case, or may increase or decrease the severity of the action taken. The associate dean will render a final decision on the appeal and inform the student of his or her decision.

Student Conduct Violations

Student conduct violations consist of but are not limited to the following actions:

  • Dishonesty through misrepresentation or withholding of pertinent factual information in a student’s personal dealings with other students, faculty, or staff of the University or organizations or agencies of the University. This also includes falsification of information for the purpose of registration to the Course of Study School or admission to the Advanced Course of Study program.
  • Infractions of rules and regulations established by any appropriate University authority for the purpose of protecting the interests of the University community.
  • Infractions of public law. Conduct that is the basis for an allegation or charge of violation of public law may also subject a student to an allegation of a student conduct violation. Candler School of Theology reserves the right to proceed with deciding the matter of such an alleged student conduct violation without awaiting the disposition of any criminal charges by a court of law.
  • Actions contrary to the standards of Candler School of Theology and Emory University, including actions that are deliberately demeaning to other human beings or that violate the dignity and integrity of other members of the University.

Procedures for Student Conduct Code Violations

Alleged breaches in non-academic student conduct should be reported to the assistant director of the Course of Study School, who will conduct a preliminary investigation. The assistant director may then appoint an ad hoc committee consisting of faculty and students and chaired by the associate dean of Methodist Studies. If such a committee is appointed, the chairperson will inform the accused person in writing of the charges against him/her, the name(s) of those who reported the charges, and the date, time, and place of the hearing on these charges. The accused will be allowed a reasonable time to prepare a defense and will be granted the privilege of an adviser to be chosen by the student from the Course of Study faculty. The adviser shall assist the student in the process.

In all hearings, the accused will have the right to be present at all times during the hearing except when the committee retires to deliberate and makes its decision. Evidence shall be admitted without regard to the rules of evidence in courts of law. The accused student may present evidence to the committee. After thorough review of the case, the committee will decide whether the accused is guilty or not guilty of the charges. A majority vote of the committee will suffice for a finding of guilt. If the person is found guilty, the committee may recommend one or more of the following actions or such other action as the committee deems appropriate:

  • Issue the student a warning.
  • Place the student on probation.
  • Suspend the student for the remainder of the term.
  • Dismiss the student from school.

Upon review of the committee’s recommendations, the associate dean will take such action as may be deemed appropriate, will notify the student of such action, and may notify University authorities of that action.

Appeal of Decisions Regarding Conduct Violations

A student who wishes to appeal the decision of the ad hoc committee must make such a request in writing to the associate dean of Methodist Studies. The appeal must be made within ten days of the associate dean’s notification to the student. In the letter to the associate dean of the school, the student must indicate the reasons for the appeal and supply any relevant documents supporting the appeal. 

After reviewing the request for appeal, the associate dean of the school may deny the request for an appeal, may render a new decision in the case, or may increase or decrease the severity of the action taken. The associate dean of the school will render a final decision on the appeal and inform the student of his or her decision.

Emory University Discrimination Policy

Emory University is dedicated to providing equal opportunities to all individuals regardless of race, color, religion, ethnic or national origin, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran’s status, or any factor that is a prohibited consideration under applicable law. Emory University does not discriminate in admissions, educational programs, or employment on the basis of any factor outlined above or prohibited under applicable law. Students, faculty, and staff are assured of participation in University programs and in the use of facilities without such discrimination.

Emory University complies with all applicable equal employment opportunity laws and regulations, and follows the principles outlined above in all aspects of employment including recruitment, hiring, promotions, transfers, discipline, terminations, wage and salary administration, benefits, and training.

For issues or questions regarding Emory’s non-discrimination policy, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs, 201 Dowman Drive, Administration Bldg., Suite 305, Atlanta, GA 30322-4250; phone: 404.727.9867; web: http://www.eop.emory.edu/index.html 

Sexual Harassment Policy

Students, faculty and employees of the Course of Study come under the jurisdiction of their own annual conference policies on sexual harassment. However, while the person is at the Course of Study School the following policy shall also apply.

