Recognizing that for today’s student flexibility is the key, Hartford Seminary offers an alternative in graduate learning: the Graduate Certificate. This program provides students opportunities for study without committing to a full degree program. The Graduate Certificate program allows students to expand their knowledge in specialized, focused fields, ranging from biblical studies to spirituality to Islamic studies.
Students at Hartford Seminary may pursue a Masters-level graduate certificate, which will be awarded upon successful completion of 18 credits of coursework in one of the ten areas outlined below.
Students wishing to be admitted prior to the start of a given semester must make sure their files are complete by the following deadlines:
- April 15 for Summer Session or to be included in the first round of financial aid decisions for the next academic year.
- July 15 for the Fall Semester
- December 1 for January Intersession and the Winter/Spring Semester
An applicant’s file is complete when the following items have been received by the Admissions Office:
- The application form and application fee of $50.
- A statement of three to four paragraphs (not to exceed one page double spaced) indicating the applicant’s educational objectives in pursuing the chosen graduate certificate area of study.
- Complete official transcripts sent directly from all previous undergraduate and graduate institutions.
- One letter of recommendation from a professor or instructor who can speak to the applicant’s academic abilities and potential (preferred) or a professional colleague who can speak to the applicant’s ability or potential to manage graduate-level study.
A Bachelor’s degree (or its educational equivalent at a satisfactory level of achievement from an accredited institution) is a prerequisite for admission.
Coursework that was taken for credit as a special student at Hartford Seminary prior to admission may be applied toward the 18 credits required for the Graduate Certificate; however, at least 6 credits must be taken after official notification of admission to the Graduate Certificate program.
Please note: The Graduate Certificate in Islamic Chaplaincy requires completion of 24 credits – please see The Islamic Chaplaincy Program section of the Catalogue.
No transfer credit from other institutions or Advanced Standing credit will be allowed to count toward the Graduate Certificate.
Admission to a Graduate Certificate program of study does not constitute or guarantee admission to the Master of Arts degree program. Admission is granted only on the basis of the terms stated in this Catalogue and in the admission letter.
Readmission: Please see Academic Policies for Graduate Programs section.
Program of Study
Planning the Graduate Certificate program of study: At the time of admission, students are assigned a faculty advisor. Together, the student and the faculty advisor will plan the graduate certificate program of study in accordance with the requirements outlined in the Hartford Seminary Catalogue for the graduate certificate. The advisor will be responsible for informing the Dean that all graduate certificate requirements have been met. Students, in consultation with their faculty advisor, complete a graduate certificate program of study worksheet outlining six courses (18 credits) that will constitute their graduate certificate.
certificates are available in the following areas:
Certificate in Biblical Studies
this certificate will have basic familiarity with the content of the
books of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, with the
historical-critical method and will have engaged in more intensive
exploration of selected books, genres, or themes of the Bible.
Bible I or II (SC-519/SC-520)
Testament Survey (SC-531)
| 3 credits
Certificate In Interfaith Dialogue
Students completing this certificate will have been exposed to dialogue and its importance in Christian-Muslim and Abrahamic Relations. They will have practiced and learned to explain the “dialogical imperative” of engaging persons of other religious traditions, exploring both personal and structural sources of similarities and differences.
in a World of Difference (MA-530)
| 3 credits
courses in dialogue, interfaith understanding,
in Islamic Chaplaincy
Please see The
Islamic Chaplaincy Program web site and the Hartford Seminary Catalogue for complete
information on the Graduate Certificate in Islamic Chaplaincy.
in Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations
this certificate will have been introduced to the history, beliefs and
practices of Islam and will have become acquainted with the major social
and political trends in contemporary Islam. Students will also have been
exposed to dialogue and its importance in Christian-Muslim Relations.
course on Islam in the contemporary world
courses in Islamic history, scripture, law,
theology or spirituality
- Two courses in Christian theology, Christian ethics,
in Ministry in Daily Life
One of the defining
features of Hartford Seminary is its emphasis on “ministry in daily
life.” Students completing this graduate certificate will have
reflected upon the application of faith and spirituality to life and
will be able to articulate an understanding of ministry that informs
their daily lives.
