Hartford Seminary seeks to model innovative theological and religious education that is contextual, dialogical, and interfaith and is focused on cultivating the leadership potential of its diverse student body. This educational approach:
- takes the historical and experiential sources of religious authority seriously but is necessarily flexible, contextual and dialogical
- begins with practice and uses the intellectual rigor of theory and method to enhance the student’s capacity to be a reflective practitioner
- grounds persons and institutions in a tradition, while encouraging faith-based engagement in diversity and change
To facilitate this goal, Hartford Seminary offers a variety of graduate level educational options including graduate certificates and degrees. Each program is designed to both meet the needs of our diverse student body and offer an outstanding educational experience.
Hartford Seminary’s graduate level degree and certificate programs are designed for flexibility. Students can move fluidly among a number of enrollment options depending on their life circumstances. The number of years it will take to complete a program will depend on the number of credits a student is able to take in a given year; however most programs must be completed in six years. The enrollment options include:
A part-time student is defined as taking six credits or less in a regular semester.
Full-time graduate study consists of a minimum course load of three courses (9 credits) per semester. Many of Hartford Seminary’s full-time graduate students are international students.
Hartford Seminary welcomes students who wish to try out our courses without formally enrolling in a graduate certificate or degree program. There are two options for non-matriculated students, special student status or audit status.
Individuals with a bachelor’s degree (or its educational equivalent), who wish to take courses for credit but have not been admitted or matriculated into a Hartford Seminary degree program, may register to take courses as a special student.
Special students are required to complete all coursework and written assignments and are graded in accordance with the grading policies of Hartford Seminary for degree program students. Special students are not assigned a faculty advisor; advisors are assigned at the time of admission and matriculation into a degree program. However, special students are invited and encouraged to meet with the Director of Educational Services, the Seminary Academic Advisor or the Registrar at the time of course registration, particularly if the individual anticipates seeking admission to a graduate certificate or degree program at some point in the future.
Special students may register for and complete up to 18 credits (six 3-credit courses) before applying and being admitted to Hartford Seminary. Special Students considering enrolling in a Graduate Certificate should do so before completing 12 credits since at least 6 credits must be taken after formal matriculation into the Graduate Certificate program.
All courses (except for Program Specific Courses) are open to auditors on a space available basis. While auditing students are not graded, they are expected to complete readings and other coursework as determined by the faculty member teaching the course. There are two payment rates for auditors, regular audit and special audit. The special audit rate is available to those who meet one of the following criteria:
Persons age 60 and older;
Hartford Seminary graduates of a degree program (D.Min., MA, Ph.D.) or those who have earned a Certificate of Professional Ministry (Cooperative M.Div.) (one course per academic year);
Hartford Seminary donors who donate at the Investor level ($250 annually) and above (one course per academic year);
Hartford Seminary adjunct faculty (one course per academic year);
Pastors whose churches participate in the Congregational Covenant Program of the Seminary (one course per academic year).
Registration is accomplished by completing the Special Student & Auditor Registration Form available as a PDF or online form. All special student and auditor applications will be reviewed for acceptance by Degree Programs staff.
Please note, however, Hartford Seminary reserves the right to limit the number of non-matriculated students in each course. Exclusion of non-matriculated students from a course due to over-enrollment will be based on the date of receipt of the course registration form and payment.