PREPARING FOR SEMINARY

Welcome to WSC! …Now What?

From spiritual preparation to course requirements, check out the pathway to your seminary experience.

Congratulations, You’re In!

Welcome to Westminster Seminary California! We are excited that you will be joining our seminary community. On this page, you will find information regarding New Student Registration and a few other notes to make your transition to WSC as smooth as possible.

In addition to registering for classes, here are a few things you’ll want to do over the coming weeks or months as you prepare to begin your studies at Westminster Seminary California:

Contact the Registrar View Your To-Do List

What are my next steps?

2023 Summer/Fall New Student Registration

  1. Review the appropriate Degree Calendar for your degree. The degree program listed in your student profile in Populi is the program you provided on your application.  If you decide to pursue a different degree program, you will need to submit a request form to the Registrar. Sign up for the classes listed in the first semester of appropriate degree calendar; following a degree calendar when signing up for classes helps you to complete your degree efficiently and to avoid course conflicts in future semesters.
  2. Review Summer and Fall 2023 course schedules.
  3. Watch this Populi tutorial video entitled “How Do I Register for Courses?”, then log in to the Populi Student Information System to register during the designated registration period (contact the Registrar if you are unable to register). Please note the following:
  • You should register for all classes you may need to take this term, including those for which you hope to obtain advanced placement or test out, such as Greek or Hebrew language courses, PT400 Graduate Theological Writing, and PT410 Oral Communication. You will be automatically removed (without charge) from any courses for which you receive a waiver.
  • If you are registering for two terms (i.e. Summer/Fall or Winter/Spring) you will need to change the term directly under the profile menu to get to the other term.
  • You must register for Greek I (Summer) before you can register for Greek II (Fall).
  1. Pay the $100 Enrollment Deposit which is due by June 29 (Fall start), December 15 (Winter start), or January 1 (Spring Start). You can pay by credit or debit card in Populi (under the financial tab) or by sending a check to:

Westminster Seminary California
Office of Admissions
1725 Bear Valley Pkwy
Escondido, CA 92027

  1. Once you are registered, you should see pending tuition charges for the courses you selected as well as any pending aid in the Financial Tab of your Populi account.  Please note, however, that if you have been awarded a scholarship based on a percentage of your tuition, the actual amount may not be calculated yet.  You will receive an invoice for these courses prior to the beginning of the term. Invoice dates: July 7 (for Summer), August 4 (for Fall), December 15 (for Winter), and January 15 (for Spring).

If you would like to make a payment sooner, you are welcome to do that through Populi or by sending a check to our business office. More information regarding tuition and fees, payment schedules, refunds, etc. is available in the Financial Information appendix of the Academic Catalogue, found here.

If you have any further questions about New Student Registration, please contact the Registrar (registrar@wscal.edu).

Important Dates How to Prepare for Seminary

Important Dates

Summer/Fall 2023

June 29: New student registration deadline. $100 Enrollment Deposit Due; $50 Late Fee for registration after this date.
July 17*: Greek Placement Exam, 9am (Hebrew by appointment; contact Registrar)
July 18: Summer Greek I begins, 8am
Aug 18: Summer Greek I ends
Aug 22: Summer Greek I Final Exam, 1pm
Aug 23–25: Break
Aug 28–30: New Student Orientation & Reception
Aug 30: English Bible Exam, 2pm
Aug 31: First day of Fall Semester classes

Winter/Spring 2024

Oct 30–Nov 3: Registration for Winter and Spring
Dec 1–11: Registration for Winter and Spring (New Students)
Jan 9: Winter classes begin
Feb 12: Spring New Student Orientation
Feb 13: Spring classes begin

*Other dates available upon request; please contact the Registrar (registrar@wscal.edu).

What else can I do to prepare for seminary?

Spiritual Preparation

Seek to develop strong relations and personal growth within a Christian church both before and during seminary. It is primarily within this context that students will grow in the knowledge of God’s revealed Word and be built up into maturity. Maintaining a consistent prayer life, study of the scriptures, and involvement with and commitment to a local Christian church is integral and vital to your preparation for seminary and to your own spiritual life in Christ.

