Formal and Informal Graduate Study

Our graduate study policies apply to formal study.

Formal study is defined as any kind of graduate coursework undertaken by a staff member using hours that would normally be spent in ministry. These policies do not apply to informal study.

Informal study is defined as any coursework undertaken by a staff member on his or her own time. Examples of informal study might involve taking a night class at a nearby school on your own time, taking an independent study course from one of our seminary partners, etc.

What distinguishes formal study from informal study is the context in which coursework is undertaken: formal study involves the use of ministry hours for coursework while informal study is carried out completely on a staff member’s own time. Any type of formal graduate study requires organizational approval. Qualifications to apply for graduate study status are outlined in the Graduate Study Policy document, which can be downloaded below. 

Three Types of Formal Graduate Study

Three kinds of formal study exist within our Graduate Studies Program:

Each of these modes of graduate study requires formal organizational approval by HRL.  (Note: Meeting the qualifications for graduate study does not mean you will automatically be given permission to pursue graduate study.  It simply means you are qualified to apply.  Specific polices related to each of these can be found in the graduate studies policy document.)

 Graduate Studies Policy (Note there are two versions)

Download Graduate Studies Policy (All US Ministries)   
Download Graduate Studies Policy (Campus Ministry)

Steps to Apply for Graduate Study Status

  1. Download and carefully read the grad policy document.
  2. Discuss your interest in graduate study with your LDHR leader (or Theological Development Leader if this role exists in your ministry).
  3. Download and submit application materials. (Do not submit any application materials without first talking with your LDHR leader).
  4. The LDHR leader will notify you of his/her decision.