Does the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University admit lay persons?
Yes! JST has a long history of preparing students lay, religious, and ordained for ministry. Lay students come to JST to prepare for careers in teaching and education, campus ministry, social work, parish life, nonprofit organization, and more. 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. Is it possible to sit in on a class?
Yes, with the professor's permission. When you visit, it is also possible to tour Holy Hill, meet with a faculty member, meet with a current student, discuss your application with admissions staff, and enjoy lunch at one of our local restaurants. We are happy to plan your visit to JST and we will do everything possible to make it as informative as possible and meet your individual needs. Please contact admissions as soon as you know when you'll be in Berkeley.
I am interested in attending, but unsure of a degree program. Can I take courses part-time?
Yes, you may apply to JST as a non-degree student. You will be assigned an academic advisor who will help you select your classes, and you may take up to four classes each semester as a non-degree student. During your enrollment at JST, you will have opportunities to learn more about our 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?
Yes, many classes at JST may be audited. Auditors must apply and be admitted, and they pay the same tuition per credit hour as a student taking the course for credit.
As a student in the M.A. program at JST, will I be able to take classes at other GTU schools?
Yes, as a Master of Arts (M.A.) student affiliated with JST, 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 admissions to explore options.
How important are the letters of recommendation that are required for my application?
It is important that your letters of recommendation address your academic qualifications, preparedness, and potential for doing graduate level study in theology. JST requires two letters of recommendation for those applying to degree programs and one letter of recommendation for an application to the non-degree program. Your letters of recommendation are read by the Admissions Committee as part of the admissions review process.
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 offer financial assistance? How will I know if I qualify for financial aid?
All students who have been admitted to JST are eligible to apply for financial aid grants. You can apply by indicating on your admission application that you would like to be considered. 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 employment opportunities available at JST. 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 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. SCU's FAFSA school code is 001326. Additionally, students must complete the GTU Financial Aid application.
For more information about financial aid, 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 is aware of the high demand for housing in our residential neighborhood, which is just north of the University of California-Berkeley campus. JST offers limited subsidized housing in the form of apartments for single students, married couples, or for two students to share. JST owns and maintains three apartment buildings near the school. One building is priority housing for the school's sabbatical students, and there is usually space available for students in other programs as well. These are studio, one, and two bedroom apartments. JST housing 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. Your housing profile will be kept on file. You will be contacted as information is received by JST about available space in student housing. Because the member schools of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) have limited housing, housing is not guaranteed and students are advised to actively pursue leads for housing through other sources. Many alternate housing sources 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 UnitedHealthcare. 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 are available online.
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 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?
As soon as possible, please contact the JST International Student Advisor, Paul Kircher. You will need to fill out a transfer form so that your SEVIS record can be transferred from your current school to JST. 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.