Non-Credit New Student Guide

Welcome to Western Seminary! 

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.  We believe that the information we have provided you throughout the guide is essential to your success at Western – 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 contact Student Services Associate Sandy Foster at (503) 517-1810 or via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and she will be happy to help you.

Thank you.  And again, welcome!

What Does it Mean to be a Non-Credit Participant?

Student Designations

Non-credit participants are assigned to one of the following designations, according to your level of completed education and academic goals.  Designations are governed by Western Seminary's accrediting bodies and are related only to registration status.  There are no distinctions between participants in the classroom.  It is important to know your designation in order to properly register for your classes.

  • Enrichment: Individuals who have completed a high school diploma or GED are invited to register as enrichment participants.
  • Audit: Individuals who have completed a bachelor's degree may register in courses as audit participants.  

Non-Credit Policies

  • Western Seminary offers non-credit course participation as a special service at a significantly discounted rate.  
  • Non-credit participants are not required to do the coursework required for graduate students; likewise, the instructor is not obligated to, and may not, review assignments voluntarily completed by a non-credit participant. To facilitate learning, the seminary strongly encourages non-credit participants to complete course reading.
  • Non-credit registrations are intended to provide foundational learning opportunities.  Courses requiring prior learning, intense faculty involvement, or significant school resources are not intended for non-credit participants. These include, but are not limited to, counseling, homiletics, Greek or Hebrew language, Th.M. and doctoral courses.
  • In courses where seating is limited, credit students will be granted priority.
  • Participation in class discussions and out-of-class conferences with the instructor should be kept to a minimum. Please note that coaching and Pastoral Care to Women (PCW) courses are an exception; class participation is encouraged in these courses.
  • Individuals who wish to take a non-credit course at a Western Seminary campus must verify qualification for graduate studies either through indicating a baccalaureate degree or ministry involvement. Those who are not graduate-qualified may not be approved for admission or registration.
  • Graduate credit will not be awarded for non-credit participation in a course.

Connecting with Western

Student Handbook

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.  In addition to providing you with helpful information and resources, the Handbook serves as a contract between you and the school.

Email Communication

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 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. You will be able to update your contact information through the Student Information System (SIS). If you don’t have an email address and need help creating an account, let us know and we’ll be happy to help.

Student Services Forms

You may wish to complete and submit either or both of the following:
  • Wireless Internet Access  You’re invited to use our secure wireless internet network.  We will provide you with the student password upon receipt of your Student Wireless Agreement, which explains our internet access policy and indicates your commitment to operate within our user guidelines.
  • 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.

Selecting Classes

Individuals may register for up to two non-credit courses per semester.  Please choose from those listed as available for audit on the official class schedule.  (Coaching courses are an exception to the two-course limit.  Please feel free to request participation in any coaching course for which you have met the prerequisite.)

Course Schedules

Course schedules are posted on our website and updated on a regular basis.  Syllabi and course material are identical across campus locations.  Course schedules are subject to change, and regularly updated on our website.  Schedules are posted by campus on our website for Portland, San Jose, Sacramento and the Seattle Teaching Site.  

Registering for Classes

How to Register through the Student Information System

What can I do through the Student Information System (SIS) online?

  • Update your personal information in our records 
  • Pay tuition 
  • Add and drop classes (for audit only; enrichment will use a paper registration)

To access SIS, go to our website and click on the link at the top right-hand corner. If you don't have an account with Western Seminary, click on the button to create one. Otherwise login. Most students create an account the first time when they start an online application. Make sure to use the email address that we have on file for you.

To register for classes, click on “Registration.” Select the campus location at which the class is offered, then the semester in which you hope to take classes, and finally the type of class you want to take, credit or audit. Click on the "View" button to see the class schedule. 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 by the course ID. Click on "ADD TO CART" to add the course to your cart. This doesn't mean that you are registered just yet. At the top is a button that allows you to "REVIEW" your cart. When you are finished selected  your courses, you can review your cart and submit for approval.

If you have any questions or would like additional assistance, please feel free to contact Sandy Foster at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 503.517.1810.

Before Classes Start

Course Syllabi

Once you’ve registered for classes, please download and review the course syllabi for each of your classes.  Some 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 often enable you to purchase your books at discounted rates.

Paying Tuition

Audit and Enrichment participants are required to pay in full at the time of registration. You are welcome to pay tuition online through our Student Information System, or by mailing a check to the Business Office care of Western Seminary Portland Campus, 5511 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland, Oregon 97215. 

Information regarding your balance and making payments is available on SIS.  Please feel free to contact Cashier Char Rose to if you have additional questions related to tuition.  She is available at 503.517.1888 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Campus Life

Portland Campus

Travel and Lodging

Coaching students who travel to Portland for classes have several options for lodging near Western Seminary's campus.  The Ramada Inn at Mall 205 has often offered our students a discounted rate on accommodations; you can indicate that you are a Western Seminary student in order to take advantage of the special price.  There are also several hotels located close to Portland International Airport. We also recommend The Worldview Center, which offers a low-cost housing option with meals located within walking distance of the seminary. The Worldview Center is home to international students and those studying to minister cross culturally. They offer modest rooms and breakfast for a low rate.  

