Seminary San Diego Student Information

Congratulations to all graduating students! Your commencement is an important capstone to a great deal of academic effort and hard work. It is also an exciting event to celebrate with family, friends, and seminary colleagues.

Commencement Rehearsal

Thursday, May 29
9 a.m.
College Avenue Baptist Church

This mandatory rehearsal is about 90 minutes. Please invite your mentor to this rehearsal.

Graduation Banquet

Friday, May 30
6:30 p.m.
Seminary Chapel

This banquet is for the graduating class. You will receive an invitation and may bring one guest. Please RSVP by the date on your invitation. You and your guest will receive a complimentary dinner. Additional dinner guests are $40 each.

Commencement Ceremony

Saturday, May 31
10 a.m. | Doors open at 9:30 a.m.
College Avenue Baptist Church

All graduating students are required to participate. If you are unable to attend, email as soon as possible. 


The processional and recessional include graduating students, mentors, faculty, program personnel, and marshals. All of these participants should arrive at 9 a.m. at the Seminary, room 101, for lineup. Bring your regalia. Marshals will lead the processional across the street to the church. You will carry your hood. Marshals will lead the recessional out of the church and back to the seminary.

Guest Seating

Your guests do not need tickets. Seating is on a first-come basis. Facilities and parking at the church and on campus are accessible to individuals with disabilities. Guests who need accessible seating should arrive when doors open at 9:30 a.m. If you have questions about accessible seating, email Sherry Stockton at as soon as possible.

Commencement Reception

A reception for you, your guests, and faculty and staff will take place at the seminary following the ceremony. Light appetizers, cake, punch, and coffee will be served. This time of celebration typically lasts until 2 p.m. This is an excellent opportunity for individual and group photos.


Your regalia will be ordered for you. Before commencement day, pick up your regalia from Shirley Bunch. If you qualify for honor cords, you will receive them on commencement day. Your regalia and any honor cords are yours to keep.

Recommended clothing to wear under regalia include a dress shirt and tie with dark slacks and dark shoes for men, and dress clothing and dark shoes for women. Your cap is to be worn level, not tilted to the side or to the back, with the tassel on the left. Bethel-approved honor cords are the only ornamentation that may be worn on top of your gown. Corsages, heritage stoles, floral leis, jewelry, or other ornamentation may NOT be worn over your gown during the ceremony; you may wear these at the reception, however.

Diploma Requirements

You will receive a diploma cover at commencement. You will NOT receive your actual diploma. When you have met all academic requirements and other obligations to the seminary, the Office of the Registrar will post your degree to your transcript and mail your diploma to your address on file. Allow 4 weeks for your diploma to arrive once your degree has been posted.

Obligations include final payments or arrangements for tuition and any other fees or charges. A graduation fee of $50 will be charged to your student account in the spring term. Plan now to fulfill these obligations.

Your diploma will bear your name as shown on the Intent to Graduate Form you submitted. If you have questions about diploma requirements, if you plan to change your name shortly before commencement, or if your address has changed, email


It is a Bethel Seminary San Diego tradition to ask each graduating student to select a mentor to participate in the commencement ceremony. Your mentor should be your internship supervisor or someone who has given you professional guidance in your ministry. This person should not be a family member and cannot be a full-time faculty member.

The seminary will provide your mentor with specific commencement details, but you should first personally request his or her presence at the ceremony. It is your responsibility to confirm that your mentor has received commencement details from Bethel. During the ceremony, after you receive your hood and diploma, your mentor will greet you and a photographer will take a picture of you and your mentor.

Senior Reflections

Two or three students will be selected to represent their graduating class by giving a short reflection speech during the ceremony. Selections are made through a ballot process. A ballot listing all graduating students is distributed to the class. The names of students with the most votes are forwarded to the Administrative Graduation Committee, where final determinations are made.

Graduation Announcements

If you would like Bethel to send a news release to your hometown newspaper announcing your graduation, submit a request with the Office of Communications and Marketing.

About 4 weeks before commencement, you will receive a set of 10 announcement cards for mailing to family and friends. Additional announcements may be ordered at $1 each, and payment is due when you pick up your announcements. Email Shirley Bunch at to purchase additional announcements.

Ceremony Photos

The seminary will contract with a professional photographer for the ceremony. Shortly after graduation, the photographer will mail you proofs and ordering information.


If you have questions, please email Sherry Stockton at