The seminary offers certificate options for students who choose to complete a focused course of study alongside another degree, instead of a full degree, or, for non-baccalaureate students, as preparation for entering a degree program. In the later case, the seminary recognizes the value of its educational programs for certain persons who have not completed a college degree but who can benefit from graduate-level studies by reason of age maturity and significant experience in Christian ministry. Maturity of age will be evaluated on a case by case basis but is generally understood as at least 35 years of age. Significant ministry experience is interpreted to mean five years (or its cumulative equivalent) of multi-faceted church-related ministry. The fulfillment of these criteria would be expected at the point of enrollment in the seminary.
While the certificate program is not a degree program, the student participates in course work as a regular student. The minimum amount of study required for a certificate is 24 semester hours. (At least 12 semester hours of course work must be taken in residence. See residency requirements .)
The certificate program has three options:
- Certificate in Ministry Leadership – intended for persons who have been serving in the pastoral ministry and desire a year of leave for personal enrichment and development of pastoral competency
- Certificate in Theological Studies – recognizes the value of theological study for persons in other ministry roles or in any vocation who desire a more informed faith
- Certificate in Theology for Peacebuilding – intended for those who want to integrate biblical and theological perspectives into their peacebuilding studies
In the three certificates offered above an advisor will assist the student in the choice of courses appropriate to the student’s interests and needs. Courses selected should reflect a balance of the various disciplines of study.
If a student without a college degree successfully completes a certificate program and wishes to continue in seminary studies, application may be made for acceptance into a degree program on condition that the person have a GPA of 2.50 or above. The seminary will accept a limited number of such applications each year into any of the degree programs except the MAR program.