Graduate Theological Union

GTU Commencement

Welcome to the

Graduate Theological Union

Commencement Website


Click here to watch a replay of the live video stream from the GTU Commencement on Thursday, May 12, 2016!
2016-2017 Graduates must submit important forms by March 2, 2017!
(See forms below)

We hope you find everything you need to know and, if appropriate, all the forms to use to keep us informed about your plans for the annual GTU Commencement program.  GTU PhD, ThD, and common MA graduates who finish their programs in October or May of the current academic year are invited to participate in any and all of the Commencement activities. For a schedule of 2017 commencement activities at GTU member schools, click here.  


The GTU Commencement occurs once a year, usually on the second Thursday in May, and is open to the public (there is unlimited seating).  The event abounds with academic regalia, music, admittedly, a few speeches, and time to introduce each graduate to the community where the graduate receives a diploma and is invested in the hood of her/his degree.  This year, GTU Commencement Exercises will be held on:

Date:           Thursday, May 11, 2017
Time:           4:00 PM
Location:      Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (PLTS)
                   Chapel of the Cross
                   2770 Marin Avenue   
                   Berkeley, CA   94708

A tasty reception follows in the courtyard immediately outside the Chapel.

For Information about Commencement,
continue to scroll along and access a variety of links to forms and lots of helpful information and/or contact:
Wendy Arce at, 510-649-2400


The evening before, on Wednesday, the Graduate Theological Union Board of Trustees hosts a reception to honor the achievements of the graduating class.  The reception will be:

Date:          Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Time:          5:00 PM
Location:     Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP)
                  St. Margaret’s Courtyard & Tucson Common Room
                  2451 Ridge Road   
                  Berkeley, CA   94709

This is a lovely opportunity to gather with friends, family and the entire GTU community to celebrate the successes of the graduating class.  The evening features a program in which faculty advisors introduce their students to guests and describe their work and accomplishments.  This is an excellent opportunity to catch a glimpse into the amazing diversity of the GTU academic community!

For Information about the Trustees Reception contact:
The GTU Advancement Office

Here are links to important forms and documents:

GTU Doctoral Student Statement of Intent to Graduate form (due January 15, 2017)

Common MA Program Statement of Intent to Graduate form (due January 15, 2017)

GTU Commencement Events RSVP and Participation Form (due March 2, 2017)

Faculty Commencement Events RSVP and Participation Form (due March 2, 2017)

The First Mailing to Graduates February

Important Guidelines for Commencement

Doctoral Cap and Gown Information 2017

All PhD, ThD, and common MA candidates planning to graduate in October or May of this academic year are required to submit an Intent to Graduate form by September 1 (fall graduates) or January 15 (spring graduates).  Click on the appropriate link above access the form.  If you missed the deadline and still haven’t submitted a form, please complete and submit it right away.

All of this year’s graduates and prospective graduates, the committee coordinator or advisor, or a faculty member who plans to fill in for the coordinator/advisor at Commencement activities (the reception and/or Commencement Exercises) must complete the GTU Commencement Events RSVP/Response Form.  This year’s deadline for this form for graduates is March 2, 2017.

For all the information you would ever want to have and/or know about, about this year’s Commencement, review the actual letters sent to graduates.

Use the GTU Commencement Participation Form to order regalia and announcements.

Consult the Cap and Gown Information for Graduates handout for information about how and where to order a customized GTU doctoral gown.

And, check out the handout on Academic Regalia Description for interesting little facts about the history of regalia and the symbolism associated with various details on caps, gowns, and hoods.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me at or 510-649-2464, Fredonia Thompson at or 510-649-2461 or Wendy Arce at or 510-649-2400.  Again, don’t forget to submit your GTU Commencement Participation Form and GTU Commencement Events RSVP/Response Form.  I look forward to celebrating you on Thursday, May 10!
Kathleen Kook, Ph.D. 
Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs