National Capital Semester for Seminarians

A unique experience in faith and public policy

Apply for National Capital Semester for Seminarians online
(Current students, please sign up via the Registrar's office)

The National Capital Semester for Seminarians is a semester-long, intensive program of study in ethics, theology and public policy. Seminary students from across the country come to Wesley in Washington, D.C. for a combination of classroom experience, field visits, and internships. Class seminars pose a changing array of questions in public life; exposure to those involved in policy formation, implementation, and critique; and the opportunity for hands-on experience in one of many organizations engaged in policy research, advocacy, and implementation.

The heart of NCSS is a four credit-hour seminar dealing with the interface between faith and politics, domestic and international policy issues, and the church in public life. This theoretical foundation is supplemented with field visits to an array of government and private offices involved in various aspects of public life. Most students combine the seminar with an internship program involving disciplined written and oral reflection on their on-site experiences. A three-credit-hour option in independent policy research is also available.

For answers to Frequently Asked Questions about admission to the NCSS program, check out the FAQ page.


The NCSS program takes place in the spring semester and is open to any student who has completed at least one year of a degree program in a seminary accredited by the ATS, and is recommended by their home seminary.

Participating students from other seminaries agree to return to their own institutions at the conclusion of the semester. Students from Participating Institutions are charged for tuition at their home institution's regular tuition rate and pay these charges through their home seminary. Other NCSS students pay tuition directly to Wesley Seminary at Wesley's regular tuition rate.

Students pay Wesley directly for housing and meals. Students bear their own costs for books, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses.

Life in DC

During the course of the semester, NCSS students join the diverse Wesley community. In addition to ongoing classes, organizations and worship, Wesley community life offers opportunities for all students to grow relationally, spiritually and vocationally. Housing for NCSS students is available in Straughn Dormitory, and meals are available in the Wesley dining hall.

Washington, D.C. offers great opportunities to experience everything from the arts to urban ministry to outdoor recreation to political engagement. Spend an evening taking in a free show at the Kennedy Center, or go kayaking on the Potomac on a Saturday afternoon. Engage with communities of faith in dynamic worship and in community organizing rallies. Volunteer your time at a homeless shelter, learn from local and international social justice advocates, and participate in policy briefings on Capitol Hill. Washington, D.C. offers endless opportunities to learn, grow, and be engaged in your community, your country and your world.

Learn More

For further information, students should contact the National Capital Semester faculty liaison at their own seminary. Students from nonparticipating seminaries should write directly to NCSS at Wesley Seminary.

Participating Institutions

In addition to institutions of the Washington Theological Consortium, the seminaries in the following listing have become Participating Institutions in NCSS with designated faculty representatives:

Asbury Theological Seminary • Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries • Bangor Theological Seminary • Boston University School of Theology • Candler School of Theology, Emory University • Catholic Theological Union (Chicago) • Christian Theological Seminary (Indianapolis) • Colgate Rochester Divinity School • Columbia Theological Seminary (Georgia) • Drew University Theological School • Duke University Divinity School • Earlham School of Religion • Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary • Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary • Harvard University Divinity School • Iliff School of Theology • Interdenominational Theological Center (Atlanta) • Lancaster Theological Seminary • Lexington Theological Seminary • Meadville/Lombard Theological School • Methodist Theological School in Ohio • Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary • New Brunswick Theological Seminary • Northern Baptist Theological Seminary • North Park Theological Seminary • Pacific School of Religion • Perkins School of Theology • Pittsburgh Theological Seminary • Princeton Theological Seminary • School of Theology at Claremont (California) • Southern Methodist University • Union Theological Seminary (New York) • United Theological Seminary (Dayton, Ohio) • United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities • University of Dubuque Theological Seminary • Vanderbilt University Divinity School

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