"Let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest-time, if we will not give up." Galatians 6:9

FAQs



Frequently Asked Questions



About ABSW

For more information, contact the Office of Seminary Advancement.



How do I make a request for a transcript?
How is ABSW associated with GTU and University of California, Berkeley?
Is ABSW accredited?
May I take classes at other GTU schools and Cal Berkeley?
What do ABSW students typically do after graduation?
What programs are offered by ABSW?
When are classes held?
When was ABSW established?
Where is ABSW located?

Admissions

For more information, contact the ABSW Admissions Office.



How do I apply for admission to ABSW?
How do I contact the recruitment office?
Is ABSW affiliated with a specific denomination?
May I apply online?
What are the admissions requirements?
When is the admission application due?
When will my application be considered?

Current Students

For more information, contact the ABSW Registrar. 



How do I add or drop a class after the start of the semester?
How do I ask for a grade to be changed?
How do I register for a class at another GTU school?
How do I register for a class at UC Berkeley, Mills College, or Holy Names University?
How do I register for courses at ABSW?
How do I replace a lost key card?
How do I replace a lost library card?
How do I sign-up for a Special Reading Course?
How do I take an "Incomplete" for a class?
When can I register for courses at ABSW?
Who do I call for help regarding online registration?

Financial Aid

For more information, contact the ABSW Financial Aid Office.



How do I apply for Financial aid?
Where do I send my Financial Aid Supplement?
Who do I call for help in completing my FAFSA?
Who do I call if I have not received my award notice?

International Students

For more information, contact the ABSW Registrar.



What immigration status do I need to live in on-campus housing?
What INS forms do I need to complete if admitted as an international student?
Who do I call for help regarding international student admission?



How do I make a request for a transcript?

Please send a completed and signed Transcript Request Form, along with a check or money order for $5.00 per copy, to Nancy Svensson, ABSW Registrar. Please allow five days from day of receipt for processing.

 

Nancy Svensson

ABSW - Office of the Registrar

2606 Dwight Way

Berkeley, CA 94704

 

Click the link to access the Transcript request
PDF




How is ABSW associated with GTU and University of California, Berkeley?

ABSW is a founding member of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), which was formed in 1962.  The Graduate Theolgoical Union is composed of ABSW, the Church Divinity School of the Pacific (Episcopal Church in the USA), the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology (Roman Catholic Church), the Franciscan School of Theology (Roman Catholic Church), the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley (Roman Catholic Church), the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America), the Pacific School of Religion (multidenominational), the San Francisco Theological Seminary (Presbyterian Church - USA), and Starr King School for the Ministry (Unitarian Universalist)

 

As a student at ABSW you are also a student of the GTU and may cross register for classes at the other member schools.  You may also take classes on a limited basis at the University of California, Berkeley, Mills College, and Holy Names University.




Is ABSW accredited?

Yes, ABSW is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools.


May I take classes at other GTU schools and Cal Berkeley?

Yes.  Please see the ABSW catalog or contact the Registrar for specific details.


What do ABSW students typically do after graduation?

ABSW graduates are engaged in a vast range of ministries, traditional and non-traditional.  Positions held by ABSW graduates include senior and associate pastors, youth ministers, ministers of Christian Educaiton, Music ministry,  health care chaplains, campus chaplains,  military chaplains, colleges and seminaries professors, international missionaries, and director of non-profit agencies.  . In short, ABSW graduates go on to do great things for the church and for the world.




What programs are offered by ABSW?

Master of Divinity

Master of Arts in Community Leadership

Master of Arts (in cooperation with the GTU)

Th.D. and Ph.D. (in cooperation with GTU)

Doctor of Ministry in partnership with Bakke Graduate University, Seattle, WA

Certificate of Ministry

Certificate of Theology

Certificate of Advanced Studies




When are classes held?

ABSW is sensitive to the needs of students who must work full or part time. Consequently, the majority of classes at ABSW are held in the evening, Monday through Thursday. Most classes are offered in three hour blocks one day a week. Students enrolled at ABSW may elect to take courses offered at the other member schools of the Graduate Theological Union. These courses are generally offered during the day.  Use the Online Searchable Course Schedule to explore your options!




When was ABSW established?

ABSW traces its lineage to the 1871 Charter of California College.  The school was first located in Vacaville, California and then moved to Oakland in 1887.  In 1912 California College relocated in Berkeley, changing its name to Berkeley Baptist Divinity School.BBS as it was known, merged with California Baptist Theological Seminary of Covina, California. The current name, American Baptist Seminary of the West was adopted in recognition of this new partnership.


Where is ABSW located?

2606 Dwight Way

Berkeley, CA 94704

 




How do I apply for admission to ABSW?

You may request an application by calling the ABSW Office of Recruitment at 510-841-1905 .  You may also apply online.  The online application may be accessed by clicking here.


How do I contact the recruitment office?

You may send email to: recruitment@absw.edu  or call 510-841-1905.


Is ABSW affiliated with a specific denomination?

ABSW gladly welcomes students from all Christian traditions.  We are a recognized seminary of the American Baptist Churches, USA and  the Progressive National Baptist Convention. Our students and faculty come from a variety of other denominations as well including United Methodist, African Methodist Episcopal, National Baptist Convention, Souther Baptist Convention, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, Free Methodist Church and Christian Methodist Episcopal.




May I apply online?

Yes.  You can access the online application by clicking here.


What are the admissions requirements?

For any of othe Masters degree programs, a Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution is required.  For the Doctor of Divinity degree, the Master of Divinity degree is required.  For other admission requirements, please consult the specific degree program for details or the ABSW catalog.




