Graduate School of Theology Admission Requirements and Calendar

If you are an international applicant living outside of the US, we are processing I-20 forms, but please check with your local US embassy to see if they are processing student visas and will allow entry into the United States.

MDiv, MATS, CTS, and CTSC Application Deadlines

Start Term Master's Priority Application Deadline International Application Deadline Application Deadline Housing Deadline Classes Start the Week of
Fall 2021 March 15, 2021 April 1, 2021 May 1, 2021 May 15, 2021 September 7, 2021
Spring 2022 October 15, 2021 November 1, 2021 December 1, 2021 December 15, 2021 January 31, 2022

 


DMin and DASD/CSDF Application Deadlines

Start Term International Application Deadline Application Deadline Housing Deadline Term Start Pre-Intensive Study Begins Classes Start the Week of
Summer 2021 February 1, 2021 March 1, 2021 March 15, 2021 April 12, 2021 June 14, 2021
January Intersession 2022 September 1, 2021 September 24, 2021 October 15, 2021 October 18, 2021

January 3, 2022

 

The GTU MA and PhD programs have different application deadlines. Please click on the GTU drop-down menus below to see program start dates and application deadlines.

 

Admission Requirements 

Degree Programs

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

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:

  • Completed application
  • Non-refundable charges:
         $50 application fee
         $200 enrollment deposit ($350 for international applicants)
  • MDiv degree or equivalent (e.g., other master’s degree in a religious subject)
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Active engagement in a recognized, traditionally ordained ministry
  • Three years of professional ministry experience after completion of the MDiv
  • Two personal statements of approximately 300 to 500 words each
  • One academic reference (mentor) 
  • One clergy reference or a representative of your religious tradition
  • One professional reference familiar with your work or religious life
  • Interview with the program director
  • Official transcripts of all post-secondary schoolwork (An in-process transcript showing work to date is acceptable for students without undergraduate degrees)
  • A brief sample of your scholarly writing, demonstrating your ability to present and integrate ideas that is 4-5 pages maximum. This can be all or part of a previously written academic paper or published article. No sermons, please.
  • See below for international application instructions

Master of Divinity (MDiv)

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 charges:
         $50 application fee
         $200 enrollment deposit ($350 for international applicants)
  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited school of higher education
  • Five personal statements of approximately 300 to 500 words each
  • Two references (professors or administrators) who can attest to your academic ability. If you have been out of college or graduate school for over five years, or come from a large university where you may be unknown to a professor or administrator, you may substitute two professional colleagues
  • One church official reference to whom you are not related (pastor, elder, deacon)
  • One reference of your choosing who is familiar with your professional practice or religious life
  • Official transcripts of all post-secondary schoolwork (An in-process transcript showing work to date is acceptable for students without undergraduate degrees)
  • A criminal background check through castlebranch.com and a Self-Disclosure Form
  • See below for international application instructions

Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MATS)

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
  • Non-refundable charges:
         $50 application fee
         $200 enrollment deposit ($350 for international applicants)
  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited school of higher education
  • Five personal statements of approximately 300 to 500 words each
  • Two references (professors or administrators) who can attest to your academic ability. If you have been out of college or graduate school for over five years, or come from a large university where you may be unknown to a professor or administrator, you may substitute two professional colleagues
  • One reference of your choosing who is familiar with your professional practice or religious life
  • Official transcripts of all post-secondary schoolwork (An in-process transcript showing work to date is acceptable for students without undergraduate degrees)
  • A criminal background check through castlebranch.com and a Self-Disclosure Form
  • See below for international application instructions

Graduate Theological Union Doctorate (GTU/PhD)

Students affiliated with the Graduate School of Theology are able to pursue a Ph.D. through the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), the largest consortium of interreligious and interfaith scholarship in the U.S. This advanced academic degree is intended to prepare students for professional careers in teaching, writing, and scholarship, as well as leadership opportunities with religious organizations, social service agencies, foundations, museums, libraries, publishing, and in educational institutions.

If you affiliate with SFTS, you are eligible for Housing on our beautiful Marin Campus.

Helpful Links at The GTU

GTU doctoral studies FAQs
How to apply to the GTU doctoral program

Graduate Theological Union Master of Arts (GTU/MA)

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

If you affiliate with SFTS, you are eligible for Housing on our beautiful Marin Campus.