All of these neighborhoods are considered well-traveled and safe, however, what one person considers acceptable in terms of lodging, location and area establishments may differ so we encourage you to do your own research and find the best fit for you. 


Our campus is easily accessible by bicycle, bus and automobile. If you choose to drive to Western Seminary, you will not need a parking permit to use the parking lots. You are welcome to park in the paved parking lots on the north and east sides of the campus. As a courtesy to our neighbors, we ask students not to park on the north side of Madison Street or the east side of 57th Avenue. For the safety of your belongings, we recommend that you do not leave your car in the parking lots overnight.

Student Center and Café

Western Seminary’s Student Center and café are located in the chapel basement. The Student Center is designed as a space for you to enjoy meals, study, access our wireless internet network or visit with friends.  Our café provides hot meals on select days throughout the week. Additionally, there are deli-style sandwiches, snacks, chips, fruit and microwaveable entrees available for purchase. You can purchase food from the café by paying in cash or check.  Many students bring their lunch or dinner and keep it in the student refrigerator/freezer found in the Student Center.  Microwaves are also available for use.

Cline-Tunnell Library

Our library belongs to a consortium of five Christian college and seminary libraries which have merged their holdings into one online database, giving you access to more than 93,000 volumes and nearly 230 theological journal subscriptions. We have valuable resources on the Bible, theology, counseling, and a selection of entertaining fiction as well. The library is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 7:45 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesday and Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Campus Safety and Security

Western has an on-campus caretaker, Chris Smith, who is available to assist students 24 hours a day. If you would like an escort to your car after an evening class, if your car battery dies and you need a jump start, or if you feel your safety is threatened in any way, please call Chris at 503.720.0635. We also invite you to contact Physical Plant Director Cliff Stein any time safety or security is a concern, at 503.459.9676.

San Jose Campus


Students travel to campus by foot, bicycle, CalTrain, bus, or car.  If you drive to Western, please note that we share a parking lot with a number of businesses.  Out of respect for our neighbors, please park only in the areas designated for Western Seminary

Campus Hours / Building Hours

The official business hours for Western Seminary are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Additionally, the campus is open whenever classes are in session.

Key Cards

Our campus is located within a commercial building shared with other businesses, so please be aware that the front doors to the building at 469 El Camino Real will be locked from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. Monday through Friday, as well as all weekend. To gain access to the building outside of these hours, you will need a key card.  Key cards are available for a small fee through our San Jose Student Services staff.

Library Hours

The Library is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and whenever weeknight classes are in session, as well as on Saturdays until 6 p.m.  Sharon Ho, the San Jose Campus Librarian, is available most Tuesday evenings, and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The Western Seminary Library invites students to bring food and experience fellowship as you study!

Sacramento Campus


The official business hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., however staff are typically here around 9 a.m. and leave after 6 p.m.  Please call or email to ensure someone is here outside of those hours.

Resource and Student Center

Western Seminary’s Resource and Student Center is located in the heart of our campus.  This area is a comfortable place where you can eat your meals, study, grab a snack, check your email on the computers, check out a library book, get help from the librarian or visit with fellow students.  Printers/copiers are also accessible.  (Files in .pdf format are printable from USB drives plugged directly into the copier machines.) The campus, including Resource and Student Center, is open M-F 10am-6pm and the nights and Saturdays when classes are being held. Visit the Library page for that schedule.

We hope that everything you need can be found inside the campus.  There is a snack bar with coffee, soda, water, juice and other drinks for a minimal charge.  There is also candy, cookies, chips and other food items available.  Many students bring their lunch or dinner and keep it in the student refrigerator/freezer found in the Student Center.  A microwave is also available for use in the kitchenette, along with two sinks.

Campus Map

In addition to the Center, Sacramento Campus has three classrooms, a kitchennette, five offices and two bathrooms.  Below is a map for you to view if you haven't yet visited the campus.


Off Campus

There are numerous places to eat and shop within 2 miles of campus. It may look somewhat barren, but we are actually located in one of the biggest shopping hubs in the Sacramento region.


There are numerous parking spots on the North side of the building.  Students are permitted to park in any of those available spots. Even though it is a tucked-away area, please be sure you keep all valuables out of view and be sure to lock your cars.  Please also be alert to various animals, including coyotes and rattlesnakes.  

Relocating or Traveling to Campus

If you are moving or traveling at a distance to Sacramento in order to attend Western Seminary, we desire to help you as much as possible. Our Lodging Page has some information that we try to update as it changes, but please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  in Student Services for more information.

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.  For questions related to registering for a course as a non-credit participant, please connect with Sandy Foster.  For general class or campus questions, please feel free to ask your local Student Services associate for assistance. 

Sandy Foster, Assistant Registrar
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 503.517.1810
Williana Purnama, San Jose Director of Student Services
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 408.356.6889 x405
Lindsay McKinnon, Sacramento Director of Student Services
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 916.488.3720 x312


Thank you for completing our New Student Guide!