Academic Integrity

As DMiss students and faculty, we affirm our commitment to be beyond reproach in our academic work as a reflection of Christian character. We commit to honesty in all aspects of our work. We seek to establish a community that values serious intellectual engagement and personal faithfulness more highly than graded, degrees, or publications.

Each student is required to complete the online tutorial, You Quote It, You Note It, which is part of the New Student Class/Orientation. Completing this tutorial one time meets this requirement for all courses. Students are also expected to review and understand the commitments to academic integrity as printed in the Student Handbook and the Seminary catalog. Some infractions can be addressed by personal confrontation and corrective counsel. Turnitin is a useful tool to help prevent plagiarism.

Fuller's Academic Integrity Policy
Fuller's Community Standards

Grading Thresholds

In our continued efforts to improve the doctoral experience, to provide healthy and forthright evaluation, and to ensure both academic and spiritual integrity within the DMiss program, the following grading thresholds have been established:

MB769: Research Design [Module 1] Threshold

  • A student who earns a grade of B or B - in the Module 1 course MB769: Research Design, will be reviewed by the DMiss Committee and considered for dismissal from the program.

Courses Throughout the DMiss Program Threshold

  • A student who earns a grade of B or B - in any DMiss course will be placed on Academic Probation.
  • A student who earns a second grade of B or B - will be reviewed by the DMiss Committee and considered for dismissal from the program.
  • A student who earns a grade of F in any DMiss course will be reviewed by the DMiss Committee and considered for dismissal from the program.*

*This F-specific grading threshold will take effect with all cohorts launching in the winter 2015 quarter and beyond.

DMiss Grade Scale

Coursework Completion/Extensions

Given that Module courses are designed to be completed in a 37-week term, and that the DMiss program has a 7-year degree completion deadline, a student experiencing extenuating circumstance may petition for and be granted extensions lasting no longer than 1 term (37 weeks). Failure to successfully complete a Module within this 37-week limit will result in a failing grade for any course(s) in the Module not completed.

Students are reminded that anyone who earns a grade of F in any DMiss course will be reviewed by the DMiss Committee and considered for dismissal from the program.


Beginning Spring 2016, in order to maintain active status in the DMiss/DIS program, students not on a formal, approved LOA+ must either

  1. register with their cohort in the next module courses or
  2. register for MX796 continuation

This requirement includes students whose approved extensions preclude them from registering forward with their cohort. *

Continuation Registration: $250 for a 37-week term. Students may register for no more than two consecutive continuation terms.
Students who do not join a cohort at the end of two consecutive continuation terms will go inactive.

Inactive Status: Students can only be inactive in the program for 1 year (12 consecutive months).
A student may "reactivate" within that 1 year time period.
To reactivate the student would be required to

  • submit a petition to join a new cohort
  • submit a program completion plan
  • submit an essay regarding the period of their inactivity
  • pay the current "reactivation" fee of $250

Re-activated students' programs would be subject to current program policies and requirements at the point of reactivation (degree completion limits, grading thresholds, etc.)

Students who do not "reactivate" by the end of that year will be terminated from the program. Terminated students would need to re-apply to the program.

+ Students must petition to take a one-year leave (granted for extenuating circumstances). If the petition is not granted, the student would need to register for continuation in order to stay active in the program. Leaves are not granted beyond one year. A student needing more time that this would register for continuation, go inactive, or be encouraged to withdraw. Program withdrawals should be done via a formal letter to the DMiss Committee.

*Students seeking to join a new cohort after being granted a course extension that precludes them continuing with their cohort, would be granted a one regular term grace quarter at the end of the continuation term to give a full year for these students to find an appropriate reinsertion point. Eg. A fall student most likely would join back with a fall cohort: Continuation term = Fa,Wi,Sp + Su grace term and register with new fall cohort.

