San Jose Online Orientation

The Student Services Staff would like to welcome you to Western Seminary. We are delighted that you have chosen us for your educational and ministerial pursuits. As a student at Western Seminary, you will receive the highest quality theological education available. Our faculty members desire to personally invest in your life; to serve you with their expertise and wisdom in their respective fields.

As a new student, we would like to equip you with everything you need to help make your transition as smooth as possible. This online orientation is your first step on your seminary journey. The purpose of this orientation is to help you become familiar with the tools and services you will use at Western Seminary. You will need to read through this online orientation and complete the quiz at the end in order to receive your PIN and register for classes. If you have any questions that have not been answered upon completion of this online orientation, please do not hesitate to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Communicating with Western Seminary

Western Seminary’s primary means of communicating with you is by email. We use email to notify you when you have been registered for a class, to inform you of changes in the class schedule, and to stay in touch about important campus information. Some professors also require submission of papers and other assignments via email. Therefore, it is imperative that you have an email address that you check regularly.

The Western Wave

At the San Jose campus, we distribute a monthly e-newsletter, The Western Wave, to all current students. This is our means of sharing vital and specific information related to the San Jose campus. It is important for you to read this each month.


You are welcome to schedule an appointment with a staff or faculty member anytime. All staff and faculty members schedule their own appointments, but if you are having trouble contacting someone, simply call our main number (408.356.6889) and listen for the extension that fits your needs.


It is vital to your success as a student that you keep in frequent contact with your academic advisor. He or she will be extremely helpful in guiding you through the course load that will be best for you in light of your family, work, and ministry commitments. Your advisor will also help you with course selection, informing you of the recommended sequence of courses for your particular degree program.

Some helpful resources to be familiar with before meeting with your advisor are the Course Schedules and San Jose Program Checklists.

Course Syllabi & Books

Course syllabi are posted on our website prior to the start of each new semester. Reviewing course syllabi, in conjunction with consulting with your advisor, is a great way to help you make a decision about which courses to take. Syllabi include course descriptions, objectives, assignments, as well as a list of required textbooks for each course. Western Seminary's San Jose campus does not have a campus bookstore, therefore required textbooks need to be purchased through or similar websites. Amazon links are provided in the course syllabi.

Course Syllabi

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 Student Handbook serves as a contract between you and the school.


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
  • Submit academic or financial petitions
  • Check grades
  • Update personal information (address, email address, phone number, etc.)

To access SIS, go to our website and click on the link in 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 the online orientation quiz.

To register for classes, log into SIS and click on “Registration.” Select “San Jose Campus” (or “Online Campus” for online courses). Select the semester for which you want to register.

Courses are listed in alphabetical order by course ID. 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 Registration” to send a notification email to your advisor to request approval for the courses.

If you run into any problems with SIS Registration, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Paying Tuition

Tuition is due in full by the end of the first week of each semester, regardless of when the class meets for the first time. A student may not secure grade reports, transcripts, or attend classes in any subsequent semester, if s/he has not completed payment for courses already taken. Please be diligent about planning your finances each and every semester. You are welcome to pay tuition online through our Student Information System (by credit card or e-check).

Please feel free to contact the Cashier, Katy Shaw, to discuss your balance, make a payment, or ask 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..

TuitionPay Monthly Payment Plan

If it is not possible for you to pay tuition in full during the first week of the semester, an alternative payment plan is available through HigherOne TuitionPay. (There is a charge associated with this service.) TuitionPay allows students to make monthly payments on tuition. Please note that you should enroll with TuitionPay soon after you register if you plan to use their services during your first semester at Western Seminary.

TuitionPay Plan

Financial Aid

Students come to seminary with an eagerness to learn, though they must balance their enthusiasm with realistic planning about how they will cover their training costs. Students are invited to explore the financial aid options available from Western Seminary and various outside organizations that can help provide for and manage school expenses all the way to graduation. In order to qualify for most kinds of financial aid below, students must be enrolled part time (minimum 4 credit hours/semester) and be admitted to a degree program.

There are three types of Financial Aid: Institutional, Federal, and Outside Aid. Options include scholarships, loans, grants, and more.

Financial Aid

Students with Disabilities

Western Seminary is committed to responding to the needs of students with disabilities. The seminary does not have a program into which all students with learning disabilities fit. Instead, Western students are assisted individually as their needs dictate. It is our goal to assist each Western Seminary student to reach his/her full academic and ministry potential. It is the responsibility of students with disabilities to identify themselves and the nature of the disability, so that Western can make arrangements for learning support services. Please contact Ashley Mitchell, the seminary’s Section 504 Coordinator, for more information at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 503.517.1819.

Advanced Standing/Substitute

Western Seminary’s programs are designed to train students who have not had any previous education in their intended areas of study at Western. However, we realize that a portion of our incoming students may have had previous undergraduate training in the areas of study that they are pursuing. If this is true of you, you may be eligible for Advanced Standing or Advanced Substitute. Students must apply for advanced standing or advanced substitute waivers prior to or concurrent with their first semester of enrollment.

Advanced Standing/Substitute

Transfer Credit

Students who have completed relevant graduate-level studies at another institution with a course grade of B or higher may be eligible for transfer credit. Students must be admitted to a degree program, and coursework must have been completed no more than five years prior to matriculation. The previous work must also approximately parallel course content (80% or higher equivalence) of a Western Seminary course.

If you believe you may be eligible for transfer credit, please review the transfer credit policy, listed with your degree program description in the current Academic Catalog, and then submit a Transfer Credit Request form. New students must apply for transfer credit prior to or concurrent with their first semester of enrollment.

Transfer Credit

Opportunities for Spouses

Learning Together Program

Western Seminary aims to serve the spouses of our students, and the Learning Together Program is a great resource for spouses. This program allows the spouse of a student enrolled in a degree program to register for one course (non-credit) per semester and receive a scholarship toward the cost of the non-credit course. The amount the non-credit spouse pays is dependent upon the number of credits the degree student spouse is taking in a particular semester. Please see the cost guidelines on the Non-Credit Application and Registration Form for more details. The spouse who takes part in the Learning Together Program must register prior to attending class. Please contact Carrie Priest at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for help with this process.


We hope you have found this Online Orientation instructive and helpful. As more questions may arise for you as you begin registering for courses and transitioning to becoming a student, we invite you to contact the Student Services Team at the San Jose campus.

Carrie Priest, Director of Student Services
408.356.6889 x405
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

We are here to serve you. Thanks for taking the time to complete Western’s Online Orientation.

Take Our Online Orientation Quiz

Get in Touch

Carrie Priest
Carrie Priest
Director of Student Services
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
408.356.6889 x405