Life Experience Credits at Biblical Life College & Seminary
Understanding Life Experience Credits
What is Life Experience Credit or Credit for Life Experience Learning? Dr. John Bear defines it this way:
“The philosophy behind ‘credit for life experience learning’ can be expressed simply: Academic credit is given for what you know, without regard to how, when or where the learning was acquired.” 
To put it in ministerial terms, a minister can obtain classroom knowledge via actual experience in the local church setting.
There are several different ways to obtain advanced standing credits. They are:
• Life Experience Credits: Based upon an evaluation of ministry, credit and non-credit education, taped teaching series and accomplishments. Maximum credits allowed for LEC’s are 30 semester credit hours at the undergraduate level and 8 semester credit hours at the graduate level (Master’s only). No life experience credit can be given at the doctoral level.
• Experiential Learning Exam: (Undergraduate Level) This exam allows us to determine the knowledge that you have gained through experiential learning. It also provides valuable information on “gaps” in your educational journey. We use this information to aid in the design of your course work to finish up your degree program. This insures that your education is thorough and well-rounded.
• Challenge Exams: (Graduate Level) If you have a significant number of years in ministry (12 or more), you may challenge certain graduate level courses. You will be allowed to take the final exams for these courses. If you receive a grade of 85% or higher, you will be awarded credit for that course. Any score below 85% will require you to take the complete course.
The individual must be at least 30 years of age and have been in full time ministry (30 hours a week or more) for a minimum of five (5) years as a licensed or ordained minister.
Regardless of the amount of life experience, experiential learning or challenge credits a student receives, 25% of the degree requirements must be completed through course work at BLCS.
How to Apply
Along with the Application for Enrollment in this catalog is the Advanced Standing Evaluation Form. This form should be mailed in with your enrollment application, and to include all requested documentation. The Registrar’s Office will inform you of their findings within two weeks to include a proposed schedule of study to complete the degree program.
Challenge Exams - Graduate Level Only
Another way of obtaining advanced standing at the graduate level is challenge exams. If you feel that through self-study and experiential learning you have learned what you would have by taking a class, you may challenge that class. To successfully challenge a class, you must pass a challenge examination written specifically for that class. If you receive 85% or better on the exam, you will be given full credit for the class.
If you have had books published that correspond with subjects within the degree program you have enrolled into, you may submit the book to gain credit toward your program. The following rules apply:
• The book must be a minimum of 100 pages in length.
• The book must not have been submitted for credit toward any other degree from another school.
A Final Word About Life Experience Credits
Be careful of schools that give away excess LEC’s, regardless of who they are accredited with. You are there to learn, not just to quickly score credits on a fast track to a degree. The role of biblical education is to allow you to “become” the man of God you were destined to be, not just to “acquire” a degree. Acquiring is not the same as becoming. Remember Jesus and the fig tree? You can acquire leaves, but only through becoming can you develop fruit.
 Bear, John Ph.D. Bear’s Guide to Earning Non-Traditional College Degrees - 10th Edition. Page 63. Published by Tenspeed Press.