The Congregational Christian Church of Samoa is for the first time checking criminal records when screening new students for the church's Theological College.
The chairman of the Elders Committee or Komiti a le 'au Toea'ina, the Reverend Elder To'ese Peleti To'ailoa, revealed the decision after screening 17 new students.
He says during the four-year period of studies, church leaders had found that some of the students they had accepted had criminal records.
The health of students is also being taken into account.
The chairman says physical work can be quite heavy for students, and those with possible heart problems must be cleared by a medical report.
The church has also decided to adopt a zero-tolerance policy for students found drinking alcohol.
Previously, students found drinking were suspended for two to three years, but the Reverend Elder To'ailoa says the termination of studies is now the only option.