Frequently Asked Questions


The Evangelical Training Association is an association of seminaries, colleges, universities, institutes, and churches who are committed to providing quality training resources for teaching through the local church. Dallas Seminary is a member of this fine organization. As a result, graduating students who:

  • have completed a minimum of 12 semester hours of Bible courses,
  • have completed at least 15 semester hours of ministry courses,
    have experience in ministry with at least one age-group category,
    have at least beginning teaching skills,
  • and receive the endorsement of the school are eligible to apply for certification through ETA.

In short, any student who is graduating from a master of arts or master of theology program at DTS is eligible for ETA certification.

ETA is an internationally-known and well-respected teacher training organization. Their materials are excellent and can be taught for CEU (Continuing Education Unit) credit through the local church or through Bible Institutes by those who are certified to use their training materials.

For more information, or to apply for the ETA certification, please visit

Friday, May 11, 8:30 AM –4:30 PM
The DTS campus will be open for graduates, their families, and friends who may wish to visit the Seminary. Please take this opportunity to visit the campus since it will be closed Saturday, May 12, the day of Commencement.

Friday, May 11, 10:00 AM
Commencement Chapel will be held at:

Scofield Church
7730 Abrams Road
Dallas, Texas

The graduating class will assemble in the gymnasium before the service. Please plan to arrive and be in the Scofield gym by no later than 9:00 a.m. for instructions and line-up.

Friday, May 11, 5:30–7:30 PM
Texas Barbecue and Reception
A come-and-go, casual dinner will be served by the faculty and staff to all graduates, participants, and their families and friends on the DTS campus. This is an excellent time for family members to meet and talk with the faculty and staff.

Children who take a plate will need a ticket.

Saturday, May 12, 10:00 AM–12:30 PM
Commencement ceremony at:

Prestonwood Baptist Church
6801 W. Park Blvd.
Plano, Texas

Prestonwood has ample seating for family and friends who wish to attend. Graduates should assemble in the chair loft in the worship center no later than 8:15 a.m. The graduating class will receive instructions for the ceremony and a group photo of all graduating students will be taken. Regalia is not worn for the photo. The line-of-march will form promptly at 9:20 a.m. Childcare is available for children five and under. Registration for childcare will begin in March.

Friday, May 11 | 5:30 – 7:30 PM
Tickets may be purchased online here until Monday, May 7.

The come-and-go BBQ will be held on campus. No program is planned. The BBQ is designed to give graduates and their families an opportunity to visit with one another and meet the faculty and staff. Games, a petting zoo, pony rides, and other activities will be available for children.
Tickets must be purchased online using the Ticket Request Form. Ticket prices are $5 each, and tickets are required. The purchased tickets will then be available for pick up when you pick up your regalia in the bookcenter the week of commencement.
Dress is informal and western attire is encouraged. A picnic atmosphere is planned so feel free to bring blankets to sit on the lawn. Limited table seating will be provided under the “big top.” In the event of rain, we will open up Mabee Lounge in the Student Center, as well as Mitchell Ministry Center.

The Test of Biblical and Theological Knowledge (TBTK) is a required test for all master’s degree graduates. (DMin, PhD, CBTS, and CGS graduates do not need to take the exam.) The final transcript showing the conferral of the student’s degree will not be released by DTS until this obligation is met.

The TBTK is a timed, online exam with a 75-minute limit. Graduates should complete the TBTK in their final semester of study. An email will be sent to the graduates with the necessary web links before graduation. Please check and make sure that your email address will accept messages sent from DTS.

Please contact Institutional Research (214-887-5200) with any questions.

Admission to Candidacy application for spring graduates is due November 1. Applications for summer graduates are due February 1. Applications for fall 2018 graduates are due June 1. Admission to Candidacy is the first step in the journey toward receiving your degree.

The Graduation ceremony application will be available for all ceremony participants December 1–February 15. Students receiving their degrees in the summer may be eligible to participate in the preceding spring ceremony if they can demonstrate, by means of course registration, the ability to complete their degrees by the end of summer. Summer degree recipients must meet all early coursework submission deadlines for ceremony participants.

NOTE: Your admission to candidacy application is not complete until any/all references and church verifications have been received.

