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



Spring 2020

Final Application Deadline is November 15, 2019

Fall 2020

 Final Application Deadline is June 15, 2020



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

*Failure to undergo the background check will result in exclusion from admission consideration. An individual with a criminal conviction is not automatically excluded from admission; the School will evaluate the time frame, nature, gravity, and relevancy of the conviction or charge offense in making a decision. Applicants 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 $455 per credit hour and this rate is 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 maintaining an intentional focus on the practical skills needed for ministry leadership. Certificate graduates will use their newly honed theological understanding 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