The Saturday Courses

Open to anyone, the Saturday 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.

Saturday Courses Login

This area is where registered Saturday Course users can access all lectures and content. If you'd like to sign up, find out more and register below.

One Saturday a month, from September through to April, three lectures are delivered by visiting speakers. These lectures, which are also available to access online, are specially designed to stretch the Christian mind and deepen an understanding of God’s word. The course content covers Biblical Studies, Practical Theology, Christian Discipleship and Christian Doctrine.

Who is the Saturday Course for?

The Saturday Courses, which may be completed with or without essays, are of great benefit to anyone who has a longing to dig deeper into the gospel. 

They 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.

No prior qualifications are necessary – everyone is welcome.

The following awards are available in these courses:

Certificate in Theology

To qualify for a Certificate in Theology, the student is required to submit six essays (normally up to three essays each year).

Diploma in Christian Studies

This is a further course for those who have already gained their Certificate in Theology. To qualify for the Diploma in Christian Studies, the student is required to submit a further six essays (normally up to three essays each year).

And it does not stop there: for every six essays thereafter, a Diploma in Further Christian Studies will be awarded. Indeed, we have people who have been doing the course for 19 years!

When will the lectures take place?

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

18 September, 9 October, 6 November, 11 December
15 January, 12 February, 19 March, 23 April

Covid-19 restrictions permitting, the lectures will be delivered from the Chalmers Hall at ETS from 10am (coffee at 9.30) to 3.15pm.

Play Video

Watch this video, where course organiser John Angus MacLeod and Saturday Course student Megan Gray explain to prospective students what the Saturday courses involve.

Further Information

The Saturday lectures for each session are available online for enrolled students.

This facility allows students to watch the lectures live. It also makes it possible to keep the lectures on the website after delivery, so that you can access them as often as you wish until they are removed at the end of the course.

If you are a registered student on the Saturday Courses, you can access the lectures here using the login details that you have been provided with.

For those who are working towards course awards, here are the essay deadlines:

  • Biblical Studies: 11 December 2021
  • Christian Doctrine: 15 January 2022
  • Practical Theology: 12 February 2022

Those who wish to qualify for the award of either the Certificate in Theology or the Diploma in Christian Studies will normally be required to submit three essays each year. Essay titles will be announced early in the course and students will receive guidance on the art of preparing and submitting written assignments.  Successful completion of 6 essays will lead to the Certificate in Theology award.  On successful completion of a further 6 essays, the Diploma in Christian Studies is awarded.  

Students who obtain Distinctions in at least 3 out of the 6 essays will receive a Certificate in Theology with Distinction. Similarly, students who obtain Distinctions in at least 6 out of the 12 essays will receive a Diploma in Christian Studies with Distinction.

And it does not stop there: for every six essays thereafter, a Diploma in Further Christian Studies will be awarded.  Indeed, we have people who have been doing the course for over 18 years!

If essays are submitted by email or post please send them to Ruth Smith – [email protected] – or post them to Edinburgh Theological Seminary, The Mound, Edinburgh, EH1 2LS.

Students who wish to attend without submitting the essays are welcome (and will pay a much lower fee).

However, essays offer more than a means of assessment; they are an important educational tool, stimulating students to think through important issues and to express themselves clearly.

Everyone is encouraged to rise to the challenge and every effort will be made to ensure that essay-marks are confidential.

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

  • Edinburgh Theological Seminary
  • Stornoway Free Church
  • Knockbain Free Church

Please note that group venues may not be possible due to social distancing restrictions – please check with your venue.

Mound Books / Evangelical Bookshop is now the official book supplier for all our ETS reading lists.

Their opening hours are Monday to Saturday from 9:30am to 5pm and books may be ordered by telephone (07863 905900), e-mail ([email protected]), or through their website (

Each book has been heavily discounted and postage is free to any UK address. When ordering through the website, shipping costs for Europe and the rest of the world will appear automatically at the checkout.

Mound Books is situated on the ground floor next to the Seminary Building (beside the cafe) and is open Monday to Saturday from 9:30am to 5pm. 

Books may also be ordered by phone, by e-mail or online from the bookshop.

On successful completion of the course, all students will be awarded a Completion of Studies certificate at the Seminary’s Annual Awards Ceremony in May.

  • Standard: £260 a year
  • Concessions: £76
  • Veterans (four or more years’
    faithful attendance): £43
  • Full-time Students: £38
  • Auditors (no essays): £43
  • 18 and under: Free!

The Saturday Course Admissions Policy can be found here.

For further enquiries, please email the ETS Offices ([email protected]) or phone +44(0)131 718 4130.

Saturday Course registration is now closed and will be available again in June 2022.

Lectures in 2021/2022

Biblical Studies

God’s King and Kingdom: Studies in 1 & 2 Samuel

Lecturer: Robin Sydserff

We love Bible stories. The books of 1 and 2 Samuel contain some of the best known of them, like David and Goliath. But what’s it’s all about? What’s the big message? How do these Old Testament story books relate to the New Testament? What do they teach us about Jesus and His Kingdom? And shouldn’t we just concentrate on the Gospels and the rest of the New Testament? These are some of the questions we’ll tackle in this series on 1 and 2 Samuel. I promise these Bible books will blow your mind, enlarge your awareness and confidence in God and enrich your understanding of Jesus.

Christian Doctrine

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross!

Lecturer: Colin Dow

Professor John Murray’s book, ‘Redemption: Accomplished and Applied’, changed my life. I had never appreciated what Christian salvation really was until I opened its pages and began to read. Only then did I realise how ‘saved’ I was. Over the course of 8 lectures I want to share my excitement in what it means to have such a necessary, complete, big, perfect, transforming, wonderful, sure and glorious a salvation as ours, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rigorous and reverent, scholarly and sanctifying, join me as we work our way through ‘Redemption: Accomplished and Applied.’

Practical Theology

Equipping Our Children for Today and Tomorrow

Lecturer: Megan Patterson

When we see a picture of a child in a war zone, we feel a mixture of horror, compassion and an urge to protect. To what extent are we helping our children to live in the battlefield of worldviews that is our society today? This series of lectures explores how we may prepare the children we know to discern the times, to live confidently in the biblical story and to engage their culture thoughtfully and compassionately. We will also reflect on our responsibility as Christians to the children of our land who don’t know what we believe, and we will consider the opportunities we have to tell them about Jesus.