Trinity Evangelical Divinity School


Credit for Prior Learning

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) at Trinity: Save Time, Save Money, Gain College Credit

Trinity offers a variety of ways for students to earn college credit for learning acquired through life experiences. This learning may have been acquired through professional/job endeavors, ministry/church activities, personal or family events, or education in unaccredited settings. Students demonstrate their learning in the following ways:

  • Life Learning Papers (LLP)
  • Business and Professional Training (BPT)
  • Credit by examination through CLEP and DSST
  • ACE-assessed credit for military training
  • Advanced Placement (AP) credit from high school

The following questions and answers provide a basic introduction to PLA at Trinity:

Who do I talk to about PLA?

If you are a prospective student, talk to your Admissions Representative. If you are a current student, talk to your Student Advisor. Trinity offers PLA workshops each semester.

What is the limit for PLA credit?

Trinity will grant a maximum of 82 credits for prior learning and/or transfer credit.

What is a Life Learning Paper?

Students write Life Learning Papers (LLPs) to demonstrate college-level learning acquired through life experiences apart from formal training. This can include learning from a variety of settings – including one’s family, work, church, community, and travel abroad.

What is Business and Professional Training (BPT)?

Students document their Business and Professional Training (BPT) to demonstrate college-level learning acquired through non-transcripted training experiences, such as corporate training.

What is CLEP/DSST?

The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) is a widely accepted credit-by-examination program – offering tests in a wide variety of subject areas. More information can be found at DSST (formerly DANTES Subject Standardized Tests) are credit-by-examination tests administered by the military but open to civilians. More information can be found at

What is ACE?

The American College on Education (ACE) evaluates military and professional training programs, determines the level of learning, and recommends the amount of credit that should be granted. More information can be found at

How much does PLA cost?

CLEP, DSST, and ACE credits are charged by and paid to those organizations; Trinity does not charge a transcription fee for these credits. LLPs and BPTs are charged per credit hour – saving students over 80% compared to standard tuition rates. PLA does not count towards one’s academic load, and therefore it is not eligible for financial aid.