Graduate Studies Diploma

The Graduate Studies Diploma program offers students an excellent foundation for a lifetime of lay, marketplace, or bi-vocational ministry. Its customizable core allows an individual to acquire only the skill or knowledge they may need to bring Gospel-centered transformation to their particular ministry context. This makes the program perfect for those who seek formal bible, theology or ministry training, but don’t require a master’s degree to advance in their practice. Of course, credits from the Graduate Studies Diploma may be transferred easily to fulfill the first year of a master’s degree if the need for additional training arises.




Reduce This!



Graduate in as little as one year



30 credits online


San Jose
Seattle (up to 28 credits)



What Sets Our Training Apart?

  • Students around the world can complete the entire program online, thanks to Western Seminary Online campus
  • An “Open Track” option allows a student to create a training experience that is as nuanced as their call to ministry


Specialize Your Education

Increase the relevance of your training by tailoring it to your ministry context. Choose a specialization from the list below, or work with an advisor to build a specialization all your own via the Open Track:

  • Bible and Theology Specialization
  • Ministry Specialization
  • Women's Transformational Leadership Specialization
  • Open Track

Accessible Scheduling

The Graduate Studies Diploma may be completed in one year’s time through conventional courses on any of our campuses, or by completing some studies at the Seattle Teaching Site in addition to final studies at any degree-granting campus. Students who live at a distance may also complete their training without the need to relocate or leave their ministry context through the following scheduling options, though their completion timeframe may be extended:

Monday SCHEDULE OPTION Complete your training in one day of class on campus per week.
HYBRID MINISTRY SCHEDULE OPTION Complete 4 credits of on campus coursework in just one week per semester.
Online Courses Take all 30 credits online with support from Western faculty. Take your choice of over 80 courses.

Admission Requirements

  • A Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited undergraduate institution
  • A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • A completed application for admission and all admissions materials

If an applicant does not meet one of these requirements, we invite them to contact an enrollment counselor to explore alternative Graduate Studies Diploma admission options.

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I came to Western to pursue a GSD in Pastoral Care to Women. It was a “next step” for me as a Director of Women’s Ministry, but it became so much more. It was a life-line, a refuge, a grace-filled place where I became healthier spiritually and emotionally. This practically equipped me to continue my pastoral work with women, ministering with greater effectiveness.

Sandi PhillipsGraduate Studies Diploma GraduateVancouver, Washington