Dissertation Continuation

  • DMiss students who find that they are not finished with their dissertations after their Module 4 will register for MX794 Full-Time Dissertation Continuation (0 units) in the next such term after their Module 4 ends for a fee of $250. Students may register for MX794 only one time. Students in this term will be considered full-time students.
  • DMiss students who are unable to successfully defend and complete their dissertation beyond the end of the MX794 37-week term will be required to register for MX796 DMiss Continuation (0 units) in each successive non-overlapping 37-week continuation term, for a fee of $250, as long as they are still in the program, are not finished, and have not gone beyond the seven-year limit for degree completion. Students in MX796 will be considered less than half-time enrollment students.
  • Students will be allowed to register for these DMiss Continuation terms until they complete their dissertation, or until they have reached the 7-year limit for degree completion, whichever is reached first.

As of Spring 2016: Students in Dissertation Continuation who do not register for consistent continuation will become Inactive.

A student can "reactivate" within that 1 year time period.
To reactivate the dissertation continuation student would be required to

  • submit a program completion plan
  • submit an essay regarding the period of their inactivity
  • pay the current "reactivation" fee of $250

Dissertation Continuation Students who do not "reactivate" by the end of one 12-month period (1 year) will be terminated from the program and would need to reapply to be admitted, in order to continue toward program completion and graduation. This may include submitting a petition beyond the 7-year degree completion limit.


  • During the Full-Time Dissertation Continuation term, students with qualifying federal student loans are eligible to receive an in-school deferment. Fuller, if required, will report full-time enrollment status and, if the student meets all the other federal requirements, their loans can be deferred. In addition, because students will retain full-time enrollment status during the Full-Time Dissertation Continuation, they remain qualified to live in Fuller student housing.
  • Students who have not completed their dissertation after this first continuation term must continuously register for MX796, DMiss Continuation (non-overlapping terms) until they either complete the degree or reach the 7-year limit for degree completion. Failure to register for continuation will mean the student's status becomes inactive. Per above, the student must then "reactivate" his/her status in order to continue toward degree completion. Failure to reactivate the status will result in termination from the program.
  • Students registered for DMiss Continuation (MX796) will be reported as less-than-half-time, which will not allow for an in-school deferment of their federal student loans. While they may be able to qualify for a different deferment option; that matter shall be between the student and their lender/government. In other words, a student could potentially get a deferment, but enrollment at Fuller would not be the warrant for such.

Defense Attendance/90-Day Deadline/Degree Completion

Defense Attendance

DMiss students are expected to be present on campus for the defense of their Contextualized Applied Research Dissertation (CARD). Only in extenuating circumstances, and in close consultation with their professor, should a student be allowed to defend their dissertation from afar via video conference. In such cases, the student will be fully responsible for ensuring successful participation in the defense. Rationale:Given that the DMiss is a collaborative program done in the midst of a cohort community, with peer critiques of the dissertation being integral to the process, students should be present for DMiss dissertation defenses.

90-Day Deadline

Mentors will review dissertations prior to the defense to determine if a student is ready to defend by the cohort defense date (determined by the cohort).

In cases where the student is not ready to defend, the time will become a "consultation" for that student. The student will be given 90 days post consultation to submit a defendable dissertation. The student will also be required to register and pay the fee for a continuation term. Once the dissertation is deemed defensible, the Mentor will work with the student to determine a suitable date to defend their dissertation.

At the conclusion of the committee decision after the defense, candidates who successfully defend their dissertations may be asked to make major or minor revisions before receiving final approval. These candidates will be given 90 days post defense to submit their final, edited dissertation to their dissertation Mentor for final clearance. These students will not be required to register for continuation when they meet the 90-day deadline.

Candidates who are unsuccessful in defense of their dissertations will discuss with their committee the best way to proceed.

Editing of the dissertation must be completed within the 90-day deadline. All DMiss students are required to employ professional editing services after successful defense of their dissertation and after the dissertation Mentor approves all final, required changes. Students must use an editor from the "Approved DMiss Dissertation Editor List" which can be obtained from the DMiss Coordinator.

7-Year Limit for Degree Completion

In order to ensure that a degree, when granted, represents education that is reasonably focused (not acquired a little at a time over an unreasonably long period of time) and current, requirements for a degree must normally represent credit earned within a certain period of time. For the Doctor of Missiology, this period has been set at seven (7) years.

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