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Frequently Asked Questions

about the Vilatte Theological Institute

Updated:  06/07/2011

Contact vts-admissions@ecc-usa.org for clarification and/or additional questions.

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Accreditation

 

Is the Vilatte Theological Seminary accredited by an accrediting agency?

 

Tuition Assistance

 

Does the seminary accept tuition assistance payments from the military or other employer program?

 

Affiliation 

 

Do I have to be a member of the Ecumenical Catholic Church+USA to take courses at the Vilatte Theological Seminary?

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Is the Vilatte Theological Seminary affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church?

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Do I have to be a Christian in order to study in the Vilatte Theological Seminary?

 

Transfer Credit

 

Does the Vilatte Theological Seminary accept transfer credits from other Bible colleges and seminaries?

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Does Vilatte Theological Seminary Credit Hours transfer to other seminary or university programs?

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How many transfer credits will Vilatte Theological Seminary accept?

 

Residency

 

Is there a residency requirement for your degree programs?

 

School Year 

 

When do semesters begin for Vilatte Theological Seminary?

Is there a time limit for completing courses?

How long does it take to complete the Courses of Study?

 

Costs

 

What do courses cost per credit hour at Vilatte Theological Seminary?

 

Internet Courses

 

Briefly describe how the Vilatte Theological Seminary Internet based education works.

 

Degrees

 

Does the VTS offer advanced degrees?  Give details.
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Do I need to have a Master degree before I begin work on a doctorate?

 

 

Is the Vilatte Theological Seminary accredited by a accrediting agency?

No. The Vilatte Theological Seminary (VTS) is a denominational, theological seminary.

Although VTS has been approved  by the Missouri Department of Higher Education to operate in the State  of Missouri as an exempt proprietary educational program pursuant to Subsection 173.616.2 RSMo, it does not have accreditation from the Missouri Department of Higher Education nor from any of the regional accreditation agencies for Higher Education.

We hope to apply someday for accreditation as an academic institution of higher education, however, we just can not meet those stringent  requirements at this time.  While such accreditation would certainly add to the prestige of our VTS program and enable us to award fully academic degrees (such as M.A. and Ph.D.), it is not necessary for our goal of providing a sound education in the sacred sciences of Theology, Scripture, Liturgy, Homiletics, and Ministry Development and Management for our students.  Further, students in our program are now able to earn the theological degrees of Master of Divinity (M.Div.)  and Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.).

 

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Does Vilatte Theological Seminary Credit Hours transfer to other seminary or university programs?

Students who may wish to transfer credit from Vilatte Theological Seminary (VTS) to another institution should carefully check with this other institution to be sure it will accept VTS credit in transfer.  VTS makes no representation whatsoever in this matter.  Determining the transferability of VTS credit hours to another institution is solely the student’is responsibility; he/she should check with the published policies of the institution and his/her academic advisor at that institution.

 

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Does the seminary accept tuition assistance payments from the military or other employer program?

Yes, the Vilatte Theological Seminary (VTS) would accept tuition assistance payments from the student, employer or the military.  However, the requirements of employer and military payment or reimbursement can be very specific and may require regional academic agency accreditation. VTS makes no representation whatsoever in this matter.  Determining the eligibility of VTS credit hours for employer or military payment or reimbursement is solely the student's responsibility; he/she should check with the published policies of his/her employer and the human resource department of that employer.

 

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Do I have to be a member of the Ecumenical Catholic Church+USA to take courses at the Vilatte Theological Seminary?

No, however, since the course of studies is focused on preparing ministers and laypeople for leaderships roles in Old Catholic and Independent Catholic traditions, it is expected that students have been part of or at least are open to that religious orientation.  If a student is not of the Catholic Faith tradition, it will be necessary for the student to provide a convincing argument on why the course of study or a degree in the Catholic Faith would be approrpriate for his/her ministry.  Courses are taught from the viewpoint of a person having the Catholic Faith as his/her core religious belief; it is not intended to become a debate on the rightness or incorrectness of Catholic core values.

 

 

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Is the Vilatte Theological Seminary affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church?

No. the Vilatte Theological Seminary (VTS) is not in any way associated with the Roman Catholic Church.   VTS is a ministry of the Ecumenical Catholic Church+USA, an independent Old Catholic church.  

 

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Do I have to be a Christian in order to study in the Vilatte Theological Seminary?  

No, however, since the course of studies is focused on preparing ministers and laypeople for leaderships roles in Old Catholic and Independent Catholic traditions, it is expected that students have been part of or at least are open to that religious orientation.  If a student is not of the Catholic Faith tradition, it will be necessary for the student to provide a convincing argument on why the course of study or a degree in the Catholic Faith would be approrpriate for his/her ministry.  Courses are taught from the viewpoint of a person having the Catholic Faith as his/her core religious belief; it is not intended to become a debate on the rightness or incorrectness of Catholic core values.

 

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Does the Vilatte Theological Seminary accept transfer credits from other Bible colleges and seminaries?

