Graduate School of Theology Admission Requirements and Calendar

  Classes Start the Week of Application Deadline International Application Deadline

Fall 2019

September 2, 2019

May 1, 2019*

April 1, 2019

January Intersession 2020

January 6, 2020 November 1, 2019 November 1, 2019
Spring 2020 February 3, 2020 December 1, 2019* November 1, 2019
Summer 2020 June 1, 2020 April 1, 2019 April 1, 2020

*Please note that the GTU MA program has different application deadlines. Please click on the GTU MA drop-down menu below to see program start dates and application deadlines.

Select a program below to see specific requirements and application deadlines for each program.

 

Degree Programs

Doctor of Ministry

As religious professionals and faith leaders, we are all asking the same question: How do I stay on the pulse of what’s meaningful to my community? The Doctor of Ministry program at SFTS brings together a wide variety of active ministries to learn, explore and envision creative approaches to community growth and spiritual connection.

Admission Requirements:

  •  - MDiv degree or equivalent (e.g., other master’s degree in a religious subject)
  •  - Active engagement in a recognized, traditionally ordained ministry
  •  - Three years of professional ministry experience after completion of the MDiv
  •  - English as a Second Language applicants must have a TOEFL score of at least 550 (paper version) or 80 (internet version).

Application Deadlines:

  Start Classes the Week Of Application Deadline International Application Deadline
January Intersession 2020 January 6, 2020 November 1, 2019 November 1, 2019
Summer 2020 June 1, 2020 April 1, 2020 April 1, 2020

Masters in Divinity

The Master of Divinity (MDiv) program is ideal for those seeking broad exposure to a variety of theological disciplines. The MDiv is the foundational degree for ministry and is required for ordination in many Christian traditions. This three-year degree program, if studying full-time, includes elements of spiritual, pastoral, and professional development through our innovative Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and field education programs.

Admission Requirements:

  •  - Completed application
  •  - Non-refundable application fee: $50 for domestic applicants; $250 for international applicants
  •  - Five personal statements of approximately 300 to 500 words each
  •  - Two academic or professional references
  •  - One pastoral reference to whom the applicant is not related (pastor, elder, deacon)
  •  - Official transcripts of all post-secondary schoolwork (An in-process transcript showing work to date is acceptable for students without undergraduate degrees)
  •  - For applicants whose first language is not English, a minimum TOEFL score of 550 on the paper test, or 80 on the internet-based tests
  •  - A criminal background check through castlebranch.com and a Self-Disclosure Form
  •  - If applying for SFTS Financial Aid and Housing, reference the Financial Aid and Housing sections on sfts.edu and complete the appropriate forms

Application Deadlines:

  Start Classes the Week Of Application Deadline International Application Deadline
Fall 2019 September 2, 2019 May 1, 2019 April 1, 2019
Spring 2020 March 2, 2020 December 1, 2019 November 1,2019

 

Master of Arts in Theological Studies

The Master of Arts in Theological Studies fosters development of theological understanding as part of educational, professional, and spiritual growth. The MATS is a general academic degree, providing balanced exposure to the theological disciplines while allowing for focus on an area of interest. 

Application Requirements:

  •  - Completed application form
  •  - $50 Non-refundable application fee
  •  - Five personal statements of approximately 300 to 500 words each
  •  - Two academic references
  •  - One clergy/church official reference
  •  - Official transcripts of all post-secondary schoolwork (An in-process transcript showing work to date is acceptable for students without undergraduate degrees)
  •  - For applicants whose first language is not English, a minimum TOEFL score of 550 on the paper test, or 80 on the internet-based tests
  •  - A criminal background check through castlebranch.com and a Self-Disclosure Form

Application Deadlines:

  Start Classes the Week Of Application Deadline International Application Deadline
Fall 2019 September 2, 2019 May 1, 2019 April 1, 2019
Spring 2020 February 3, 2020 December 1, 2019 November 1, 2019

Graduate-Level Diplomas and Certificates

Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction

The Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction blends rigorous academic work with time for retreat, worship, celebration, prayer, contemplation of God’s presence in our lives, and focused practice of, and reflection on, the art of spiritual direction.

Admission Requirements:

  •  - All applicants must be in and remain in spiritual direction with someone who has themselves been trained in the art of spiritual direction.
  •  - Applicants must be committed to some form of spiritual or contemplative practice as the bedrock of their practice of spiritual direction.
  •  - Applicants will typically have a BA and some background in spiritual or theological studies. In the absence of sufficient background, applicants should contact the Director for guidance in how they might pursue some preliminary study to prepare for the program.

