Here are some answers to several of our most frequently asked questions. To see an answer, click the question you'd like to have answered.
- What is Golden State School of Theology?
GSST is a reputable, conservative Christian Bible College and Seminary located in Stockton, CA. Our mission and ministry is to provide educational opportunities to Christians worldwide, regardless of where they live.
- What is the goal of GSST?
We are dedicated to the purpose of training and educating men and women for Christian service. Jesus Christ is the center of all our goals and objectives. We strive to place as many trained workers in the field of harvest as possible.
- What kind of programs does GSST offer?
GSST specializes in the Bible and all ministerial and theological disciplines. Programs are designed to train ministers, missionaries, educators, church leaders, and those laypersons who want to know more about the Bible. GSST also offers local churches the opportunity to have our educators conduct on-site leadership and training seminars. We call this our "Church Support Services" and we are available on a free-will love-offering basis.
- What type of education does GSST offer?
GSST offers what we call DIRECTED INTERNET STUDIES opportunities. Virtually every course and degree program may be completed through the internet. Attending a traditional classroom is never required. Because we are an internet school, only those persons having access to a computer and the internet will be able to successfully complete a GSST course or degree program.
- Is GSST accredited?
No, GSST is not an accredited institution. However, lack of accreditation has never reflected an inadequacy in the quality or quantity of our courses or programs. From the founding of the college in 1979, we have made conscious decisions to continually improve our programs. We do this while maintaining the Biblical integrity of the school.
- Does GSST grant degrees?
GSST operates as a Religious Exempt Institution in the State of California. We are authorized to offer undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate degrees in all areas of Christian ministry. Our undergraduate degrees are the two year Associate of Biblical Studies (ABS), the four year Bachelor of Theology (ThB). Our graduate degrees are the one year Master of Biblical Studies (MBS) degrees in five concentrations, the Master of Pastoral Ministry and Counseling, and the two year Master of Christian Education degree. At the Doctoral level, we offer the Doctor of Religious Studies, Doctor of Biblical Counseling, Doctor of Ministry, and Doctor of Theology degrees.
- Is GSST denominational?
GSST is not associated with any particular denomination. We are an independent institution. Our theological position is derived from traditional and historical Baptist-Wesleyan theology. We like to refer to ourselves as "Trans-denominational." Our students and faculty represent a wide spectrum of the Christian movement.
- To what doctrines does GSST hold?
Golden State School of Theology stands on the common ground of Bible-based, fundamental-evangelical theology. This theology is centered upon the foundation of our Lord Jesus Christ. We believe in promoting the unity of the Body of Christ, and have an excellent reputation of working with evangelical denominations and para-church organizations.
- Do other colleges accept transfer of GSST credits?
Several fully accredited colleges have accepted GSST credits for transfer. But, every school has different procedures. Therefore, their decisions will vary. If you plan to transfer to another school after completing a GSST course or program, check with that school first to see if they will accept GSST credits and/or degrees.
- Will GSST accept previous college or seminary work?
Generally yes, GSST will accept previously completed college and/or seminary work. Applicants must have official transcripts of all previous work sent to the Registrar for evaluation.
- What qualifications does the faculty have?
Most GSST Faculty members have multiple degrees in various secular and Christian disciplines. Our faculty represents more than a century of experience in pastoral ministry, counseling, teaching, curriculum development, missionary endeavors, and a host of other activities for the Lord. When you come to GSST, you are guided by people who have "been there" in ministry.
- What type of materials does GSST use?
GSST's curriculum includes a host of texts which speak to the needs of God's people today. We have also developed courses based on the text of the Bible alone. We provide specific Study Guides for each course. Students use the Bible, specific texts, and the internet to complete assignments.
- Do you offer traditional classes?
Generally NO, GSST does not generally provide traditional classroom opportunities. However, from time to time, we do accommodate those who believe they would benefit from traditional classroom teaching. This option is being used in Stockton, Malaysia and the Philippines. If you are interested in this option, please contact the President of GSST at email@example.com.