Click here for information on GTU deadlines and application requirements

Graduate-Level Diplomas and Certificates

Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction (DASD)

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:

  • Completed application
  • Non-refundable charges:
         $50 application fee
         $200 enrollment deposit ($350 for international applicants)
  • One academic or professional reference
  • Two references from a spiritual mentor, director, or pastor
  • One 2-3 page personal statement
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Official transcripts of all post-secondary schoolwork (an in-process transcript showing work to date is acceptable for students without undergraduate degrees)
  • See below for international application instructions

Certificate in Spiritual Direction and Formation (CSDF)

The Certificate in 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.

Admission Requirements:

  • Completed application
  • Non-refundable charges:
         $50 application fee
         $200 enrollment deposit ($350 for international applicants)
  • 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.
  • One academic or professional reference
  • Two spiritual mentor/director/pastor references
  • One 2-3 page personal statement
  • 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.
  • See below for international application instructions

Certificate in Trauma and Spiritual Care (CTSC)

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:

  • Completed application
  • Non-refundable charges:
         $50 application fee
         $200 enrollment deposit ($350 for international applicants)
  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited school of higher learning or a professional state license
  • Some undergraduate studies in general psychology or sociology, as well as theology, spirituality, or religious studies are desirable.
  • See below for international application instructions

Certificate in Theological Studies (CTS)

The Certificate in Theological Studies (C.T.S.) fosters development of theological understanding as part of educational, professional, and spiritual growth. This four-course certificate program provides a balanced exposure to the disciplines of church history, biblical studies, and systematic theology. It is ideal for those looking to enrich personal or professional development through theological education.

Admission Requirements:

  • Completed application
  • Non-refundable charges:
      $50 application fee
      $200 enrollment deposit ($350 for international applicants)
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited school of higher education
  • One personal statement of approximately 300-500 words
  • Official transcripts of all post-secondary school work
  • International student admissions criteria if applicable (see below)
  • Transfer of credit is dependent upon successful admission to a degree program

Professional Chaplaincy Programs

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.

Diploma in Chaplaincy Research Literacy (DCRL)

The Diploma in Chaplaincy 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:

  • Completed application
  • Non-refundable charges:
         $50 application fee
         $200 enrollment deposit ($350 for international applicants)
  • 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
  • Two personal statements of approximately 300 to 500 words each
  • See below for international application instructions 

Basic Computer and Internet Skills Needed for Online Learning at the Graduate School of Theology

Below are some of the basic computer and internet skills you will need to be successful with online learning at the GST. If you do not possess these skills, we suggest finding a tutor, friend, or volunteer to help you until you are reasonably proficient using the online tools required for your course(s).

  1. Ability to perform essential computer operations like using a keyboard and mouse
  2. Ability to manage electronic files and folders (save, name, copy, move, rename, delete, change properties)
  3. Use of software applications like Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Acrobat Reader
  4. Send, upload, and download attachments
  5. Ability to use online communication tools such as email, video conferencing, discussion forums, chat applications, and messengers
  6. Ability to do online research using search engines and/or library databases

International Application Instructions

International applicants (students requiring a F-1 or J-1 visa) should submit the materials required for all applicants, as outlined above. 

In addition, international applicants are required to submit:

  • International Student Supplement (part of the online application)
  • For international students whose primary language is not English, one of the following is required:
    • A TOEFL minimum score of 213 for the computer-based test or 80 for the internet-based test
    • An IELTS minimum score of 6.5
  • To fulfill the international transcript evaluation requirement, please order one of the following international transcript evaluations approved through the University of Redlands for your coursework or degree earned outside the United States:
  • Certificate of Finances and supporting financial documentation 
  • Scan or photocopy of biographical page from your passport and your dependents’ passports (if you will bring dependents)
  • Transfer Eligibility Form (only F-1 and J-1 transfer students now studying in the US)
  • If you plan to bring a spouse, we must receive a copy of your marriage certificate in English. 

Please upload all materials listed above to your application status page by the application deadline in order to complete your application file.

Transcript evaluations can be sent to:
University of Redlands
Graduate & Professional Enrollment 
1200 E. Colton Ave.
Redlands, CA 92373

Electronic transcripts can be sent to: AppProcessing@redlands.edu