Certificate of Graduate Studies (CGS)*

The CGS is a 30-hour program offers an introduction to seminary coursework for laypersons in the church which can be transferred into a full degree program. The CGS is also available in Chinese.
*Note: This degree was formerly titled Certificate of Biblical and Theological Studies (CBTS).


Bible Exposition 9
Other Bible Exposition Courses 6
BE101 Bible Study Methods and Hermeneutics 3
Systematic Theology 9
Other Systematic Theology Courses 6
ST101 Introduction to Theology 3
Pastoral Ministries 2
PM101 Spiritual Life 2
Electives 10
CGS Electives 10
30 Hours
complete 100% online

The CGS degree is based on the principle that any follower of Christ will benefit from advanced training in biblical and theological studies, becoming a more effective minister of the gospel wherever they serve. This degree is intended for those not planning on vocational ministry training.


Complete 100% Online or at any DTS Location

The CGS can be completed by taking courses online or at one of our eight locations.


This certificate program provides a flexible course of study for:

  • Christian laypersons who desire a short program of seminary studies to equip them for effective ministry in the local church or elsewhere
  • those who wish to begin seminary studies on a trial basis to help them determine if they desire to pursue a degree program
  • Christian workers with limited time available for seminary studies (Those who intend to enter a professional ministry are encouraged to apply for admission to one of the master's-level degree programs.)
  • missionary candidates who anticipate service in nonprofessional ministries whose mission board requires graduate study in Bible and theology
  • college graduates who want a year of seminary studies as a supplement to their undergraduate work
  • spouses of current DTS students who want to complete a program of graduate seminary studies


Educational Goals

To enable students to:

  • demonstrate a general knowledge of the Bible
  • evidence a general knowledge of premillennial theology and an ability to support their theological views.

Spiritual Goal

To enable students to evidence an increasing likeness to Christ as manifested in love for God, love for others, and the fruit of the Spirit.

Ministry Goal

To enable students to evidence an interest and involvement in the local church or other ministries with which they are associated.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements and application procedures for the Certificate of Biblical and Theological Studies program are the same as for all programs of study at the Seminary.

Course Requirements

Thirty hours of coursework are required, consisting of 9 hours in Bible Exposition, 9 hours in Systematic Theology, 2 hours in Pastoral Ministries, and 10 hours of electives. Students are able to take up to 6 additional hours beyond the designated 30 hours without needing to apply to a degree program.

Flexibility in the Bible and theology courses and in the 10 hours of electives allows students to select courses suited to their particular interests and needs. Many, if not all, of these courses may be completed online. Contact the Admissions office or Registrar’s office for more information.

Transfer Credits

Transfer of up to six credit hours from accredited graduate theological schools is allowed toward the Certificate of Biblical and Theological Studies.

Students must normally have earned a grade of C or better (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) in order to be eligible to transfer a course from another institution to Dallas Theological Seminary. Transferability of credits earned at this institution and transferred to another is at the discretion of the receiving institution. Consult the Registrar’s Office for further information.

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