FAQ about Non-Degree Programs

Questions about non-degree programs? Find answers as you read through frequently asked questions (FAQs) below.

When will class be in session?

Fall Semester: August through December
Spring Semester: January through June
Intensive on campus classes are also available in August, January and June. See the projected course lists for more information.

What other expenses are there?

Books, Directed Study with Adjunct, Graduation Fee, Travel, Hotel, Food, etc.

How long does the program last?

BGTS: 1 year, must be completed within 3 years (27 credits).
CTS: 1 year, must be completed within 3 years (24 credits).
Non-Degree Graduate: Students are eligible to take a maximum of 9 credits.
Pre-Doctoral: 1 year or more (24+ credits).

When are the application deadlines for Non-Degree programs?

All application materials must be received one month prior to the start of classes in the semester for which they are applying.

Is the program offered online?

BGTS and CTS: The majority of the courses are offered online. A few cannot be taken online but are often available in the intensive format. For further questions contact the Admissions Office.

Non-Degree Graduate: Courses are offered in a variety of formats. Check the course schedule to see if the course you need is offered online, in an intensive format or in a traditional on-campus format.

Pre-Doctoral: Yes, Pre-Doctoral courses are available on-site at our Dayton campus and online via our distance learning program for your convenience.

Who is the program designed for?
BGTS: Pastors in churches that do not require a master’s degree for ordination but who would like graduate training to enhance their ministries; Laypersons who desire greater knowledge of theological subjects in order to become more effective leaders in their churches; Those who hold a professional master’s degree and are seeking to enter the Order of Deacon in the United Methodist Church.

CTS: The Certificate of Theological Studies is not denomination-specific. Like the BGTS, the CTS can be used for vocational training or for personal edification. It is designed for those looking for in-depth biblical/theological study, for help to discern a vocational call and for help to envision diverse and dynamic ministries for the rapidly changing world.

Non-Degree Graduate: Students who only have one or two classes that they want to take at United, students seeking to determine if United is the place for you to do theological education, students exploring a call into ministry by beginning seminary slowly, students who wish to enroll in United classes in order to transfer the credit to another institution or applicants who don’t have time to complete the standard application before the term begins.

Pre-Doctoral: The Pre-Doctoral program is designed to prepare students for Doctor of Ministry work by augmenting previous Master’s degree coursework with the religious courses that are required to be considered for admission. This program is perfect for students who have completed a Master’s degree in another discipline and seek to expand their ministry by entering the Doctor of Ministry program.

Will I be able to transfer credits?

BGTS, CTS and Pre-Doctoral: Possibly; United can only accept transfer credits from ATS accredited schools with a grade B or higher. Additionally, students must also complete the last third of their coursework at United. Transcript reviews can be done after an applicant has paid their application fee and submitted their official transcripts. They must send a written request to Dr. Trent D. Hayes, Director of Admissions, at tdhayes@united.edu

Non-Degree Graduate: No, students with Non-Degree Graduate status are not eligible to transfer credits to United; however, students that are in degree programs at other institutions may be able to transfer credits from United to their degree program at their primary institution. We recommend applicants speak with their primary institution’s registrar.

I want to apply for the Doctor of Ministry program, why do I need to do the Pre-Doctoral Program?

United is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and, as such, must follow the ATS guidelines for admissions into Doctor of Ministry programs. The Doctor of Ministry is an advanced professional degree program that requires a Master of Divinity degree or its educational equivalent from a regionally accredited institution followed by at least three years of ministry. The Pre-Doctoral program is designed to prepare students for Doctor of Ministry work by augmenting previous Master’s degree coursework with the religious courses that are required to be considered for admission. This program is perfect for students who have completed a Master’s degree in another discipline and seek to expand their ministry by entering the Doctor of Ministry program.

What if I have a theological master’s degree and already have credits similar to the required courses in the Pre-Doctoral program?

A transcript review will be performed by the academic department to determine which courses are required for Master of Divinity equivalency. Once completed, the applicant will be provided with a program designed specific to their educational background.

Am I guaranteed admission in to the Doctoral Program if I complete the Pre-Doctoral program?

All courses in the Pre-Doctoral Program must be successfully completed with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 before a student may be admitted into the Doctor of Ministry program. In addition, you must apply to the Doctor of Ministry program and meet all the qualifications for admissions. (Review specific requirements)

Can I be in the Pre-Doctoral and the Doctor of Ministry program at the same time?

No, all courses in the Pre-Doctoral Program must be successfully completed with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 before an applicant may be admitted into the Doctor of Ministry program.

Do I need a bachelor’s degree to be considered for a masters/non-degree program?

Yes, all applicants must have successfully completed an undergraduate degree (with a minimum grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale) from a regionally accredited institution.