Evening School of Theology

The Evening School of Theology (EST) at Virginia Theological Seminary offers two programs: the Traditional program and the Enriched program. The Traditional EST was established in 1971 to provide serious theological education for lay people; the Enriched program began in 2011 to offer EST students the opportunity to study along with master’s-level students. Lay or ordained, seeker or believer, leader or listener; you are invited to deepen your experience and knowledge of the Christian faith.

Courses in the Traditional program are open enrollment. At the start of each course, students may elect to audit it or take the course for non-accredited credit. An auditor is expected to complete the assigned readings for class discussions and to participate in discussions and other assignments during a class session. A student taking the course for credit would be required to complete a project or paper(s) assigned by the instructor to receive credit.

Courses in the Enriched program are master’s level courses offering limited enrollment for Evening School participants. Admission into the Enriched program is approved by the seminary. The Theological Education Toolbox: An Introduction to Theological Education course is required within one year of entering the enriched program. Students participating in the Enriched program are expected to complete the course’s required reading and submit a paper or project designed by the instructor to receive non-accreddited Evening School credit.

Students in either Traditional or Enriched programs may elect to work towards the Diploma in Theological Studies. The Diploma is awarded upon satisfactory completion for credit of six courses, including at least two courses in Bible, one course in Christian theology, and one course in either liturgy or spirituality and the arts. Credits from the satisfactory completion of an Evening School course or for the Diploma are not transferable to Virginia Theological Seminary or to other academic institutions.

The Lifetime Theological Education office (who administers the Evening School of Theology program) has instituted a new process for applying and registering for the traditional and enriched Evening School courses. Follow this link to learn how to apply and register.

Evening School of Theology credits are not transferable to the Seminary or other academic institutions. Thanks to a bequest from the estate of Maxine Bishop of Alexandria, a frequent Evening School participant, tuition is modest.
Q. Do I need a college degree?
No. The Evening School of Theology at Virginia Theological Seminary does not require any previous academic degrees of any kind.

Enrollment in the Enriched program requires completion of a short application, found here, and the pre-requisite course Theological Education Toolbox: An Introduction to Theological Education.

Q. Who teaches Evening School courses?
A. A variety of Virginia Theological Seminary faculty and qualified adjunct instructors teach the courses. Adjunct instructors are not faculty members, but have expertise in their fields.

Q. Where are the classes held?
A. The classes are held on the campus of Virginia Theological Seminary in the Addison Academic Center.

The Addison Academic Center is next to the Bishop Payne Library. You may consult our general information page for a map and directions.

Q. Will I receive a confirmation of enrollment before the first day of the course?
A. Yes. Confirmation is sent at the time of your online registration. Further instructions are sent via email about one week prior to the beginning of the term, with information about the course(s) for which you have registered and directions to the campus and your classroom.

Q. How do I find out if a course has been cancelled, due to inclement weather?
A. Notification of course cancellations will be posted on the VTS website by 5:00 PM on the day of the course. Information will also be available at the seminary switchboard (703) 370-6600 by 5:00 PM on the day of the course.