The Course of Study School is committed by Christian faith to justice for all persons and does not tolerate any behavior, verbal or physical, by any person associated with the school, which constitutes sexual harassment against any other person associated with the school. Any person of the Course of Study School community who believes that he or she has been subjected to sexual harassment should immediately report the situation to the assistant director of the Course of Study School. When reporting a complaint, the individual should be prepared to furnish accurate information (i.e., date, name and facts). All such complaints will be treated in a confidential manner to the extent feasible, while permitting the school to investigate the complaint thoroughly and to take appropriate action.

The school expects the cooperation of all members of the school community with respect to avoiding such harassment.

The school will investigate all complaints. If it is determined after an investigation, that a member of the school community has violated this policy, he or she will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action up to and including suspension or termination from the school. In addition, a full report will be made to that person’s annual conference or judicatory body.

Definition of sexual harassment:

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:

  • submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term of condition of an individual’s employment or academic standing; or
  • submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic standing decisions affecting such an individual; or
  • such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or study performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or studying environment.


Racial Harassment Policy

Persons enrolled in the Course of Study come under the jurisdiction of their own annual conference policies on racial harassment. However, while the person is in the Course of Study School the following policy shall also apply.

The Course of Study School is committed by Christian faith for justice for all persons and does not tolerate any behavior, verbal or physical, by any person associated with the school, which constitutes racial harassment against any other person associated with the school. Any person of the Course of Study School community who believes that he or she has been subjected to racial harassment should immediately report the situation to the Director of the Course of Study School. When reporting a complaint, the individual should be prepared to furnish accurate information (i.e., date, name and facts). All such complaints will be treated in a confidential manner to the extent feasible, while permitting the school to investigate the complaint thoroughly and to take appropriate action.

The school expects the cooperation of all members of the school community with respect to avoiding such harassment.

The school will investigate all complaints. If it is determined after an investigation that a member of the school community has violated this policy, he or she will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action up to an including suspension or termination from the school. In addition, a full report will be made to that person’s annual conference or judicatory body.

Definition of Racial Harassment

Any conduct directed against a person with the effect of insulting, degrading or abusing him/her because of his/her racial background.

Procedures

The Course of Study School is committed to using the process outlined below to deal with allegations of sexual and racial harassment within the school community. A sexual or racial harassment allegation may be resolved on an informal basis. Any member of the school community who wishes to make a formal complaint must submit a written description of the incident to the Director.

Allegations are thoroughly investigated by a Sexual or Racial Harassment Committee composed of the Director and two members of the faculty. The investigation shall include a meeting with the person alleged to have engaged in the harassment. The accused and/or the complainant may bring a trusted colleague (other than an attorney), committed to maintaining confidentiality, with him/her to such a meeting.

If the Sexual or Racial Harassment Committee decides inappropriate behavior has occurred, after completing the investigation, the Director takes appropriate disciplinary and/or other action related to the accused person’s participation in the Course of Study School on that campus. In addition, the Director will inform the accused person’s annual conference or judicatory body of the action taken.

The Course of Study School takes steps to ensure that a person against whom such a complaint is brought is treated appropriately and has adequate opportunity to respond to such accusations.

The complainant and the person complained against are notified of the disposition of the complaint. If the disposition involves any ongoing process the Director keeps the complainant informed until the process is complete.

Appeal Process

If the accuser or the accused is not satisfied with the action taken by the Course of Study School, s/he may express such dissatisfaction, in writing to the Director of Board of Ordained Ministry Relations, Division of Ordained Ministry, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, within 15 days after receiving notification of the disposition of the complaint.

Confidentiality

Every effort will be made to ensure confidentiality to the extent feasible, while permitting the school to investigate the complaint thoroughly and to take appropriate action. The school will not tolerate retaliation against any member of the school community who complains of sexual or racial harassment.

Explanatory Notes

If the person alleged to have engaged in sexual or racial harassment is the Director, then the person bringing the complaint shall notify one or two faculty members who serve on the Sexual or Racial Harassment Committee. The two faculty members shall ask the president of the seminary at the host school to appoint an administrative officer to serve as chairperson of the Sexual or Racial Harassment Committee and to function as the Director in the process outlined above.