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Graduate Certificate in Theological Studies

Graduate Certificate Theological Studies

Designed for professionals and dedicated laity with a deep yearning for thoughtful theological reflection, this non-degree, for-credit, graduate certificate program provides theological literacy for transformational leaders.


Graduate Certificate in Theological Studies Required Courses


Course                                                    Course #             Credits       

Christian Traditions 1                                THCH 511             3      
Foundations in Old Testament                THOT 500             3        
Foundations in New Testament              THNT 500             3     
Foundations in Theology                           THTP 500             3     
Models of Moral Leadership                     THET 501             3   

Elective                                                         THXX XXX             3   

Elective                                                         THXX XXX             3    

Elective                                                         THXX XXX             3    


Total Required Hours: 24


Required Courses:

THNT 500.24 Foundations in New Testament, Tuesdays/Thursdays 9:30-10:45am

THTP 500. ONL Foundations in Theology, online



THET 500.10 Ethics, Mondays 6:30-9:15pm

THPC 500.HYB Pastoral Care, Mondays 9:30-10:45am

THGU 500.HYB Missional Theology, Thursdays 8-9:15am

THCH 701.10 Classics of Christian Devotion, Mondays 6:30-9:15pm

THCH 510.10 Baptist Heritage, Mondays 1:30-4:15pm

THGU 502.10 Cultural Intelligence, Mondays 1:30-4:15pm

THGU 800.10 Interreligious Dialogue, Mondays 9:30-12:15pm

THGU 800.HYBa Social Justice and Sustainability (requires conference attendance)

THTP 800.24 Philosophy for Theology, Tuesdays/Thursdays 9:30-10:45 am

THWL 800.ONL Congregational Song, online

THWL 500.HYB Worship, Mondays 9:30-10:45am


2017 Fall Final Application Deadline is June 1, 2017.

2018 Spring Priority Admissions Deadline is October 1, 2017.

2018 Spring Final Application Deadline is November 15, 2017.

2018 Fall Priority Admissions Deadline is January 15, 2018.


Graduate Certificate applicants for admission to the McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University are required to have a regionally accredited bachelor's degree with a liberal arts core or proof of an equivalent degree from a foreign university. Admission will be based on your total application (GPA, commitment to the Christian faith, and background check). Ultimate approval of admission is given by the Dean. 

For individuals who do not currently possess a bachelor's degree, but who want to work towards a Masters in theological study, Mercer offers pre-theology education through the College of Liberal Arts in Macon and through Penfield College in Atlanta. For more information about these programs, contact Mercer's Office of Undergraduate Admission.

Certificate Application Process

We are glad you are interested in applying to McAfee. Below are the requirements for applying. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

  1. Biographical Information - (can be submitted online through this link)

  2. Resume - (Including Church Positions and Service, Secular Occupations, Community Involvement, Academic Honors, and Research, Civic, or Leadership Awards)

  3. Official Transcripts from all higher educational institutions previously attended

  4. Background check* - Background check to be filed online at Castle Branch, or call 1-888-666-7788 for more information. Please allow up to 2 weeks for us to receive the report. The package cost is $33.50, which must be ordered and purchased directly online by the applicant. The admissions office will supply the appropriate step-by-step directions on how to complete the background check. Please download instructions to order your background check and have it sent to the McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University.

  5. $50.00 application fee


*In order to fulfill contracts with our seminary partners, McAfee School of Theology now requires that all McAfee applications undergo a criminal background check. Admission into McAfee is pending receipt of a background check report from Applicants are responsible for ordering and purchasing their own background check directly online.

  • Each applicant must authorize McAfee School of Theology to obtain a background check in order to satisfy the admission requirements.

  • The only exclusion to the background check will be special exceptions made for International Students who are in the process of obtaining, or have obtained the F-1 visa. This exception is monitored by the Admissions Office, which has the right to administer the exemption as necessary.

  • Failure to undergo the background check will result in exclusion from admission consideration. If criminal behavior is detected in the background check, the student may not be admitted to McAfee School of Theology. Students may appeal the decision and will have the opportunity to present information to dispute the background check.

Nondiscrimination Policy

Mercer University is committed to providing equal educational programs or activities, and equal employment opportunities to all qualified students, employees, and applicants without discrimination on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, disability, veteran status, sex, sexual orientation, age, or religion, as a matter of University policy and as required by applicable state and federal laws, including Title IX. Inquiries concerning this policy may be directed to the Equal Opportunity/ Affirmative Action Officer/Title IX Coordinator, Human Resources Office, 1501 Mercer University Drive, Macon, Georgia 31207, phone 478-301-2788 or contact, or in cases of Title IX concerns, these concerns may be referred to the Office of Civil Rights.