Ministry in Daily Life (AM-525)
in Religious Studies
This certificate is
intended for students who desire the greatest flexibility for purposes
of meeting particular educational objectives. Students completing this
graduate certificate will have constructed a coherent set of courses to
meet their educational objectives in collaboration with their faculty
advisor. Students will be expected to articulate how the courses they
select meet their stated goals.
this graduate certificate will have grown in an understanding of
spirituality as a way of life that intentionally integrates behavior and
belief while honoring one’s personal search for meaning. Core to the
program is exposure to a rapidly changing world and its multifaceted
implications, diversity in understanding and relating to the Divine, a
deepening of one’s awareness of the Spirit in everyday life, and an
application of theoretical learning to reflective prayer and practice.
Up to 6 credits of
the Women’s Leadership Institute may be applied toward the 18 credits
of this graduate certificate.
in Theology and Ethics
certificate in theology and ethics introduces students to biblical
sources, historical traditions, and contemporary construction in
theology and ethics. By engaging texts in their historical and cultural
contexts, students will be assisted in developing their own theological
interpretations and ethical positions surrounding current issues.
course in ethics
courses in theology and ethics
Tuition Costs, Fees
and Financial Aid
See Master of Arts
Program - Tuition Costs and Fees in the Catalogue.
Financial Aid and
Financial aid and
scholarships are not available for the 18-credit graduate certificates
at Hartford Seminary. Students may be eligible for privately
funded student loan programs. For more information please refer to www.teri.org (The Educational
Resources Institute) or www.Chesla.org
(Connecticut Higher Education Student Loan Agency).
There is a $65
graduation fee for all Graduate Certificate recipients.
for Graduate Certificate Programs
The policies that are specific to the Graduate Certificate Programs are below. Please also see the Academic Policies for Graduate Programs.
Graduate Certificate students who fail to maintain a cumulative 2.66 grade point average are placed on academic probation. As a condition of academic probation, students will be required to meet with the Hartford Seminary Writing Consultant for a minimum of ten hours each semester until his/her average resumes a non-probation level.
For the Graduate Certificate programs, the Hartford Seminary Grading Guidelines approved by the faculty in April 1996 stipulate the following:
- +/- indicates strength or weakness within a letter grade. Grades range from A to C and F; A+’s and C-’s are not part of the grading system.
- A(4.00), A-(3.66), B+(3.33), B(3.00), B-(2.66), C+(2.33), C(2.00) and F(0.00).
- A grade point average of no less than B-(2.66) is required to maintain good standing in the Graduate Certificate program.
- Students who fail to maintain a cumulative 2.66 grade point average are placed on academic probation.
- A minimum grade point average of 2.75 is required for graduation.
Graduate Certificates are awarded at Hartford Seminary’s annual graduation ceremony in June.
International students who require visas will not normally be considered for Graduate Certificate study.
On-Campus Classroom Requirement
Hartford Seminary requires that at least 9 credits of the 18 required credits for a graduate certificate be taken in courses taught in the classroom on the Hartford Seminary campus. This allows for up to 9 credits to be taken in a combination of the following formats: off-site courses, on-line courses, independent study, travel seminars, field education.
Please note: Students enrolled in the Religious Studies Graduate Certificate are exempted from this policy and therefore have the option of taking all 18 credits in the following formats: off-site courses, on-line courses, independent study, and travel seminars. This option is designed to provide additional flexibility for students who live at a great distance from the Seminary. (Normally, transfer and advanced standing credit are not permitted in a graduate certificate program due to the limited number of credits required.)
Termination of Program
A student who has been inactive for four consecutive academic semesters will be notified that they have been removed from the program. If a student wishes to continue in the program after such notification, they may reactivate their status by petitioning the Academic Affairs Committee and paying any unpaid tuition or fees within 30 days.
to the Master of Arts Degree Program
admission to the Master of Arts degree program upon completion of a
Graduate Certificate program of study need to provide the following:
Master of Arts application (the $50 application fee is waived).
personal statement of three to four pages identifying the
applicant’s personal goals for the Master of Arts program, his/
her perceived strengths, and his/ her potential areas for
materials submitted for the Graduate Certificate application
including the letter of recommendation and original transcripts from
all previous undergraduate and graduate institutions (available from
the Registrar’s Office).
additional letters of recommendation. (One letter from your faculty
advisor and one letter from another faculty member with whom you
have taken a course – preferably a core faculty member, if