FAQ Graduate Studies


(Frequently Asked Questions)


I    FAQ for the Organizational Leadership and Management (OLM)

II   FAQ for the Master of Theology (Th.M.) Program

III  FAQ for International Students

IV  FAQ for Women – Campus and City Life

V   FAQ: How do I apply?

I  FAQ for the Organizational Leadership and Management (OLM) program
1.      How long is the OLM program? And what is the maximum time allowed to finish?
The OLM program is designed to be three and a half years.  There are three years of class work, and the last half year is to write the thesis.  The total time allowed to complete the program is five years. .

2.      What are the modules in each program?
See sub-menu for OLM modules.Link to Modules

3.    Can a student skip a term or more?  Or is s/he obligated to take each term consecutively and without interruption?
Students may skip terms for valid reasons and on the approval of the OLM management team. 

4.    What are the papers and documents needed to apply for the program?
Complete the application form included on this website; send in your certificate of graduation for the B.A.; send a letter of recommendation from your church, ministry, or organization; send your TOEFL certificate to show that you have received a minimum score of 500; and send four passport-sized photographs. For applications go to: Link to Applications 

5.    Can a person join the program and take the TOEFL exam at a later time?
No.  The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam must be completed before a student can be accepted into the program.

II FAQ for the Master of Theology (Th.M.) Program

6.      Can a student finish the master’s program in one year? How?
The Th.M. program can be taken as either a one-year or a two-year program.  International students generally take it as a one-year program.  They complete their course work in a single academic year and then finish their theses projects during the summer time, completing the whole program in a ten- to twelve-month period.  Those taking the two-year program are generally Egyptians who continue to work part time.  They complete the program over two academic years, with the final semester being devoted to their theses.

7.    Will there be a whole term to complete the thesis? Or can it be done while studying during one of the terms?
(See 6 above.) Students attempting to complete the program in one year will do some preliminary work on their theses during the academic year, but the bulk of their research and writing will be done during the summer, following the completion of their course work.  For students completing the program in two years, much preliminary work can be done in the summer between academic years and during the third semester.  There is usually no course load in the fourth semester so that they can complete their theses during this time.

8.     Is the Th.M. program accredited?
ETSC has not yet applied for accreditation from an international body for accreditation of theological institutions.  Nonetheless, the program is well respected within Egypt.  All professors who teach in the program have PhD degrees from recognized universities in Europe and North America.  Moreover, graduates from the master’s program have successfully continued their studies at prestigious institutions such as Princeton Theological Seminary and Yale Divinity School. 

9.      Can students live on campus? What might the advantages/disadvantages be?
Graduate students may live in the ETSC dormitory with other students or establish off-campus housing at their own discretion.  The dormitory is only for single students, so married students will need to find housing off campus.  During the academic year, most will find dormitory living highly convenient as it eliminates commuting time and three meals per day except on Sundays are provided. During the summer, meals may not be provided or may be quite plain, but each floor has a kitchen with some basic utensils that students can use.

10.  What is the cost for room and board? Would it be possible to eat only a limited number of meals per week on campus?
The cost for a room in the dormitory is EGP 10,000 for eight-month academic year.  The cost for meals is EGP 11,000 for the same period.  Individual meals vary in cost from 10 to 20 Egyptian pounds, and the number of meals can be negotiated with the cafeteria manager.  (Students costs are almost always supplemented by scholarships; hence the figures given here are rarely exacted in total.)  For further information on costs, see the sub-menu on “costs”: Link to Costs  

11.  Is there available space for exercise and laundry?
There is a playground that students use for volleyball, soccer and basketball.  The dormitory has its own laundry facilities on the sixth floor.

III FAQ for International Students

12.  Is there health insurance provided through the seminary?
ETSC does not provide insurance for foreign students.

13.   At what hospital would a student be treated?
ETSC students are usually treated at the nearby Italian Hospital, which is located 200 meters away.

14.  What about public transportation in Cairo? 
Cairo has an excellent metro system.  It costs one Egyptian pound per metro ticket, which takes riders to most sections of the city.  Taxis are also available, and the cost is generally quite reasonable.  Students might also use the extensive network of buses and microbuses, though figuring out how the system works can be daunting.

15.  What is the best place for a student to purchase food?
There are grocery stories and inexpensive take-out restaurants within walking distance of ETSC.

