San Jose + Sacramento Graduation Info

Graduating? Time to get excited!

Graduation Photo

So you’re ready to graduate, are you? Congratulations! We hope you take some time to reflect on how hard you’ve worked to reach this moment in your academic career. Life happens between your first semester and your last. You’ve experienced joys and sorrows alike during your time as a Western Seminary student. You’ve made sacrifices of time, money, and energy. Likewise, your loved ones have also sacrificed with you along this journey.

Some of you have blasted through your program, and others feel as though you’re crawling over the finish line. No matter what pace you went, you should be so proud of all of your hard work and everything it took to get to this point! We trust you have been transformed by the gospel and fully equipped to go out and do the good works God has prepared in advance for you to do.

Here you’ll find all of the information you need to know in order to be prepared for Commencement weekend.


Event Commencement Ceremony
Date Saturday, June 11, 2022
Time 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Time Doors Open 10:30 a.m.

Please take a look at the Sacramento Graduation homepage

Sacramento Graduation Home

Preliminary Info: Graduation, Absentia, and Grad Questionnaire

Portrait of a Western Seminary Graduate

Is participating in Commencement weekend mandatory?

  • Commencement: yes.

Commencement is mandatory for all degree programs except the Graduate Studies Diploma and Graduate Studies Certificate. GSD students have the option to walk if they so desire; GSC students do not walk.

If you wish to graduate “in absentia” (not attend commencement), you should have indicated that in your application to graduate, followed by submitting an academic petition in SIS explaining the reasons for your request. Typically acceptable reasons are: moving/living out of state, unreasonable traveling costs, serious illness etc. “I don’t really want to participate” is not considered an acceptable reason. We hope that you’ll look forward to commencement as a way to celebrate and commemorate all of the hard work you’ve done to complete your program. Think of commencement as an Ebenezer of sorts in your educational and spiritual journey.

What do I need to do before grad weekend?


Commencement: The Big Event

Commencement Ceremony
When: Saturday, June 11, 2022
Time: 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Christ Community Church of Milpitas

1000 S. Park Victoria Dr. Milpitas CA 95035

This is the church Western Seminary San Jose shares a building with. Doors open at 10:30am (no earlier) for guests who will enter through the front main entrance.

What time do I need to be there?

All graduates need to meet in Western Seminary Student Resource Center (SRC) at 8:30 a.m.  The SRC is located by the Worship Center (see top right hand corner of the map). DO NOT BE LATE! Last person to arrive will get a “kick me” sign placed on the back of their regalia. Ok, not really, but don’t be late! You do not want to miss your opportunity to be in the group photo, as there will not be another chance.


We will be running through commencement rehearsal as well as taking your official group and individual pictures. During rehearsal, we will line you up in correct order, show you where to sit, how to enter the stage; practice hooding, diploma receiving, and more. Your family and friends are not allowed in the rehearsal, but they can wait at the local coffee shop until doors open at 10:30 a.m.

After rehearsal, you will have just a little “down time” in order to use the restroom, freshen up, adjust your regalia, take pictures with peers, and grab a snack. We will be providing some light breakfast items and coffee for you.  Please stay nearby in the Student Resource Center and do not wander. We don’t want you to miss the queue to line up!

Graduation Photo

Where do I put my stuff? Will it be safe?

We encourage you to put your personal items in the Student Resource Center. We will let you know which office/room to use. It will be locked during the ceremony and unlocked immediately after.  Please do not leave it unattended at your seat in the Worship Center.

Guest Invitation

The Worship Center is quite spacious and we are confident that it will accommodate all your guests. However, if you are planning to invite more than 20 people, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., so we can anticipate any arrangements that may be necessary.

There is a cry room available should it be needed for the little ones.

There are NO PHYSICAL TICKETS needed to attend the commencement ceremony.  

We know that reserving groups of seats can be tempting, but please be respectful of other guests who have shown up on time in order to get the seat they want. They’re here to see their loved ones graduate too.

Gospel highlight

We know that not everyone invited to commencement will be fully committed Christians. Bearing that in mind, we ensure that through our graduation keynote and student speakers the gospel is highlighted so that you may have an opportunity to witness to and connect with your unbelieving friends and family. Gospel-centered transformation is what Western’s all about, after all.

Immediately following the ceremony

Please exit the Worship Center and plan on meeting your friends and family in the courtyard (outdoor) for pictures and hugs, so as to thin out the crowd. Light refreshments will be provided (cookies, water), though we encourage you to go out and celebrate over lunch together. Remember to go back to the Student Resource Center to retrieve your personal belongings.

Commencement: Regalia

Ordering and Distribution

Side of RegaliaOn your graduation application, you should have noticed it asked for height and weight information. This was for your regalia order. Regalia packages will be ordered in advance by our Student Services team and you will receive them by mail.
Once you receive the regalia, you are encouraged to try it on to make sure there are no defects and it fits properly. Do not worry about the funky sleeves! They’re supposed to be that way! Students find them handy for hiding chapstick, phones, or other items in.Person in Regalia

What’s included in my regalia package?

  • Master’s gown
  • Master’s hood specific to your field of study
  • Mortarboard cap
  • Year dated tassel specific to your field of study

How do I care for my regalia?

Master Level Regalia

Please plan to hang up and steam your gown prior to coming to commencement. You may also iron your hood (on a low setting), if needed, but do not iron the velvet portion of the hood as it could ruin it. Do not wear your regalia in the car on the way over to rehearsal, but rather hang it up on a hanger and plan on putting it on during rehearsal.

