Public Theology Certificate Program

For the first time, the American Baptist Seminary of the West, in partnership with the PICO National Network, is launching a Public Theology Certificate Program focused on societal issues this summer.

Program Details

The 5-course 18-month certificate program is designed to fill the gap between what current seminary curriculum offers and the need for faith-based community leaders to bring their spiritual perspective to the most pressing issues of the day. Classes will cover issues ranging from morality and society to community organizing.  Participants will also be expected to participate in a placement at a community organization working to expand opportunities for justice.

Course Structure
  • Course 1 – Summer 2017 – one-week intensive course (begins July 17, 2017)
  • Course 2 – Fall 2017 – weekly semester-long course
  • Course 3 – January 2018 – one-week intensive course
  • Course 4 – Spring 2018 – weekly semester-long course
  • Course 5 – Summer 2018 – internship course
Who Can Apply

The Public Theology Certificate Program is open to both currently enrolled ABSW degree-seeking students and non-ABSW students. For non-ABSW students, applicants must be people involved in congregational leadership (both ordained and non-ordained) for at least two years, and completion of a bachelors degree is preferred.

  • ABSW Students: Certificate courses will be charged at the current masters tuition rate ($700 per unit), with scholarships available for up to 72% for these five courses.
  • Non-ABSW Students: Certificate courses will be charged at the rate of $450 per course, with scholarships available up to 100%.
Application Requirements

Applications must be received no later than July 1, 2017. All applicants must complete the Public Theology Certificate Program application form available online here. The application must be completed in one sitting, so please have the items below prepared in advance before starting the application. Required application materials include:

  • Public Theology Certificate Program application form
  • Essay questions – approximately 250 words for each of the two questions listed here:
    1. What in particular about the Public Theology Certificate Program influenced you to apply?
    2. Select what you understand to be one of today’s most critical issues and reflect on it in terms of your own theological perspective.
  •  Transcript
    — Non-ABSW students: You must submit an official transcript to the Admission Office (address below)   showing that you have completed at least a bachelors degree for your file to be complete.
    — Current ABSW students: You must request an unofficial copy of your ABSW transcript from the ABSW Registrar to be submitted to the Admission Office. Transcripts from your previous degree programs do not need to be re-submitted.
Contact Information

For more information, please contact:

Meagan M. Wood, M.Div.
Director of Admissions, ABSW
2606 Dwight Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510)841-1905 ext 229