Diploma in Theological Studies



The Diploma in Theological Studies offers a basic diploma program (not an accredited degree) in theological studies for mature persons who have not completed a formal undergraduate degree. Normally, Central Baptist Theological Seminary requires a recommendation from an appropriate denominational official as part of the admission process.


  1. To increase the student’s knowledge of the Christian faith, including its biblical sources, theological articulation, and historical expression
  2. To enhance the student’s ability to communicate ideas and feelings to others


The Diploma in Theological Studies requires the successful completion of 48 semester hours. Students can complete the Diploma in Theological Studies in three years with full­ time study (9 hours per semester).

The Diploma program assumes applicant experience in the area of pastoral practice and takes note of their accomplishments.

Curriculum Requirements

(All classes are 3 credit hours)

CS401 Formation for Christian Ministry
HB401 Hebrew Bible I
HB402 Hebrew Bible II
NT401 New Testament I
NT402 New Testament II
CH401 Christian Heritage I
CH402 Christian Heritage II
TH401 Constructive Theology I
TH402 Constructive Theology II
ET401 Christian Ethics or ET402 Ministry Ethics
PR401 Homiletics
PR403 The Worshiping Church
PT401 Caring Ministries of the Church
MP401 Basics of Contemporary Christian Witness
MP402 Church’s Worship and Rituals
MP403 Ministry Dynamics*

*Diploma students may substitute one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) for MP403.

These courses are the normal expectation for a person completing the Diploma in Theological Studies. If a student in consultation with her or his advisor would like to adjust the normal requirements, they may petition the faculty for an adjustment. This may be due to more education or experience in some field and/or a desire for greater knowledge and expertise in a particular discipline.


Bible and Cultural Studies Track
(only offered through the Korean Studies program)


The purpose of the Bible and Cultural Studies track of the Diploma in Theological Studies is to provide Christian lay leaders with the educational foundations needed to lead and perform support ministries that are essential for the formation and continuing improvement of spiritually healthy churches.

Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the Bible and Cultural Studies track of the Diploma in Theological Studies will be able to:

  1. Articulate and apply the fundamentals of biblical, theological, and cultural knowledge needed to successfully oversee and perform lay support ministries in Christian churches.
  2. Lead support ministries of the church that require knowledge and skills for intergenerational understanding, interpretation, and communication.
  3. Guide the spiritual, intellectual, and social formation of children and youth being acculturated in a society different from that of their parents [and especially the religious formation of children and youth of Korean parents who are growing up in American culture.]

Curriculum Requirements

(all courses are 3 credits unless otherwise indicated)

Required Credits for Completion: 48 credit hours

BC401 How to Read the Bible
BC402 Contextual Studies: Introduction to American Culture
BC403 Contextual Studies: Introduction to American History
BC404 Bible Philology
BC405 Intergenerational Communication I
BC406 Intergenerational Communication II
BC407 Contextual Studies: American Church and Culture
BC408 Contextual Studies: World Views
BC409 Intergenerational Ministry I
BC410 Intergenerational Ministry II
BC411 The Bible in Digital Media I
CH405 A Brief Survey of Christian Heritage
HB404 A Brief Survey of the Hebrew Bible
MC403 Introduction to Missional Church Studies
NT404 A Brief Survey of the New Testament
Electives (at least 3 credits)