James Waddell

Director of the Masters Program

Associate Professor of Biblical Studies


The Certificate in Theological Studies is ideally suited for those who want a well rounded and advanced theological education, but do not need or desire a degree. The certificate program consists of the major core courses of the Master of Arts Program and meets at Ecumenical Theological Seminary.

This 36 quarter hour program is designed for people who want to deepen and enrich their spiritual life through theological study or are exploring their call to ministry, or who want some limited ministerial training but are not seeking a Master of Divinity Degree.

To receive a Certificate in Theological Studies, a total of eight required courses from the masters’ level curriculum must be completed in addition to one elective from any area. In case of special interest or circumstances some course substitutions may be made in consultation with and on the recommendation of your faculty advisor.

Application Information

Our recruitment team and admissions personnel are ready to assist you. To apply for the Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry Program, please prepare and submit the following:

  • On-line Application

  • A non-refundable application fee of $45.00 must be paid at the time of submitting the application. Your application will not be processed until payment has been received. 

  • A formally written “Statement of Purpose.” This paper will be used to assess your critical thinking, self-awareness, and writing skills. It does not have a minimum length, but should adequately represent what you will bring to your studies at ETS academically, theologically, and personally. 

  • Three signed letters of recommendation, one of which must be from your pastor or from another church leader. If you have a difficult time obtaining the letters of recommendation, please contact the admissions office. All recommendation letters must be submitted in a sealed envelope.

  • Official transcripts must be mailed directly from your undergraduate or graduate institution to ETS. Student-issued transcripts are not acceptable. All transcripts must be submitted in a sealed envelope. 

An interview with the Program Director may be required based on an evaluation of your completed admission file. The final admission decision will be made by the Admissions Committee on a rolling basis.

Apply today to take the next step into your future.  We look forward to talking with you soon.


The Certificate in Theological Studies program requires a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited institution. This degree may be in any field.











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Ecumenical Theological Seminary is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools​ in the United States and Canada, and the following degree programs are approved: MDiv, MA, MA in Pastoral Ministry, DMin.

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