If your application is not completed by the appropriate deadline, your graduation date will be shifted to a later session.

Coursework for fall 2017 graduates will be due Friday, December 15 by 4:30 p.m. Coursework for spring 2018 graduates and summer 2018 graduates (participating in the 2018 ceremony) will be due Friday, April 27 by 4:30 p.m.

For additional information or assistance contact the Registrar’s Office at or 214-887-5350.
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Translation services will be provided for the Commencement Ceremony (at Prestonwood Baptist Church) in Spanish and Chinese (Mandarin) only. Please see below for instructions.

Chinese Translation (Mandarin only):

We have a limited number of channels available for people who need Mandarin translation for the Commencement Ceremony. Priority will be given to the graduates and their family members.

If you need translation in Mandarin, please contact BEFORE April 30th. After receiving confirmation that you have reserved a translation receiver, please arrive at the Welcome Center no later than 9:00am to check out the receiver. A driver’s license and/or credit card are required as deposit.

中文同步翻譯: 我們將會在5月12日 提供普通話翻譯給有需要的中文部畢業生及家屬親友。如果您有需要聽普通話翻譯,請在4月30日前與中文部 chineseregistration@dts.edu聯絡,領取連線資訊。當您收到通知已有為您登記預留收聽器時,請在當天早上9:00前抵達歡迎中心領取收聽器,您需要留下駕照及或信用卡作押金。

Traducción en Español (Spanish):

Hemos tenido que cambiar como vamos a tener la traducción disponible para las visitas. Ya no hay necesidad de usar los celulares móviles, ya que la señal en la iglesia no es muy buena. Por lo tanto, vamos a usar los dispositivos que la iglesia usa para traducciones.

El día de la graduación, tendremos una mesa donde se podrán recoger los dispositivos. Si emplean uno, vamos a pedir que nos dejen una forma de identificación como seguridad que regresen los dispositivos.

Estamos creando una lista para tener en mente cuantos vamos a necesitar. Por lo tanto, si están necesitando dispositivos para escuchar la ceremonia de graduación en español, mande un correo electrónico a con el número de cuantos necesita y los nombres de quienes lo necesitan lo antes posible.

Gracias y ¡felicitaciones en llegar a la meta!

Please pick up regalia as early as possible. Regalia must be picked up in the Book Center during the times listed below. Those who cannot pick up their regalia during those times must contact the Registrar’s office at to make other arrangements.

Hoods and gowns have been rented at no additional cost to you and may be purchased after commencement. If you do not wish to purchase your regalia, please return it at Prestonwood after the commencement ceremony.

Friday, May 49am-4:00pm
Monday, May 79am-4:00pm
Tuesday, May 89am-4:00pm
Wednesday, May 99am-4:00pm
Thursday, May 109am-4:00pm
Friday, May 111:00pm-6:00pm


No. If you have submitted your Application for Admission to Candidacy and Church Letter and your Graduation Application (due Nov 1) and have not been contacted by the Registrar’s Office for additional information, then you should have no cause for concern. If you need to review your course requirements, please use the Degree Audit page in CampusNet, then refer any questions to the Advising Center. The Registrar’s Office contacts graduates on the basis of their planned graduation date. You can change your planned graduation date on Campus Net or through the Registrar’s Office. Summer graduates who wish to participate in the Commencement Ceremony must follow the Spring graduation deadlines. 

No. In this case, no news is good news! Since we have already reviewed degree audits for graduating students, if we have not contacted you then you are on track. If you are still not sure, please review your Degree Audit in CampusNet, then contact the Advising Center with any questions.

Yes! If there are problems we will contact you individually, and will allow the time necessary for them to be resolved prior to graduation.

Please contact the Registrar’s Office to verify your plans to participate in the ceremony.


No. Regalia will be rented for you by the Seminary. After the ceremony, it will need to be returned to the rental company. This is necessary to receive your diploma. The rental company will have a return booth at the church. At that time, you may purchase your regalia if you so desire.

