National Capital Semester for Seminarians
NCSS is a semester-long, intensive program of study in ethics, theology and public policy. Seminary students from across the United States come to Wesley in Washington, D.C., for the spring semester.
NCSS 2018 begins soon - for more information or to apply, contact our Admissions offices by email or at 202-885-8659
Hear from our NCSS graduates:
I entered Seminary knowing I felt called to a vocation at the intersection of faith and the public square but I struggled to imagine what that would look like. Participating in NCSS--from my internship at the Presbyterian Church (USA) Office of Public Witness, to our numerous site visits, and lively class discussions--helped sharpen my understanding of how I could use my gifts, passions, and degree, in a tangible way. I am beyond grateful for NCSS and for the impact it had on helping me live into my calling.
- Kyle Cristofalo, Candler School of Theology M.Div 2014
In addition to the outstanding faculty that guided us through the semester , one of the great things about NCSS is that it exposed me to the way theology can and does impact public policy makers, influencers and institutions. The pedagogical rigor demanded by our classroom work combined with real world access to some of the country’s most influential government and non-profit leaders along with having classmates from the country’s top seminaries and schools of theology provided opportunities that were unique from the typical Seminary coursework.
- Fredericka Sands, Wesley M.Div. 2016
In pondering my time in as a participant in NCSS, I was most struck by how much work is still necessary in order to bridge the divide within our nation. So many have blurred the lines between theology and ideology that one wonders how we might bridge those divides. For me, it was in the conversations with lawmakers, policy makers, and people of differing faith traditions that began to provide insights into the kind of meaningful dialogue that has the greatest opportunity to effect change, both in our nation and in the world at large. I am grateful for the insights provided by NCSS and how those conversations will inform my ministry for years to come.
- William Carpenter, Wesley M.Div. 2016
NCSS offers seminarians a semester filled with unique opportunities to:
- Study the intersection of faith and politics
- Interact with those involved in policy formation, implementation and evaluation
- Engage in community organizing
- Work with faith-based education and advocacy organizations
- Serve in internships on Capitol Hill
- Gain hands-on experience 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.
Field visits to a wide array of government and private offices involved in various aspects of public life supplement the seminar's foundation.
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 on independent policy research is also available.
Eligibility and Tuition
NCSS is open to any student who has completed at least one year of a degree program at an accredited seminary and is recommended by his or her home seminary.
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 Theological Seminary at Wesley's regular tuition rate. On-campus housing and meals are available.
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) • 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