Graduation Information

Commencement 2017 is scheduled to be held on Tuesday, May 23, at 3:00 pm at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1000 West Main Street, Lansdale, PA, 19446. The Commencement speaker will be Bishop Guy Erwin of the Southwest California Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Admission is by ticket only.

For all prospective graduates, whether or not attending:

  1. Diploma covers, but not actual diplomas, will be handed out during the Commencement ceremony. Diplomas will be distributed to eligible students (see next paragraphs) at the gown return area following Commencement or via US mail to those who cannot attend Commencement.
  2. Complete the “Graduation and Hood/Gown Pick-Up Clearance Form” above, whether or not you will be attending Commencement. Bring the form and any supporting documents to Enrollment Services when you pick up your gown, OR bring the materials to the Commencement site if you will not be picking up your gown ahead of time, OR submit them to the registrar (email to, fax to 215-248-7315, or mail to LTSP Registrar, 7301 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia PA 19119).
  3. Please note that neither diplomas nor transcripts will be issued to those graduates:
  • Whose accounts at the Business Office or Library are not satisfied in full.
  • Whose student records lack appropriate official transcripts from prior institutions or institutions issuing credits in transfer.
  • For whom any final grades have not yet been submitted by instructor(s)
  • Who have any other outstanding obligations (Student Learning Assessment requirements, Graduating Student Questionnaire, etc.)

For all prospective graduates planning to attend Commencement:

Schedule of Events

  • Gown pickup will be in Enrollment Services (Graduation and Hood/Gown Pickup Clearance Form needs to be completed); start date to be announced.
  • Saturday, May 20 – Senior Class Picnic 4:00 pm on campus
  • Monday, May 22 – Service of Farewell & Godspeed at 7:00 pm, Schaeffer-Ashmead Chapel, located on campus. No tickets required for this service – all are invited!
  • Tuesday, May 23 – Commencement at 3:00 pm, Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1000 West Main Street, Lansdale, PA, 19446. TICKETS REQUIRED (graduating students will get about 4 tickets each)
  • Students need to gather at Trinity in Hyson Hall no later than 45 minutes prior to Commencement for procession instructions.

Admission by guests to Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church will be by ticket only. Four (4) tickets will be given to each graduate (the student who is graduating does not need a ticket).

Graduation announcements will not be provided by the seminary. A template announcement (Word format) is available for download above.

  1. A rented academic gown (and hood, where appropriate) will be provided for each graduate. Be sure to provide the measurements requested on the application for graduation to facilitate the ordering of gowns. Submit this application immediately to the Registrar (; fax 215-248-7315), if you have not already done so.
  2. Gowns and hoods will be available for pick-up from Enrollment Services (second floor, Brossman Center) in the days preceding Commencement. You will be required to have obtained clearances from the Business Office, Library, and Financial Aid Officer, and recipients of degrees will need to have completed the Graduating Student Questionnaire online (instructions will be emailed). Gowns and hoods will also be distributed at the robing area on the day of Commencement to those students unable to pick them up earlier. [Note that we do not use graduation caps or tassels, except for PhD graduates.]
  3. Graduates and others in the procession are to report to Trinity Church 45 minutes prior to the ceremony on May 23 for instructions. Do not be late; the procession will begin on time with or without you. There will be no rehearsal of the ceremony other than an oral “talk-through” prior to the ceremony. It is recommended that you give any personal items to family or friends to hold for you.
  4. There are steps leading up to and down from the platform where you will receive your degree. Students are strongly encouraged to wear low-heeled shoes while navigating the steps in gowns to prevent any serious accidents or awkward moments.
  5. Following the ceremony and after greeting guests and taking photos, each graduate is to return as promptly as possible to the robing area. Return your gown to staff persons there (MDiv, MAPL, and MAR graduates also return the hood). Once your name has been checked off, you may check on your status for diploma pick-up. If your name is not checked off as having returned the gown or hood, you will be charged for the missing item(s).

Other Information for Graduates and Guests

  1. Parking will be available on Trinity Church property on a first-come/first-served basis. While church parking is ample, guests may need to seek street parking if parking lots fill up. Therefore, please advise your guests to leave ample time to find parking and walk to the Church.
  2. Cars may pull up very close to the entrance at the rear of the building to drop off passengers before seeking a parking space. The entrance is at street level. Please notify Diana Downey if you or your guests have other special needs.
  3. Photographs of that special moment when you receive your diploma will be taken by a professional photographer and will be available for purchase. Details will be available here at a later date.

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"Centered in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia seeks to educate and form public leaders who are committed to developing and nurturing individual believers and communities of faith for engagement in the world."