The Graduate Studies Certificate Program

OFFERED ON THE ONLINE, PORTLAND, SACRAMENTO AND SAN JOSE CAMPUSES
AND AT THE SEATTLE TEACHING SITE

Program Objectives & Requirements

Western Seminary offers the short and flexible Graduate Studies Certificate (GSC) program for individuals who require limited and focused theological training to enter a ministry role or for personal growth and development. Since these credits could also be subsequently applied to diploma or degree programs (depending upon the specific curricular requirements of each), the GSC is suitable for those who wish to enroll in seminary without making the commitment required for longer programs. GSC students are able to select the discipline in which they will take most (or all) of this coursework.

The program may be appropriate for:

  • Ministry directors and staff in a local church;
  • Mission personnel in professional and non-professional roles who seek formal biblical, theological and missiological training;
  • Christian school educators who need to further their education in biblical and theological studies;
  • Laypersons and marketplace leaders who desire to deepen their preparation for effective lay ministry;
  • Individuals who need a “trial year” in seminary to better define their vocational aspirations;
  • Spouses of Western students who wish to participate in some aspect of their spouse’s education.

Students who wish to pursue this type of program, but on an enrichment (non-credit) basis, should take the Advanced Studies Certificate offered by the Online Campus.

Admission Requirements

Students entering the certificate program for credit are expected to present a baccalaureate degree and give evidence of Christian faith, character, promise, and maturity. The same admission standards, materials, and procedures as for the M.Div. program are required. Applicants who seek admission, but who do not meet admission requirements, may seek special consideration from the Admissions Committee.

Transfer Credit

The Graduate Studies Certificate degree requirements cannot be met with transfer credit or advanced standing.

Residence Requirements

Of the 16 credit hours required for the Graduate Studies Certificate program, all 16 credit hours must be completed through coursework at any of the Western Seminary campus locations (including our Online Campus).  Reinstatement to the program after withdrawal requires Admissions Committee action and may subject the student to additional requirements for the degree. All credits applied toward the program requirements must be earned within ten years of the awarding of the certificate.

Certificate Requirements

To earn a certificate for credit a student must complete 16 credit hours of study with a 2.5 cumulative grade point average. Students, with advisor consent, will choose one concentration area of at least 8 credits grouped around a common discipline or theme, and the remaining hours (up to the required 16) as open electives. Students anticipating or considering later applying these credits towards a 30-hour Graduate Studies Diploma or a master’s degree (M.A. or M.Div.) should consult with their advisor to ensure that credits earned in the certificate program will apply toward their future degree program.

Many courses are offered by an intensive (on campus) schedule, or through a variety of distance learning formats. The intensive module permits study through convenient scheduling options throughout the year. The distance learning format provides opportunity to individuals outside Portland to study and learn while remaining in their home area and ministries. All credits applied toward the degree requirements must be earned within ten years of the awarding of the degree.

Western Seminary offers seven options in the Graduate Studies Certificate program: Open Track, Bible specialization, Theology specialization, Ministry specialization, Coaching specialization, Pastoral Care to Women specialization, and Youth and Family Ministry specialization.

Graduate Studies Certificate Curriculum Plan

Specialization or Track: 16 credits (select one)

