The Office of Student Formation exists to help students respond to God’s call by providing opportunities for community, academic, spiritual, professional, and ecclesial formation throughout the years of seminary education.
A variety of living facilities are available on campus and offer students the opportunity to live in community with one another. See more about on-campus housing options.
The Student Association supports the mission of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary to prepare women, men and those beyond the binary for ministries of worship, teaching and service. The Student Association commits itself to the formation of a community of seminarians dedicated to the ministry of preparation and scholarship—conducting its own program of a wide range of extracurricular events.
Rainbow Covenant is a student organization that intentionally offers genuine welcome to all of God’s children. They stand with future and present leaders of the church united in honoring all those called to ministry through Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, regardless of sexuality or gender expression.
The United Methodist Students Fellowship, a support group for United Methodist students, provides opportunities for fellowship, learning, prayer, and Bible study. Monthly luncheon meetings with a variety of speakers and other events throughout the academic year are planned.
Sports and Recreation Club (SRC) offers opportunities for PTS students, faculty, and staff to exercise and interact together. Weekly events include games of basketball, ultimate Frisbee, and flag football. The group also travels to Union Presbyterian Seminary every year to participate in an ultimate Frisbee tournament with other seminary students from across the country.
Women’s Caucus is committed to building community with love, advocating for women, and offering education for women and men in ministry to further the ideals of love, equality, and community. They strive to realize this mission on PTS's campus through prayer, monthly meetings, educational opportunities, service projects, and fellowship. Membership in the PTS Women's Caucus is open to both women and men interested in issues related to women in ministry.
Syngeneia (kinship) is PTS’s student group for seminarians of color. It was founded to provide support and fellowship for students who identify as non-white as they often experience seminary differently than their white colleagues. Syngeneia hosts a variety of events and activities that lean into issues concerning race and culture. Most importantly, they celebrate and honor the richness of diversity and seek ways to weave diverse voices, traditions, and stories into the fabric of the PTS community.
“I continue to be amazed at the ways God is moving on campus, especially in the Rainbow Covenant and Syngeneia . . . and chats at the standing desks in the library!”
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary recognizes disability as an aspect of diversity, the inclusion of which is vital to the seminary community and to society. The Academic Affairs Office makes available to all students disability resources intended to bolster success and make the learning environment accessible and inclusive. Students with disabilities can begin the collaborative process of accessibility by contacting the associate dean for students and formation to develop a partnership, generate solutions, and implement reasonable accommodations.
The Seminary's Writing Center works collaboratively with faculty members to create resources and programs to deepen student attention on and engagement with theological writing and reading in ways that will benefit them not only in their academic achievement, but also in their vocations beyond the Seminary in churches and in the larger society. Learn more about all the Center for Writing and Learning Support has to offer.
Completely renovated in 2018, the Seminary's Barbour Library provides creative, new spaces that inspire people to engage with theological ideas and each other in community and collaboration; incorporates innovation that supports theological reflection, inquiry, and research; and preserves our collection purposefully. Check out all the resources the Barbour Library has to offer students and the community.
The Spiritual Care Team of PTS seeks to be a model of healthy pastoral ministry as we assist in student formation and vocational support while students journey through the academic programs at PTS. The team provides short-term spiritual care and support, contemplative prayer, wellness activities and workshops, spiritual direction groups, referrals to local therapeutic partners, and encourages participation in our community’s chapel program. The team of trained seminary staff, led by the dean of students, seeks to cultivate a community culture of healthy spirituality and wellness. This ensures an educational environment where all students can learn uninhibited, and where faculty can dedicate their time to educating students.
The Intercultural Development Inventory is but one of many tools meant for student development and formation. PTS has invested in the IDI as a means of living more fully and faithfully into our mission of equipping people for ministries familiar and yet to unfold and communities present and yet to be gathered. The institution facilitates numerous opportunities for students to engage with the IDI tool in further development of cultural competency and professional development.
The Worship Program offers exposure to varied worship practices of different denominations, traditions, and cultures with the awareness that God transcends each of these practices. We come to know God more deeply and embody Christ’s body more fully as we engage a diversity of worship practices. Explore the Seminary's worship program.
Often students begin a degree program with some vocational end in mind—sometimes a robust and clear sense of call to parish ministry in a historic denomination, or just the faintest inkling that they may be called to a completely new ministry setting. For everyone along that spectrum, students are invited to engage in the work of discernment—discovering where God is calling you to serve and lead. PTS provides resourcing on denominational processes; opportunities for congregational, nonprofit, and community ministry opportunities; and practical preparation for post-seminary work and professional development by curating seminars and workshops for personal growth and professional formation throughout the academic year.
For those seeking a call, whether your first ministry position or those in season of discernment mid-career, we have resources to help. Read more about the Seminary's placement services.
A key component of the Seminary curriculum is the attention to the ecclesial formation of our students. While we are a recognized seminary of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A., we are an ecumenical seminary with students representing more than a dozen different denominational traditions and historic streams of the Christian faith. For those with the call to parish, congregational and denominational ministry, the Seminary provides an opportunity to deepen ecclesial identity and formation in the unique habits and practices of a student’s own tradition. The Houses of Study are co-curricular learning environments where students can deepen their capacity to reflect theologically upon their denominational tradition (or explore new ones). The houses are rooted in the rich and vital relationships that exist between PTS and local denominational (and ecumenical) partners and are tailored to the ongoing needs of the judicatories that entrust their candidates into our care. As relationships with regional ecclesial bodies deepen, new partnerships-based Houses of Study are organized. Currently there are three Houses on the Seminary campus:
The Student Handbook contains academic regulations and procedures, administration and student services, along with a wide variety of other helpful and necessary information. It is every student's responsibility to review the handbook and know its content.