- How does the GSST system of DIS compare with classroom learning?
We believe that the Directed Internet Studies program provides a great opportunity for learning. Students are required to complete both objective and subjective assignments, and to utilize research, internet and writing skills as a portion of their learning processes. While the immediate interaction between the student and teacher is not always possible through internet studies, our Faculty-Student Chat Room, instant messaging, and soon to be available interactive video delivery system does provide this opportunity. Students have told us repeatedly that our methodology is more intensive than what they have experienced in the traditional classroom approach.
- How does DIS work?
When a person enrolls and pays the Initial Fee, they are assigned an individual Mentor. The Mentor works with the student one on one throughout the length of the program in which the student is enrolled. When students complete an assignment, they send the assignment to the Mentor via email attachment. The assignments are read and graded by the Mentor . Students normally receive their grades within 72 hours (three business days). GSST has one of the fastest "turn around" times in higher education.
- What direction is given to GSST students?
Upon enrollment, each student is assigned a Personal Mentor. This individual is the Paraclete for both the student and GSST. The Mentor provides information about the process of completing the GSST Study Guides, GSST procedures, etc. Each course comes with a GSST Study Guide. The Study Guide has been developed to provide each student with the best possible guidance. When assistance, encouragement, or other communication is needed, the student contacts the Mentor for assistance.
- When and where does a student take final exams?
Generally, students who complete the Study Guides with a grade of 90% or better are exempted from taking a Final Examination. In all other cases, the student will be required to complete the Final Examination in the presence of a Proctor who has been selected by the student.
- How long does it take to complete a GSST course?
It usually takes a student four to six weeks to complete a GSST course. However, we do have students who have completed courses within two weeks. Others take as long as three months time to complete the same course. The length of time it takes a student to complete a GSST course is almost completely within the control of the student.
- What are the entrance qualifications for GSST?
All applicants must provide evidence of a genuine "Born Again" experience with Christ, and be a high school graduate (or its equivalent). Applicants for Graduate programs must possess an undergraduate degree from an accepted school. Candidates for GSST Doctoral programs must possess a three year Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent from an approved institution.
- How does a person enroll as a student?
The applicant must complete an online application. The Initial Fee must be paid before students may begin their studies with GSST. Once the Initial Fee has been paid the student will be assigned a Mentor, who will serve the student throughout the time of study with GSST. Applicants must be high school graduates or the equivalent.
- When are the earned degrees granted?
Commencement Exercises are held once a Year in Stockton, CA. They are held in September. All graduating students of GSST are strongly encouraged to attend and take part in the festivities of Commencement Weekend. A Graduation Fee of $200 is charged for graduation. This fee includes the Graduation Banquet tickets, Graduation Banquet, Graduation Breakfast, Graduation Weekend pictures and a CD-ROM or DVD of ALL pictures taken by the professional photographer, and the Graduate Regalia. Each graduate gets to keep the cap, gown, hood, and tassel.
- Are payment plans available?
YES, payment plans are available. Monthly Payment Plans (MPP) are available to fit almost any budget. Each student is required to make monthly payments of $100, $75, or $50 until the cost of their entire program is paid for. The amount of the monthly payment is determined by the student in consultation with the VP Admissions. The only students who are not required to participate in the Monthly Payment Plans are those who pay the entire cost of their education at the onset of their educational journey. If you have any questions about the MPP, please contact the Vice President for Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Where do GSST students live?
GSST students live in more than half the States here in the USA and hail from virtually every inhabited continent. We have active Extension Centers in Malaysia and the Philippines. In the Fall of 2003, a Chinese Language extension of GSST was established under the auspices of GSST Malaysia. GSST is also active in the Ukraine, where a multi-denominational Ministry Center makes use of GSST course materials in its Theological Education program.