DTS will adhere to all current COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, as well as the protocols in place at the chapel and commencement venues, by respecting safe distances for seating and by limiting the number of attendees (based on current information, we anticipate each graduate will be able to invite between 4 and 6 guests, but this information will be updated as we get closer to the commencement weekend). Masks will be required to be worn for the entirety of the various commencement events. These guidelines apply to those who have been vaccinated as well. We are closely monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 situation and will update this information as needed on the public Commencement web page at http://www.dts.edu/commencement.

Preparation

Important Deadlines

Admission to Candidacy is the first step in the journey toward receiving your degree. Admission to Candidacy applications for spring 2021 graduates were due November 1, 2020. Applications for summer 2021 graduates were due February 1, 2021, and applications for fall 2020 graduates were due June 1, 2020.

Graduates from the 2020 commencement have already been admitted to candidacy and do not need to take any action related to candidacy in order to participate in the 2021 ceremony.

Graduation Ceremony Application

The graduation ceremony application will be available for all ceremony participants December 1 – February 15 (excepting 2020 graduates who have been contacted separately to confirm participation). Students receiving their degrees in the summer of 2021 may be eligible to participate in the spring 2020 ceremony if they can demonstrate, by means of course registration, the ability to complete their degree requirements by the end of the summer. Summer degree recipients must meet all early coursework submission deadlines for ceremony participants.

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.

If you have submitted your Application for Admission to Candidacy, Church Letter and 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. IMPORTANT: 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 2021 graduates who wish to participate in the Commencement Ceremony must follow the Spring graduation deadlines.

No. In this case, no news is good news. Degree audits have already been reviewed for graduating students, and if you have not been contacted then you are on track. If you’re still unsure, you may contact the Advising Center  with any questions.

Yes! If there are problems, you will be contacted individually in order to resolve any issues prior to graduation.

If you were a graduate in May 2020, you were extended an invitation to return to Dallas to participate in the May 2021 ceremony. You will be asked to verify your intent to participate/not participate and confirm your regalia measurements. Questions concerning participation in the 2021 ceremony should be directed to the Registrar’s Office.

Questions concerning participation in the 2021 ceremony should be directed to the Academic Dean’s Office.

Coursework

Coursework for fall 2020 graduates was due Friday, December 11 by 4:30 p.m. Coursework for spring 2021 graduates and summer 2021 graduates (participating in the 2021 ceremony) will be due Friday, April 23 by 4:30 p.m.

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

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 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 (214-887-5200) with any questions.

Regalia & Attire

Graduates should 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, and coats are not suggested.

Women should dress appropriate to the occasion. A dress, or dark dress slacks or a skirt paired with with a blouse, or some other comparable combination is 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.

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

Friday, April 30, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Monday, May 3, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Tuesday, May 4, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Wednesday, May 5, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Thursday, May 6, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Friday, May 7, 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Graduates in the Dallas area should make all efforts to pick up regalia prior to the commencement events. Regalia not picked up by end of day Thursday, May 6, will be delivered to the Commencement Chapel venue and can be picked up there the morning of Friday, May 7 prior to 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 pm. Questions concerning 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.

Graduation Memorabilia

Graduation announcements, class rings, diploma frames, and other items are available for purchase through the DTS Book Store. Staff at the Book Store 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.

Class Gift

Each year, the graduating class collects money for a physical gift for the benefit of future students at DTS. Past graduating class gifts have included outdoor seating by Hope Coffee, outdoor seating by Walvoord Student Center, artwork in various buildings on campus, the large campus sign facing Live Oak, the “classic” campus sign on Swiss Avenue, TV monitors across campus, and trees/landscaping across campus.

The 2021 graduating class, along with the recent graduating class of 2020, is gifting artwork for the lobby of the new Chapel and Student Life Building being constructed on the Dallas campus. This new building will become the heartbeat of the campus, and beautiful art will enhance the experience for students, staff, and guests using this facility.

Donate here.

Faculty Excellence Voting

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

Vote here Monday, March 29 – Sunday, April 11.

Events

Visiting Campus

Friday, May 7, 2021 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 8, the day of commencement. Graduates and their families will have the opportunity during this time to tour the new Chapel and Student Life Building.

 

Commencement Chapel

Friday, May 7, 2021
10:00 am - 11:30 am
Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Church
Speaker: Dr. J. Scott Horrell, Professor of Theological Studies

The Commencement Chapel will be a ticketed event. Each graduate may invite a maximum of five guests. Graduates must complete the guest registration form in order to bring guests.  Please stay tuned for more information.

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 https://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. Please note: children under the age of 2 who can sit in a parent’s lap for the entirety of the service will not need a ticket. Children over the age of 2 will require a ticket and a separate seat.

Yes. Photos and videos of the Commencement Chapel will be available for download free of charge. Contact the Alumni office for more information.

Commencement Chapel is a special chapel service for graduates and their friends and families. This is a ticketed event. The number of tickets available to each graduate is not yet determined. Those not able to attend in person can participate via livestream at dts.edu/live.

Graduation BBQ Picnic

Friday, May 7, 2021
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
DTS-Dallas Campus

 

A come-and-go, casual dinner will be served to all graduating students with their families and friends on the DTS campus. The BBQ picnic is designed to give graduates and their families an opportunity to visit with one another and meet the faculty and staff.

This is a ticketed event. Each graduate may invite a maximum of five guests to the BBQ Picnic. Graduates must complete the guest registration form in order to bring guests.

Graduation Ceremony

Saturday, May 8, 2021
10:00 am - 12:30 pm
Prestonwood Baptist Church
Speaker: Dr. Erez Soref President, Israel College of the Bible

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 8:15 a.m. and meet in the sanctuary 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.

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.  

The Commencement Ceremony will be a ticketed event. Each graduate may invite a maximum of five guests. Graduates must complete the guest registration form in order to bring guests.

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.

Do not miss rehearsal! 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.

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. Please note: children under the age of 2 who can sit in a parent’s lap for the entirety of the service will not need a ticket. Children over the age of 2 will require a ticket and a separate seat.

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! For Spanish and Mandarin translation services available for the Commencement ceremony, please click here.

Post-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 transcript 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. 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.