Any one of our 53 courses can be taken at your own convenience. Whether it's an L.Th for ministry, or a course or two for interest and knowledge, we can fit serious part-time courses around anyone's lifestyle, anywhere in New Zealand. The course content is rich, the fees are modest, and there are no travel requirements. There is no time like now to pursue your interest in studying with EIDTS
EIDTS' Theology by Correspondence is part-time study for prospective ministers and theology enthusiasts.
In order to enrol as a candidate for the LTh Diploma, a person must have:
An applicant over the age of twenty one years may be granted a provisional qualification for entrance to the courses, which will be confirmed when the candidate has passed at least two papers for the LTh within a two year period. Application for such entrance must be made through the Academic Registrar.
Enrolment as a candidate for the LTh or any of its courses must be made on the prescribed form, which is included with this handbook or may be obtained from the Academic Registrar. Courses may not be commenced later than 31 March in any year, unless by arrangement with Academic Registrar and Tutor. Students wishing to take more than five papers will need to apply in writing to the Academic Committee for permission to do so.
Enrolment as a student in any course with the Ecumenical Institute of Distance Theological Studies remains provisional until an enrolment form is completed and the fees paid.
Any changes to student home addresses, email addresses or telephone numbers after enrolment should be advised as soon as possible to the Academic Registrar and to the tutor/s concerned.
The Ecumenical Institute's fees are determined annually by the Board and are set out in the publicity material. A student becomes liable for all fees on the date of enrolment. This liability for fees is not reduced in any way if the student does not start the course or complete all the work.
Fees to be paid with registration unless by arrangement with Academic Registrar.
Formal withdrawal from a course of study with the Ecumenical Institute of Distance Theological Studies must be made in writing to the Academic Registrar.
The effective date of withdrawal will be the date on which the Academic Registrar receives such written advice.
The final withdrawal date for courses which will entitle the student to any refund of fees and charges will be four weeks after the commencement of the course.
Any request for refund of fees and charges associated with a withdrawal from a course must be made in writing to the Academic Registrar within four weeks of the commencement of the course. Applicants must advise reference number and date of the receipt.
A formal withdrawal after the time allowed for above will not entitle the student to a refund of fees and charges. The only application for refund of tuition fees which will be considered later than the given dates will be one arising from medical reasons or exceptional circumstances recognised as such by the Institute.
Except in the case of courses cancelled by the Ecumenical Institute, an administration fee of $10 will be deducted from every refund.
Approved refunds will be made by cheque to the party making the original payment, and will be mailed to the last officially recorded address within six weeks of receipt of the refund application.
If any course is cancelled for any reason, fees and charges will be refunded in full. On request any such payments may be credited towards the fee for another course or courses. Where a student has completed part of a year and has to withdraw consideration will be given to a request to hold the course fee over until the following year.
Forms of assessment for LTh may vary from course to course. Most courses will be internally assessed through assignments or essays. Language papers will be assessed by written work completed during the year to form 50% of the total mark and the other 50% to be gained by sitting a final examination.
Some courses will be offered and assessed through other designated and approved institutions or organizations.
All assignments will be marked by the tutor and moderated by a degignated assessor.They will be graded with an A, B, C, D, together with a +/- where appropriate. A grade of C- or above constitutes a pass. In some courses assessment may include a residential school and at least two pieces of written work.
Assignment work submitted later than the specified date shall incur academic penalty unless an extension has been granted by the tutor.
Work for assessment is to be mailed to the tutor with a self addressed envelope for return. The tutor will mark the essay and then forward it to the assessor for checking. It will then be returned to the student.
Students need to keep a copy of each assignment as occasionally work is lost in the mail.
Assessment for all papers ends by 15 November unless otherwise indicated in the Course Unit Outline, or allowed for by arrangement with the tutor and the Academic Registrar. If an assignment is not completed by this date it may only be accepted for inclusion in the final assessment where there are exceptional circumstances and with the agreement of the Academic Committee.
Application for this special consideration should be made through the Academic Registrar.
Where students request extension of time they shall:
(a) if the extension is for an assignment, contact the tutor to negotiate this. Where the tutor has some concern regarding the reason given by the student or where repeated requests have been made by the same student then the matter may be referred to the Director for a decision.(b) if the application is for an extension of time in order to allow the student to complete the course beyond the final course date then an application must be made in writing to the Academic Registrar who will consult with the Director for a decision.(c) if the student seeks to have their course completion postponed to a subsequent year then the Director shall refer the matter to the Academic Committee for a decision.
For courses which include a written examination such examinations are held annually, in late October.
Up to 30 minutes extra time will be allowed to candidates for whom English is a second language.
Students will be informed in writing of the outcome of their studies in early December each year.
Following the reception of their results candidates may request that their marked script be returned to them. Such requests should be made to the Academic Registrar by 28 February and are to be accompanied by a large stamped, self-addressed envelope.
Any student may apply in writing to the Academic Registrar within four weeks of receiving their results for a reconsideration of their final grade. The reconsideration will normally consist of re-marking and re-counting of the final examination script and/or a recount of marks awarded for assignments. A fee of $40.00 is to be paid at time of application.
Aegrotat passes may be granted only to students whose work can be assessed on other grounds. The Institute is not bound to grant a pass in every case.
The applicant should have gained an average of at least C+ (60%) during the year.
