Lay Institute at DTS

Fast Answers About the Lay Institute

General Information

What is the Lay Institute?

Founded in 1974, the Lay Institute at DTS (formerly the Center for Biblical Studies or CBS) provides biblical and theological education to adult students. This is accomplished through biblical, theological, spiritual life and ministry skill courses.

Now, online courses provide theological lay training across the globe. Anyone with internet access can participate. Consider gathering as a group at your church or local meeting place.

What is the Lay Institute’s purpose?

The Lay Institute helps Christian adults grow in their personal knowledge of and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. As students grow, the Lay Institute equips them for faithful service in their church, family, and occupational settings.

What is the Lay Institute’s relationship to Dallas Theological Seminary?

The Lay Institute is a non-accredited continuing education ministry of Dallas Theological Seminary to adults (17 years and older). The Lay Institute provides courses designed to enhance and enrich the student’s personal faith and walk with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Prospective students wishing to train for professional ministry or to enroll in graduate-level theological education at Dallas Theological Seminary should contact the seminary’s Admissions Department.

Live Lay Institute

When do Live Lay Institute classes meet?

Lay Institute courses meet on Monday or Tuesday evenings during the fall and spring semesters. At times, Saturday seminars will be offered.

Fall and Spring Semester Schedules

Eight-week courses run for 1 hour per night. Six-week courses run for 1.5 hours per night.

1st course: 6:45 to 7:45 p.m.
15-minute break before the 2nd course: 7:45 to 8:00 p.m.
2nd course: 8:00 to 9:00 p.m.
6-week course: 6:45 to 8:15 p.m.

During the spring semester, the Lay Institute closes the week of spring break.

Who teaches the Live Lay Institute courses?

The Live Lay Institute (on campus) recruits its faculty from graduate-level seminary students enrolled at Dallas Theological Seminary. After years of ministry, the Lay Institute program at DTS has developed more than 700 teachers; many of them have contributed to the proclamation of the Gospel and the growth of the church all over the world.

Where do Lay Institute classes meet?

Most Lay Institute classes meet in the Campbell Academic Center or in the Todd Academic Center.

Where should I park at DTS?

After 5 p.m., Lay Institute students may park in any of the well-lighted parking lots on Apple Street (between Live Oak and Swiss Avenue). Follow the orange Lay Institute traffic cones to the Campbell Academic Center (CAC) or to Todd Academic Center, across from the Police Kiosk.

DTS Campus Police require parking permits. Pick up your permit the first day of class from the registration table or from the police kiosk and display it in the dash of your car each evening of the course.

Online Lay Institute & Online Leadership Development Certificate

Why two educational venues and what is the difference between the two?

The Live Lay Institute is taught by DTS students and covers a wide range of topics. You will gain from instruction about current cultural issues, church history, Bible exposition and Christian living. It is an exciting way to get a holistic perspective of being a Christian in our culture. Homework is usually limited.

The online Lay Institute delivers more Seminary content and is a good option for churches desiring to provide theological and in-depth biblical training. Taught by seminary professor video, it will also require more work from the student.

For this reason, we offer a certificate program for those interested in training lay leaders theologically and biblically.

What is the Online Leadership Development Certificate Program?

To earn an Online Leadership Development Certificate, the participant must take 10 courses with the DTS Lay Institute Online. The certificate verifies that the participant has earned 20 Continuing Education Units from Dallas Seminary Lay Institute. Each course requires 8 hours of video viewing, and 8 weeks of homework and reading assignments and quizzes.

View the Certificate Course Plan.

Who teaches the Online Lay Institute courses?

In the Online Lay Institute option, enter a virtual classroom session to hear the lectures given by DTS faculty. Each lecture is supplemented with downloadable PowerPoint slides and transcripts to aid in learning. An additional benefit is that each video can be watched as many times as necessary so that you can absorb the details. To complement the experience, each course allows you to engage in discussion with other members enrolled in the course. Homework assignments, quizzes, and reading assignments provide learning reinforcement. Discussion question answers are provided for most of the questions asked. Choose this excellent option to help train the leaders of your church in lay-level theology and Bible study.

When do online courses meet?

For the Online Lay Institute, courses run on a semester schedule, starting the same day that the On-campus Lay Institute begins. However, each online participant will be given a full 4 months to finish the course. In other words, the course can be self-paced, although we recommend doing it together in a group and meeting weekly.

Where do online courses meet?

Each online course can meet wherever you choose. Try meeting together as a church group. Coffee shops offer a vibrant atmosphere and pastries (bring headphones), or how about watching the videos at home, in your comfort clothes, with a snack by your side.


When can I register for Lay Institute courses?

Registration opens:

Fall Semester: July 15
Spring Semester: January 15
How much will I pay for Lay Institute courses?

Tuition is $40 for the first course and $30 for each course thereafter. It is payable the first day of class. The Lay Institute accepts cash, checks, credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover), and debit cards. Make checks payable to “DTS.” Please avoid mailing cash.

Online Lay Institute courses are $40.00/course.

How do I register for Lay Institute courses?

Students may register through one of these three convenient options: online, by mail or fax, or in person. Go to the Registration Process webpage to review these options.

Will I receive confirmation that you have received my registration?

By registering online, you will receive an automated e-mail confirming your registration. Otherwise, please call the Lay Institute office (214-887-5325 or 214-887-5259) for confirmation.

When is the latest that I can register?

You can register as late as the start of the second session of the course. During the fall and spring semesters, the second session of each course meets the second week of the course.

What if I change my mind about my registration?
Students may drop or add courses through the second class session. For dropped courses, the Lay Institute will refund paid tuition less $5 through the second class session.