Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress

In addition to all CTS academic requirements, recipients of Federal Stafford Loans and Federal Work-Study funds must meet the following standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in order to establish and maintain eligibility for assistance from these programs.


  • Successful pace is defined by completion of at least 67% of all coursework attempted. Pace is measured by dividing the cumulative number of hours successfully completed by the cumulative number of hours attempted.
  • Attempted coursework is defined as any course in which a student is enrolled at the end of the 100% refund period.
  • Successful completion of coursework is defined as receipt of a grade of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, or P if a course is taken as pass/fail.
  • Unsuccessful completion of coursework is defined as receipt of a grade of F, I, or W.
  • Successful completion of coursework for the Doctor of Ministry Programs is defined as B- or higher in all courses applied toward the degree.
  • Repeated coursework is counted only once toward completion of academic progress requirements.
  • Credit hours officially accepted in transfer and specifically applied toward a student’s degree program are counted as both attempted and completed hours.
  • Repeated coursework is counted as many times as the course is repeated in the computation of total hours attempted.
  • Courses that are assigned an incomplete grade are included in the cumulative hours attempted but cannot be used as credits earned toward progress standards until a successful grade is assigned.

Maximum Timeframe for Degree Completion

The time limit for completing degree requirements and minimum cumulative GPA requirements are as follows:

Degree Program Maximum Time to Complete Degree GPA
Master of Divinity 7 Years 2.5
M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy 6 Years 2.7
M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 6 Years 2.7
Master of Theological Studies 6 Years 2.7
M.Div./M.A. in Marriage & Family Therapy 9 Years 2.7
M.Div./M.A. in Mental Health Counseling 9 Years 2.7
M.Div./M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 9 Years 2.7
M.Div./Master of Theological Studies 9 Years 2.5
Doctor of Ministry 6 Years 3

SAP Reviews

  • Satisfactory Academic Progress will be reviewed after each Spring Semester. Financial aid already offered for the following enrollment period(s) may be canceled if academic progress is found to be unsuccessful during this review.
  • If progress is determined to be insufficient during the review process students will be suspended from receiving future federal student aid. Students will receive written notification when placed on financial aid suspension.
  • Students who are placed on financial aid suspension and terminated from receiving federal financial aid can appeal to be reinstated. See the section below for appeal information.

Financial Aid Eligibility Termination Appeal Process

A student who wishes to appeal the termination of financial aid eligibility will be required to submit a written appeal to the Director of Financial Aid. The written appeal must be specific in describing the factors that caused the financial aid suspension and should explain what changes will be made that will allow you to meet standards.

Appeals may be based on the following circumstances:

  • Personal medical condition impeded progress; written statement from student’s health care professional or other documentation required.
  • Death or life-threatening medical condition of immediate family member; written statement from health care professional or other documentation required.
  • Student experienced extraordinary situation or problem which necessitated professional intervention to overcome; statement from health care professional or other documentation required.
  • Other extenuating circumstances prevented achievement of academic progress; documentation required.

The Director of Financial Aid will review all appeals and provide a written statement as to the disposition of the appeal.

Students whose appeals are accepted will be placed on financial aid probation. If Satisfactory Academic Progress is not maintained while on financial aid probation, financial aid eligibility will be terminated and no further appeals will be allowed.

A student may file only one appeal of financial aid termination status.

Reestablishing Financial Aid Eligibility

If satisfactory progress is not made during the semester while on probation status, a student may regain eligibility by bringing both the cumulative GPA and pace requirements up to the minimum standards outlined in this policy.