New Student Guide

Welcome to United Lutheran Seminary!

On behalf of the Student Services staff, we are excited to have you as a part of this community and we pray that this new beginning is a positive experience. In order to assist you in your transition, this page has been designed to provide you with a lot of important information.  Ultimately it is your responsibility to make sure that you are prepared to begin work at the seminary, but we understand that this kind of preparation can be overwhelming at times. We encourage you to check out each of the links in order to get a total picture of the resources available to you as a new student.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us right away.  And again, welcome to ULS and may you be richly blessed by your time in this community!

Grace and Peace,

The Rev. Heidi Rodrick-Schnaath
Director of Student Services
hrodrick@uls.edu
215.248.6312

You’re admitted. And committed. What should you do next?
First of all, give the Registrar’s page a good read. There is a lot of information and when you’re new it can be a lot to absorb. If you have questions, you can contact Registrar Julie Ritter at jritter@uls.edu. Also, make sure you haven’t missed any of her emails in your ULS.edu mailbox. After that, your first question may be, “Who’s Henry?”

Henry is the seminary’s website used for registration, grade posting, and billing. By now you should have received your Henry ID and password from the IT Department. If you have not received this information, contact ITHelp@uls.edu. You should have also received a letter from Student Services telling you the name of your Academic Advisor.  This faculty member will assist you in choosing your courses and will provide you with the PIN number you will need in order to complete your online registration.

Will you find it more helpful to take a Biblical Course and/or theology course prior to taking integrative courses such as Preaching or Christian Education? This is a good question to discuss with your advisor. If you are a part time student we suggest that you consider starting with a core course.

If you have questions, please contact the Registrar, Julie Ritter at jritter@uls.edu or Assistant Registrar Rachel Zimmermann at rzimmermann@uls.edu.

Health Insurance Information: In the past the ELCA Seminary’s offered a program of student health insurance. This program was discontinued in 2015 because it was no longer cost effective.  With changes to the federal regulations, all US citizens are required to have health coverage. If you need help navigating the insurance marketplace, please contact Student Services.

Do you need Financial Assistance?

Financial Aid is available to help you offset the cost of attending Seminary.  Available sources of Financial Aid are scholarships/gift aid, federal student loans and federal work study (FWS).  To be eligible you must apply for Financial Aid.  To apply, you need to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form at www.fafsa.ed.gov and complete and submit ULS’s Institutional Financial Aid Application .

Once you’ve been awarded financial aid you’ll receive an email informing you on what steps to follow for accepting your award.

If you intend to borrow funds through the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program please be sure to accept the loan on your financial aid award.  In addition, to receive loan proceeds you need to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling (EC) at www.studentloans.ed.gov.

If your financial aid award includes FWS, job postings will be available late August and posted online.  You’ll need to complete and submit a FWS Employment Application .  Once your application has been received you’ll be contacted by the hiring supervisor directly if he/she desires an interview.

Please note: An award of FWS does not guarantee employment.  Also, due to limited funding for this program FWS jobs are filled quickly.  However, if you do not receive a FWS job there may be other employment opportunities offered by the Student Services Office. Additional information regarding that will be sent out at a later date via an email blast.

If you need additional information please contact the Director of Financial Aid, Kim Clark at kclark@uls.edu

Disability Policy:   ULS is committed to providing an environment in which all students have full access to educational opportunities and community life. To provide reasonable and appropriate accommodations to students with either short or long-term disabilities, documented evidence of the disability and of the required accommodation is needed. To begin the accommodation process, students should complete the Disability Self-Identification Form. The Director of Student Services works incollaboration with the student and the faculty to determine specific accommodations.

Computer Requirement: It is required that all students have regular access to appropriately equipped computers; therefore, it is strongly advised that all students purchase computer systems (laptops preferred) and software according to the suggested guidelines found in the Student Handbook. Students may include computer hardware and software expenses in the cost of attendance for purposes of seeking financial aid and/or student loans.

The Bible Studies faculty requires all MDiv students to use Accordance Bible software as part of their studies. Information for ordering it at a reduced price will be provided at the start of the fall term. Exceptions may be made with permission of Bible faculty.

Mail Box:  All students are assigned a campus mailbox by which to receive campus communications and returned course papers. You will receive information at Orientation on how to secure a mailbox on your home campus.

Email Accounts, Moodle Accounts, Henry Student Web Portal
All students will be assigned and are required to use a ULS email account. Once your Commitment Letter is received please complete the Student Email Application . Important information from faculty and administrative offices is sent to this address, and you are responsible for all communications sent to your email address. Your email and password will also give you access to the Henry system (student account information) and to the Moodle course management system.

Note that your professor determines when to open the Moodle site for any individual course. You will receive an email notification when a course site is open in Moodle – you do not need to check with the help desk if you do not see a course you are enrolled in on your Moodle list. Also, drop/add changes take several days after you have submitted a drop/add to the Registrar before they are reflected in Moodle.

Please contact the Help Desk – ITHelp@ULS.edu – if you need assistance accessing your email account, Moodle (course/class information), or the Henry system.

Student Handbook:  The Student Handbook is available on this website. Please take time to read the Handbook, especially all policy statements, as you are responsible for abiding by seminary policy.

Other Ways You Can Prepare for Seminary

  • Review your English grammar. If you’ve been out of the classroom for a while, or if you are taking a language, it is especially useful.
  • Brush up on your writing skills. Being able to write a clear and critical paragraph is an important skill for seminary. We suggest reading The Seminary Student Writes by Deborah Core, published by Chalice Press. You will find A Manual for Style (8th Edition) by Kate Turabian helpful for properly citing sources in your coursework. These books can be ordered through our virtual bookstore at uls.ecampus.com.  Look for the SGN000 course which is comprised of recommended texts from faculty and staff.
  • Make sure your denomination and congregation know you are going to seminary. If you have not already contacted your denominational offices and your home congregation, now is the time to do so. First, they can support you in a variety of ways including prayer and good wishes. Second, if you are seeking ordination there will be other, specific processes to complete with your denomination.
  • Read Scripture. The Biblical faculty at ULS have chosen The New Revised Standard Version to be used in classes. The Harper Collins Study Bible is a solid choice for an NRSV annotated Bible.
  • Spend time in prayer and worship.
  • Engage in conversation about vocation and discernment with those who are or have been in seminary or those who have been mentors to you.
  • Take time to do the things you enjoy. Visit with family and friends. If there is an opportunity to take a retreat or vacation, pursue it! Read for fun. Go to the movies. Relax a little before you begin this new adventure.
  • When applicable, begin to make arrangements for your new schedule: moving, change of address, car insurance/ registration, childcare, etc.