Non-Degree and Certificates

FST offers several options for students who wish to advance their education without enrolling in a full degree program. These include certificate programs, individualized programs, and a special program just for alums.

See Apply to FST for more information about applying for our special programs.


Requirements for the Certificate in Theology program are:

  • Enroll in FST as a non-degree student
  • Complete 24 semester units
  • Complete all course work within two consecutive semesters
  • Complete at least one major paper for a course in an area of special interest
  • Maintain an overall 3.0 grade point average

International students seeking to fulfill requirements for a year of study abroad may qualify for this program.

Those seeking ordination will be required to earn a Master of Divinity plus a 19.5-unit Certificate in Priestly Formation in the sciences and skills necessary for ordination. Note that completion of the MDiv and Certificate does not entitle the recipient to ordination. Admission to ordination is the decision of local diocesan ordinaries or superiors of religious orders who may have further requirements or expectations.

Special Requirements for Admission

Ordination candidates must present:

  • A letter of approval from their ordinary or religious superior
  • A certificate of completion issued by the applicant’s ordinary or religious superior stating that the applicant has taken a minimum of 30 semester credit hours of undergraduate philosophy or its equivalent as prescribed by the USCCB Program for Priestly Formation

Curriculum of the Certificate in Priestly Formation

The objective of this program is to provide a culturally focused formation of pastoral leaders, both professional staff and volunteer lay, who serve the growing number of Asian Pacific Islander Catholic communities around the United States.

We will look at immigration histories, cultural and religious practices, and Catholic teachings and traditions, from the API perspective. We will also unpack the US Bishops’ document, Encountering Christ in Harmony: A Pastoral Response to Our Asian and Pacific Island Brothers and Sisters, to see what practical guidance it offers for those working on the ground with API communities.


Upon successful completion of the certificate, students will:

  1. Know the immigration history, religious practices, and sociological challenges of API Catholics in the US;
  2. Have a broad overview of Catholic teachings and theology as well as church history, structure, and doctrine;
  3. Be able to more effectively understand the needs of API Catholic communities;
  4. Be better equipped to implement culturally effective ministerial strategies for various API communities.

Program Dates: August 2023-June 2024

Course Modality: Online meetings twice per month;­­­­­ Two in-person sessions in Oceanside, CA: August 21-23, 2023, and June 20-23, 2024.


Certificate Completion Requirement: Students are required to attend all on-line meetings and complete all course assignments. Assignments will include short reflection papers and a final pastoral project addressing a topic of API ministry, chosen by the student.



Thursdays @ 5pm (PT)/8pm (ET)

IN-PERSON (Mandatory) Sessions in Oceanside, California:

August 21-23, 2023, and June 20-23, 2024

ON-LINE Sessions:

  1. Topic 1 (In person Aug 21-23): Church History and Program Kick-off 
  2. Topic 2 – Race and Justice
    •  Sep 7 (Lecture) @ 5-6:30pm (PT)
    • Sep 21 (Discussion) @ 5-6pm (PT)
  3.   Topic 3 – Evangelization
    • Oct 5 (Lecture) @ 5-6:30pm (PT)
    • Oct 19 (Discussion) @ 5-6pm (PT)
  4.  Topic 4 – Scripture
    •  Nov 2 (Lecture) @ 5-6:30pm (PT)
    •  Nov 16 (Discussion) @ 5-6pm (PT) 
  5. Topic 5 – Catechesis
    • Dec 7 (Lecture) @ 5-6:30pm (PT)
    •  Jan 18 (Discussion) @ 5-6pm (PT) 
  6. Topic 6 – US Immigration History
    • Feb 1 (Lecture) @ 5-6:30pm (PT)
    •  Feb 15 (Discussion) @ 5-6pm (PT)
  7. Topic 7 – Interracial and Intercultural Realities
    •  Mar 7 (Lecture) @ 5-6:30pm (PT)
    •  Mar 21 (Discussion) @ 5-6pm (PT)
  8. Topic 8 – Catholic Ethics in API Communities
    •  Apr 4 (Lecture) @ 5-6:30pm (PT)
    •  Apr 18 (Discussion) @ 5-6pm (PT)
  9. Topic 9 – Liturgy
    • May 2 (Lecture) @ 5-6:30pm (PT)
    • May 16 (Discussion) @ 5-6pm (PT)
  10. Topic 10 – Current Realities & Final Project
    •  Jun 6 (Lecture) @ 5-6:30 pm (PT)
    • June 20-23 In Person

Program Directors:

  • Fr. Linh Hoang, OFM, PhD
  • Ms. Eunice Park, MTS, MAMC

For More Information:

Apply Here

Students who intend to pursue a degree but have not yet selected a program may enroll as non-degree students in order to begin taking basic courses. Up to 24 credits may be transferred to a degree program.

FST offers individualized programs consisting from just single courses to one or more semesters of course work taken outside of a degree or certificate program. Laypersons, Religious men and women, priests on sabbatical, and all who wish to pursue courses for personal growth or theological enrichment or to update theological or pastoral expertise may participate in an individualized program. Courses may be taken for credit or on an audit basis.

The Franciscan School of Theology offers its graduates an opportunity to continue their Franciscan journey through the Clare of Assisi Scholar Program. As a Clare of Assisi Scholar, FST alumni may audit courses for a reduced fee. Some restrictions apply.

To request to register, complete the registration form, obtain faculty signature, and submit your form to the registrar, together with a check or money order for $450 made out to the Franciscan School of Theology. The registrar and CFO will confirm your degree and account status and clear you to attend.


  • Clare Scholars must have obtained a degree from the Franciscan School of Theology and have no outstanding balances due to the school. Degree and account status will be confirmed by the Registrar and CFO respectively before student is accepted as a Clare of Assisi Scholar.
  • Cost is $450 per course. Clare Scholars may take one course per semester.
  • Permission of professor is required. Professors are not obligated to accept Clare Scholars.
  • Clare Scholars may audit only and are not registered as students at FST. Grades are not given, and no transcripts are produced or available.
  • Student services are not provided, (e.g., orientation, mail box, career counseling, etc.)