Directions for Completing an STM Exam
Once a pastor has completed all 24 credits required for the STM, the pastor can indicate to his STM advisor that he wishes to complete his STM by writing a final STM exam. All credits for the STM need to be completed before the test is written since no STM credits are awarded for writing the exam.
Once a pastor has completed the 24 credits needed for the STM degree, and has indicated to his STM advisor his intention to pursue the written exam as the final requirement for the degree, his advisor will prepare a study guide from a selected set of the courses the pastor has taken during his pursuit of the STM. A majority of the courses selected for review in preparation for the test will be from the area of concentration that the pastor has chosen for the degree.
As this preparation for the test begins, the advisor and the pastor will also agree upon a date for the exam to be written. It is important to keep in mind that the test must be written at least 45 days prior to the WLS graduation service if the pastor wishes to receive his STM as part of that year’s graduation service.
If the exam is to be written on campus, the STM advisor will ordinarily serve as the proctor for the test.
If distance makes it difficult to travel to Mequon to write the exam, the pastor, in consultation with his STM advisor, would seek to enlist someone in his area who could serve as proctor for the exam. The pastor would provide his STM advisor with all the pertinent contact information for his selected proctor. The STM advisor would supply the proctor with the exam as well as provide a postage paid envelope to the proctor to return the completed exam to the seminary.
The test itself will be a selection of questions taken from the study guide. The pastor will have up to 2 hours to complete the writing of the test. Everything needed to complete the exam will be provided with the exam. There is no need to come with anything other than the writing instruments he wishes to use for taking the exam.
Once the test has been written and received by the STM advisor, the advisor distributes the test answers for grading to the professors who taught each specific course from which a question had been included on the exam. The STM advisor then receives back from those instructors their individual grades on the questions from their courses. The advisor is responsible for combining those grades into a single cumulative grade. While the test papers themselves are not returned to the pastor, the STM advisor does report to the pastor the cumulative grade received. A grade of B- or better is required for the STM exam to be considered as having been successfully passed. When an STM exam has been successfully passed, the STM advisor also takes care of informing the faculty and continuing education department of the successful completion of this final step of the STM.
If an STM exam has not been successfully passed, the pastor can choose to repeat the exam one time in order to successfully complete it. He may also request feedback from those who graded his exam for where he needs to strengthen his preparation.
A graduation fee of $25 is assessed once the test has been successfully completed. The STM advisor will also inform the pastor that the STM diploma will formally be awarded at the WLS graduation service and will invite the pastor to participate in that service to receive his diploma. For those who because of distance or schedule are unable to attend the graduation service, the diploma will be mailed.