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. This program allows you to select six courses of your choosing, with the permission of each professor. You can also choose to complete one of five concentrations in the Certificate: Chaplaincy Studies, Ministry Preparation, LGBTQ Studies, Interreligious Engagement, and the Study of Black Faith & Life. 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).

CTS now offers a Certificate in Theological Studies online. This first-of-its-kind program allows you to study here regardless of location. Learn more about our online degrees and programs here.

Chaplaincy Studies

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. All students must complete the required course, Introduction to Chaplaincy Studies and 3 additional electives in the area of Chaplaincy Studies.

Ministry Preparation

This concentration is appropriate for any student who seeks preparation for ministry, but are not necessarily interested in pursuing a degree. 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.

LGBTQ Studies

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.

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, Introduction to Interreligious Engagement.

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.