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Graduate Certificate Programs
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 and chaplaincy.
Students at Hartford Seminary may pursue a Masters-level graduate certificate, which will be awarded upon successful completion of 18 or 24 credits of coursework in one of the ten areas outlined below.
Application and Admission
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
- 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.
- Students applying for the Graduate Certificate program in Islamic Chaplaincy must provide a more detailed statement of three to four pages identifying the applicant’s personal goals for the program and his/her perceived strengths, and his/her potential areas for development.
- Complete official transcripts 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.
- Students applying for the Graduate Certificate program in Islamic Chaplaincy must provide two letters of recommendation, one from a professor as indicated above and one from a leader in their faith community who can speak to the applicant’s abilities and potential for working in the chosen field.
- Interview: Students applying for the Graduate Certificate program in Islamic Chaplaincy will be contacted by the Admissions Office to set up an interview. While in most cases the interview will happen on the Hartford Seminary campus, a phone interview may be conducted where distance prohibits a visit to campus.
One can apply through either a paper-based or an online format. You may access both our online application and the downloadable paper-based application by going to our website at www.hartsem.edu, and clicking on the Admissions tab on the left-hand side toolbar. Detailed instructions for completing the application are also provided at this link. You may also request a paper application by calling our Admissions Office at 860-509-9512.
A Bachelor’s degree (or its educational equivalent) at a satisfactory level of achievement from an accredited institution is a prerequisite for admission. Additionally, students applying for the Graduate Certificate program in Islamic Chaplaincy are expected to have extensive training in their own religious tradition, which may have been acquired in various ways (ideally, a Master’s degree or its educational equivalent.)
Coursework that was taken for credit as a Special Student at Hartford Seminary prior to admission may be applied toward the credits required for the Graduate Certificate; however, at least 6 credits (not including field education or clinical pastoral education) must be taken after official notification of admission to the Graduate Certificate program.
No transfer credit from other institutions or Advanced Standing credit will be allowed to count toward most of the Graduate Certificates except on rare occasions upon petition to the Academic Policy Committee. Please see details on the Graduate Certificate programs in Islamic Chaplaincy, Chaplaincy in Multifaith Contexts, or Imam and Muslim Community Leadership for permitted exceptions to this policy.
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. 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 or eight courses (18 or 24 credits depending on program) that will constitute their graduate certificate.
Graduate certificates are available in the following areas:
- Biblical Studies
- Interfaith Dialogue
- Islamic Chaplaincy
- Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations
- Ministry in Daily Life
- Religious Studies
- Theology and Ethics
Students completing 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.
|Hebrew Bible I or II (SC-519/SC-520)||3 credits|
|New Testament Survey (SC-531)||3 credits|
|Other Bible courses||12 credits|
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.
|Dialogue in a World of Difference (DI-530)||3 credits|
|Other courses in dialogue, interfaith understanding, or world religions||15 credits|
Please see The Islamic Chaplaincy Program section of the Catalogue for complete information on the Graduate Certificate in Islamic Chaplaincy.
Students completing 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.
|One course on Islam in the contemporary world||3 credits|
|Two courses in Islamic history, scripture, law, theology or spirituality (mystical thought)||6 credits|
|Two courses in Christian theology, Christian ethics, dialogue, or Christian-Muslim Relation||6 credits|
|One additional course||3 credits|
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.
Recommended Course: AM-520 Ministry in a Multicultural World
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.
Online Option: The Graduate Certificate in Religious Studies may be taken completely online. In general, the Seminary offers three online courses each regular semester.
Students completing 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.
Women’s Leadership Institute
Up to 6 credits of the Women’s Leadership Institute may be applied toward the 18 credits of this graduate certificate.
The graduate 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.
|Historical theology||3 credits|
|Contemporary theology||3 credits|
|A course in ethics||3 credits|
|A Bible course||3 credits|
|Additional courses in theology and ethics||6 credits|
Tuition Costs and Fees
See Master of Arts Program - Tuition Costs and Fees.
There is a $65 graduation fee for all Graduate Certificate recipients.
Academic Policies 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. (Students who are recipents of federal financial aid should refer to the Financial Aid section of this Catalogue for the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.)
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 late spring. (Please see Academic Calendar for exact date.)
On-Campus Classroom Requirement
Hartford Seminary requires that at least half of the credits required for a graduate certificate be taken in courses taught in the classroom on the Hartford Seminary campus. This allows for up to half of the credits to be taken in a combination of the following formats: off-site courses, on-line courses, independent study, travel seminars, field education.
- 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.)
- For students enrolled in the Imam and Muslim Community Leadership Graduate Certificate courses taken at the primary off-site location count as on-campus courses.
Termination of Program
A student’s degree program may be terminated on the written request of the student, or by action of the Academic Policy Committee, if the student’s performance is deemed unsatisfactory or if tuition and fee payments are not made as required. The termination of a student’s program by the Academic Policy Committee does not cancel financial obligations the student incurred at the Seminary while enrolled. Students who have not received an approved leave of absence, registered for a course or paid a program continuation or extension fee for two consecutive academic semesters will be notified that they will be removed from the program unless they respond within 30 days. A student who has been removed may apply for reactivation by petitioning the Academic Policy Committee and paying any unpaid tuition or fees. (Students who are recipents of federal financial aid should refer to the Financial Aid section of this Catalogue for the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.)
Application Process to the Master of Arts Degree Program
Students seeking admission to the Master of Arts degree program upon completion of a Graduate Certificate program of study need to provide the following:
- Completed Master of Arts application (the $50 application fee is waived).
- A 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 development.
- Original materials submitted for the Graduate Certificate application including the letters of recommendation and original transcripts from all previous undergraduate and graduate institutions (available from the Registrar’s Office).
- Two additional letters of recommendation (One additional recommendation is required for students enrolled in the Graduate Certificate programs in Islamic Chaplaincy) One letter from your faculty advisor and, (if required) one letter from another faculty member with whom you have taken a course – preferably a core faculty member, if possible.
- Hartford Seminary transcript.
- Personal interview.