ONLINE BHAKTI-SASTRI (19)
The term bhakti means “devotion” or “love”, and the term sastri refers to a person who is conversant with ancient sacred texts of spiritual knowledge and wisdom, known as sastra in the Sanskrit language. The title Bhakti Sastri is traditionally offered to accomplished students of the theology and philosophy of the Vedas. According to the Bhagavad Gita, texts that teach how to develop bhakti, love of God, the Supreme Soul Krishna, are the best.
Another option is to postpone the studies for a later date which is also possible only during the first week of the course. For more info on postponing, please follow this link.
After 7 days, if we don’t get any statement from the student, it is considered that s/he has taken the course and refund or transferring is not possible anymore.
Those who need to or want to take the whole course again at a later time can do so after following the second attempt or attendance policy.
Those who started their studies before November 26th 2015 fall within the old refund policies:
If students who sign up for a particular online module or complete program are unable to take up the module due to some unavoidable circumstance, they should communicate with the online course administrator via email. During the first week of any online module it is possible to request transfer to the same module on the next scheduled delivery, free of charge. Changes after seven days are not possible without paying administrative fee of 50% from the tuition fee of a particular module. In general full program payments (Bhakti Sastri) are not refundable since they are discounted.
We will give a 100% refund on cancellations in the first week of the course. We will give a 30% refund if after the first week you decide you don’t want to continue for any reason. After the first week we can discuss a refund, or transfer you to a later course under special circumstances, such as illness. It is our policy to extend the greatest possible flexibility to students under these circumstances.
If a student gives up on taking the module or course for which s/he registered, s/he should inform our secretary latest 7 days from the beginning of the module/course to either get a refund or be transferred to its next scheduled delivery. In case of those who enrolled for full Bhakti-sastri course or combo of courses, a refund is possible only at the beginning of the first module/course from the combo.
After 7 days, if we don’t get any statement from the student, it is considered that student has taken the course and transferring is not possible anymore.
Postponing of a module/course can be made for two consecutive deliveries. In the case of full Bhakti-sastri or combo of courses, this applies to each module/course. After that, new full payment for that particular module/course is required in order to get enrolled in it.
These policies are valid for online courses only. Onsite courses, or those which have an onsite component, have different policies in place.
For any successfully finished online module student can get the printed copy at home address. To get the certificate via snail mail, one should:
- Pay 10 EUR by using the Paypal button below (for bank transfer, please use the bank details available here). If you need more than 1 certificate, kindly arrange the payment with our secretary.
- Fill in the Certificate by post online form.
- Kindly wait for a while: we will arrange that the certificate comes to your address as soon as possible!
At the end of each module student will receive the grade directly from the Bhaktivedatna College administration or sometimes from the tutor. Student should not pay attention to the automatic grades given in the Moodle system.
Students who have to (second attempt) or want to (second attendance) take a course or exam for the second time can do so with the administration fee. The administration fee is 25 EUR for all courses except for the ISKCON Disciples Course and Thematic Bhagavad-gita which is 10 EUR, and Bhaktivaibhava course which is 50 EUR.
If a student is just submitting the missing parts of the assessment, from the moment we confirm the acceptance of the fee the student has 2 weeks timeframe to do it and inform our secretary about it.
This second attempt policy does not apply to students of Introduction to Yoga Philosophy (IYP) course. More info on second attempt policy for IYP course is available in the ‘Assessment and Certification’ section of the module.
IMPORTANT: in the box ‘Special instructions’ on the Paypal payment page you MUST write your BCOC username and course/module name for which you are re-taking the exam.
Unfortunately, we did encounter some cases of plagiarism. In such cases, the student will be requested to take the course again and final mark will be capped at the minimum for passing.
If a student strongly disagrees with the mark assigned by the tutor for any of the components (which are not automatically marked by the system), s/he can ask for the monitoring procedure:
1. another BC tutor in the role of a monitor marks the component and suggests the change to the original tutor
2. if monitor and tutor agree on the mark (new one or the same), that mark is final
3. if monitor and tutor do not agree on the mark, external monitor is invited to mark the component and that mark is final
A student cannot put another complaint about monitor’s or external monitor’s mark as these marks are final.