16.  Is it possible for students to take classes outside of ETSC while pursuing the master’s program?   
Students attempting to complete the program in one year should not expect to have time to take additional courses outside the program.  For those taking the two-year approach, outside study is entirely possible.  In addition to formal courses in Arabic that are offered in a number of nearby institutions, the student might consider taking a few courses at the American University in Cairo (AUC), whose medium of instruction is English. Please note, however, that traveling to AUC would involve a long commuting time as the main campus is located far from the seminary.  

17.  If the student’s main goal is to learn Arabic for purposes of scholarly engagement, should the student learn Modern Standard Arabic or Egyptian Arabic?
ETSC does not teach basic Arabic for international students; however, the Graduate Studies department can recommend language schools in Cairo  where both Modern Standard Arabic and Egyptian Arabic courses are offered.  Modern Standard Arabic is important for reading newspapers and scholarly publications and as a preparation for the study of classical texts.  Egyptian Arabic is the most widely understood Arabic dialect in the Middle East.  In Egypt it is used not only for casual conversation but also in semi-formal contexts.  For example at ETSC many lectures are done in Egyptian Arabic.  Before making a decision between Modern Standard and Egyptian Arabic, students should discuss their specific needs with an appropriate ETSC faculty member.

18. Are there part-time jobs or internships available that would supplement a part-time student’s studies?
It is possible that local NGOs or foreign businesses or organizations may want to employ students on a part-time basis; however, students would need to work out off-campus employment on their own. 

19.  What credit system is used in the Th.M. program?
The credit system is comparable to the semester hour system that is used in many American universities and seminaries.  A regular three-credit course will meet three hours a week for twelve weeks and in addition students are expected to spend about one hundred hours on readings, papers, exams, etc.  (For practical reasons, we often schedule 18 two-hour sessions instead of 12 three-hour sessions for such a course.)  The credits of the MATS program may be translated into European ECTS credits and into British CATS credits as follows:  (1) A course of three credits in the Th.M. program is equivalent to a course of five ECTS credits or a course of ten CATS credits.  (2) The nine-credit Th.M. thesis is equivalent to a thesis of fifteen ECTS credits or a Thesis of thirty CATS credits.  (3) The entire 36-credit Th.M. program is equivalent to a program of 60 ECTS credits or a program of 120 CATS credits.

IV  FAQ for Women – Campus and City Life

20.  Is it possible for a female student to live in the ETSC dormitory? 
Yes, certainly.  Female students have lived in the dormitory in the past.  In addition to some apartments for faculty, the dorm consists of two floors of guest rooms and three floors of student rooms.  The latter are mainly occupied by some fifty Egyptian men in their twenties and thirties studying for ordination, while the guest rooms are frequently used by both men and women.  For the sake of comfort, a female student will typically be given one of the guest rooms on the second floor. 

21.  Are there places off-campus available for female students?
Dawson Hall, located at Ramses Girls’ College, is about a twenty-minute walk from ETSC.  Some professors live there, and female students would also be welcome.  The apartments consist of a living room, bedroom, and small kitchen.  The cost is EGP 1000 (or about $143) per month.  Women who take this option should consider that it would probably require walking to and from the seminary unaccompanied, and that, should they stay late to study in the library, they would have to walk home at night by themselves.

22.  Are their special considerations for single women traveling around Cairo?
It is best for women traveling in the city to be accompanied by a man, but this is not absolutely necessary.  Women may walk on the street and take public transportation without being accompanied by anyone.  The metro includes special cars reserved only for women, though women are also free to ride any car they want. Women should feel free and safe taking taxis, but if taking a taxi will be a regular mode of transportation, a woman would be well advised to find a cab driver that she can trust and with whom she feels comfortable.

23.  What is the appropriate dress for women in Cairo?
Women in Cairo dress in various ways.  Muslim women may wear a hijab (head covering) or a burqa (an outer garment that covers the entire body).  Others, however, dress in Western cloths, wearing blue jeans and simple – but not revealing – tops.  Dresses that extend below the knees are acceptable, and tops that show the forearms but not the     shoulders are fine.  In general, women should dress modestly, respecting the conservative Muslim milieu.

V FAQ: How do I apply?

24.  For MATS applications go to Link to Th.M. Applications; for OLM applications go to Link to OLM Applications 


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