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Graduation Application Process

Students apply to graduate in the semester he/she is graduating. Students will be notified by email when they are eligible to apply for graduation. Summer graduates are only eligible to participate in the May commencement ceremony preceding their summer graduation date. (ex. Summer 2023 graduates are eligible to participate May 2023 Commencement). DTS only holds Commencement ceremonies at the end of the spring term.

Due Dates for Graduation Application in Portal:

  • Fall 2023: October 1, 2023
  • Spring/Summer 2024: February 1, 2024

Students can locate the Graduation Application in the Student Portal by:

  1. Logging into the Student Portal
  2. Clicking on “My Profile” (left-side menu)
  3. Selecting “Document Center”

Students can check the status of their Graduation Application in the Student Portal. If the application is not completed by the due date, then the student’s graduation date will be moved to a later semester. 

Please note: All graduation application information (participation, references, dissertation title, etc.) must be received by March 1 to ensure inclusion in the printed spring Commencement Ceremony program.

Graduation Checklist

Students must submit two reference forms. Students must send the links to their references:
 
  1. A Church Letter – Indicating the student has been in attendance/participation in a local church during the student’s time at DTS. (Spanish Form; Chinese Form)
  2. A Personal Reference – This is a pastor or someone with spiritual oversight in the student’s life. (Spanish Form; Chinese Form)

If students use a generic email for their church (info@ or contact@), be sure to follow-up with the staff member who oversees this inbox. Questions about the status of reference letters should contact Student Life: studentlife@dts.edu

Due Dates for References and Supporting Materials:

  • Fall 2023: November 1, 2023
  • Spring/Summer 2024: March 1, 2024

Graduating students will submit coursework approximately two-weeks before the end of the term (or earlier as required by the professor). Students should notify professors they are graduating, which may mean quizzes or exams in Canvas will need to be available for graduates.

Fall 2023 Graduates Coursework Due: Friday, December 8
Spring 2024 Graduates Coursework Due: Friday, April 26
Summer 2024 Graduates Coursework Due (Participating in Commencement): Friday, April 26
Summer 2024 Graduates Coursework Due (NOT Participating in Commencement): Follow due dates in syllabus or Canvas

The Test of Biblical and Theological Knowledge (TBTK) is a required test for all master’s degree graduates. (DMin, DEdMin, EdD, PhD, 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 at the end of 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 by phone (214-887-5200) or by email (irdept@dts.edu) with any questions.

Graduation announcements, class rings, diploma frames, and other items are available for purchase through the DTS Bookstore. Staff at the Bookstore would be happy assist you with any questions you may have concerning graduation memorabilia. Visit them on the DTS-Dallas campus or email them at bookstore@dts.edu.

For many years the graduating class has collected money as a gift for the benefit of future students at DTS.

The 2024 graduating class has the wonderful opportunity to “pass it back” to current students still in the process of completing their seminary training by contributing to the new graduating class scholarship fund.

Donate here.

Each year, the graduating class chooses two members of the faculty to receive an award in “Teaching Excellence”.

Voting will open Monday, February 26 – Friday, March 15.

 

Vote here.

If you indicated on your graduation application that you are participating in the Commencement Ceremony, your cap and gown have already been rented for you. You will be able to pick up your cap and gown from the DTS Bookstore on the DTS-Dallas campus. The regalia pickup schedule is as follows:

  • Friday, May 3, 9:00am – 4:00pm
  • Monday, May 6, 9:00am – 4:00pm
  • Tuesday, May 7, 9:00am – 4:00pm
  • Wednesday, May 8, 9:00am – 4:00pm
  • Thursday, May 9, 9:00am – 12:00pm
  • Friday, May 10, 2:00pm – 6:00pm

Graduates should make every effort to pick up regalia prior to the commencement events. Regalia not picked up by noon on Thursday, May 9, will be delivered to the Commencement Chapel venue and can be picked up there the morning of Friday, May 10 prior to Commencement Chapel. After Commencement Chapel, the regalia will be brought back to the Bookstore and will be available for pick up until 6:00pm. Regalia not picked up by 6:00pm on Friday will be available at Prestonwood the morning of the Commencement Ceremony (Sat., May 11).

Ceremony

Visiting Campus

Friday, May 10, 2024 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

The DTS campus will be open for graduates, their families, and friends who may wish to visit the seminary. This is an opportunity to visit the DTS-Dallas campus as campus will be closed Saturday, May 11, the day of commencement.

Commencement Chapel

Friday, May 10, 2024
10:00 am – 11:30 am

Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Church (Worship Center)

1660 W. Camp Wisdom Rd, Dallas, TX

Speaker: Dr. Reg Grant, Chair and Senior Professor of Media Arts & Worship

Commencement Chapel is a special chapel service for graduates and their friends and families.

Unfortunately, only the Commencement Ceremony at Prestonwood Baptist Church will be available to watch via livestream. The Commencement Chapel will be recorded and posted to voice.dts.edu/chapel approximately one week after the chapel service.

Graduates may sit with friends and family members at Commencement Chapel. Unlike at the Commencement Ceremony, there will not be a reserved seating section for graduates.

Unfortunately, childcare will not be available at Commencement events. Children are welcome to attend both Commencement Chapel and the Commencement ceremony, however we ask that crying or restless children be taken out of the auditoriums during the services as a courtesy to others.
Yes. Photos and videos of the Commencement Chapel will be available for download free of charge. Contact the Alumni office for more information.

