Undergraduate Portfolio Requirement

As part of the undergraduate application process, prospective students are required to develop an Undergraduate Portfolio that provides information and documentation of five or more years of post-high school, professional-level experience in a social service ministry or faith community.  This experience can include paid employment or volunteer activities. Applicants to the Graduate Theological Foundation are required to be involved in ministry. 
The GTF defines ministry as “service to the improvement and nurture of society and the world community.” Due to the blurred lines between the sacred and secular in contemporary society, ministry professionals are continually crafting their role and the nature of their work, a process that takes into account both personal values-based service and public responsibility. Practitioners involved in ministry are self-reflectively aware of the nurturing quality of that activity and are found in such fields as education, pastoral care and counseling, chaplaincy, mediation, psychology, health care and counseling, sacred music, religious education, and other cognate fields.
The GTF recognizes these five or more years of documented experience as equivalent to the first three years of an undergraduate degree program, and awards 90 credits for this work. 

Academic Credit defined:

The Graduate Theological Foundation values eight (8) contact hours as one (1) college credit and requires 120 credits for each of the degree programs.

One (1) contact hour is calculated as clock time combined with:
    • Study
    • Preparation
    • Interactive time spent engaged in an educational activity
The GTF awards 90 credits for five or more years of work that is:
    • Post-high school
    • Professional-level
    • Paid or volunteer
    • Carried out as part of a social service ministry or within a faith community
The final 30 credits of study must be completed by following the GTF’s online curriculum for each specific degree program.


The Undergraduate Portfolio portion of the application process requires you, the applicant, to:

  • Reflect upon your professional and personal involvement in your own faith community
  • Consider and articulate the value of your activities in the wider context of social service for the benefit of a local or global community

In requiring you to document your involvement in your faith community we hope also to reinforce, in your own estimation, the value of the work that you do.

Applicants are asked to write descriptions and details of their previous activities in social service or in their faith community for assessment by the Admissions Committee. For each activity listed in this Portfolio, the applicant must include some form of documentation. This can include:

  • certificates of completion
  • transcripts
  • letters from administrators
  • religious leaders
  • references
  • contact information for an individual who can verify participation
The Undergraduate Portfolio should consist of the following:
  • one or more pages of activity details
  • accompanying pages of documentation of each activity

The Portfolio should be submitted with the Application for Admission. The Undergraduate Portfolio is an integral part of the application process, and it is to the benefit of the applicant to provide as much detailed information as possible. (*See below for examples of Undergraduate Portfolio entries that can serve as guides as you develop your own Undergraduate Portfolio.)

The Undergraduate Portfolio consists of written descriptions of activities in social service or in your faith community and documents that verify your participation in each activity. Please complete the following:

  • Write descriptions of your experiences on a separate piece of paper.
  • Gather documents that verify each activity.
  • Submit this Undergraduate Portfolio with your application form and other application materials when you apply to the GTF.
  • Please use the format presented in the following examples when describing your activities.

Position/Title: In-home Patient and Family Volunteer
Dates: Spring 2004-Summer 2004
Venue: Hospice Care, Inc., Madison, Wisconsin
Description of Activities:
In this position, I provided companionship three times a week for 6 hours per visit to a woman with terminal cancer. I cleaned her house, went to the grocery for her, prepared her evening meal, and helped her with daily hygiene. We often had “heart-to-heart” conversations, and I helped her write letters to her children and grandchildren.

Documentation provided:
Certificate of Completion for Hospice Volunteer training program
For further verification please contact Volunteer Coordinator at Hospice Care, Inc., Madison, WI


Position/Title: Assistant to Imam, Teacher
Dates: Fall 2002-2007
Venue: Islamic Cultural Center of New York
Description of Activities:
I assisted the Imam with prayers. I taught classes in Arabic and classes on the Qur’an.

Documentation provided:
Letter of recommendation/confirmation from Imam
Syllabi for classes taught


Position/Title: Member of Finance Committee
Dates: Fall 1995-Spring 1998
Venue: St. Agnes Church, Chatham, Ontario
Description of Activities:
Assisted in preparing yearly budget for parish. Presented suggestions to Parish Pastoral Council and Building and Maintenance Committee regarding financial status of the parish. Attended monthly meetings.

Documentation provided:
Parish newsletter with appointment to finance committee announcement
Letter from Pastor

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