Commencement

Frequently Asked Questions

Preparation/Paperwork

I have not received any emails regarding graduation. Should I be worried?
No. If you have submitted your Application for Admission to Candidacy and Church Letter and your Graduation Application (due Dec 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. 
Will I be notified that I am cleared for graduation?
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.
My church letter and admission to candidacy is still showing pending on my webpage. Is this OK?
Yes! If there are problems we will contact you individually, and will allow the time necessary for them to be resolved prior to graduation.
What do I do if I want to participate, but I graduated in Summer or Fall of 2013?
Please contact the Registrar's Office to verify your plans to participate in the ceremony.

Regalia / Announcements / Planning

Do we have to buy regalia?  How/where do I do that?

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.

When do I pick up my regalia?
Commencement regalia will be available for pick-up on Tuesday, May 7, through Thursday, May 9, from 8:30a.m.- 4:00 p.m. and Friday, May 10, from 1:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m. in the Walvoord Student Center, 2nd floor, Collins Lounge. Regalia not picked up by Thursday will be delivered to Scofield Memorial Church and can be picked up there before Commencement Chapel. After Commencement Chapel, the regalia will be brought back to Collins Lounge and will be available for pick up until 6:00 p.m. on May 10. Questions about regalia may be addressed to the Registrar's Office.
Where do I get graduation announcements? Class rings?
Please contact the DTS Book Center to place orders for announcements, class rings, etc.
Where do I get barbeque tickets? Do I need to pay for them?
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. Read more about the Texas BBQ and Faculty Reception. Tickets will be available online in the spring.
Where can my parents stay when they come for graduation?
Please consult DTS' recommended list of places to stay.
I attend classes at an extension. May I participate in Commencement?
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

What if I miss rehearsal?  What do you do if you come at different times?
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 8:30 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 8:30.
Where is the Commencement Chapel? Where is graduation? What time should I arrive?

Commencement Chapel will be held at Scofield Memorial 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 8:30 a.m.

Do I need tickets for graduation? How many people can I bring?
Tickets are not required for graduation. There is no limit to the number of family/guests who may attend.
Are children allowed at graduation? Is there a nursery? What do I need to do for childcare?
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. 
When should guests arrive at the chapel? What about graduation?
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.
Where will I sit at graduation? How is this determined?
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.
What are the different regalia colors and what do they mean?
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.
What do I wear to graduation?
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.
Should I bring purses and personal items?
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.
Will I get a video of graduation? What is the cost?
Yes. Digital videos of the Commencement chapel at Scofield and the Commencement ceremony at Prestonwood will be available for download free of charge from iTunes.

Diploma Details

How do I get my diploma if I'm not at graduation?
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.
When will I receive my transcript?
Requests for final transcripts can be requested through the alumni website.
If I'm a summer graduate, when do I get my diploma?
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.
Can I get a duplicate diploma?  What if the information on my diploma is wrong?
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.