Graduates should wear regalia over appropriate business-casual attire for both commencement and commencement chapel. Please plan to pick up your regalia in advance of these events if at all possible.

 

Examples of appropriate business-casual clothing for women are dresses, dress shirt/skirt, dress shirt/dress pants with dress shoes/sandals.

 

Examples of business-casual clothing for men are dress shirts/dress pants with dress shoes.

 

To maintain consistency and the proper decorum, graduates should not wear any external decoration on the outside of their regalia.

 

International students are welcome to wear native attire under their regalia as appropriate and consistent with the regalia.

Texas BBQ with Faculty

Friday, May 10, 2024

5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

DTS-Dallas Campus

A BBQ dinner will be served by the faculty to all graduating students with their families and friends on the Dallas campus. This event is designed to give graduates and their families an opportunity to visit with one another and meet the faculty and staff. Dress is casual.

Meal tickets are $10 per person (ages 5 and under are free) and are available for purchase online from the DTS Book Store. A limited number of tickets will be available for purchase at the Bookstore on the evening of the BBQ.

For Dallas Theological Seminary’s centennial celebration, each graduation BBQ ticket purchased online or in person will receive a special commemorative golden BBQ ticket. Golden BBQ tickets will be available at the DTS Bookstore when graduates pick up their regalia starting on Monday, April 29, 2024. Simply show the DTS Bookstore staff your digital or printed receipt, and you will receive a commemorative golden BBQ ticket. Golden BBQ tickets will not be mailed but must be picked up in person at the DTS Bookstore on or after Monday, April 29, 2024. 

Graduation Ceremony

Saturday, May 11, 2024
10:00 am – 12:30 pm

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

Speaker: Rev. Tim Lundy, Senior Pastor of Venture Christian Church

Instructions for Graduates:

The Commencement Ceremony is at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano (6801 W. Park Blvd.). Graduates should plan to be there promptly at 8:00 a.m. and meet in the choir loft located in the worship center for instructions and rehearsal.

During this time, graduates will receive instructions for lineup, robing, and walking the stage. Signs and staff will be available to help direct graduates. It is important that graduates arrive promptly and pay close attention to instructions during this time.

After the ceremony, graduates will be released to return their regalia and meet with family members and guests.

Yes! The commencement ceremony will be livestreamed Saturday, May 10, 2024 at 10:00AM (CST).
Absolutely! We highly encourage graduates from all locations and their families to join us in Dallas for Commencement.
International students or guests wishing to attend graduation may come to Dallas as a tourist with no special visa requirement (depending on the country from which he or she is traveling from). Please consult the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of State for detailed information regarding visa requirements and travel guidelines for specific countries of origin.
Graduates should arrive promptly to Prestonwood Baptist Church by 8:00 AM on Saturday, May 11. Graduates will receive instructions for the commencement ceremony at this time. Participation in the instructions is mandatory. Graduates should not be late! Enough time should be allowed to not only arrive at the church by 8:00, but to be in place for instructions by 8:00.
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.
Yes. Photos and videos of the Commencement chapel and the Commencement ceremony will be available for download free of charge. Contact the Alumni office for more information.
Unfortunately, childcare will not be available at Commencement events. Children are welcome to attend both Commencement Chapel and the Commencement ceremony, however we ask that crying or restless children be taken out of the auditoriums during the services as a courtesy to others.
You will be seated with others in your degree program, in order, by last name. DTS staff will assist you in the finding your place in the line of march and your appropriate seat in the sanctuary.
Yes! For Spanish and Mandarin translation services available for the Commencement ceremony, go to commencement.dts.edu.

Graduates should wear regalia over appropriate business-casual attire for both commencement and commencement chapel. Please plan to pick up your regalia in advance of these events if at all possible.

 

Examples of appropriate business-casual clothing for women are dresses, dress shirt/skirt, dress shirt/dress pants with dress shoes/sandals.

 

Examples of business-casual clothing for men are dress shirts/dress pants with dress shoes.

 

To maintain consistency and the proper decorum, graduates should not wear any external decoration on the outside of their regalia.

 

International students are welcome to wear native attire under their regalia as appropriate and consistent with the regalia

After Graduation

Diplomas

All those who participate in the Commencement ceremony will receive an empty diploma tube when crossing the stage, not their actual diploma. Diplomas will be mailed to graduates from the Registrar’s Office following Commencement.
Diplomas will not be handed out at graduation. All diplomas will be mailed to graduates after commencement. Questions regarding diplomas should be directed to the Registrar’s Office.
Your diploma and transcript will be mailed to you according to your address on file within several weeks of the end of the last summer session. This should be some time in September.
Final transcripts can be requested through the alumni website.
Diplomas are original, single-copy documents and duplicates cannot be made. If there is an error, however, a new diploma can be issued by request through the Registrar’s Office.

Career Services

The Office of Career Services offers a lifetime of support for DTS graduates and provides consultation to graduating students, alumni, and ministries throughout the hiring process. Their services include assistance with resume development, interviewing, and compensation guidelines. The Career Services office also assists ministries as they search for candidates and maintains a database of ministry opportunities through their Ministry Opportunities Listing. For more information, please visit the DTS Career Services page here.