Academic Preparation

Cultivate strong academic knowledge in areas related to Biblical studies, such as history, philosophy and language studies. A strong understanding of the liberal arts will assist you in establishing clear, concise, and cogent writing skills that are essential to a seminary education.

Recommended Reading

This resource is provided to introduce various topics that will be covered or referenced during studies at WSC. Please note that this information is provided as a resource only; this reading list is not prerequisite to beginning a degree program at WSC.

Recommended Reading List

English Bible Knowledge

Thorough knowledge of the English Bible is expected of all students at Westminster Seminary California. In order to ensure that all students have an in-depth understanding of the Bible, the Seminary has established an English Bible Exam. The examination is administered two times per academic year. All incoming students are required to take the English Bible Exam during their first semester of studies.  Students who take the English Bible Exam and fail it on their first attempt have the opportunity to retake the exam the next time it is offered. Students who take and fail the exam twice, or who fail to take the exam when required to do so, are required to take OT520 English Bible Survey the next spring semester.

A score of 110 or higher out of 150 questions is required in order to be exempt from OT520 English Bible Survey. Students who fail the exam once will be allowed another attempt to pass it. After a second failure, or neglecting to take the exam, the student is required to take OT520 English Bible Survey (which is offered only in the spring semester) as an elective. Each student must pass the exam or OT520 prior to registering for OT601, OT701, OT702, NT601, NT602, NT701, and ST604 and ST605.  Please note that WSC does not provide a sample test for the English Bible Exam.

Graduate Theological Writing

This propaedeutic course is offered to assist students in developing competency in the organization and composition of essays and papers, correct use of source materials in writing, clarity and style in sentence syntax and paragraph construction, diction, grammar, punctuation, and spelling.  New students registered for their first semester will have an opportunity to obtain a waiver of PT400 Graduate Theological Writing by submitting an academic paper to the Registrar’s office.

For paper requirements, download: Graduate Theological Writing Requirements (PDF)

Oral Communication (MDiv Only)

All MDiv students are required to enroll in PT410 Oral Communication during the first fall semester unless a waiver is granted.  Students may obtain a waiver by delivering a brief devotional speech that exhibits adequate oral communication skills (in preparation, structure, and delivery) to representative faculty of the Department of Practical Theology prior to the first fall semester of study. Further information about student speeches will be provided during the WSC New Student Orientation.  If you do not receive a waiver for PT410, you will be required to take this class before enrolling in PT504 Sermon Preparation and Delivery and the advanced homiletics practica (PT603, PT604, PT704, PT708).  Non-Native, English-speaking students should review the Academic Catalogue for additional information regarding the TOEFL score and eligibility for a waiver of the PT410 requirement.

In preparation for the devotional speech, incoming students are encouraged to review the following guidelines: Writing Your First Speech.

Biblical Languages

Although WSC offers thorough instruction in both Greek and Hebrew, preparation in these languages before seminary will be extremely beneficial for you since WSC places a strong emphasis on the original languages.  Students with prior studies in Greek or Hebrew may “test out” of some of the language requirements by taking a placement exam given by the Biblical Studies Department.  A Greek placement exam is held on the day prior to the start of the Greek I course during both the summer and winter terms, and during New Student Orientation in the fall. The Hebrew placement exam is held prior to the start of fall and spring semesters by arrangement with the Old Testament faculty.  Each exam covers the fundamentals of grammar, vocabulary, and translation of selected passages (see the sample exams below).

Greek and Hebrew Texts

These are the primary texts used for language study at WSC:

  • Greek; S.M. Baugh, A New Testament Greek Primer (Third Ed.) and A First John Reader
  • Hebrew; Gary Pratico and Miles VanPelt, Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar (Second Edition)
Language Program Information and Sample Placement Exams

Greek Program Information (PDF)
Sample Greek Placement Exam (PDF)
Sample Hebrew Placement Exam (PDF)