Frequently Asked Questions about AST

Does AST have programs for lay people?
AST offers two Diploma programs for lay people. You do not need to have a university degree to enroll in any of our diploma programs.

Does AST offer Continuing Education opportunities?
Yes. Graduates of our School and any other theological school are welcome to take courses offered at AST. AST also offers courses in the summer and on the Internet and these along with the residential courses are open to qualified participants. The School also welcomes everyone to attend the lecture series held throughout the year. We attempt to bring in the best speakers we can for these series. Check the website for up to date Continuing Education opportunities.

I have a science degree. Can I study at AST? 
Yes, you can.

I studied religion in university, will study at AST be worth it? 
This will depend on what areas you studied. Generally, a religious studies degree is not a theology degree. Religious studies can explore areas that you will not have time to do in theology school. World Religions, Philosophy of Religion, Religion and Society are important areas of study prior to theology. You should also take courses on literature and psychology and philosophy when you can. Writing and reading/research skills are very important for the study of theology too.

Can I study at AST without a university degree? 
Although AST is a graduate school we do accept people without a previous university degree. If you believe that you have enough life experience and educational training which usually includes some university level courses you may be eligible to complete a Prior Learning Portfolio.  A PLP is used to demonstrate that through a combination of university courses and life experience you have achieved comparable training and experience which prepares you for graduate theological education. For more information on the PLP process at AST please contact the academic office or view our Prior Learning Portfolio Guide 2021

Do I have to become a candidate for ministry/priesthood to study at AST? 
No. Many lay-persons study with us and enjoy the courses. A layperson can take the M.Div. degree. You may also want to start with our ten credit Graduate Certificate in Theological Studies.  This can be most helpful if you are not sure about your future direction.  These credits can be transferred to our MDiv or our Master of Arts degree.

I want to be a minister. What do I do? 
The first step in answering this question is always to connect with your minister/priest and find out what your denominational requirements are for training. If you wish to be a sponsored candidate you will probably have to go through a process of discernment. Ask what degree is needed for the type of ministry you wish to pursue. An undergraduate degree is required for entry into a graduate level program. At AST you can take the Master of Divinity (MDiv) either on campus or our Summer Distance MDiv where you come to campus for 6 weeks in the summer and study online the remainder of the year. For more information on either of our MDiv options, or our undergraduate Bachelor of Theology (BTh) degree, please contact our Recruitment Coordinator -