For extension of the deadline for taking the final exam, a tutor can approve maximum 2 weeks of extension based on reasons student provide in the extension form. It is not possible to give the extension for weekly assessments, but only for final assessment/s. This doesn’t apply to Introduction to Yoga Philosophy course which doesn’t have a final exam, but only weekly assignments. Extension form is available upon request and it should be sent by email directly to the secretary. The extension request must be sent AT LEAST 3 DAYS IN ADVANCE of the deadline.
Requests for an extension are considered by the tutor, who will only grant an extension if there is a good basis for it. Claims should be accompanied by a valid medical certificate or other valid certified evidence. The tutor should agree and confirm the new deadline date for the student by email. Failure to do the final assessment before the deadline calls for the application of ‘Second attempt’ policy.
Examples of Acceptable Evidence in Support of an Extension
Extensions will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. We are unable to make allowances for minor illnesses. You are expected to plan your work and allow leeway to cope with minor misfortunes. Notes/letters from a doctor or nurse stating that the illness/ailment ‘may have an impact’ or which state ‘the patient informs me’ will not normally be accepted as valid evidence.
The tutor will not take account of events such as car breakdowns, public transport delays, and computer breakdowns. For a submission deadline or an exam, you must allow extra time in the case such things happen. It is up to you to back up work on your computer.
One exception is a failure of Bhaktivedanta College Online Campus web-site. However, the failure has to be substantial, very close to the deadline, and documented by our technical department.
Students can face other obstacles while preparing for taking the final exam. If that is the case, it is up to the tutor to decide if the reason given by the student is acceptable for granting the extension or not.
Bhakti Sastri PLUS is an additional degree issued to students who complete all six modules of the Bhakti Sastri program PLUS one module of their choice from the curriculum of our BA in Theology and Religious Studies online year-one program (TRS). The optional modules are:
Introduction to Western Philosophy
History of Vaishnava Thought
Introduction to Hinduism
Encountering World Religions
Theory and Method in the Study of Religion
Modern Interpretations of The Bhagavad-Gita
Introduction to Ethics
One of these TRS modules can be pursued only after all six modules of the Bhakti Sastri program are completed. And if after receiving a Bhakti Sastri PLUS degree the student wishes to continue the TRS program, the passed module will be taken into consideration and the student will be exempt from reassessment in that.
Registration to the complete Bhakti Sastri PLUS can be done here see under “Registration” Tab.
You will find a commitment to providing you with extraordinary convenience, online tools and resources, and the opportunity to achieve your educational goals. You can count on an attractive and challenging curriculum in a supportive learning environment.
On average, we have about two dozen students per class.
The VTE accreditation refers only to the Bhakti Sastri program, not the Certificate in Bhakti-yoga Studies course. The VTE certificate is your official Bhakti Sastri certificate issued by BOEX (the ISKCON Board of Examination). The diploma you will receive from Bhaktivedanta College upon finishing your studies confirms that you have taken the course, but is not the Bhakti Sastri certificate. To receive the Bhakti Sastri certificate you will have to provide a letter of recommendation from one of your local ISKCON representatives, confirming that you chant sixteen rounds, follow the four regulative principles and are positively engaged in Sri Caitanya’s sankirtana mission. We’ll ask you for the recommendation letter and a completed VTE Application Form after you enroll in the course. You also have to take closed-book exams in the ISKCON center nearest you under the supervision of a devotee.
Yes. If you are not interested in receiving VTE accreditation, you can take the course and receive a Bhakti Sastri diploma from Bhaktivedanta College confirming that you have taken the course. You can even do your exams for the VTE certificate later.
Yes. During the procedure for getting it, you will need to provide contact details from a person who knows you well and who can give us a good understanding of your personality.
You’ll be responsible to find a local ISKCON representative who is willing to oversee your “close book” exams as you write them. You need internet and a computer to do the examinations.
Do not worry about technical skills – if you can handle e-mail then you’re ready to go.