The following general principles apply:
a) To be eligible for an aegrotat or compassionate pass, a candidate must:
i.) Be suffering from the effects of the illness or other misfortune on the day of the examination(s) in question.
ii.) Have fulfilled all requirements as a student in the unit or subjects affected.
iii.) Attempt the examination if at all possible
iv.) Forward a letter of explanation, together with medical certificate, to the Registrar within one week of the examination(s) affected having taken place.
b) Eligibility for award of an aegrotat or compassionate pass depends on:
i) Academic performance: To recommend an aegrotat or compassionate pass a student's tutor must be able to certify that:
(a) the work done during the course of instruction has been well above average, or(b)
the work during the course of instruction has not been above average but, after taking into consideration the year's work the candidate is clearly worthy of a pass.
ii) Medical or other evidence: The medical or other evidence submitted must be sufficient to make it clear that either the candidate was unable to attend the examination(s) or the candidate's performance was impaired at the time of the examination.
Candidates should note that if they have an average, or below average record during the year they cannot be recommended for an aegrotat or compassionate pass unless they attempt the examination(s).
Cross credits towards an LTh Diploma may be gained in accordance with the following provisions.
a Where a candidate for the LTh already possess a degree or diploma which includes religious or theological subjects, the candidate may apply for up to four (4) cross credits towards the LTh.
b Where a candidate wishes to transfer to the LTh from an incomplete degree or diploma in religious or theological studies, the Academic Committee may grant up to six cross credits to appropriate LTh courses. It is not the intention to hereby allow a candidate to do an LTh concurrently with another theological degree (e.g. BD or BTheol). It is the intention of this regulation to allow a student to change from doing a an equivalent degree or diploma to doing an EIDTS LTh.
c Where there are no parallel LTh courses which may be granted as equivalents, the Academic Committee may grant credits from previous religious or theological studies for up to two unspecified courses in the appropriate areas.
d The cross credits will be awarded simply as a "Pass"(P) but grades will be recorded should a student later become a candidate for and LTh Honours Diploma.
Applications for cross credits must be made through the Academic Registrar and should be accompanied by written proof that the papers have been passed and indicating the content and level of the course.
The Ecumenical Institute of Distance Theological Studies has an agreement with the University of Otago Department of Theology and Religious Studies whereby:
a) a student who has completed an LTh will be granted unspecified credits towards a BTheol degree,
b) where a student has passed designated LTh courses with a grade of B+ or above specified credit may be given toward BTheol papers. This will be granted only for specified subjects and at an agreed ratio.
Further information may be obtained from the Academic Registrar or on application to the Academic Secretary, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Otago, P.O.Box 56, Dunedin (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Diplomas and Certificates are awarded annually.
The academic dress appropriate for the Licentiate in Theology is an undergraduate gown, or graduate gown suitable to the degree(s) held by the students with a hood made of black stuff, of the same shape as that for the Durham MA, with a 5cm strip of purple silk on the inside edge.
Scholars in Theology may wear a hood of the same shape, but lined with white silk, with a 7.5cm strip of purple on the inside edge.
EIDTS collects and stores information from the enrolment form to comply with the requirements of The Ministry of Education, The New Zealand Qualifications Authority, Department of Work and Income, and Inland Revenue. The Institute will observe the general conditions governing this information, as set out in the Privacy Act 1993.
Students studying from their own homes, or sites of their own choice, will be responsible to see that those premises comply with all requirements under the Health and Safety regulations.
Where Residential Schools and other activities are arranged by the Ecumenical Institute then the Institute will be responsible to see that those premises and facilities comply with all requirements under the legislation.
Complaints arising from matters relating to enrolment, provision of study material, assessment or academic results should be made in the first instance to the Academic Registrar. Where a student has a complaint about a course this should be made in writing to the Academic Registrar. This may be referred to the Director.
If a resolution is not reached then the complaint shall be referred to the EIDTS Academic Committee. If it is not dealt with to the satisfaction of the initiating party then it may be referred to the Board.
All documents relating to complaints will be held in a locked filing cabinet in the administration office.
Where external moderation is required this will be arranged through the appropriate committees of the participating churches/church bodies.
A complainant may choose at any time to refer their complaint to the NZQA for an opinion or for determination.
All students and staff are expected to treat each other with respect and dignity, and without prejudice or discrimination.
Should any student or staff member be the subject of a breach in this policy, or be subjected to harassment or abuse of any nature then that should be reported to the Director immediately. Should the Complainant wish to proceed to a formal Complaint a Complaints Officer will be appointed to investigate the Complaint and will report to the Academic Committee who will determine the case and decide upon any appropriate disciplinary action.
Should the Complainant not be satisfied by any determination of the Academic Committee an appeal may be made to the Board.
In the case of a Complaint against the Director or Academic Registrar the matter should be reported directly to the Board Chairperson.
Should the Complainant not be satisfied by any determination of the Academic Committee an appeal may be made to the Board.
The Complainant, or Respondent, may at any time choose to consult with the NZQA for advice in these matters or may choose to have the Complaint referred to the NZQA for an opinion or for determination.
NZQA may be contacted on Freephone 0800 724 357, or on the website: www.nzqa.govt.nz/for-learners/rights/complaints.html
In response to the legal requirement as laid down in Section 236A of the Education Act 1989 the Ecumenical Institute holds all fees in a separate Trust Account to ensure that there are sufficient funds to refund any students who withdraw during the four week withdrawal period, or should the Institute be unable to deliver any courses in full or in part.
In the event that the Institute could no longer operate as a teaching Institution the Trustees - the member churches - would take responsibility to ensure that all students would receive a refund for any tuition which remained undelivered. Care of the students and ensuring their ongoing learning would be the first priority.