Open Track
Concentration Studies: 8 credits
Courses in one area with advisor consent.
Open Electives: 8 credits
Biblical Studies Specialization
Biblical Studies: 4 credits
Please note: Biblical studies, theological studies, hermeneutics and church history courses may be offered in 4-credit or 2-credit formats, depending on the campus location.
DBS 506 -or- Learning to Interpret Scripture 4
DBS 506X and Learning to Interpret Scripture, Part 1 2
DBS 506Y Learning to Interpret Scripture, Part 2 2
Biblical Literature: 12 credits
BLS 501 -or- Interpreting Genesis to Song of Solomon 4
BLS 501X and Interpreting Old Testament I: Genesis to 2 Samuel 2
BLS 501Y Interpreting the Old Testament II: 1 Kings to Song of Solomon 2
BLS 502 -or- Interpreting the Prophets and Gospel 4
BLS 502X and Interpreting Old Testament III: The Prophets 2
BLS 502Y Interpreting the New Testament I: Gospels 2
BLS 503 -or- Interpreting Acts to Revelation 4
BLS 503X and Interpreting the New Testament II: Epistles 1 2
BLS 503Y Interpreting the New Testament III: Epistles 2 2
Biblical Languages Specialization
Biblical Studies: 4 credits
Please note: Biblical studies, theological studies, hermeneutics and church history courses may be offered in 4-credit or 2-credit formats, depending on the campus location.
DBS 506 -or- Learning to Interpret Scripture 4
DBS 506X and Learning to Interpret Scripture, Part 1 2
DBS 506Y Learning to Interpret Scripture, Part 2 2
Biblical Languages: 8 credits
NTS 508 Introducing Foundation for Greek Exegesis 3
NTS 509 Greek Reading and Syntax 3
NTS 515 -or- Principles of Exegesis 2
OTS 508 and Introducing Foundation for Hebrew Exegesis 3
OTS 509 and Hebrew Reading and Syntax 3
OTS 515 Principles of Exegesis 2
Please note: NTS/OTS 515 have not yet been produced in an online format nor are they regularly scheduled on all campuses. Students may request to join these classes via web conference or may take the courses NTS 510 Greek Exegesis and OTS 510 Hebrew Exegesis as an alternative way to complete the language requirements.
Open Electives: 4 credits
Theological Studies Specialization
Biblical Studies: 4 credits
Please note: Biblical studies, theological studies, hermeneutics and church history courses may be offered in 4-credit or 2-credit formats, depending on the campus location.
DBS 506 -or- Learning to Interpret Scripture 4
DBS 506X and Learning to Interpret Scripture, Part 1 2
DBS 506Y Learning to Interpret Scripture, Part 2 2
Theological Studies: 10 credits
THS 501 -or- Knowing the Triune God: Theology I 4
THS 501X and Knowing the Triune God: Theology I, Part 1 2
THS 501Y Knowing the Triune God: Theology I, Part 2 2
THS 502 -or- Glorifying the God of Our Salvation: Theology II 4
THS 502X and Glorifying the God of Our Salvation: Theology II, Part 1 2
THS 502Y Glorifying the God of Our Salvation: Theology II, Part 2 2
THS 503 Living as the Community of the Spirit: Theology III 2
Open Electives: 2 credits
Ministry Specialization
Ministerial Studies: 12 credits
Please note: Biblical studies, theological studies, hermeneutics and church history courses may be offered in 4-credit or 2-credit formats, depending on the campus location.
DBS 506 -or- Learning to Interpret Scripture 4
DBS 506X and Learning to Interpret Scripture, Part 1 2
DBS 506Y Learning to Interpret Scripture, Part 2 2
DIS 501 Communicating Christ in Culture 2
DMS 501 Thinking Theologically About Ministry Leadership 2
EMS 505 Growing Disciples Intentionally 2
PTS 504 Maximizing the Church's Redemptive Influence 2
 Open Electives: 4 credits
Pastoral Care to Women Specialization
Pastoral Care to Women Studies: 12 credits
Choose 12 credits from the courses below.
PCW 511 Pastoral Understanding of Women 2
PCW 512X Women in Pain, Part 1 2
PCW 512Y Women in Pain, Part 2 2
PCW 513 Women in Leadership 2
PCW 514 Building Relational Ministries for Women 2
PCW 515 Develop and Deliver Life-Changing Messages 2
PCW 521 Develop Life-Changing Bible Study Curriculum 2
Open electives: 4 credits
Youth and Family Ministry Specialization
Youth and Ministry Studies: 12 credits
YMS 502 Developing a Theological Model for 21st Century Youth Ministry 2
YMS 503 Leading a Youth Ministry 2
FMS 501 Family Ministry in the Church 2
YMS 501 Understanding Adolescent Development 1
YMS 504 Communicating to Youth 1
YMS 505 Issues for 21st Century Youth Ministry 1
YMS 506 Spiritual Formation of Youth 1
EMS 505 Growing Disciples Intentionally 2
Open electives: 4 credits

2016-2017 Academic Catalog