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Summer Language FAQ

What classes are offered over the summer, and how do I register?

Each summer, we offer introductory Greek and Hebrew courses as summer intensive classes. Each summer language course is six credits, a full year of study over the span of eight weeks. For 2022, these classes will be virtual and are scheduled to run online from June 27-August 19.

For entering degree students, registration for summer language is available upon completing the enrollment steps and closes on June 17.

Once the enrollment steps are complete, contact admissions@ptsem.edu and let us know you want to register for summer language. We will then forward your file to the Registrar, and they will assist you in registering for a summer language class.

External (non-degree) students interested in taking summer language courses need to apply separately and more information about the application process is available here.

Registration for the fall semester will open in mid-July, and you will receive an email from the registrar with instructions about how to access the registration module and select your classes. You should plan to complete all enrollment steps by July 1 to ensure that you are able to register for classes as soon as the registration period opens.

Should I consider taking a summer language course?

Summer languages and all language study at the Seminary count as elective credits. Each summer language course is six credits, a full year of study over the span of eight weeks. The course is intense, and it will require you to focus your time and energy during those eight weeks on the study of the language. You will be doing so, however, with a committed teaching team (a professor or instructor, and a PhD student teaching assistant) dedicated to helping you be successful in learning how to read the Bible in its original language. Many students who have not studied any foreign language before can learn biblical Greek and Hebrew with dedication and hard work. An important piece of advice: If you do take the summer language course, you should definitely not plan on working even a part-time job alongside the course.

The advantages of taking a summer biblical language course as an incoming student include:

  1. Ahead of the early September orientation, you will develop a close-knit relationship with a group of Princeton Seminary students as you experience together the challenges and joys of learning an ancient biblical language.
  2. Learning a foreign language requires focus and dedication. Taking a summer language course as your one object of study for eight weeks allows you to be single-minded in studying Greek or Hebrew without the distractions and demands of several other courses at the same time, as is the case during the full academic year language courses.
  3. Taking a summer language course as an incoming student will earn you six credits upfront before the fall semester, which will allow you more flexibility and space for electives during your seminary career.
  4. You will immediately be able to enroll in upper-level biblical exegesis courses that require either Greek or Hebrew beginning in your first semester.

On the other hand, an intense eight-week course is not for everyone. If your learning style favors learning in smaller increments over a longer time, then the summer intensive language course may not be a good choice for you. You may wish to consider taking your language during the academic year in the fall and spring semesters.

How will summer language courses be offered online?

The summer language courses will follow a cohort model, facilitating the personal connections that are often lacking in virtual spaces. Small groups will walk through the material together, engaging many different modes of learning, including: attending live web conferences, viewing recorded lectures, participating in virtual study groups, and joining cohort discussions. Our hope is that this multimodal cohort model will offset the inevitable challenges that come with learning a new language, no matter the format. We are confident that with this intentional approach, students in the online summer language program will experience meaningful learning and sincere community, even at a distance.

To allow for maximum flexibility to suit a wide variety of learner’s schedules, the bulk of the course will be taught asynchronously, with lectures, exercises, and quizzes watched and completed at a time of each student’s convenience each day. There will also be small group meetings for a total of approximately two hours per day that will be available at several different times to suit a variety of student schedules, as well as optional meetings for enrichment exercises. While students should expect to devote a significant amount of time to the course, the online format will allow students much more flexibility in how they allocate that time throughout the day than a traditional classroom format. We will announce more details about the schedule and timing for the required daily meetings in May so that you will have ample time to schedule accordingly. If you have additional questions about the summer language program, the anticipated schedule, or the technological requirements, please email digital.learning@ptsem.edu.

For those who choose to enroll in a summer language course, you should plan to enroll in a fall semester course in which to continue your new language skills. You may keep your Hebrew fresh through the one-credit OT1153 Hebrew Translation course and/or with any Hebrew exegesis course with the prefix OT34XX. For Greek, the options are NT1153 Greek Translation and/or any Greek exegesis course with the prefix NT34XX.

What is the cost of summer language, and when is it billed?

Summer language courses are billed on a per-credit basis. For 2022, the cost per credit is $750, so the total cost of summer language is $4,500. However, the same scholarship/grant that you have for the normal academic year is also applied to the summer. Any costs left over are due at the start of the summer session (June 27).

For example, someone with an 80% grant, would be billed $900 (or 20% of the total cost of summer language), with this amount due by June 27. Someone with a full tuition scholarship would not be responsible for any payment toward summer tuition.

Once you have a network account, you can view and pay your bill on the Bursar's page of Inside PTS (our internal website).

Educating faithful Christian leaders.

Chaplain at the Hill School, Pottstown, Pennsylvania

Khristi Adams, Class of 2008

“At Princeton, we had precept groups—we’d engage text and debate. That gave me confidence to have those conversations anywhere.”