Church Divinity School of the Pacific


Degrees and Programs Offered at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific

Church Divinity School of the Pacific appears in our ranking of the 30 Best Theological Seminaries in the United States.

At the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, students can choose from three graduate programs, one doctoral program, and two certificate options. The Doctor of Philosophy program requires that students attend the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) but provides them with degrees from the school. Students can choose from courses in four different departments and more than 30 subject areas. Some of the concentrations they can pick include Biblical languages, anthropology of religion, sociology of religion, new religious movements and religion of literature.

In the Master of Divinity program, students look at the connections between religion and other subjects. The residential program asks students to take classes on the Berkeley campus, but the low residence program gives them the option of living and working in other cities. Students can study in the Far East in Hong Kong and similar areas or different parts of England. The Master of Arts (MA) program is popular among students with less church experience. It requires that students spend at least two years on the main campus.

Church Divinity School of the Pacific now offers a Master of Theological Studies (MTS) program too. It includes 16 classes such as one on the Old Testament one on the New Testament and two history courses. Students will also take a class that lets them pick a thesis subject and begin researching that subject. In the next class, they will finish their research and submit a final paper. The school asks that students pick subjects based on what they studied in the program and what interests them.

Certificate programs from the school are also available in theological studies and Anglican studies. In the low residence version, students will take online classes in the fall and spring semesters and then spend two weeks on the Berkeley campus in the summer. Each certificate program includes eight courses and allows students to pick electives and required classes to meet those credits. The school also introduced a leadership program designed for students who want to help their churches. Called the CALL Online Preparation for Leadership, this short program includes Introduction to the New Testament, The Way of Jesus and other online courses.

About the Church Divinity School of the Pacific

The Church Divinity School of the Pacific is a graduate theological seminary that offers programs in religion and similar subjects. Established in 1893, the school opened due to the donation of land from the Episcopal Bishop at the time. Originally located in San Mateo, California, the seminary had a small campus with just one building when it first opened. The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 caused significant damage to the campus and paved the way for it to move to a new location in 1911. This new campus was close to the Grace Cathedral. The school moved once again in 1930 to its current location in Berkeley and became affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley. It helped launch the Graduate Theological Union in the 1960s, which now consists of nine different schools and eight study centers that all work together.

Also known as CDSP, the school started a program designed to help women find positions within the church. St. Margaret’s House opened as a training center for women and served the basis for the St. Margaret’s Visiting Professorship of Women. This program brings in visiting female professors to talk to students about career opportunities and other options available to them. CDSP has an enrollment of around 80 students across all of its programs today.

Church Divinity School of the Pacific Accreditation Details

With accreditation from the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), CDSP has accreditation for all its degree and certificate programs. This accreditation shows students that the school has a commitment to their educational needs and future careers. Though the school does not have regional accreditation, students can still get financial aid that includes programs from the federal government.

Church Divinity School of the Pacific Application Requirements

CDSP offers an online application form that students can fill out after creating accounts with the site. They will also need to copy and paste a link on the website and send it to their references. The school asks for three letters of reference and allows students to submit letters written by their pastors and supervisors as well as their professors. Most programs also require a bachelor’s degree and official transcripts from the students’ former schools. The requirements for the Master of Divinity program include:

  • At least one letter of reference from a church official
  • A signed Bishop’s letter sent to the diocese
  • An interview with the Dean of Students and one other faculty member

Though most programs require an interview, students can complete that interview in one of two ways. Those who live far away from the campus can complete the interview over Skype. Students who live close by can interview with the school in person. Though some programs only ask for two letters of reference, most require that students submit transcripts and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as well as the school’s financial aid application.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Most of the students attending CDSP pay $700 per credit, including those in the divinity and theology programs. The cost rises to $711 per credit for those in the MA program. Students taking online classes pay a $230 fee for each of their classes, but the school offers a partner fee that drops this cost to $205 for some students. MTS students must pay a fee of $35 after they finish the first semester. MA students pay $4,140 each semester after the first one too.

Financial aid packages can help students afford the CSP cost of attendance. The school must have a completed application on file and receive the FAFSA before it will award any type of aid. It has a deadline of March 15 for aid too. Students can qualify for the Institutional Work Program (IWP) or Federal Work-Study (FWS). This gives students the choice between standard jobs and specialty jobs offered by the school. There are also loans, grants and scholarships for incoming and returning students. The Church Divinity School of the Pacific offers scholarships based on the need and merit of students and special programs for those in select degree programs.

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