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Graduate Diploma Programs

Graduate diplomas have multiple functions within theological education. They can be used as stepping stones into degree programs. They can function as continuing education for Christian leaders who have already obtained degrees but desire further opportunities for learning and growth.

They can provide specialized training in a particular area of theological study and practice. These graduate diplomas normally fall within a range of four to eight 3-hour graduate-level courses or 12 to 24 semester hours of study. Students pursuing any of the following graduate diplomas will receive academic credit for their coursework which may be applied towards a graduate degree at Ashland Theological Seminary contingent upon application and acceptance into a degree program.

Students are required to have a bachelor’s degree (or equivalency) in order to be admitted to these programs. Most of these graduate diplomas can be completed in two years of full time study.

Available Diplomas

Graduate Diploma in Biblical Languages

The Diploma in Biblical Languages is designed for people who want to be equipped to read and study Scripture in the original Greek and Hebrew, and to have a sufficiently solid basis in these languages to evaluate the English translations used in worship and study. It is ideal for pastors and teachers who either did not receive this training, or who could benefit from a review of former learning to enrich their preaching, teaching and personal study.

Courses cover the essential features of grammar and vocabulary with practice exercises taken directly from the Bible. The final course in each language focuses on lengthier readings from Scripture and the integration of original language study into the interpretation of a Biblical text.


Graduate Diploma in Biblical Studies

The Diploma in Biblical Studies gives Christian leaders the opportunity to build a strong foundation in the meaning of the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments in their original, historical settings, and to develop the skills that will help them interpret and apply the Scriptures more faithfully and perceptively in their own settings.

This program will be especially useful for lay persons who are engaged in preaching, teaching, or leading adult Bible studies, as well as for clergy who have not had Masters level training in the Bible.


Graduate Diploma in Black Church Studies

Students may pursue this graduate diploma by successfully completing the following courses, undertaken at the Cleveland and McCreary Centers


Graduate Diploma in Brethren Studies

Students may pursue this graduate diploma by successfully completing the following courses at any campus or online, with the exception of the specific Brethren courses which need to be undertaken at the Ashland campus. This credential has been developed specifically for those candidates for ministry in The Brethren Church who are unable to pursue a degree.


Graduate Diploma in Chaplaincy

Students may pursue this graduate diploma at the Ashland campus by suc- cessfully completing the following courses. Advanced Ethics is offered in an online environment and CPE is completed in context.


Graduate Diploma in Christian Studies

The Diploma in Christian Studies lays an excellent foundation in Bible, History and Theology upon which a student can grow in personal faith and enhance skills for teaching in the church.

Available completely online, this program is available to everyone who meets our admissions requirements regardless of where you live in the world.

Finally, these eleven courses are our institutional core, meaning that all of them form a portion of our Master of Divinity, Master of Arts (Religion), Master of Arts in Practical Theology or Master of Arts (Biblical, Theological, Historical Studies) program. In completing the Diploma, you have earned 44 graduate credits toward a masters degree.


Graduate Diploma in Historical & Theological Studies

The Graduate Diploma in Historical and Theological Studies allows students to get a broad exposure to subjects in church history, theology, ethics, and spiritual formation or to focus in depth on one of these areas. It is intended for students who want more preparation before pursuing further graduate study, as well as any Christians who desire a deeper understanding of their faith. Students may pursue this graduate diploma on any campus or fully online by successfully completing the following courses..

Courses Include


Graduate Diploma in Leadership Coaching

This Diploma is designed to prepare students to effectively coach leaders and teams in a variety of contexts. Special attention will be given to the interface of coaching and spiritual guidance enabling the student to deliver a high quality coaching experience from a Christian worldview. Classes include face-to-face coach specific training, 30 weeks of field work comprised of practical coaching experience, 10 sessions with a coach mentor, and a formal assessment of skill mastery. Course work is designed to populate a portfolio for submission to the International Coaching Federation.


Graduate Diploma in New Testament

The Diploma in New Testament provides in-depth study of the New Testament writings in their original, historical setting, and gives more extensive introduction to and practice in the skills of careful observation, interpretation and application than the Diploma in Biblical Studies. After successfully completing the introductory courses surveying major portions of the New Testament writings and relevant interpretive skills, students will have the opportunity to take specialized courses on particular New Testament books or on facets of the New Testament (for example, archaeology or intertestamentals).

Courses Include

Engaging Texts & Contexts Encountering Scripture beyond Translations New Testament 1 NTS Electives (6 hours)
(For those students using the two electives for Greek, the Encountering Scrip- ture course will be waived and replaced with an NTS 7000-level elective).

Graduate Diploma in Old Testament

The Diploma in Old Testament provides in-depth study of the Old Testament writings in their original, historical setting, and gives more extensive introduction to and practice in the skills of careful observation, interpretation and application than the Diploma in Biblical Studies. After successfully completing the introductory courses surveying major portions of the Old Testament writings and relevant interpretive skills, students will have the opportunity to take specialized courses on particular Old Testament books or on facets of the Old Testament (for example, archaeology or intertestamental period).

Courses Include

Engaging Texts & Contexts Encountering Scripture beyond Translations Old Testament (Part 1) Old Testament (Part 2) OTS Electives (6 hours)
(For those students using the two electives for Greek, the Encountering Scrip- ture course will be waived and replaced with an OTS 7000-level elective).

Graduate Diploma in Spiritual Formation

Students may earn this graduate diploma in one of two ways: 1) Students may take five courses in Spiritual Formation offered through the regular course rotation at any campus (courses are stipulated below), or 2) Students may seek admission to the Renovase Institute for Spiritual Formation, with which the Seminary has established a partnership, successfully complete the four courses of this two-year program which will be automatically transferred to the Seminary program, and then complete one elective in Spiritual Formation offered at any campus of the Seminary.


Graduate Diploma in Youth Ministry

Students may pursue this graduate diploma by completing the two formational courses on any campus and the three courses stipulated below in an online environment.

Interested?

Diplomas are ideal for staff or lay leaders who may not want a Masters degree but wish to pursue a high level of education, persons wanting to complete a course of study while considering a Masters degree program, or a professional who has already obtained a Masters degree but wants retooled in a new arena of study.


Who to Contact

Renee Johnson rjohns13@ashland.edu 419-289-5704
Matt Lewis, DMin mlewis@ashland.edu 419-289-5485