Eastern Mennonite Seminary

Certificate Program

Who should consider a certificate?

The certificate is a good study option for those with one of the following goals:

  • students have would like to complete a focused course of study along side a full-degree in another discipline.
  • students who would like to enrich their ministry in a particular area like spiritual direction or chaplaincy, or gain a broad base of basic knowledge in the disciplines of seminary.
  • students who do not have an undergraduate degree but wish to obtain a seminary degree.

Certificate Information

General theological certificate: 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 will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis but is generally understood as at least 35 years of age. Significant ministry experience is means five years (or its cumulative equivalent) of church-related ministry. These criteria must be fulfilled for enrollment in seminary courses. While this program is not a degree program, the student participates in course work as a regular student. Twenty-four credit hours of study are required for the general theological certificate. At least half of this coursework must be taken in residence 

A student in this certificate program who wishes to pursue a graduate seminary degree may apply for the Master of Divinity or the Master of Arts in Christian Leadership, upon successful completion of 21 hours of credit with a minimum GPA of 3.0. The student should meet with their advisor for a formative conversation, after which the advisor will prepare a degree candidacy recommendation for faculty consideration. Degree-seeking status will be conferred after faculty approval is gained. A limited number of students may be accepted in any year into seminary degree programs.

Certificates for Those Without an Undergraduate Degree

The following are requirements for those without an undergraduate degree who wish to enter a degree program:

  • Must be at least 35 years of age
  • Must have at least 5 years of ministry experience (this could include lay ministry)
  • Only for certificate in theological studies or certificate in ministry leadership

Upon completion of 24 credits hours with a GPA of 2.5 or higher the credits earned will be applied toward a master of divinity or master of arts in church leadership degree. Students without an undergraduate degree will not be accepted into the master of arts in religion degree.

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