Online Campus Orientation
Welcome to Western Seminary!
New Student Guide
We exist to equip people like you who desire to make a difference, and we’re excited to help you prepare for strategic kingdom impact. Please know that our staff and faculty are available to assist you each step of the way.
This New Student Guide has been designed to help orient newly-admitted students to campus life at Western. Please set aside about 15 minutes to carefully review it before attending the on-campus Orientation. We believe that the information we have provided you throughout the guide is essential to your success as a Western student – which leads us to require that everyone read it before registering for classes. If you have other questions or would like further assistance, please feel free to call the Student Services office at (503) 517-1800 and one of our team members will be happy to help.
Provided you have been admitted, upon completion of this guide you will have the opportunity to receive a PIN and register for classes online.
Thank you. And again, welcome!
Your Role as a Student
Our Student Handbook includes all of the important policies and procedures that relate to student life at Western -- from academic information, to guidelines for conduct and character, to special student programs and benefits. It's available online and we ask that you familiarize yourself with its contents. You'll find it on the students handbood page, listed in the menu on the right side of the page.
Our primary means of communicating with you will be via email – confirming your registration in a class, letting you know about a course schedule change, sending the Portland campus newsletter, or responding to Financial and Academic petitions. Please plan to check your account often. If you change your email address while attending Western, please let us know right away. If you don’t have an email address and need help creating an account, let us know and we’ll be happy to help.
Forms You Need to CompleteAs a student at Western, you must complete and submit the following forms. If you’ve already completed these forms, you are not required to submit them again. Please bring your completed copies to our on-campus Orientation or mail them to us, attention Mitra Motlagh, at Western Seminary, 5511 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Portland, OR 97215.
- Student ID Card Your student ID card will allow you to check out books with our partner libraries and receive student discounts at local businesses.
- Authorization to Release Information To protect your privacy, we will never release information about your grades, registration, or student account balance without your advance written permission. If you anticipate that a spouse, employer, or other party may have a legitimate interest in your student records during the course of your studies, please submit this form so that we can work with them accordingly.
- Advanced Standing and Transfer Credit Request Our degree programs are designed to provide comprehensive Bible and theology training for students, starting from the basics and building toward advanced concepts. If you graduated from a Bible college or transferred from another graduate school, you may apply for Advanced Standing or Transfer Credit within your first semester at Western Seminary. If you think that your educational experience qualifies you to do so, please let us know right away – we don’t want you to miss the deadline.
Registering for Classes
Upon admission, each new student is matched with a staff or faculty member who will serve as his or her academic advisor. You’ll find his or her name listed in your admittance letter. Your advisor serves as your advocate and primary source of academic, spiritual and emotional support during the course of your studies at Western. Please plan to talk with your advisor each semester before registering for classes to check in regarding your degree program progress and discuss scheduling options. While we have designed on-campus Orientation as an opportunity for you to meet your advisor, you are welcome to contact him or her now to discuss your goals, program of study, and classes to take first. If you need help scheduling an appointment, please feel free to contact us at 503-517-1900.
Classes to Take First
If you register for something now, and your advisor later indicates that it would be better to change your course selection, you will be able to do so at no charge. Drop fees are waived during your first semester of enrollment. More information about our courses is available at the end of this guide.
Course schedules for the entire academic year are posted on our website. Refer to course schedules to learn which classes are available for audit, where each class will be held, whether or not a particular course has a prerequisite, and the schedule for each course we offer. Course schedules are subject to change, and regularly updated on our website. This can be found under the right menu tab called, "Online Campus Courses".
How to Register through the Student Information System
What can I do through the Student Information System (SIS) online?
- Add and drop classes
- Pay tuition
- Check grades
- Update your personal information in our records (address, email address, phone number, etc…)
To access SIS, go to our website and click on the link at the top right-hand corner. You will need two numbers to access SIS: your student ID (the six-digit number which you received in your admittance letter) and a PIN, which you will receive upon completing this New Student Guide. The first time you log in to SIS, you will also be prompted to answer a challenge question, which will allow you to re-set your PIN in the future, should you forget it.
To register for classes, enter your student ID and PIN and click on “Registration.” Select “Portland Campus” (or “Online Campus” for online courses). Select the semester for which you want to register. Take a moment to read through the notice regarding add and drop fees and requesting registration changes. Then click on “I Have Read the Above” to proceed to registration.
Courses are listed in alphabetical order. To register, simply click on the course ID, and then indicate if you would like to register for credit or audit (if applicable). You will be automatically returned to the main screen, where your courses will be listed. Please click on the button labeled “Submit for Approval” to send a notification email to your advisor. This allows him or her to approve your registration and complete the process. You will be notified via email once your courses have been approved.
You must click “Submit for Approval” after adding each new class in order for the registration to be processed.
Once you’ve registered for classes, please download and review the course syllabi for each of your classes. Many of our courses will require that you have already read material or completed initial coursework before the first day of class.
You can find required textbooks on your course syllabi. We recommend that you purchase your books online. Websites like Amazon.com often enable you to purchase your books at discounted rates.
Please be aware that should you decide not to enroll in a class or should your book requirements change, you will be responsible for returning your books. Expenses for textbooks are typically $450 per semester for the first year and approximately $350 per semester for subsequent years.
Tuition is due in full by the end of the first week of classes.
Should you wish to learn more about a monthly tuition payment plan or financial aid, please refer to the reference links at the end of this guide.
The Purpose of On-Campus Orientation
Our on-campus Orientation is designed to provide you with the most important information you’ll need to know to successfully embark on your studies at Western. During fall and spring orientation, you will have an opportunity to meet President Randy Roberts and hear firsthand his vision for the seminary and prayer for you as a student. At all of our orientations, you will meet other students in your degree program and learn how your specific program has been designed to equip you for ministry. You will learn about the distinctive elements of your program and have your questions answered. Finally, you’ll receive some academic advising and gain an overview of your first year and beyond.
Our Staff: We're Here to Help You
Now that we’ve provided you with a general overview of seminary life, we invite you to contact us directly to answer additional questions or provide further assistance. Don’t know where to start? Feel free to call the office at 503.517.1900 and we will be happy to connect you with the appropriate staff member.
Thank you for completing our New Student Guide!
Please call Hannah Hayes to receive your PIN and register for classes. Her direct line is 503.517.1833.
Please review the following links to see which resources may be of interest to you.