Saturday Course: Diploma in Christian Studies

This programme is not validated by the University of Glasgow.

The Diploma in Christian Studies is one of our Saturday Course Awards.  It follows on from the Certificate in Theology which is awarded for six essays.  On successful completion of a further six essays (usually completed over a further two years), a Diploma in Christian Studies is awarded.  

The content of the course covers Biblical Studies, Practical Theology, Christian Discipleship and Christian Doctrine.  This course may be done at any of several venues, and by distance learning online.


meganCheck out this video, where Professor John A. MacLeod and Saturday Course student Megan Gray explain to prospective students what the Saturday courses involve.





About the Saturday Courses

Open to anyone, these part-time courses are an excellent way of gaining more than would normally be offered in church on Sunday whilst being less demanding than a full-time theological course. With the ability to access lectures online, it is possible to complete the courses at your own pace and from the comfort of your own home. 

One Saturday a month from September through to April, three lectures are delivered by visiting speakers. These lectures, which are also available for access online, are specially designed to stretch your Christian mind, and deepen your understanding of God’s word.  No prior qualifications are necessary for taking the Saturday Courses.

These courses are of great benefit to the ordinary church member, male and female, who have a longing to dig deeper into the gospel. These courses are also intended for office-bearers - to encourage them to learn how to approach theological, biblical, historical and pastoral issues and thus to develop a greater study of the word of God.


When are the lectures delivered in 2020-2021?

The lectures will be delivered one Saturday a month on the following dates:

2020 (online only): 12 September, 10 October, 7 November, 12 December

2021: 16 January, 13 February, 20 March, 17 April

Lectures normally take place in the Chalmers Hall at ETS from 10am (coffee at 9.30) to 3.15pm.

In the 2020 section of the programme, the lectures will be delivered online due to social distancing restrictions.


Lectures in 2020 - 2021


Biblical Studies: Shadows and Reality: Old Testament Themes shaping New Testament Worship

Lecturer: Will Traub

The Book of Hebrews calls us to enter the Holy of Holies, where Christ, our Faithful High Priest stands, leading us in worship, pleading before the Father on the basis of His finished sacrifice. That worship begins NOW, in this life, as every aspect of our lives is turned into an act of thankful praise and worship. But, why does he mention angels, Moses, Joshua, rest, Aaron, Melchizedek, High Priests, the Covenant, sacrifices, the Heavenly Sanctuary, Sinai and Mt. Zion?  These questions raise the larger, and often perplexing issue for Christians today, namely the relationship between the Old and the New Testaments.  What bearing does the OT have on our worship and how we live as Christians today?  This course will help you understand the relationship between the Old and New Testaments as we look at various Biblical-Theological Themes in the Book of Hebrews.


Practical Theology: Why You’ll Never Walk Alone: Exploring Church Membership

Lecturer: John Angus MacLeod

Becoming a Christian is the beginning of an amazing adventure. A huge part of that new journey is coming to find your place in the Church of Jesus Christ. You will never walk alone… This series of lectures explores just what it means to become a Christian, to share your faith with other Christians. We will open up some of the great things that you can expect from your church, and what the church expects from you as you take up the God-given opportunity to shape the lives of your fellow Christians and together you reach out to a world ready for the gospel.


Christian Doctrine: One of the Boys or One of a Kind? Why the God of the Bible is Nothing Like Us

Lecturer: Nick Mackison

Experimentation in worship forms is, in large part, an answer to the question 'How can we make worship less boring?' Yet, how we worship is of little consequence if we cannot accurately define the ‘what’ or, indeed, the ‘whom’ to which our worship is directed. All too often, modern evangelical statements on the nature and character of God have deviated wildly from those assumed by past generations of believers. If you find theology and worship boring, maybe it’s because you worship a boring God. This set of lectures (part of the Theology in Thimbles series) will present the case for recapturing the attributes of God as an antidote to stale, lifeless worship that misses the wood for the teakwood guitar!


You can download the full Course Information document here (PDF).

Group Venues

In normal circumstances, groups meet to do the course at the following venues:

  • Edinburgh Theological Seminary
  • Stornoway Free Church (by live video-conferencing)
  • Ayr Free Church
  • Partick Free Church
  • Knockbain Free Church

However, as noted above, group venues may not be possible due to social distancing restrictions.


Saturday Course Progression

The Saturday Course at ETS is all about lifelong learning and we often see students return to study year after year. After all, with three new lecture series being offered every session, there is always something new to learn. Indeed, we have people who have been doing the Saturday Courses for 18 years!

Therefore, for every six essays submitted after both the Certificate in Theology and the Diploma in Christian Studies have been achieved, we are delighted to award a Diploma in Further Christian Studies.


Online Registration

While you can sign up till the end of 2020 for the 2020-2021 session and pay online using Paypal, you would be better to sign up straight away and be ready for the new session.  Just fill in the application form here.


Online Lecture Access

If you have signed up, you can access the lectures here with your login details.


Further Enquiries

For further enquiries, please email the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.(This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or phone +44(0)131 718 4130.