Frequently Asked Questions
Does the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University (JST-SCU) admit lay persons?
Yes, JST-SCU has a long history of preparing candidates for ministry, both lay and ordained. Lay students come to JST-SCU to prepare for careers as teachers, campus ministers, social workers, pastoral associates, and leaders in nonprofit organizations, just to name a few. Others plan to do scholarly work and are here to prepare for or complete doctoral studies. Many lay students, who have already had active ministries or done significant volunteer work, enroll to improve their ministerial skills.
I would like to plan a visit to JST-SCU. Is it possible to sit in on a class?
Yes, it is possible to visit a class, with the professor's permission. It is also possible to tour "Holy Hill," meet with a faculty member and/or a current student, discuss your application with the Director of Admission, and enjoy lunch at one of our local restaurants. We are happy to plan your visit to JST-SCU and we will do everything possible to make it as informative as possible and meet your individual needs.
Please contact the Office of Admissions as soon as you know when you'll be in Berkeley. While we are not able to offer overnight accommodations, we can make recommendations for reasonable lodging in the area.
I am interested in attending, but unsure of a degree program. Can I take courses part time?
Yes, you may apply to our non-degree programs. You will be assigned an academic advisor who will help you select your classes (you may take up to four classes each semester as a non-degree student). During your enrollment at JST-SCU, you will have many opportunities to learn more about our various degree programs and how suitable they might be for you. Courses taken for credit as a non-degree student can usually be applied to a degree program.
Is it possible to audit a class at JST-SCU?
Yes, many classes at JST-SCU may be audited or taken for credit. Auditors must apply and be admitted and they pay the same tuition per credit hour.
As a student in the MA program at JST-SCU, will I be able to take classes at other GTU schools?
Yes, as a Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Arts in Biblical Languages (MABL) student affiliated with JST-SCU, you will be able to take classes from the other member schools of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU). Your academic advisor will assist you in selecting the courses that will fulfill requirements in your program.
Are correspondence or long-distance programs offered?
Online offerings are limited at this time. If you are a part-time student, a working professional, or a person already involved in ministry and looking to explore new dimensions of your faith, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (510) 549-5013.
How important are the letters of recommendation that are required for my application?
JST-SCU requires two letters of recommendation for those entering our degree programs and one letter of recommendation for an application to the non-degree programs. Your letters of recommendation are read by the Admissions Committee as part of the admissions review process. Therefore, it is important that your letters of recommendation address your academic qualifications, preparedness, and potential for doing graduate level study in theology.
Preferably, these letters would be from persons who recently taught you. If you have been out of school for an extended period of time, a recommendation from your employer, a professional colleague, or a church or community leader will be acceptable.
Does JST-SCU offer financial assistance? How will I know if I qualify for financial aid?
All students who have been admitted to JST-SCU are eligible to apply for financial aid grants. Financial aid applications
are available from the Office of Admissions
. Priority deadlines are March 1st for the fall semester and October 1st for the spring semester. Award notifications are sent out about one month after the deadline.
There are internal work-study opportunities available at JST-SCU. Students who are interested in a part-time job at the school should apply for financial aid and answer "yes" to the work-study question. We mail information about job openings during the summer.
JST-SCU also participates in the Federal Direct Loan Program, which offers low-cost loans to degree or certificate students who are U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens. To apply, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form online (the JST-SCU FAFSA school code is G10333) as well as the GTU Financial Aid application, which is available online by following the embedded link.
For more information, please contact:
GTU Consortial Financial Aid Office
2400 Ridge Road
Berkeley, CA 94709
I want to attend JST-SCU, but will I be able to afford housing in Berkeley?
JST-SCU is aware of the high demand for housing in our residential neighborhood, which is just north of the University of California, Berkeley campus. JST-SCU is able to offer limited subsidized housing in the form of apartments for single students, married couples, or for two students to share. One building, Corcoran House, at 2564 Virginia Street, one block from JST-SCU’s Academic Center, is priority housing for the school's sabbatical students, and there is usually space available for students in other programs as well. These are one and two bedroom apartments. For housing provided by JST-SCU, preference is given to full-time students enrolled in degree programs.
Students who need assistance in securing housing should complete the Student Housing Information Profile and submit it with the Application for Admission or return it directly to JST-SCU. Your housing profile will be kept on file. You will be contacted as information is received by JST-SCU about available space in student housing. Because the member schools of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) have limited housing, it is not guaranteed, and students are advised to actively pursue leads for housing through other sources (many are mentioned in the information included with the Student Housing Information Profile). If you begin your search early, and are patient and flexible, you are likely to succeed in finding affordable housing.
Am I required to have health insurance? What kind of coverage is available to me if I don't already have some?
JST students are eligible for medical benefits through the health insurance plan offered to graduate students at Santa Clara University. Coverage is with Aetna Insurance. For more information about the insurance plan offered, including cost, view the plan brochure.
Eligibility and Requirements: Any student enrolled for 6 or more units in a semester is eligible to participate in the health insurance program. Any student enrolled for 9 or more credits in a semester must have health insurance, either student health insurance or a health insurance plan of comparable benefits.
Application: Applications for health insurance and details of the plan will be available online in August 2010. For more information now, you can contact the JST-SCU Business Office, Jay Ramirez, (510) 549-5044 or email@example.com.
Waiver: Students who are required to carry health insurance but carry their own plan should bring proof of coverage (insurance card or policy) to the JST-SCU Business Office at the time of registration.
I have been studying at another school in the U.S. as an F-1 student. What should I do?
Please contact as soon as possible the JST-SCU International Student Advisor, Paul Kircher, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (510) 549-5029. You will need to fill out a transfer form so that your SEVIS record can be transferred from your current school to JST-SCU. You will also have to submit proof of financial support for the duration of your JST-SCU program. The transfer of your SEVIS record must be completed within 60 days of the I-20 end date for your current program of study. Additionally, you must start your new program at JST-SCU within five months of the previous I-20 end date.