Graduate Certificate in Christian Studies (GCCS)

About the program

The Graduate Certificate in Christian Studies (GCCS) program is designed to equip you with an understanding of Christian formation and vocation, and the practices that nurture an ongoing life of discipleship and mission in the 21st century. In the course of pursuing the GCCS, you will be challenged to apply this understanding personally through reflection and discernment both in the classroom and in the community. The certificate can be completed in one year.

The Graduate Certificate in Christian Studies (GCCS) is designed for laypeople. It enables you to develop the knowledge base, the skill set, and the multicultural sensitivities needed to understand the Christian faith and put it into practice in a hurting world. In the program, you will experience rich opportunities for worship, fellowship, and personal spiritual growth in the context of SPU’s evangelical Wesleyan heritage.

  • This program is highly flexible.
  • You can complete the required 25 credits in one year of full-time study or over several years of part-time study.
  • You can select from a wide variety of courses.
  • If you subsequently enroll in a Seminary degree program, credits you earn in the GCCS program are usually transferable.

Whether you are interested in deepening your understanding of the Christian faith and reflecting on issues of vocation and ministry, or you are considering entering full-time professional Christian service, the flexibility of the program will work well for you.

Certificate requirements

  • To earn this GCCS, you must be accepted into the program and complete 25 credits, including three required courses (7 credits total).
  • It’s recommended that you take at least one course in each of three 3-course “academic core” sequences (12 credits total).
  • You are also encouraged to take THEO 6930 “Graduate Core Practicum” (3 credits), which includes required participation in a Wesleyan-style class meeting — small-group meetings for the purpose of discussing theology, spiritual growth, and personal lives — and optional meetings with a theological mentor.
  • The remaining 6 credits of your program can be used toward post-core graduate THEO electives.

International students

  • Applicants who are not citizens or permanent U.S. residents must provide an official confidential affidavit of financial support covering the first year of intended enrollment. Without this document, SPU cannot issue an I-20 immigration form.
  • Students holding undergraduate or graduate degrees from colleges, universities and/or seminaries located outside the U.S. are expected to have their transcripts evaluated by a professional credential agency. Such an evaluation is required before an application for admission to SPS can be granted and before any graduate credits taken elsewhere can be applied to an SPS degree.
  • English language proficiency: If you do not speak English as your first language, you must also submit scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A minimum score of 600 on the TOFEL paper or 250 on the TOFEL-CBT, or 100 on the TOFEL-IBT is required. ACE scores will not be accepted.


Seattle Pacific Seminary Graduate Programs