I already have regalia, can I just wear that?

No. The Master’s level regalia is different than anything you may have already.

Do I get to keep my regalia after commencement?

Yes! All of this is yours- we do not want it back.

Can I decorate my cap?

Due to the fact this is a commissioning of students, as much as it is a celebration, we think it is most appropriate for the occasion for us a seminary and graduate institution to leave gowns and caps in their original condition without any extra adornment. We do have a limited number of extra caps if you would like to decorate one and you can bring it with you so that you can wear it in your pictures if you’d like. Just ask Student Services when you pick up your regalia.

Other purchase options from Jostens

There are other items available for purchase through Jostens: custom Western Seminary diploma frames, announcements, jewelry, and more. All of our items were updated recently and look really sharp. If ordering a diploma frame, the document size is H: 8” W: 10”. To view and order these items, click below to visit the Jostens site, and search for Western Seminary- All Locations.

Jostens Website

Diploma Example

This is one example of a diploma frame option. You may choose different options and personalize yours as desired.

After Commencement: Receiving your diploma & official transcript ordering


Stack of Diplomas

Diplomas will be mailed from Jostens to all spring, summer, and fall graduates, and they can take up to two months from the end of the semester for you to receive. It takes 4-6 weeks for the Registrar's Office to confer your degree and submit diploma orders through Jostens. Diplomas are expected to mail out 2-3 weeks after degree conferral. To expedite processing, please make sure the following conditions have been met:

  • All of your final grades have been submitted by faculty and your degree has been certified.
  • Your account balance has been cleared to $0 with the Business Office.
  • You have completed the Financial Aid Exit Interview if you've received federal loans.
  • Your mailing address that is listed in S.I.S. is current.

Once your degree has been conferred by the Registrar’s office, you will receive an email informing you of such, and asking you to verify that your mailing address is correct. Be on the lookout for this important email.

Using Your Legal Name

Like your transcript, your diploma will be an official document. Therefore, we will be using your full, legal name. If you legally change your name before you graduate, you must submit a Name Change Form prior to the last day of the semester in which your degree will be certified.


Once the aforementioned email has been received from our Registrar, you are then welcome at this point to order your official transcript. DO NOT order your transcript until you have received the degree conferral confirmation email from the Registrar’s office. If you order it too early, you may need to reorder your transcript once your degree has been posted officially. Save yourself time and money by being patient. It can take 4-6 weeks for your degree to be conferred.

MAC/MFT students, we know that you are needing your transcripts ASAP to apply for your Associate number. If you would like to check on the status of your degree conferral, you may direct your email to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. six weeks after the final day of the semester in which you graduate.

Where do I order my transcript?

In your SIS account under the Student Records tab, then click “Transcripts on Demand.”


Official electronic transcripts (highly recommended) are $5.00 each. Print transcripts are $5.00 each plus the cost of shipping chosen at the time of order. If you request your transcript to be rush processed, it will be an additional $15.00 per recipient.

Ordering Transcript Information

Order Through SIS

Odds & Ends


Many graduates are curious about whether or not they'll be graduating with honors. Honors are determined by your final grade point average (GPA). Your honors status will be noted in the program. For fall grads, this will be from your final term GPA. For spring grads, GPA will be contingent on when spring grades are posted. For summer grads, this will be noted from your final spring semester GPA.

RankFinal GPA
+Honors 3.60 - 3.74
++High Honors 3.75 - 3.89
+++Highest Honors 3.90 - 4.0


More info on photography to come. However, you can expect that a photo of you being hooded, receiving your diploma, and shaking hands with the President of Western Seminary will be taken.

Graduates sitting at the ceremony

Professionally Taken Photograph

Celebrating After Graduating with Family and Friends

Alumni Relations: Your transition from student to graduate

Photos with Family and Friends

Job Searching

Looking for a job after graduation? Check out Western’s placement page to browse job listings near and far. Also, our Portland-based Director of Placement, Andy Peloquin, would love to set up a meeting with you to talk.

Andy Peloquin
Andy Peloquin
Director of Student Development
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Placement Home

The Sacramento campus also has a physical job binder as well. Student Services can be a good resource to stay connected with as well for any known job openings, as local organizations frequently contact us with listings.

MAC/MFT’s have you checked out

Free Alumni Audit

Did you know that as a Western grad you can audit ONE FREE CLASS PER YEAR at any physical campus location? Now you can take all of those electives you never had the time to do, homework free too! Keep your mind sharpened and be a lifetime learner. Submit the form below to the Financial Aid department at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and register for your selected class through your SIS account.

Alumni Audit Opportunity


Trustworthy. Accessible. How has the gospel affected your life? What possibilities are waiting for someone to come along and make realities? See the ways that you can partner with Western Seminary to bring trustworthy, biblical training to a world in need.


Again, Congratulations!

And that’s a wrap, folks! You are now equipped with everything you need to know about commencement weekend. Still have questions that weren’t answered here? Flip through this one more time, and if you still haven’t found the answer, contact:

Andy Peloquin
Andy Peloquin
Director of Student Development
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Time to get excited, soon-to-be grads! We SO look forward to celebrating with you.


Please make sure to read thoroughly all emails sent regarding graduation!


Sacramento Graduation Home