Non-Degree Students

Trinity Lutheran Seminary offers several opportunities for study by those who do not seek a degree. Courses may be taken for credit or audited on a space-available basis. Non-degree students may participate in choirs and other organizations with the permission of the responsible faculty member. All non-degree students are welcome to worship with the Trinity community.

ADMISSION


Non-degree students must apply for admission to Trinity using the forms included here. Normally, completion of a bachelor’s degree or equivalent is required to take courses for credit. Evidence of an undergraduate degree should accompany the non-degree application. No more than 16 semester hours of credit earned as a non-degree student may subsequently be applied toward a M.A., M.T.S., or M.Div. degree program.

The Non-Degree Student Checklist General provides further application information. The Non-Degree Student Checklist ELCA describes additional requirements for applicants who are candidates for ELCA Associate in Ministry, ELCA TEEM (Theological Education for Emerging Ministries) candidates, or any other candidate with a TRP (Theological Review Panel) or CAP (Competencies Assessment Panel) from an ELCA Synodical Candidacy Committee.

Non-Degree Options

  • Certificate Program


    The Certificate Program is an opportunity for students not pursuing a degree at Trinity to earn a certificate in specified areas by completing 27 semester hours of coursework for credit. Admission to the Certificate Program does not imply admission to any degree program. Courses completed in the Certificate Program may be credited toward the M.A.C.M., M.A.Y.F.M., M.A.C.E., or M.T.S. degrees at the discretion of the Academic Dean in consultation with the Director of the Certificate Program, should the student be admitted to these degree programs.

    The following four Certificates are available:

    Certificate in Theological Studies

    This Certificate requires successful completion of 27 semester credit hours. A student may concentrate studies in an area such as Theology, History, or Bible, or may draw from the wide range of courses in the curriculum.

    Certificate in Ministry Studies

    This Certificate requires successful completion of 27 semester credit hours. Fourteen hours are to be in the area of Ministry and Congregational Life. Thirteen hours of electives may be drawn from the wide range of Bible, Ministry, History, Theology, Society or other courses offered. A maximum of 7 hours of relevant Continuing Education Units (CEUs) may count toward the 13 elective hours in the Certificate of Ministry Studies.

    Certificate in Christian Education, Youth, and Family Ministry

    This Certificate requires successful completion of 27 semester credit hours. Fourteen hours are to be in the area of Christian Education, Youth and Family Ministries. Thirteen hours of electives may be drawn from the wide range of Bible, Ministry, History, Theology, Society or other courses offered. A maximum of 7 hours of relevant Continuing Education Units (CEUs) may count toward the 13 elective hours in the Certificate in Christian Education, Youth, and Family Ministry Studies.

    Certificate in Church Music

    This Certificate requires successful completion of 27 semester credit hours. Fourteen hours are to be courses in the area of Church Music. Thirteen hours of electives may be drawn from the wide range of Bible, Ministry, History, Theology, Society, Applied Music, or other courses offered. A maximum of 7 hours of relevant Continuing Education Units (CEUs) may count toward the 13 elective hours in the Certificate in Church Music Studies.
  • Candidates for ELCA Associates in Ministry


    Candidates for ELCA commissioned Associates in Ministry are required to complete basic foundational coursework in theological education. These include courses in the areas of Biblical Studies, Lutheran Theology and Confessional Writings, Systematic Theology, Lutheran Church History, and practical theology appropriate to the specialization (such as religious education, youth ministry, or worship). With the approval of the candidacy committee, a student may fulfill some or all of these requirements through courses taken at Trinity as a non-degree student. Candidacy committees may require different courses for different students. Before a student takes any courses at Trinity, he or she should be sure that those particular courses meet the requirements of the candidacy committee.
  • Courses for ELCA TEEM Candidates


    Theological Education for Emerging Ministries (TEEM) is a route to preparation for ordained ministry within the ELCA. It is designed to provide selected candidates who bring unique gifts to the missional needs of the church (ethnic specific, multicultural, deaf, urban, or rural ministry) with the opportunity for ordination without receiving the M.Div. degree. Candidates for TEEM preparation must be recommended for TEEM by their synod bishop, receive a positive entrance decision from their synod candidacy committee, and be approved for the TEEM preparation by the Congregational and Synodical Mission Unit of the ELCA. A TEEM candidate’s academic program is determined by a Competency Assessment Panel convened by his/her synodical candidacy committee. The seminary provides coursework as specified by this committee, which may include residency at the seminary, online courses, independent studies, or other suitable academic experiences tailored to the needs of the student.
  • Courses for ELCA Deaconess Candidates


    Candidacy for women seeking to serve as deaconesses in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America includes full participation in the ELCA Candidacy process and in the candidacy process of the Deaconess Community. Deaconess candidates preparing for a ministry other than in an ELCA congregation are not required to complete a seminary degree. They are required to complete a course of theological studies which may include Old Testament, New Testament, history, ethics, Lutheran confessions, pastoral care and counseling, systematic theology, worship/liturgy, and various electives. Under the direction of the Deaconess Committee on Education and Candidacy and with the approval of the director of education and interpretation, a student may fulfill some or all of these requirements through courses taken at Trinity as a non-degree student.

    Deaconess candidates who are preparing to serve in ELCA congregations are required to earn a master’s degree in theological education. Such candidates should confer with the Deaconess Community director of education and interpretation to determine whether the M.T.S. or M.A. degree programs at Trinity would be appropriate for their preparation.
  • Courses for Anglican Students


    Trinity is in partnership with Bexley Hall Episcopal Seminary and its courses are available to Trinity students. Academically qualified Anglicans may enroll in Trinity Lutheran Seminary as non-degree students. This will provide them with access to Bexley Hall courses.

  • Auditors


    Non-degree students may audit courses on a space-available basis for one-half the regular tuition. They are expected to attend regularly and complete the assigned readings, but do not need to write papers or take exams.

    Non-degree students who are 60 or older may audit courses on a space-available basis for a reduced charge. For 2013-14, tuition for 60+ students is $120 per semester hour.

    Spouses of full-time Trinity or Bexley Hall degree students may audit courses for free, on a space-available basis, provided they are not candidates for a seminary degree.

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