DTS - Diploma in Theological Studies

The Diploma in Theological Studies is a general program that is designed to provide theological enrichment and a solid base for lay ministry. Diploma seekers may use their study time as a retreat, taking time away from busy lives to seek further spiritual development. Others may choose to continue their studies and to pursue a master’s degree, having received substantial grounding in theological education.


Program Length
Distance Learning

Length of Program

This is a 24-credit hour program. The Diploma may be completed in two full-time terms, with an average workload of 40 hours per week. The Diploma may be taken part-time over three years but must be completed by the end of the third year. In our experience, it is difficult for full-time students employed more than 10 hours a week to complete the Diploma program successfully in one year. The Diploma in Theological Studies can be completed either on campus or off-site through VST’s Zoom classroom technology.


Any 5 of the Core Courses


  • 9 credit hours of elective courses (may be taken from among the above courses, or through other courses for which the student has the prerequisites).

Specialization within the Diploma in Theological Studies:

Students enrolled in the Diploma in Theological Studies program may petition to undertake a revised program of study that meets their specific needs and interests, while maintaining the integrity of a broadly-based general theological studies program.

A student may petition after the successful completion of at least three core courses, and their petition must be accompanied by a letter of support from a faculty member. The petition will be considered by a sub-committee consisting of the Dean, the Registrar, and at least one additional member of the Admissions committee.

Information Literacy and Research Skills

All degree and diploma students are required to complete six hours of non-credit, no-fee research modules in Information Literacy. The modules will engage students in hands-on as well as theoretical work intended to develop knowledgeable, disciplined and critically astute researchers.

See the Research Skills Module Schedule for further information.


An undergraduate degree is required, preferably in the humanities.

Distance Learning

The Diploma in Theological Studies can be completed 100% by distance.