Seminary Readiness

A course designed to help first year seminary students reflect upon their current reality and develop a plan to meet potential challenges, both inside and outside the classroom, in order to complete their studies at DTS. This course is best done prior to enrolling in classes or during the student’s first semester.

  • January 21—March 2, 2024
  • March 24—May 4, 2024

Additional course dates will be posted in the future.

After logging into the Portal, you will:

  • Click on “Registration” on the left-side
  • Select “Enrollment Forms”
  • The Seminary Readiness registration form is at the top of the page

Students are introduced to academic and other seminary-related resources for student success. This noncredit course is required for all master’s-level students and consists of six modules completed over six-weeks. Each module addresses a key topic for student success at DTS. Below is an outline of the course and topics:

  • Reading Skills
  • Time Management Skills
  • Research Skills
  • Writing Skills
  • Budget Preparation
  • Spiritual Life Preparation

Students also learn how to use the online course platform (Canvas) during this course. All reading assignments and videos are available in Canvas. This course will simulate future DTS courses with due dates and feedback on assignments. Each assignment is a learning exercise to help students build and sharpen skills for seminary and future ministry. 

This course is available online in Canvas. There are two online video chats with staff members during the course but these are optional. 

Yes, this is required of all Master’s level students who matriculated in Fall 2021 or later. This course is also required for students who began in Spring 2021 or Summer 2021 but whose degree correspond to the 2021-2022 catalog requirements.

Nothing! There is currently no fee associated with this course. If students do not complete the course in their first registered session, there may be a fee for retaking the course in the future.

The time will vary depending on student’s reading speed and time spent on assignments. Some weeks have more pages to read and other weeks have more time spent watching a few videos. The average reading is 32 pages per week. The average video length is 40-minutes per week. Students should plan to spend approximately 2-5 hours per week for this course.

No. All required readings are posted in Canvas. However, the syllabus does recommend some books that will be helpful throughout your seminary journey, including:

  • Michael Kibbe’s From Topic to Thesis (2012). (Amazon, CBD)
  • Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren’s How to Read a Book (1972). (Amazon, CBD)
  • Daniel H. Zacharias and Benjamin K. Forest’s Surviving and Thriving in Seminary (2017). (Amazon, CBD)
  • Kelly M. Kapic’s A Little Book for New Theologians (2012). (Amazon, CBD)

Yes, each assignment will be pass/fail. The course facilitator and other staff will provide feedback on assignments designed to help identify areas of ongoing growth in academic or life skills and provide encouragement along the way. If students do not submit satisfactory work for an assignment, the student will need to resubmit the assignment until satisfactory work is done. This course will not appear on the student’s DTS transcript in the future.

Yes, all assignments are required to pass this course. Each assignment is a learning opportunity to help build or sharpen skills for use inside or outside the classroom. Some assignments might be a refresher in areas where you are already excelling while other assignment may be more of a challenge as you encounter material for the first time or the first time in a long time. We want you to be equipped for your equipping journey at DTS!

Yes, there are due dates listed for each assignment in the course to provide structure and rhythm for school. However, students may work ahead in the course by submitting assignments earlier than the due dates listed in Canvas. Students may also submit assignments after the deadline. However, this is not a good habit for your future studies and future classes will penalize or not accept late work. All work is due by the last day for each course offering.

No. However, incoming students are strongly encouraged to take this course before starting their first semester in their Master’s degree at DTS. This course introduces students to the online platform (Canvas) and assignments specifically geared toward helping students in many first year courses.

Students who do not complete the Seminary Readiness Course in their first year will receive a registration hold. This will prevent the student from registering for their third semester of classes.

Luke Spencer is the Director of Academic Advising. He completed his Master of Theology (ThM) in 2016 and has been on staff at DTS since 2014. He is married and has three children. He is currently working on his PhD dissertation. Luke has a passion to serve students by helping them be equipped for the future and faithful in the present.

If you have questions about this course, you may contact him directly: