Academics
With world-renowned teachers and alumni, CTS is the global leader in transformational religious studies. We offer several Masters and Doctoral degrees, including Masters in Divinity, Sacred Theology and Religious Leadership.
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Certificate Program

The Certificate in Theological Studies offers religious education to those who want to study in the seminary setting -- without admission to a master’s degree program. The certificate program allows the student to select six courses of her/his choosing, with the permission of each professor. Students can also choose to complete one of four concentrations in the Certificate - the Ministry Preparation Concentration, the LGBTQ Studies Concentration, the Concentration in Interreligious Engagement, and the Concentration in the Study of Black Faith and Life.

Concentrations in the Certificate

Our general Certificate in Theological Studies is designed for persons, including professionals in fields other than ministry, who want to explore theological studies, but who do not desire admission into a Masters program.

  • There is a brief, separate certificate application. Certificate applicants must have earned a Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.  Those individuals who wish to study at CTS but do not have a bachelor's degree can apply as a Student-at-Large (SAL).
  • In the general Certificate program, you take 6 courses of your choosing, and on completion, receive a Certificate in Theological Studies.
  • Once you have completed a certificate, if you choose to apply to a degree program at CTS, you can transfer the course credits into the degree program.

In addition to the general Certificate program, in which students take any selection of courses they like, you can also choose to focus your Certificate using one of three concentrations.

For Online Learners

Both the general Certificate in Theological Studies and the Certificate concentrations can be completed using whatever approach is most convenient for the student.  The Certificate can be completed entirely through online courses, entirely through face-to-face courses, or through a combination of online and face-to-face courses (including January and Summer week-long intensives).

 

Certificate Concentration in Chaplaincy 

Today, ministry is being engaged in public spaces far beyond the walls of churches. Chaplains are rooted and accountable to their religious tradition, but they serve people and communities who may have different religious backgrounds or have no religious affiliation. Various contexts, including hospital, military, prison, campus, and hospice, need highly trained chaplains who can faithfully serve the spiritual needs of all of God’s children. Chicago Theological Seminary’s unique course offerings, faculty expertise, and inter-religious engagement support students’ vocational discernment and equip them for professional success.

“I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.”                Matthew 25: 35-36--

Required courses:

Courses Include

  1. Introduction to Chaplaincy Studies (required)
  2. Trauma and Theology
  3. Short-Term Pastoral Counseling Strategies
  4. Ministries with Veterans and Military Families
  5. Moral Injury and Recovery
  6. Exploring the American Muslim Experience
  7. Loss and Healing in the Bible and in Rabbinic Literature

Certificate Concentration in Ministry Preparation

This concentration is appropriate for any student who seeks preparation for ministry, but cannot pursue a full degree program. This concentration may provide an appropriate foundation for alternate paths to ministry within the United Church of Christ.  However, individuals should work closely with their conferences and associations to ascertain that the coursework they complete will be appropriate given each conference’s requirements for those pursuing alternate paths to ministry.

Persons desiring this Certificate will take at least:

  1. 1 Bible course (from the Hebrew Bible or New Testament sections of the Course Listing)*
  2. 1 Theology course (from the Theology section of the Course Listing)*
  3. 1 Ministry course (any course designated CM)*
  4. UCC History and Polity or an alternate Polity or Church History course as appropriate
  5. 2 electives

* Generally an introductory level course.

Certificate Concentration in the Study of Black Faith & Life

This Certificate is designed to offer a specialized course of study for persons, including professionals in fields other than ministry, who wish to explore issues in the study of Black Faith and Life within a theological framework, but are not necessarily interested in pursuing a degree.

Certificate students who choose to concentrate in the Study of Black Faith & Life may take courses toward the concentration either at CTS or via pre-approved courses at other Association of Theological Schools (ACTS) seminaries. All students must complete the required Introduction to the Study of Black Faith and Life seminar.

Required courses:

  1. Introduction to the Study of Black Faith and Life - TEC 390
  2. Four (4) CSBFL electives.
  3. One additional elective.

Certificate with an LGBTQ Concentration

The Certificate Concentration in LGBTQ studies is designed to offer a specialized course of study for persons, including professionals in fields other than ministry, who wish to explore LGBTQ issues within a theological framework, but are not necessarily interested in pursuing a degree.

To qualify for the LGBTQ Concentration, a minimum of 4 of the 6 courses must be drawn from the list of courses identified by the Faculty as satisfying the Concentration requirement. The remaining courses can focus on any subject in theology or religious studies.

Required courses:

  1. Four (4) electives within the LGBTQ Concentration
  2. Two additional elective courses

Certificate Concentration in Interreligious Engagement

This Certificate is designed to offer a specialized course of study for persons who wish to explore issues in Interreligious Engagement and the study of diverse religious traditions, but are not necessarily interested in pursuing a degree.

Certificate students who choose to concentrate in Interreligious Engagement may take courses toward the concentration either at CTS or via pre-approved courses at other Association of Theological Schools (ACTS) seminaries. All students must complete the required course, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: Introduction to Interreligious Engagement.

Required courses:

  • Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: Introduction to Interreligious Engagement – TEC 395
  • Three electives in interreligious study
  • Two additional electives

Certificate Program Application