Diploma in
Theological Studies

Earn Your Diploma in Theological Studies at Central Seminary

Your journey towards a ministry career starts with a comprehensive theological curriculum. In the Diploma in Theological Studies program at Central Seminary, you can immerse yourself in the Biblical text, become more self-aware, and learn leadership skills through education that inspires spiritual growth. This program is designed for students who do not already have an undergraduate level of education. Upon earning your Diploma in Theological Studies, you can pursue a variety of professional roles in faith settings.

Join A Diverse Seminary That Celebrates Innovation

At Central Seminary, you will have a place to explore your personal faith while developing a unique vision for future ministry work. We encourage students to think like entrepreneurs who want to innovate and inspire others in new and interesting ways. We also believe that curricula designed to shape the whole of the student will lead to more effective practitioners. That is why we put an emphasis on leadership, creativity, and mentorship in all of our seminary degree programs.

Enjoy the Convenience of Distance Learning

At Central Seminary, we were early advocates and promoters of quality online education technology. Students can take this program 100% online, no matter where you live. Each class meets once per week, with scheduled interaction with your instructors and advisors to make sure your education stays on track. This approach can make it simple for students who manage family and current career responsibilities. Our online learning platform makes it easy for students to connect with their instructors and fellow students when needed. The technology we use also helps students stay organized and focused, and seamlessly facilitates coursework from the comfort of home.



Participate in classes only two nights a week to be a full-time student.



Take a few classes each term to complete your degree in just over two years.



Excellent tuition rates, scholarships, and payments plans make your education affordable.

Develop Ministry Skills That Make an Impact

Are you ready to gain the foundational knowledge and leadership practice to work in faith settings? With the Diploma in Theological Studies program at Central Seminary, you can be on your way to a vocational career that fits your spiritual path and personal interests. Contact us today to discuss the benefits of this program with our student advisors. Once we hear more about your goals in the ministry, we can help you determine if our Diploma in Theological Studies program will help you achieve them.

Diploma in Theological Studies Program Overview

The first two years of this program focus on foundational topics, such as seminary studies, biblical interpretation, and ethics. Creative and introspective thinking will be fostered through interpretation and contextualization of sacred, ancient texts. Students also learn valuable research skills in preparation for their capstone/thesis project. The ability to perform effective research is a skill that is beneficial in a wide variety of religious, academic, and socially conscious professions.

The third year of study is where your knowledge, interpretative skills, and foundation in seminary topics are put into practice. Courses such as Homiletics help shape your approach to the art and craft of creating effective ministry experiences. You can develop competencies in preparing sermons, composing texts and materials for congregants, and engaging oratory skills. In the final term of your third year, you will complete an approved capstone project that reflects your theological studies and ministry goals.

Purpose & Outcomes

The Diploma in Theological Studies offers a basic (non-degree) level of theological studies intended for adult learners who either have not completed an undergraduate degree or who (while holding a bachelor’s degree) desire non-degree studies oriented for personal spiritual and theological growth and development.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Diploma in Theological Studies program, the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate consciousness of the particularities that shape faith and practice in a given contextual setting.
  • Demonstrate spiritual growth and self-awareness through the application of ministry knowledge and skills, religious commitment, and professional integrity.
  • Demonstrate basic skills for discovering understanding and meaning from within the ambiguity and complexity of human experience and knowledge.
  • Harmonize interpretation, contextualization, and formation pillar competencies with performance skills, techniques, and arts to improve ministry and leadership practices.
  • Harmonize competencies gained via the interpretation, contextualization, performance, and formation pillars in order to expand and perfect public practices of ministry and leadership.

In addition the student will reflect appreciation for certain human and vocational values presented as threaded themes throughout the Diploma in Theological Studies curriculum:

  • Affirm the vocational call of all persons regardless of gender.
  • Understand sexual identity in terms of personhood in addition to culturally specific categories.
  • Teach and embody racial diversity so that the personhood of all individuals is honored in all community contexts.
  • Value the inclusion of the personhood of all individuals in all community and worship contexts.
  • Understand and interpret Christianity in multi-cultural and global categories.
  • Engage in constructive dialogue, grow in mutual understanding across religious traditions, and create connective ministry opportunities.
  • Discern situations and contexts in order to lead organizations to find innovative initiatives for the transformation of communities.
  • Recognize just and unjust systems in order to engage them with appropriate biblical, theological, and ethical responses.
  • Understand creation in ways that provide for the sustainability of the environment and stewardship of creation.
  • Express creativity and originality in public ministry praxis in contextually appropriate ways.
  • Articulate Christian messages in clear and effective ways through the creative use of communication mediums.

Courses & Schedule

Languages Offered In: English

Program Length: 48 credits - 2.5 years (full-time status = 6 or more credits per term)

Calendar: Three 12-week terms per academic year

New students can begin in any term. Terms begin in August, January, or May.

Required Courses

Foundations for Seminary Studies
Theological Foundations I
Theological Foundations II
Christian Ethics
Caring Ministries
Biblical Interpretation
Hebrew Bible I
Hebrew Bible II
New Testament I
New Testament II
Christian Heritage I
Christian Heritage II
Creativity in Public Ministries
Media for Ministry Development
Interpersonal Skills
Contextual Learning – Formation

Tuition & Fees

Tuition - $375 per credit

Registration Fee - $250 per term

Graduation Fee - $200

(Amounts shown are for academic year 2022-2023 and only represent basic costs. Consult the current academic catalog for complete financial information.)

Your Ministry Practice is Just Beginning

Upon completion of the Diploma in Theological Studies program, you can work in a variety of vocational and socially-conscious settings beyond the church. Throughout your education, you will have opportunities to develop “performance” skills that relate to your ability to engage with others. These outcomes can enhance how you present yourself in daily life while improving your ministry practice, no matter what type of vocational path you take.

Central Seminary is a diverse community of seminarians who are committed to serving humanity through vocational paths. Women and men of all ethnicities, from all over the world, are welcome to join our family of dedicated learners. We invite everyone to join our mission to create the next generation of mentors, innovators, and leaders seeking to heal the world through God’s love and teachings.

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