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.
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 will be assigned a campus mailbox at the beginning of your first semester as a student at Western Seminary. Some professors use student mailboxes to return assignments, papers, and exams. Student directories and some other items will also be distributed via campus mailboxes.
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.
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 Amazon.com or similar websites. Amazon links are provided in the course syllabi.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Students with Disabilities
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.
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.
Opportunities for Spouses
Learning Together Program
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
Lorren Penner, Student Services Associate
We are here to serve you. Thanks for taking the time to complete Western’s Online Orientation.