Graduate Certificate in Theological Studies

What does it cost to attend McAfee?

Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology is a private school with very affordable tuition. Students pay $410 per credit hour and this rate is reduced from $910 per credit hour due to generous contributions from supporting churches and organizations. Many students receive additional tuition discounts from their state and national denominations.

What kind of financial aid is available for certificate students?

All of our students receive financial assistance. Graduate Certificate students benefit primarily from the tuition grant described above. Non-degree seeking students are not eligible for scholarships or federal financial aid.

What is the purpose of the certificate program and what can I do with it after graduation?

McAfee has an excellent academic reputation while maintaing an intentional focus on the practical skill needed for ministry leadership. Certificate graduates will use their newly honed theological savviness to provide insight and support within their existing profession or to become bi-vocational. Our graduates are working in churches, colleges, seminaries, social entrepreneurship, businesses, non-profit organizations, and missions. They serve in every church position imaginable.

Does McAfee have a denominational affiliation?

Yes, we are a Baptist seminary and a graduate program of the oldest Baptist university in Georgia. We also hold associations with many different Baptist organizations and churches. Our accreditation is under the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship denominational title.  You can also read more about our mission and founding principles. About seventy-five percent of our students are affiliated with 15 different Baptist denominations. We also have students representing twenty-one additional denominations such as Disciples of Christ, Presbyterian, AME, CME, Anglican, Nazarene, Church of God, COGIC, and Episcopalian.

What if I don’t have a religion or Christianity undergraduate degree?

As long as you have a bachelor’s degree with a “liberal arts core” from a regionally accredited college or university you will be fine.

How long does it take to complete the program?

The certificate program is a 24 hour degree consisting of 8 classes. It can be completed in as little as one year and must be finished in six years to be awarded the certificate. Many courses are available both online and face-to-face. Students may register for one to four classes per term. Students must complete the certificate program within six years.

Can I transfer credit into the program?

Students may not cross-register for courses at other institutions, nor will transfer credit outside of McAfee School of Theology be accepted for the certificate program.

Are you located in downtown Atlanta?

No, we are about nine miles northeast of downtown. Our campus is just inside interstate 285 where it crosses Interstate 85. Surrounded on three sides by protected woodlands, the Mercer Atlanta campus is a quiet place to study and live.

Does McAfee offer online or correspondence courses?

Our certificate program consists of mainly on campus classes, though some required courses may be offered online or in a hybrid format on occasion.

What is the difference between a “Seminary” and a “School of Theology?"

Generally speaking they are the same thing. We usually refer to a stand alone school as a “seminary” and a school associated with a university as a “divinity school" or "school of theology." In both cases, students are considered “seminary” students.

What are the other student like at McAfee?

Our student body is evenly divided between males and females and ranges in age from 22 to 65+. In addition to our denominational diversity, we are an ethnically diverse learning community with African American, Hispanic, Asian, and international students making up over fifty percent of the student body. Students come from evangelical and congregational protestant backgrounds and embody a heightened sense of social justice and a holistic view of evangelism and mission. 

Can I transfer my credits from the certificate program into a Masters program to continue my education?

Current students in the Graduate Certificate Program, as well as graduates of the program, may choose to apply to a Master’s level degree program. Applicants will be required to complete the entire admissions process and submit all required materials. Courses taken at McAfee under the certificate program will be carried over into the appropriate Masters program, if requested and completed within the 6-year time frame.

Can current McAfee students in a degree program receive the certificate?

McAfee School of Theology students in a degree-seeking Master’s level program may choose to apply to the Graduate Certificate Program. Courses taken at McAfee under a degree-seeking program may be applied to the Graduate Certificate Program, as long as the student did not receive merit based scholarship funding or federal financial aid for that course.

Is this program out of Mecer's adult education program or McAfee?

Students in the Graduate Certificate Program are McAfee graduate students and will be required to abide by Mercer University and McAfee School of Theology policies and procedures, including but not limited to the Community of Respect, Code of Conduct, and Academic Integrity.


If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us:

Office of Admissions
McAfee School of Theology
Mercer University
3001 Mercer University Drive
Atlanta, GA 30341-4115

(678) 547-6474
Fax: (678) 547-6478

Our admissions staff understands the importance of being servant leaders and seek to help guide students through the sometimes challenging admissions process. So if you have questions, concerns, thoughts, ideas, or just need to talk about vocational options, know we are here to help. We would love the opportunity to get to know you, answer your questions, and invite you to visit our beautiful campus located just 10 minutes north of downtown Atlanta. To speak with one of them directly, follow the links below:


Nikki Carroll Hardeman
Director of Admissions,

(678) 547-6357


Natalie King
Enrollment Associate,

(678) 547-6474