Yes, the Vilatte Theological Seminary (VTS) will accept transfer credits from approved institutions.  An approved institution is either accredited by a regional accrediting agency, recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or an unaccredited institution recognized by VTS as providing quality theological training. It is our policy not to have a student repeat coursework that was successfully completed at another institution; it is also our policy to be generous in accepting transfer credit.   In some cases, the student may be asked to supply course syllabi and major projects or papers for review by the appropriate faculty.  Contact VTS's Admission Office to determine if the institution(s) that you have attended is/are approved.

 

 

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How many transfer credits will Vilatte Theological Seminary accept?

There is no specific number of credits which will be accepted in transfer by Vilatte Theological Seminary (VTS). It is our policy not to have a student repeat coursework that was successfully completed at another institution; it is also our policy to be generous in accepting transfer credit.   However, for degree programs, at least 18 credit hours must be completed in the VTS program. 

 

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Is there a residency requirement for your degree programs?

No, there is not a residency requirement for degree programs in the Vilatte Theological Seminary (VTS).   Since the VTS program is an Internet based program, most program content and activities are handled through Internet communication.   Students in ordination programs, however, as required to attend practicum courses either just preceding the Church's annual Synod/Retreat or in a local congregation depending upon the specific course requirements.   Attendance and participation at the Graduation Ceremony, which is held at the annual Synod/Retreat when certificates and degrees are awarded, is optional. 

 

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When do semesters begin for Vilatte Theological Seminary?

Being an Internet based program, the Vilatte Theological Seminary (VTS) does not operate on the traditional semester or quarter system.  Learning is self-paced by the student under the direction of the VTS instructor for each course.  As soon as the student status has been determined by the receipt of transcripts from other institutions, transfer credit determined,  and the application process completed, coursework can begin.  Credit hours are awarded as courses are completed.  

 

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What do courses cost per credit hour at Vilatte Theological Seminary?

See the Vilatte Seminary Catalog for the current fee schedule.

 

 

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Briefly describe how the Vilatte Theological Seminary Internet based education program works.

Once the student and the faculty advisor determine a course of studies, the student and advisor select the initial course(s) and study begins.  Each course's syllabus is the guiding document for course content, activities, and evaluation.   

The course syllabus lists the books and other materials needed for the course.  The student may purchase books and materials from the sources listed on the syllabus or any other source available to the student.

After an assignment is completed, it is sent to the instructor by email attachment.  After it is corrected, the instructor returns the assignment document with comments, suggestions, a request for re-do, or the grade for the document/activity.  There are usually several assignments for each course and there is usually a final exam or other summative evaluation for the course.  The final grade is based on activity grades and the final evaluation grade.  Course work and course grades are 5 (Excellent); 4 (Superior); 3 (satisfactory); 2 (marginal) or  1 (unsatisfactory).    A course grade of 2 or 1 indicates that course objectives have not been completed and necessitates repeating a course that is required in a particular course of studies.

After course work is completed and tuition is paid, the Seminary Registrar records the grade and credit hours on the student's transcript.  A copy of that transcript is then emailed to the student.

Anytime the student has questions related to a course, he/she may contact the instructor by email or telephone. 

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Does the VTS offer advanced degrees?  Give details.

Yes, the VTS offers two advanced degrees:  the Master of Divinity and the Doctor of Ministry. 

(Click HERE for details on the M.Div. program)

(Click HERE for details on the D.Min. program)

 

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Do I need to have a Master degree before I begin work on a doctorate?

“Is it necessary to finish the Master degree before I can work on the Doctorate?” The quick answer to this FAQ is “no”, however, remember that the Doctorate requires that you have completed 64 credit hours (or its equivalent) and the doctoral dissertation is much more rigorous than the Master project. When the writer attended Saint Louis University in Counseling Education, we had the option of completing the Master degree after finishing 32 hours of coursework, or, if we were going to pursue a doctorate in counseling, we could skip the Master thesis, complete the required doctoral coursework, and then do the doctoral dissertation. We were cautioned that there were many people out there who begin, but never finish their doctoral dissertation. They were called “ABD”s (All But Dissertation). People from this group who decided to skip the Masters thesis ended up with no degree beyond their Bachelors.

 

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Is there a time limit for completing courses?

Yes, there is a time limit for courses. In order to maintain the continuity of instruction for both the student and the instructor, students are expected to complete each course within 45 days of beginning the course. However, if the students has not finished the course in 45 days and requests an extension before the 45th day, a 30 day extension will automatically be granted. Due consideration will be given to extenuating circumstances; however, no course will be extended beyond 90 days. Courses not completed beyond the above schedule will be recorded as a "Withdrawal" on the student transcript.

 

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How long does it take to complete the Courses of Study?

We would expect a focused and dedicated student to complete the 32 credit hours course of studies for a deacon in one year and the 32 credit hour course of studies for the presbyter in a second year of study. Research and writing for the M.Div. and D. Min. degrees would add another four to twelve months each.

 

 

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©  Vilatte Theological Seminary, 2011