Student Exchange

Each student has particular educational and professional goals, but no matter if you are preparing for an academic career or for parish ministry or yet another field, study abroad often is a life-changing experience. After YDS, an opportunity like this may never come again.

Each of YDS’s six international study sites offers distinct features. Westcott House is a member of the Cambridge Theological Federation, which brings together seven different theological training institutions to provide a wide range of faculty and courses. Many courses are taught in the traditional “English tutorial” model. Participants benefit from living in a unique Anglican theological college and its liturgical community. Westcott is affiliated with Cambridge University. This is primarily a fall semester program. The application deadline is in December of the preceding year.

Our three German partner universities (HeidelbergTübingen, and Freiburg) are theologically first-rate, have 600-year traditions, and sit in picture-perfect historic towns. They all provide extensive language training before and during the semester, and also offer some English-language courses. The theology department at Heidelberg is Protestant; the renowned College of Jewish Studies is nearby. Tübingen has dual Protestant and Catholic faculties; of particular interest is the living arrangement within the Stift, a medieval building that is home to a select group of students of Protestant theology. At Freiburg, the theology department is Catholic; the city is close to Switzerland and France, near Strasbourg, where the Lutheran Institute for Ecumenical Research is located. These programs in Germany are primarily full-year programs, but can work as semester programs, preferably in the spring. The application deadline is in December of the preceding year.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is Israel’s second oldest university, established in 1918.  Hebrew University is ranked as the top university in Israel, and as the 59th-best (or, in other rankings, 23rd-best) university in the world.  Its 23,000 students attend classes on three campuses in Jerusalem and one in Rehovot. The exchange program operates in conjunction with the Rothberg International School (RIS) at Hebrew University, located on the Mount Scopus campus.  Courses are taught in English and Hebrew, with the latter requiring an Ulpan level of Heh.  Modern Hebrew courses are offered during the semester; pre-semester Hebrew courses are available but incur extra fees.  The program can facilitate a semester-long or a full-year exchange, with the semesters extending October-February and March-July.  The application for the March-July term takes place in October/November of the preceding year, i.e., a mere three months before exchange students leave for Israel.

The Divinity School of Chung Chi College (Hong Kong) is the only theological education institution operating within a Chinese public university; classes are taught in both English and Chinese, and training in Chinese is available. The Divinity School is supported by several traditions: Congregational, Presbyterian, Reformed, Lutheran, Anglican, Pentecostal, and Methodist. The faculty of the Divinity School is also part of Chinese University’s Department of Culture and Religious Studies, which includes the Centres for Catholic Studies, for Christian Studies, for Daoist Culture, and for Humanistic Buddhism. The Divinity School’s campus is large and modern, and connected to all of Hong Kong through convenient public transportation. This program can cover the fall or spring semester, or the entire academic year. The application deadline is in December of the preceding year.

Trinity Theological College (Singapore) offers a full spectrum of courses in theology, including courses with a specific Southeast Asian perspective. TTC’s students come from throughout Asia, and the College is uniquely positioned to function as a gateway into all of Southeast Asia. Classes are available in English and Chinese. Trinity operates two significant research institutes: the Centre for the Study of Christianity in Asia, and the Centre for the Development of Christian Ministry. In 2002 TTC dedicated a new campus with state-of-the-art library, classroom and student housing facilities. The campus is located in a suburban section of Singapore and is accessible to the city by public transportation. This program can cover the fall or spring semester, or the entire academic year. The application deadline is in December of the preceding year.  

Students should consider the particular departmental strengths and research resources of each program, as well as the cross-cultural opportunities available in each setting, especially with churches and service projects.

Second-year M.A.R. students and second- or third-year M.Div. students are eligible to participate. Credits earned through exchange study are governed by YDS policy on transfer credits (see Standards and Requirements chapter). Students interested in participating in an exchange program for all or part of their last year at YDS should first review their degree progress with the registrar.

Info sessions will be held at the beginning of each academic year, in late September or early October. For more information on the YDS international student exchange programs, please contact Jan L. Hagens, Ph.D., Director of International Student Exchange Programs, at

An exchange program between YDS and the Eastern Cluster of Lutheran Seminaries permits students to spend one academic year at either YDS or one of the Lutheran seminaries.  For information about this program, please contact the Registrar’s Office ( (Note: The term for the ECLS partnership has expired and renewal is pending; YDS will provide more information when it becomes available. -updated 04/25/2017)