Prepare for the Exams
Incoming M.Div. students are required to show entry-level competency in Old Testament, New Testament, Christian Doctrine, Greek and Hebrew.
|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|
|Greek||Pass the ELCE with a 70% or higher||Take Greek online or in residence during Summer or Fall Quarter|
|Hebrew||Pass the ELCE with a 70% or higher||Take Hebrew in residence|
Students who have shown competency in Hebrew will get to substitute two exegetical elective courses for their required Hebrew I and Hebrew II courses.
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.
Deadline to take the competency exams for Winter and Spring incoming-accepted students is six weeks before each quarter begins; and Summer and Fall incoming-accepted students is August 1. All requests must arrive to the Admission Office at least four weeks before the deadline to take the exams. If you do not pass one or more of these exams by the deadline, you will be automatically registered for the corresponding course(s). Exams can be taken 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.
Fundamental Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic
This new volume contains both fundamental biblical Hebrew and Aramaic.
The fundamental biblical Hebrew is organized in a manner that facilitates learning and serves as an easy-to-use reference tool, including vocabulary, morphology and syntax. While it serves as a basic Hebrew textbook and grammar for the purpose of theological study, it is useful for college, university and seminary courses, as well as a desk reference for pastors engaged in the study of the Bible in its original language.
Fundamental Greek Grammar – 3rd Revised Edition
Revised to include typographical corrections, this linguistically and educationally sound third edition is a first-year textbook that gives a solid overview of New Testament grammar and vocabulary. This book takes a fundamental approach, moving “from the known to the unknown,” from the easy to the difficult.
The format helps students with little background in classical languages grasp the essentials of translating and interpreting Greek.
Find these great resources at: CTSFW Bookstore.