When is the admission application due?

Completed applications will be considered at any time prior to four weeks before the start of the semester.  However, applicants seeking admission for the fall semester who also intend to apply for campus housing and financial aid are advised to submit all necessary material prior to June 1.




When will my application be considered?

As soon as all application materials are received, including references, transcripts and fee, the application is given to the admissions committee for review.


How do I add or drop a class after the start of the semester?

Before the end of the second week of classes, you can add or drop a class through WebAdvisor for no fee. After the end of the second week of classes, you must file a Change of Enrollment form with the ABSW Registrar and pay a $100 fee. Forms are available from the Registrar.


How do I ask for a grade to be changed?

Change of Grade forms must be submitted by the instructor of the course. Student should contact the instructor regarding any changes or questions regarding his/her grade.


How do I register for a class at another GTU school?

IF you are taking the class during the Fall, Spring, or Intersession terms, registrar for GTU classes in the same way that you would register for an ABSW class. During the summer, you will need to go to register directly with the school offering the course.


How do I register for a class at UC Berkeley, Mills College, or Holy Names University?

Cross-Registration forms are available from the ABSW Registrar. Please be sure to contact the Academic Dean or your advisor for approval of the course. Not all courses are tranferable to ABSW.


How do I register for courses at ABSW?

Registration for ABSW students occurs in two phases. The first phase involves meeting with student's advisor to select courses and then registering for courses online using WebAdvisor. Before a student can register online, all outstanding fees must be paid in full. The second phase involves coming to the ABSW campus and paying for the courses for which you have registered online.


How do I replace a lost key card?

Contact Nancy Svensson at 510-841-1905 or by email at nsvensson@absw.edu.

 




How do I replace a lost library card?

Contact the ABSW Registrar to obtain a new card.  When you receive your new card, you will need to take it to the GTU library and have it activated.


How do I sign-up for a Special Reading Course?

To register for a SRC, you must have the approval of the faculty member with whom you want to work. Upon the approval of the faculty member, complete a SRC form. This form can be obtained from the ABSW Registrar. This form must be completed and signed by the faculty member administering the SRC, the student's advisor, and the Academic Dean. Once the form is complete, it should be submitted to the ABSW Registrar for processing.


How do I take an "Incomplete" for a class?

First you must receive permission from the instructor of the course for taking an incomplete. Second, obtain from the ABSW Registrar a Petition to Take An Incomplete form. Third, fill out the form and obtain the instructor's signature. Fourth, submit completed form to the ABSW Registrar for processing. Please note that an "I" will be permanent on your transcript, but will be accompanied by your final grade and will not affect your GPA. If the incomplete work is not done before the 3rd Friday after the end of the term, the grade for the incomplete class automatically becomes an "F".


When can I register for courses at ABSW?

Online registration is open to students during early registration, general registration, and late registration for the fall and spring semesters. General registration occurs the week before courses begin; late registration occurs the first two weeks of courses. Early registration occurs during November for the spring semester and in April for the  fall semester. Please consult the GTU website or cantact the ABSW Registrar for specific dates.




Who do I call for help regarding online registration?

Please contact the ABSW Registrar at 510-841-1905 or bhorridge@absw.edu

.




How do I apply for Financial aid?

Anyone who is interested in receiving financial assistance must  complete a FAFSA application. This FAFSA can be completed online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. A paper application can be requested by calling 800/433-3243. The ABSW code is G01120. Students enrolling in ABSW must also submit the GTU Financial Aid Supplement Form. This form can be found on the GTU website www.gtu.edu/admissions/fiancialaid. Submission can be done online, emailed, faxed, or mailed. Questions regarding financial aid should be directed to the ABSW Office of Recruitment(recruitment@absw.edu) or to the GTU Financial Aid Office (finaid@gtu.edu).




Where do I send my Financial Aid Supplement?

Send the form to: 

    GTU Financial Aid Office

    2465 LeConte Ave

    Berkeley, CA 94709 

                           

 




Who do I call for help in completing my FAFSA?

The GTU Financial Aid Office at 510-649-2469.




Who do I call if I have not received my award notice?

The GTU Financial Aid Office: 510-649-2469.


What immigration status do I need to live in on-campus housing?

You must have a valid student visa. For more information on student visas, click here.

 




What INS forms do I need to complete if admitted as an international student?

You must obtain a student visa.  Please check with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service for the proper forms.

 

  http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1268.html


Who do I call for help regarding international student admission?

If your are an international student, the ABSW Registrar can assist you in applying. 

 

 

Some points to remember:

 

All international applicants must prove financial support prior to entering the U.S. on a student visa. This is done through a Certification of Finances form. 

 

In addition to the regular admission requirements, international applicants who are not native speakers of English will be required to submit a minimum score of 550(written) or 213 (computer) on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). 

 

Students are responsible for obtaining their own student visas to enter the United States for compliance with all pertinent requirements of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. Students must fill out an I-20 form, which they will receive upon acceptance into ABSW.  

 

The application process includes the submission of:    

* Application form   

* Autobiographical statement (personal background, Christian experience, reasons for pursuing ministry)   

* References from two college professors. Applicants who completed their undergraduate work more than four years prior to application may instead request references from two business or professional persons   

* Reference from pastor   

* Official transcripts for all academic work beyond high school   

* Nonrefundable $25 application fee  

For international students:    

* TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language; minimum score of 550 on the written or 213 on the computer based test is required)   

* Certification of finances Application Deadlines