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Commencement Information for Graduates


Please note that the parking, arrival, seating, regalia, and disability services information below applies to the all-seminary Commencement in Pasadena only, not to a regional campus Commencement or to any other graduation-related event in Pasadena.



Fuller is following all CDC and LACPHD guidelines while also devising necessary policies regarding COVID-19 protocol and procedures. Currently, Commencement is still scheduled to take place at Lake Avenue Church on June 13, 2020. A decision about postponing/cancelling/altering the event is slated to be made by April 15th. The COVID-19 Updates red banner at the top of all Fuller pages will have the most current information. If anything changes, this page will be updated and all eligible graduates will be notified.



There is no rehearsal for the ceremony. It is important that you arrive on time to ensure that you receive and understand all ceremony instructions without having had the opportunity to rehearse.



Guests may be dropped off at the ramp from Maple to the Lake Avenue Church patio. There is a quick circle back to the parking garage at Gateway Plaza, 300 North Lake (enter from Mentor). Please refer to our downloadable parking map for your reference.



We are pleased to provide free parking and free shuttle service from the parking garage at Gateway Plaza, 300 North Lake (enter from Mentor; see the map for directions). No parking pass is needed. Please allow a few extra minutes to park and use the shuttle. Feel free to drop off guests with mobility concerns near the Shuttle Stop by the pedestrian ramp on Maple, then circle back, park in Gateway Plaze, and use the shuttle to return to the church.

Please refer to our downloadable parking map for your reference.

Please note: The parking lot at Lake Avenue Church is NOT the primary parking location. Additionally, please do not park on the street or in other parking lots in the area of the church.

Lake Avenue Church West Lot parking is limited to

  • anyone with official handicapped plates or placards (while specially marked spaces are available);
  • those mobility-impared individuals who have arranged ahead of time for disability access services and have received a West Lot parking pass;
  • Fuller Faculty, Lake Avenue Church employees, and Commencement staff who have received a West Lot parking pass; and
  • graduates arriving early, first-come, first served, until the lot is full. Once the lot is full, all graduates and guests will be redirected to Gateway Plaza.



Graduates must arrive at Lake Avenue Church promptly at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 13. Upon arrival, please follow the signs to the Student Lineup Checkin. Please arrive dressed and ready to go in your academic regalia. [Please refer to the Regalia section below for distribution information. Last-minute arrivals may pick up regalia at Student Lineup]. During this time you will be given information related to robing, the ceremonial processional, and important ceremony instructions.


Graduates who are planning to attend Commencement in Pasadena may invite whomever they wish to the ceremony. No tickets are required. Inviting large groups (your whole church, for example) is discouraged.

Doors will be open to all guests at 9:00 a.m. Seats cannot be saved. Seats will be available to anyone on a first-come, first-served basis. PLEASE NOTE: Due to fire code regulations, balloons and strollers will not be permitted in the sanctuary. These items may be checked at the information station in the lobby.


Rental caps, gowns, and hoods are provided for Baccalaureate and Commencement at no cost. Only the rental regalia that is provided by Fuller may be worn at Commencement or Baccalaureate.

No preliminary fitting or ordering is required. Regalia will be distributed to graduates in the Payton Hall lobby at the following times (Below is the proposed 2020 schedule, and is subject to change. Any changes should be minor, and will be by finalized by mid-April):


Monday, June 1 11:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, June 2 11:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, June 3 11:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 6 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Monday, June 8 11:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, June 11 8:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Friday, June 12 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.


Regalia will also be available at the time of lineup on Commencement Day at Lake Avenue Church for late arrivals. All regalia will be collected immediately after the Commencement ceremony. All regalia must be returned at this time. We must pack and return it immediately.



We want to make Commencement an enjoyable experience for you and your guests. If you or one of your guests needs special accommodations due to a disability, please submit one Disability Service Request Form per person by May 1, 2020.



Personalized graduation announcements may be ordered from March through July online from Herff-Jones. Remember that announcements do not function only as Commencement invitations, but also simply as announcements of your actual or impending graduation.


Diploma cases (not the diplomas themselves) will be presented to each graduate at the Commencement ceremony. Diplomas are mailed to graduates throughout the year, normally within about three months of the completion of all requirements for graduation.

Customized diploma frames can be purchased online at any time from Herff-Jones.


Fuller class rings with the official Fuller Theological Seminary seal are available for purchase online from Herff-Jones.


Fuller is pleased to provide the services of GradImages to take professional individual photos as each graduate crosses the stage. Each graduate will receive free proofs (online and by mail) and the opportunity to order copies online shortly after Commencement.

In order to make the service enjoyable for everyone, all guests must remain in their seats during the Commencement ceremony and may not stand in aisles or approach the stage to take photographs.


Fuller is pleased to announce that the Commencement Ceremony will be available for real-time viewing around the world. Previous Commencements can also be viewed there. Friends and family who want to watch loved ones cross the stage can share in the moment via live internet stream on


If your plans have changed and you are no longer planning to attend the Pasadena Commencement ceremony, please submit our Change of Plans: Not Attending Form.

If you have already applied to graduate, and have been listed as NOT attending, but you would like to change your plans and participate in the ceremony, you MUST contact us as soon as possible to determine if it is feasible to add you to Commencement. There comes a point when it is simply too late to add someone to the ceremony.


  1. ASAP: Students wishing to participate in Commencement must apply to graduate before March 1st.
  2. Check your email in April for confirmation of our understanding of your plans, whether or not you will participate. If we have you listed as attending and you are planning to participate, proceed to #3. If you need to cancel your participation, submit the Change of Plans: Not Attending Form. If we have you listed as NOT attending, and you would like to change your plans and participate, contact us no later than May 1st. If we have correctly listed you as not attending, skim the email for those things which you might still find relevant (class rings, Graduation Announcements, etc.). You might still be interested in other events of the Commencement season.
  3. ASAP: Make sure friends and family know all about Commencement events by ordering Graduation Announcements from Herff-Jones and directing them to the Commencement website.
  4. By Friday, May 1, 2020: Submit any Disability Services Request forms. This is also the last chance for someone who applied by March 1st to be added to the ceremony. It is not possible to add someone new to Commencement after this point.
  5. May 2020: Let your loved ones know about the ability to pre-order flowers for Commencement day through Graduation Day Flowers.
  6. Monday, June 1 – Thursday, June 11, 2020: If you will be participating in Baccalaureate, pick up your academic regalia no later than 9:00 a.m. Thursday, June 11, 2020 in preparation  for Baccalaureate later that day.
  7. Thursday, June 11, 2020: Enjoy Baccalaureate at 10:00 a.m. on the Arol Burns Mall on the Pasadena campus. Graduates should arrive dressed in regalia by 9:30 a.m.
  8. Friday, June 12, 2020: Review (print, if needed) parking instructions for Saturday’s Commencement Ceremony with your guests. For doctoral graduates, attend your hooding ceremony.
  9. Saturday, June 13, 2020: Congratulations! You’ve made it! Arrive dressed and ready to go to the Student Lineup Checkin at Lake Avenue Church by 8:30 a.m.