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Frequently asked questions: general information about Diak

1. Can I study or work at Diak if I am not religious? What role does Christianity play at Diak?

Applicants or staff members do not need to be members of the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church, and they can be members of other religious communities. Diak is a multicultural and multifaith academic and workplace community. Our pedagogical approach is based on Christian values and love for others. For example, our instruction methods emphasize human interactions.

Diak offers both religious and secular degree programmes. The secular programmes do not include a religious component.

The religious programmes provide training that is suitable for service in both church and society in general. The training provided by the secular programmes is not suitable for service in diocesan positions.

Please note that to be appointed to a diocesan position in Finland, you need to be a member of the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church in addition to having completed the appropriate higher education. Applicants for degrees that lead to diocesan qualifications are assessed during the entrance exam process for their ability to serve in the Church.

All English-language bachelor’s and master’s programmes offered at Diak fall into the secular category.

2. I would like to postpone my registration. What do I need to do?

According to the Universities Act/Polytechnics Act, a first-year student may only register as absent for the first academic year on the following grounds (the documents to prove the legal grounds for the absence are in parenthesis):

  • Completion of military service, civilian service or voluntary military service for women in Finland (document: call-up order)
  • Maternity leave, paternity leave or parental leave (documents: maternity, paternity or parental allowance period certificate from Kela, or, if you have not yet received one, a medical certificate of pregnancy)
  • If you are unable to begin your studies due to an illness or disability (document: sickness allowance decision or, if no decision exists, a medical certificate)

The medical certificate must state which illness or injury the student has, and that the condition prevents the student from beginning his or her studies on the expected date.

If a student admitted to the Degree Programme in Social Services wants to register as absent for the first academic year on any of the grounds mentioned above, she or he needs to submit a document proving the legal grounds of the absence to the student affairs office.