Graduation Information

Commencement 2016 is scheduled to be held on Tuesday, May 17, at 3:00 pm. Probable site will be Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1000 West Main Street, Lansdale, PA, 19446. Information below refers to the 2015  Commencement but remains generally relevant for 2016 graduation planning.

  • Application for graduation should be submitted to the registrar no later than January 3 of the year in which you plan to graduate.
  • Graduation planning checklist (2014 version)
  • Hood/Gown Pick-Up Clearance Form (2014 version – .doc)
  • Template for make-your-own graduation announcement (2014 version – .doc)

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 paragraph) at the gown return area following Commencement or via US mail to those who cannot attend Commencement.
  2. 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)

For all prospective graduates planning to attend commencement:

Schedule of Events

  • Monday, May 18 – Farewell & Godspeed Service at 7:30PM, Schaeffer-Ashmead Chapel, located on campus. No tickets required for this service – all are invited!
  • Tuesday, May 19 – Commencement at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1000 West Main Street, Lansdale, PA, 19446.
  • Students need to gather at Trinity in Hyson Hall no later than 45 minutes prior to Commencement for procession instructions.
  • Gown pickup will be in Enrollment Services (Hood/Gown Pickup Clearance Form needs to be completed); date to be announced.

Admission by guests to Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church will be by ticket only. Eight (8) 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.

  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 Alice Popovic (; 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 you 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.]
  3. Graduates and others in the procession are to report to Trinity Church 45 minutes prior to the ceremony on May 19 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. 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. Once Church property parking is full, guests will need to seek street parking, so please advise your guests to leave ample time to find parking and walk to the Church. Please notify Diana Downey if you or your guests have special needs.
  2. A freewill offering will be taken during Commencement. Offering envelopes will be distributed with Commencement bulletins.
  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."