Prepare for the Exams
Incoming SMP students are required to show entry-level competency in Old Testament, New Testament, and Christian Doctrine.
|Area||Exam Option||Alternative Option|
|Old Testament||Pass the ELCE with a 70% or higher||Take online Old Testament course.|
|New Testament||Pass the ELCE with a 70% or higher||Take online New Testament course.|
|Christian Doctrine||Pass the ELCE with a 70% or higher|
These exams are requested at the time of admission and must be taken and passed within one year of matriculation into the program. However, it is best to get these exams done before the first class begins in the Fall. Some districts require that these be taken and passed before the SMP application is forwarded to the seminary.
Requesting the Exams
Once you’ve been accepted, complete the Request Form for Competency Exams and return it to the Registrar’s Office.
How many times can the exams be taken and is there a deadline?
You may take each exam no more than three times. You must wait a minimum of three days after taking an exam before you can take it again. During this time, you are welcome to take other exams for other content areas.
You may begin taking the ELCE’s once you have been admitted or at least one year prior to the year in which you intend to enroll.
ELCE Study Resources
The primary study resources for passing the Entry-Level Competency Exams are the Bible and Luther’s Small Catechism. To assist you in your study, the following series of books are ESSENTIAL reading. Each book contains the information you will need to know on the exam. Each chapter includes review material that will help you check your comprehension.
Click the book covers below to be taken to the publisher’s website where you may buy these books.
Called To Be God’s People: An Introduction to the Old Testament
This book is ideal for Christian adults who seek to expand their knowledge of the background, content and message of the Old Testament and its importance for Christian faith and life. It not only introduces important background information on each book of the Old Testament along with a general discussion of its contents and theology, but it also contains analyses of major passages within the Old Testament. Key terms, study questions, a glossary, a gazetteer of Old Testament people and places, maps, tables, charts and sidebars make this book a useful and handy reference as well as a textbook. This book is your guide to passing the Old Testament qualifier.
Called by the Gospel: An Introduction to the New Testament
Christians who seek to deepen their grasp of the New Testament will find within its pages helpful and challenging insights. This book builds upon material presented in the first volume of the series, Called to be God’s People, and supplements its contents with maps, photos, suggested readings, discussion questions and a glossary. This book is your guide to passing the New Testament qualifier.
Called to Believe: A Brief Introduction to Christian Doctrine
This book is ideal as an introductory text for university or advanced high school students and for other Christian adults who seek to expand their knowledge of God’s revelation and its application in human lives. It introduces and uses classic theological vocabulary and terminology, while offering clear definitions and application. Key terms, study questions and a glossary help make this a valuable resource. Suggested readings from Scripture and secondary sources guide the reader into deeper study.
Called to Believe, Teach, and Confess: An Introduction to Doctrinal Theology
This book is ideal as a text for university students and other educated Christian adults who seek to expand their knowledge of God’s revelation and its application in human lives. It introduces and uses classical theological vocabulary and terminology, while offering clear definitions and application. Key terms, study questions, glossary and sidebars help make this a valuable resource. Suggested readings from Scripture, the Lutheran Confessions and other secondary sources guide the reader into deeper study. Together these two books will prepare you to take the Doctrine qualifier.
Find these great resources at: Wipf and Stock Publishers