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INTERNATIONAL/ECUMENICAL STUDENT ADVISOR:
INTERNATIONAL/ECUMENICAL STUDENT SEMINARY LIAISON:
Vice President for Student Affairs and Vocation
During the first week of September international students should bring their passport to the Director of Financial
Aid so that their visa can be checked. We are required to abide by the United States Governments requirements
regarding the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).
The Academic Dean must approve the program of study for the fall and spring terms for international students.
PROGRAM OF STUDY AND COURSE WORK LOAD
The United States government requires that all international students take a full load of academic work while they
are studying in the United States. At Austin Seminary a full load consists of four courses in the fall and spring terms.
International students may fulfill this requirement by combining courses for full credit and for hearer’s credit.
An international student may drive an automobile (not commercial) in the State of Texas as long as he or she has
in his or her possession a current legal license for driving from his or her home country. The international student
must also have the required automobile insurance. Texas law requires that liability insurance be carried on all
automobiles. The student may drive with his or her home country license for one year (12 months) in the State of
Texas. The year begins with the date of entry. If you are in Texas longer than one year, you must obtain a Texas
Any ecumenical student who has permission from the United States government to be employed while in Austin
and wishes to drive a car must have a Texas driver’s license within thirty (30) days after arrival in this state. This can
be accomplished through the Department of Public Safety, 5805 North Lamar Blvd., 424-2600. Call first for
information. If you have any questions about driving a car in the state of Texas, please ask them before you drive!
Non-immigrant international students are not allowed to accept employment without permission from the United
States Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service, San Antonio, Texas. Only in rare cases, where
need is clearly demonstrated and such employment will not deprive a United States citizen or resident alien of
employment, are the officials in the Immigration Service willing to grant permission for non-immigrant international
students to work off campus.
Any request for permission to work must be made through the international student advisor at Austin Seminary.
TRIPS TO MEXICO or CANADA
Do not make plans to go to Mexico or Canada without first checking with the Registrar concerning visas, etc. Rules
and regulations for crossing international borders and then returning to the United States change from time to time.
Travel into either Mexico or Canada without the proper paperwork could seriously jeopardize your status as an
international student in the United States.
For Students And Their Families
Austin Seminary provides a counseling program for students and their families. Our experience has shown
that such a program has great value, enabling significant achievements in self-understanding and in helping a person
cope with the varied pressures to which a seminarian is exposed in their roles as student, spouse, parent, citizen,
friend and candidate for ministry.
Members of the Seminary’s faculty and staff are always available to students and their spouses for
counseling. From time to time, however, problems are encountered or questions raised which seem to call for
consultation with professionals outside the Seminary community. When this occurs, the Seminary stands ready to
mediate such a relationship and to aid with the financial costs involved.
We are fortunate in having contacts with professionals who are prepared to work with seminarians and their
spouses as needs arise. They include representatives from the fields of clinical psychology, psychiatry, spiritual
direction and pastoral counseling. The Seminary will aid the student or spouse to identify the type of resource which
seems most appropriate in any given case.
In the Austin area there are numerous professional counselors and services. The Vice President for Student
Affairs and Vocation is happy to explain options, make referrals and write letters of authorization after consultation
with a student.
The fees charged by these professionals vary. The student or spouse, however, should expect to pay 10%
of any one-hour individual or group counseling session, with the Seminary paying a portion of the remainder.
In order to secure the Seminary’s subsidy, the student or spouse should contact the Vice President for
Student Affairs and Vocation. If the Vice President for Student Affairs and Vocation is unavailable, the Academic
Dean can be contacted. After permission to proceed is granted, the student or spouse initiates contact with the
counselor while the Vice President for Student Affairs and Vocation writes a letter authorizing the counselor to bill
the Seminary for its share of the counseling sessions. The Seminary will subsidize counseling sessions up to a total
cost (for all sessions) of $200. When this unit of Seminary subsidy has been used, permission should be sought
before proceeding with further counseling. The counselor bills the student or spouse for his or her share and the
Seminary for its share.
Efforts are made to guard the privacy of persons participating in this program and confidentiality of all
conversations are safeguarded, not only as a professional, but also as a personal and sacred trust.
In addition to the administrative officers mentioned above, only those persons whose official relationship
to the finances of the program or whose official responsibility for student welfare places them in a “need to know”
position will be aware of student or spouse participation. It is expected, furthermore, that normal canons of
confidentiality and professional ethics will prevail where the relationship with a given counselor is concerned.
It is impossible to answer, in such a brief description, every question which might arise about this program
and the options within it. The Vice President for Student Affairs and Vocation and the Academic Dean encourage
anyone with a question or suggestion to drop by for conversation.
The Care Team serves as a consulting, advising and facilitating body in support of the work of the vice
president for student affairs and vocation other administrative offices and committees, concerning the care,
support and advocacy for students and their families in difficult situations. The Care Team is not a disciplinary
The President appoints the Care Team annually. Ordinarily the Care Team is made up of the vice president for
student affairs and vocation, the vice president for business affairs, the associate dean for master’s programs,
and two faculty members.
Individuals may refer him or herself to the Care Team, or the referral may be made by an administrator, a faculty
or staff member, any member of the Care Team, a spouse or other family member, a pastor or denominational
body, another student, or the Faculty Committee on Student Life/Standing. Referral to the Care Team may be
made either in person or in writing.; a faculty member, administrator or staff member; any member of the Care
Team, a spouse or other family member; a pastor or denominational body; another student; or the Faculty
Committee on Student Life/Student Standing. Referral to the Care Team may be made either in person or in
The Care Team may make referrals to whatever type of on-campus service(s), mental health professional(s) or
community service(s) the situation may warrant. The Care Team members for the 20009-2010 academic year
are: Jackie Saxon (firstname.lastname@example.org), Kurt Gabbard (email@example.com), Allan Cole
(firstname.lastname@example.org), and David Jones (email@example.com)..
GROUP SPIRITUAL DIRECTION
Individuals at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary are offered through the Office of Student Affairs and
Vocation an opportunity to participate in weekly Group Spiritual Directions. Groups are facilitated by a trained
Groups consists of 5-8 individuals
Meeting time is 60 minutes
Commitment is to be present and participatory within the group
Confidentiality within the group is critical
The purpose and intention is to listen to the direction of the Spirit within the lives of these
participants and support their commitment to being attentive on a more consistent basis.
If you are interested in participating or forming a group, please contact Jackie Saxon or Deborah Butler in
the Office of Student Affairs and Vocation.
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