Getting Credit

Getting Certificates and CEUs

There are many ways to use the courses in Exploring the Bible: The Dickinson Series.  Some just want to take the courses for their own enrichment.  If that's you, there's nothing extra you need to do.  Find a group, buy the book, and go.  You will get a Certificate of Participation from your group leader when you finish each course.

But some want to push themselves to really dig into the material and see those efforts rewarded with a Certificate of Biblical Literacy.  Still others want to be able to earn Continuing Education Units for their work.  Here are the various types of credit available to you:

Certificate of Participation

Students who take a class with a group on an informal basis and attend at least 4/6 sessions will receive a Certificate of Participation for that particular course.  Your group leader should download the certificate for whichever course you took, fill it out, and give it to you during the final class session.  If you did not receive it, you can download it yourself from the Forms page and bring it to your group leader to sign.

Group leaders do not have to be formally registered with us to issue the Certificate of Participation.

Please note that Certificates of Participation cannot be used to apply for the Certificate of Biblical Literacy or for CEUs.  You will need to do the Extra Mile work and receive a Certificate of Completion for that.

Certificate of Completion

Those wanting formal credit for their study will need to do the Extra Mile work as outlined in each Student Text and attend 5/6 sessions to receive a Certificate of Completion for a particular course. You must do the course with a group led by a registered group leader to receive a Certification of Completion.

To get your certificate, either you or your group leader will need to fill out the Application for Certificate of Completion (which can be found on the Forms page) and submit that to  You can also send it to us in the mail.  We will then send a signed certificate to the person submitting the application. 

The Certificate of Completion is not valid unless it is signed by both the Massachusetts Bible Society and your group leader.  The group leader must be registered with us by taking one of our Learn to Lead workshops or by filling out the Application to Lead Groups for Credit.  If you group leader is uncertain about this, the For Leaders section of this website and the document Expectations and Requirements for Leading a Group for Credit should help.

Those wanting the full Certificate of Biblical Literacy will have to submit copies of their Certificate of Completion from each of the three courses as part of their application.  The informal Certificates of Participation do not count for this.

Certificate of Biblical Literacy

To maximize your learning and receive recognition for your extraordinary effort, you want a Certificate of Biblical Literacy.  Here's how to get it:

  1. Take each of the three courses with a group that has a registered group leader.  These should ideally be taken in order and you should only take one course at a time.
  2. Do all of the Extra Mile work for each course (described in the Student Text at the end of each session) so that you earn the Certificate of Completion.  You need to end up with three of these, one for each course.
  3. Attend one additional educational event.  (See below)
  4. At some point during the above, you must enroll in the program.  (See the Enrollment Form on the Forms page.)
  5. Submit the Application for Certificate of Biblical Literacy (available on the Forms page)

Once we have approved your application, you will receive your Certificate of Biblical Literacy.  Congratulations!

You can read the full description of this certification process here. 

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

Doing the Extra Mile work for these studies may qualify you for CEUs with your professional organization. We are happy to provide you with a certificate detailing the number of hours represented by a given course so that you can obtain CEUs from a professional organization or other group that might require them.

Educational Event

In order to qualify for the Certificate of Biblical Literacy, you will need to attend some kind of educational offering on a biblical topic outside of your class and outside of your own faith tradition (if any).  This could be something as brief as a lecture or a workshop, or something more extensive like a conference or class.  In some cases an online class of this nature may count.  Educational events sponsored by the Massachusetts Bible Society will count for this, but with participants in Exploring the Bible all over the world, we recognize that it is not possible for many of you to attend our local functions.  Any event that has opportunities to go in-depth with biblical topics will count. There is a place to describe the event you wish us to consider on the Application for Certificate of Biblical Literacy.

The purpose of this requirement is to expose you to biblical interpretation and scholarship beyond the material in these courses and the perspectives of your particular group.  Therefore we are more likely to accept a class or conference that has opportunities to hear from those outside your own denominational or faith tradition. 

So, for example, let's say you're a Baptist who has taken the courses with a registered group in your own church.  Attending a Baptist conference or a class at a Baptist school that has only Baptists presenting information will not be acceptable in your situation.  Somewhere in that litany of classes and groups you need to show that you have left the Baptist (or whatever the tradition) bubble and heard directly from those with a different perspective.  We're not picking on Baptists here--the same holds true for any denomination or faith tradition.  If it's all one perspective from start to finish, we're going to ask you to find something else.

Fees and Timetables

You can do the classes informally and even do the Extra Mile work and receive Certificates of Completion without paying a dime beyond the cost of the materials. 

The only students who will ever have to submit an Enrollment Form and pay a fee are those seeking the Certificate of Biblical Literacy.  Beginning on July 1, 2015, that fee will be $150 (scholarships are available).  

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