Academic Departments

Purpose

TESOL is an acronym for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages and is used to describe the teaching of English as a second language (ESL) or foreign language (EFL). The Dallas Theological Seminary TESOL Certificate prepares students for teaching ESL in the United States and EFL overseas. The TESOL Certificate can be used for teaching English in educational and business settings, but it does not qualify students to teach in the U.S. public school system.

The TESOL Certificate at Dallas Theological Seminary provides a course of study for:

  • Christian workers who desire a short program of graduate studies to equip them for teaching English to speakers of other languages
  • Missionary candidates who anticipate serving in countries where TESOL skills can provide a platform for entry, access and ministry
  • Dallas Theological Seminary students and spouses who anticipate using TESOL skills as a platform for intercultural ministry in the United States

TESOL Goals

Educational Goals

  • To equip students academically and professionally for teaching English as a second language outside the U.S. public school system.

Spiritual Goals

  • To enable students to evidence an increasing likeness to Christ as manifested in fulfilling God’s commands to “love thy neighbor as thyself” and to “go into all the world and preach the good news.”

Ministry Goals

  • To enable students to evidence an interest and involvement in English instruction as a platform for intercultural ministry.
  • To enable students to instruct people from different cultures and appreciate and love them regardless of differences.
  • To equip students with training that facilitates access to peoples and regions that are closed to the Gospel but open to the English language.

Admission Requirements

The TESOL Certificate is open to all students enrolled at Dallas Theological Seminary, including nondegree and CBTS students.

Course Requirements

Students must complete the following World Missions (WM) courses and Spiritual Formation and Leadership (SL) courses to be eligible for the TESOL certificate:

  • WM605 General Linguistics – 3 hours
  • WM610 Introduction to TESOL – 3 hours
  • WM615 Methodology and Practice of TESOL – 3 hours
  • SL205 TESOL Internship – 1 hour
  • WM210 Intercultural Communication – 3 hours
  • Recommended but not required: WM205 Cultural Dynamics in Ministry – 3 hours; or WM325 Ministry in Multicultural America – 2 hours

Some TESOL courses may count toward other degree program requirements. For example, WM210 is required for the MA/CM and ThM Intercultural Ministry emphasis. For more information, consult the Registrar’s Office or Department of World Missions and Intercultural Studies.

Transfer Credits

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

TESOL Q&A

Who teaches TESOL courses at Dallas Theological Seminary?
Dallas Theological Seminary TESOL courses currently are taught by Inna Chats, Adjunct Professor in World Missions and Intercultural Studies, TESOL Coordinator.
What types of jobs are available to people with TESOL certification?
Job opportunities include teaching ESL in the United States at private schools, language schools, community colleges, and intensive English programs associated with universities. Overseas opportunities include teaching EFL at schools, universities, non-governmental agencies, and businesses that need to train local employees.
How useful is a TESOL certificate for ministry in the U.S. and worldwide?

The United States is home to international students, business people, refugees and immigrants who are eager to learn English. ESL classes are offered to these groups and others in churches, schools, colleges, social service agencies and civic centers around the country. Most universities have intensive programs that help international students improve their English proficiency in order to be accepted to undergraduate and graduate programs.

ESL is also in great demand overseas. Knowing and speaking English is seen as critical to success in international business, education and politics. English learners value the instruction that certified English teachers can provide, especially if those teachers are native English speakers. With a TESOL Certificate, English-speaking professionals in specialty fields (e.g. science, technology, medicine) also have a unique opportunity to teach technical English.

What are the benefits of teaching English to speakers of other languages?
The real reward of teaching ESL is the role it can play in fulfilling God’s commands to “love thy neighbor as thyself” and “go into all the world and preach the good news.” Through ESL, you can interact with people from different cultures and learn to appreciate and love them regardless of differences. English-teaching opportunities are available locally and globally, and TESOL certification can give you access to countries that are closed to the gospel but open to the English language.
Do I need to speak multiple languages in order to teach speakers of different languages?
No. Typically, your ESL students will speak a variety of languages. It would be a rare ESL teacher who could speak all these languages even partially. Although it is helpful to speak the languages of your students, it is not necessary.