Recognition of Prior Learning

Validation for the Life-long Learner


What is RPL?

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process of identifying, documenting, assessing, and recognizing what a person knows and can do, related to a specific purpose.  At Providence Theological Seminary, this process will allow adults who have learning that is Bachelor of Arts equivalent to enter studies at the graduate level. 

RPL is NOT: 

  • Credit for experience.  Seminary admission will only be granted for learning, not merely experience.  RPL Applicants will need to be able to demonstrate that they are currently competent in the skills and abilities expected of someone who has graduated with a Bachelor of Arts.

  • Credit for cash.  The fee charged for an RPL Application is used to pay the administration staff and the faculty assessor.  It is non-refundable, regardless of the success of the application. 

  • A degree for experience / proof of learning.  Providence will not issue a Bachelor of Arts based on an applicant's RPL Assessment.  If the applicant is successful, admission to the seminary will be granted without a BA.

An RPL Mindset

Providence Theological Seminary respects all forms of learning and acknowledges that adults learn from a variety of sources and experiences outside the classroom.  University-level learning is valuable even when achieved outside the usual academic environment.  In this context, Providence Theological Seminary aims to provide an accessible yet fair and rigorous process for assessing the prior learning of mature students seeking admission without a Bachelor of Arts or a GRE Score.  Providence recognizes RPL credit on a case-by-case basis if the individual's learning has reached the range and depth of knowledge and skills expected of a student who has completed a Bachelor of Arts (see the BA Learning Outcomes list in the Resources section of this page).  By recognizing prior learning, Providence aims to enhance the student's educational goals and assist in her/his academic development.  While providing this opportunity, Providence reserves its mandate of ensuring that appropriate academic standards are maintained.

The RPL Process

The RPL Process is outlined in detail in the Resource Guide.  The following is an over-view of the procedure.

Step 1: Pre-entry / Initial Advising

  • Explanation of Providence RPL process and policy
  • Identification of BA Learning Outcomes
  • Self-assessment
  • Completion of RPL Application Form and payment of RPL Process Fee

Step 2: Portfolio Development / Evidence Collection

  • Group workshops with personalized assistance
  • Gathering information / documentation
  • Sorting, compiling information / documentation
  • Formatting finalized portfolio

Step 3: Submission of Portfolio for Assessment

  • RPL Assessment Forms are added to portfolio
  • Portfolio is sent to Faculty Assessor(s)

Step 4: Results of Portfolio Assessment

  • Applicant is notified of results by Registrar's Office
  • Appeals process (if necessary)
  • Continuing guidance from the RPL Office as required

Frequently Asked Questions

Who qualifies for RPL? 
RPL Applicants are adult learners with significant life and work experience that translates to university-level learning.  In accordance with our Mature Student Status policy, an adult learner will be 30 years of age or older.  Applicants will need to be able to prove that their skills are current and that those current skills are equivalent to the list of BA Learning Outcomes.

How can I access RPL?
Providence has an RPL Coordinator who will help applicants at all stages of the RPL process, from general inquiries to portfolio development and submission.  Contact Janice Rempel to make an appointment.

How much will RPL cost?
The RPL process requires a fee of $995 (effective Sept 1, 2017) to pay the administration staff and the Faculty Assessor. This fee is subject to change, and it is non-refundable.

How long does RPL take?
RPL requires a significant time committment, as applicants must compile a portfolio / evidence collection that demonstrates they possess skills equivalent to those of a Bachelor of Arts graduate.  It will likely take you 3-6 months to prepare your portfolio, depending on how much time and effort you can devote to it.  It will take us 2-4 weeks to assess your portfolio once you submit it.

Can I appeal my RPL assessment?
RPL assessments can be appealed. See page 17 of the Resource Guide for the appeals process.


Use these links to access documents relavent to Providence Theological Seminary's RPL program.

Use the following links to access information relevant to RPL in Canada.

Who We Are

Email or call us in the office at 1-800-668-7768. We would be happy to talk with you and answer any questions you may have!

Heath Holden
Vice President for Student Success & Registrar

Janice Rempel
Associate Registrar (Distance Education)

Betty Shore
Associate Registrar - Records


10 College Crescent
Otterburne, Manitoba, Canada, R0A 1G0
Phone: (204) 433-7488 or (800) 668-7768
Fax: (204) 433-7158
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