Graduation Applications

Admission to Candidacy is the first step in the journey toward receiving your degree. Admission to Candidacy application for spring graduates is due November 1, 2019.  Applications for summer graduates are due February 1, 2020. Applications for fall 2020 graduates are due June 1, 2020.

NOTE: Your admission to candidacy application is not complete until any/all references and church verifications have been received.

If your application is not completed by the appropriate deadline, your graduation date will be shifted to a later session.

The Graduation ceremony application is available for all ceremony participants December 1, 2019–February 21, 2020. Students receiving their degrees in the summer 2020 may be eligible to participate in the preceding spring ceremony if they can demonstrate, by means of course registration, the ability to complete their degrees by the end of summer. Summer degree recipients must meet all early coursework submission deadlines for ceremony participants.



Coursework for fall 2019 graduates will be due Friday, December 13 by 4:30 p.m. Coursework for spring 2020 graduates and summer 2020 graduates (participating in the 2020 ceremony) will be due Friday, April 24 by 4:30 p.m. 

For additional information or assistance contact the Registrar’s Office at or 214-887-5350.

No. If you have submitted your Application for Admission to Candidacy and Church Letter and your Graduation Application 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. 

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.

Yes! If there are problems, we will contact you individually and will allow the time necessary for them to be resolved prior to graduation.

Please contact the Registrar’s Office to verify your plans to participate in the ceremony.

Test of Biblical and Theological Knowledge (TBTK)

The Test of Biblical and Theological Knowledge (TBTK) is a required test for all master’s degree graduates. (DMin, PhD, CBTS, 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 in 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 (214-887-5200) with any questions.

Regalia & Attire

Please dress in appropriate professional, NOT casual, attire for commencement.

Under their regalia, men should wear a dress shirt, dark (navy, charcoal, or black) dress slacks (not jeans), dark socks, and dark dress shoes. Ties are optional. Coats are not suggested.

Women should dress appropriate to the occasion. 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.

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. Even so, dark clothing is preferred.

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.

Commencement regalia will be available for pick-up at the Book Store on:

  • Friday, May 1, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Monday, May 4, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, May 5, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 6, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 7, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Friday, May 8, 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Regalia not picked up by Thursday will be delivered to Scofield Church and can be picked up there before Commencement Chapel. After Commencement Chapel, the regalia will be brought back to the Book Store and will be available for pick up until 6:00 p.m. Questions about regalia may be addressed to the Book Store.

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.

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.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

DTS seeks to make both commencement chapel and the commencement ceremony accessible to students. Students requiring accommodations for these events should submit their requests to the Director of Services to Students with Disabilities, Carisa Ash (; 214-887-5368) by Friday, April 10.

Graduates Living Outside of the U.S.

International students who are eligible to walk in graduation and are currently living outside the US can still attend graduation. In order to do this, the student will need to apply for a B-2 tourist visa. This will allow the student to come to the US and participate in graduation. The process for applying is different in each country, so for more information check with your local US Consulate or Embassy.


Visiting Campus

Friday, May 8, 2020, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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 since campus will be closed Saturday, May 9, the day of Commencement.

Commencement Chapel

Friday, May 8, 2020, at 10:00 a.m.

Scofield Memorial Church

7730 Abrams Road
Dallas, Texas

Speaker: Dr. Mark Bailey
President, Dallas Theological Seminary

Instructions for Graduates

The graduating class will assemble in the gymnasium before the service. Graduates should plan to arrive and be in the Scofield gym no later than 9:00 a.m. for instructions and line-up.

Texas BBQ Picnic & Faculty Reception

Friday, May 8, 2020, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

A come-and-go, casual dinner will be served to all graduates 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.

Tickets are required may be purchased online between Monday, April 30 and Sunday, May 3. Remaining tickets will be available for purchase in the DTS Book Store Monday, May 4 through Friday, May 8 while supplies last. Note: children who take a plate will need a ticket.


Saturday, May 9, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.​

Prestonwood Baptist Church

6801 W. Park Blvd.
Plano, Texas

Speaker: Dr. Erez Soref,
President of Israel College of the Bible

Instructions for Graduates

Arrive promptly at 8:15 a.m. Meet in the choir loft (at 8:15), in the worship center for the class photo and instructions. You will not wear your regalia for the photo.

The Commencement Ceremony is at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano. The church is located at 6801 W. Park Blvd (NW corner of Midway and W. Park). The church is only a few blocks west of the Dallas North Tollway on W. Park (NOT Parker). The quickest way to the church is up the Dallas North Tollway from downtown or from I-635 if coming from the east or west. Allow at least 35 minutes to get to the church from the Seminary or from Garland/Mesquite. Prestonwood has ample parking for our event, but allow a few minutes to get from your car into the building. Graduates should plan to be in the choir loft by 8:15 a.m., so plan accordingly.

Graduates will reassemble in the choir room promptly after the photo for final instructions, robing, and lineup. Signs will be available to direct you. It is important that you move quickly to the choir room as we have a lot of information to cover in a short time.

The actual line-of-march will form promptly at 9:20 a.m. It is important that you line up as quickly as possible. The processional will begin promptly at 10:00 a.m. The line-of-march is where you will be given your name card which you will need as you cross the stage to receive your diploma.

In the processional, the tassels are to be kept to the right. The caps for all graduates (men and women) should be worn so that the mortarboards are level and not tilted.

In the Commencement service the men should remove their caps at the singing of the doxology and should not replace them until the academic dean presents the graduates for their degrees. Women keep their caps on for the entire ceremony. Watch when the faculty remove and replace caps.

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 Barbecue. You will receive more information from Distance Education.

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 8:15 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 8:15.

Tickets are not required for graduation. There is no limit to the number of family/guests who may attend.

Childcare for ages five and under is only available for the ceremony on Saturday at Prestonwood Baptist Church.

Child care for the commencement ceremony is free, but pre-registration is required. Dallas Theological Seminary highly encourages the use of the available child care services for children under five due to the nature of the event.

Registration for child care will remain open until Tuesday, May 5. Register here.

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.

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.

Yes. Digital videos of the Commencement chapel at Scofield and the Commencement ceremony at Prestonwood will be available for download free of charge. Contact the Alumni office for more information.

Yes! For Spanish and Mandarin translation services available for Commencement, click here.



All those who participate in the Commencement ceremony will receive a diploma cover when crossing the stage, not their actual diploma. Diploma covers are kept by the Seminary for use at the Commencement ceremony. They need to be returned when returning regalia and picking up diplomas. Spring graduates may pick up diplomas near the regalia return table in the foyer after the ceremony. If you are a summer participant (or if you have already received your degree), please turn in your diploma cover with your regalia.

After graduation, unclaimed diplomas will be sent to the graduates. You may contact the Registrar’s Office to hold it until you can pick it up, or we will send it to the address we have on file.

Requests for final transcripts can be requested through the alumni website.

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.

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 contact the Registrar’s Office if there is a problem.

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. Its services include assistance with résumé development, interviewing and candidating, 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 website.