Commencement regalia will be available for pick-up on Tuesday, May 8, through Thursday, May 10, from 9:00a.m.- 4:00 p.m. and Friday, May 12, from 1:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m. in the Book Center. Regalia not picked up by Thursday will be delivered to Scofield Church and can be picked up there before Commencement Chapel. After Commencement Chapel, the regalia will be brought back to the Book Center and will be available for pick up until 6:00 p.m. on May 11. Questions about regalia may be addressed to the Registrar’s Office.

Please contact the DTS Book Center to place orders for announcements, class rings, etc.

The Texas Barbecue and Reception is a come-and-go, casual dinner that will be served by the faculty and staff to all graduates, participants, their families and friends on the DTS campus. This is an excellent time for family members to meet and talk with the faculty and staff. Read more about the Texas BBQ and Faculty Reception. Tickets are required ($5 each) and may be purchased online through Friday, May 4.

Absolutely! We highly encourage extension students and their families to join us in Dallas for Commencement. You will march alongside your Dallas classmates. There will also be a reception with Dr. Bailey in your honor prior to the Texas Barbeque. You will receive more information from Distance Education.

Graduation Day

Graduation instructions are mandatory and will be given the morning of Commencement. Please note that students must arrive at Prestonwood Baptist Church and be in the choir loft in the worship center by 8:15 a.m. that morning. Please do not be late! Allow enough time to not only arrive at the church on time, but actually be in the choir loft by 8:15.

Commencement Chapel will be held at Scofield Church in Dallas. Chapel begins at 10:00 a.m. (directions). Graduates must arrive in time to meet in the Gymnasium at 9:00 a.m.

Graduation will be held at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano. The ceremony begins at 10:00 AM. (directions). Graduates must be in the choir loft in the worship center by 8:15 a.m.

Tickets are not required for graduation. There is no limit to the number of family/guests who may attend.

Childcare for ages five and under is only available for the ceremony on Saturday at Prestonwood Baptist Church. Childcare is free, but preregistration is required. The Child Care Request Form will be available in the spring to register for this service. Due to the nature of the event, unless there is an extenuating circumstance, Dallas Seminary requests that you use our free childcare services at Prestonwood. Please take advantage of the childcare. Every year the ceremony is disrupted by crying and fussy children. We love children, but we also want all families to be able to focus on the program without distraction. If you or your family find it necessary to bring infants or small children into the auditorium, please make sure that they are taken out promptly if they begin to cry, fuss, or are otherwise disruptive. This is only common courtesy, and will be appreciated by those around you. 

Guests may arrive as early as two hours before the events, but should plan to arrive at least 45 minutes early to ensure good seating.

You will be seated with others in your degree program, in order, by last name. A line-of-march will be provided when you pick up your regalia.

Hoods for ThM, STM, and DMin graduates are trimmed in scarlet, which represents the discipline of theology; hoods for MA graduates are trimmed in white, which represents arts and letters; hoods for the PhD graduates are trimmed in blue, which represents the discipline of philosophy. All hoods have the Seminary’s school colors, royal purple and gold on the inside. Make sure you have the appropriately colored hood. Contact the Registrar’s Office if your hood is the incorrect color. Certificate students do not wear hoods since they are not degree graduates.

Please dress in appropriate professional, NOT casual, attire.  Dark (navy, charcoal, or black) dress slacks with a dress shirt and tie are suggested for men. Dark dress slacks or a skirt with a blouse, or a dress, or some comparable combination are suggested for women. Dress sandals are allowed for women only. Coats are not suggested.

Please leave purses and personal items (including cell phones – which MUST be OFF) either locked in your car or with a guest or friend not participating in the ceremony.

Yes. Digital videos of the Commencement chapel at Scofield and the Commencement ceremony at Prestonwood will be available for download free of charge.

Diploma Details

After graduation, unclaimed diplomas will be sent to the graduates. You may contact us to hold it until you can pick it up, or we will send it to the address we have on file.

Requests for final transcripts can be requested through the alumni website.

Your diploma and transcript will be mailed to you within several weeks of the end of the last summer session. This should be sometime in September.

No. Your diploma is an original, and only one copy is made. If there is a problem with it, we can reissue you another diploma. Please see the Registrar’s Office if there is a problem.

Dallas Theological Seminary
3909 Swiss Avenue
Dallas, TX 75204-6411

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