 

Diploma in Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care Research Literacy

The Diploma in Chaplaincy & Spiritual Care Research Literacy is designed to equip chaplains, spiritual care providers and pastoral care educators who work in research-driven environments with the tools they need to work alongside interdisciplinary colleagues to develop practices informed by scientific inquiry, and design and implement their own evidence-based research.

Admission Requirements:

  •  - M.Div. degree or equivalent (e.g., other master’s degree in theology or religious studies)
  •  - Active engagement in a recognized, traditionally ordained ministry
  •  - Three years of professional ministry experience after completion of the MDiv
  •  - Board Certified Chaplain, four units of Clinical Pastoral Education, or eligibility for  board certification
  •  - English as a Second Language applicants must have a TOEFL score of at least 550 (paper version) or 80 (internet version)

Certificate in the Art of Spiritual Direction and Formation

The Certificate in the Art of Spiritual Direction and Formation is based in the art of contemplative listening but open to people with a wide range of interests. Traditionally, spiritual directors were simply people perceived to be wise in the ways of spirit and compassionate toward others. We believe that good spiritual direction is rooted in deep and stable spiritual practice. Training in spiritual direction occurs therefore in the context of contemplative retreats. Study, reading, and practice in community provide a rhythm which encourages rootedness in spiritual discipline, even as one trains in the arts of listening, discernment, and basic knowledge of spiritual direction.

Application Requirements:

  •  - Because spiritual direction depends on the director’s own spiritual grounding, applicants should have at least six months of regular spiritual/contemplative practice. Participants should indicate a regular habit of contemplative prayer or other appropriate spiritual practice and participation in some form of community.
  •  - Participants joining the spiritual direction concentration are strongly encouraged to experience some form of spiritual direction before entering the program so they will have an idea of what it is. If you are drawn in this direction, we encourage you to locate a spiritual director and begin this process of deep spiritual nurture and growth. If this is not possible, consult with the Director about how to satisfy this requirement.
  •  - Applicants will typically have at least a BA degree and some background of study in spiritual or theological studies. If this is lacking, contact the Director for guidance in acquiring some knowledge of spiritual traditions before you begin the certificate.

Certificate in Trauma and Spiritual Care

The Certificate in Trauma & Spiritual Care provides working professionals in both clinical and pastoral settings with the skills to incorporate spirituality into the healing counsel they provide to trauma victims. This program highlights the spiritual understandings of trauma and healing, giving caregivers a more comprehensive set of skills to help trauma victims recover from their experiences.

Admission Requirements:

  •  - A bachelor's degree from an accredited school of higher learning.
  •  - Some undergraduate studies in general psychology or sociology, as well as theology, spirituality, or religious studies are desirable.
  •  - International students whose first language is other than English will be required to pass the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) with a score of 80.

Professional Chaplaincy Training

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) students develop caring competency and experience unique contexts in local and international communities to inspire resiliency and restore well-being.

Admission Requirements:

This program welcomes seminarians, as well as interfaith community pastors, religious, and lay professional who have full-time serving or caring positions. Applicants must be current students at a theological institution or involved and in good standing as a spiritual leader of a faith community or institution in which pastoral care is provided or anticipated. More information regarding admissions requirements can be found here.

Non-Degree Programs through Applied Wisdom Institute

Certificate in Spirituality and Entrepreneurship

Through an accelerated seven-month program, you learn to guide large-scale, mission-driven organizations and gain the skills to ignite positive social transformation. Our unique learning model includes expert instruction, a mentored community project of your choosing, as well as cohort feedback and collaboration.

Certificate in Mental Health and Spirituality

Designed for working professionals, the Certificate in Mental Health and Spirituality builds greater spiritual awareness that helps you connect with people of all faiths. The certificate prepares participants for important conversations with people in tough situations, at critical moments in their lives. 

In Conjunction with the Graduate Theological Union:

Common Master of Arts GTU

The GTU Common MA is an academic degree conferred by the GTU with the recommendation of one of the member schools, such as San Francisco Theological Seminary. The Master of Arts program offers you the opportunity to pursue graduate level theological studies apart from preparation for a career in ordained ministry. 

Requirements:

  •  - Completed application
  •  - Non-refundable $50 application fee
  •  - Statement of Purpose (300-500 words)
  •  - Minimum of 3.0 GPA for bachelor's degree
  •  - Three Letters of Recommendation
  •  - Official GRE or TOEFL Scores from within the past 5 years
  •     - Applicants are generally expected to have a GRE verbal score of at least 150 and writing score of 4 or above, unless there are extenuating circumstances.
  • - Click here for more information on application requirements

Application Deadlines:

  To Start Classes the Week Of Priority Application Deadline Final Application Deadline

Fall 2019

September 2, 2019 February 1, 2019 March 1, 2019
Spring 2020 February 3, 2020 October 1, 2019 November 1, 2019