HOW TO

APPLY

Take the First Step. You Will Find Your Way.

Applying to seminary doesn’t have to be complicated, but there are some important details for you to keep in mind as you get started. Read below to learn more about how and when you can be considered for admission to Columbia Theological Seminary. And if you encounter any issues along the way, please reach out to our admissions team anytime.

Submitting an application creates a unique opportunity for reflection and discernment. Our application process is 100% online and can be completed through our Application Portal. Each degree program has a unique set of application requirements outlined below.

Your application is your opportunity to demonstrate why you are interested in theological education and how your unique background has prepared you for the journey ahead.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS
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Master of Divinity

Required for all degreed programs
$50 Application Fee,

nonrefundable.

Resume/CV

of professional and academic experience.

University, College or Seminary Transcripts

from each institution you have attended, regardless of whether you earned a degree.

Letters of Recommendation

from those who know you best.

  • Academic references,

    who can speak to your educational background.

  • Professional references,

    who can provide insight on your professional skillset.

  • Pastoral/Vocational references,

    who can let us know about your character, calling, and motivations for pursuing theological studies.

Academic Writing Sample

from within the past five years, which demonstrates your ability to think and write in a clear, nuanced manner about an academic subject of your choice.

Required for all degree programs: 4 to 7 pages; double-spaced; 12-point font.

Those who do not have a recent or relevant writing sample may engage Columbia’s alternate writing sample prompt.

Autobiographical Statement

that introduces yourself with a narrative review of your interests and experiences. Should answer the questions: Why you? Why Columbia? Why now?

Required for all MDiv, MATS, MAPT, and Dual MDiv-MAPT degree programs; 1 to 2 pages; double-spaced; 12-point font

Master of Arts (Theological Studies)

Required for all degreed programs
$50 Application Fee,

nonrefundable.

Resume/CV

of professional and academic experience.

University, College or Seminary Transcripts

from each institution you have attended, regardless of whether you earned a degree.

Letters of Recommendation

from those who know you best.

  • Academic references,

    who can speak to your educational background.

  • Professional references,

    who can provide insight on your professional skillset.

  • Pastoral/Vocational references,

    who can let us know about your character, calling, and motivations for pursuing theological studies.

Academic Writing Sample

from within the past five years, which demonstrates your ability to think and write in a clear, nuanced manner about an academic subject of your choice.

Required for all degree programs: 4 to 7 pages; double-spaced; 12-point font.

Those who do not have a recent or relevant writing sample may engage Columbia’s alternate writing sample prompt.

Autobiographical Statement

that introduces yourself with a narrative review of your interests and experiences. Should answer the questions: Why you? Why Columbia? Why now?

Required for all MDiv, MATS, MAPT, and Dual MDiv-MAPT degree programs; 1 to 2 pages; double-spaced; 12-point font

Plan of Study

outlining your academic goals and any particular courses or faculty members you wish to engage while enrolled.

Required for the MATS, ThM, DMin, and DEdMin degree programs 1 to 2 pages, double-spaced, 12-point font

Master of Arts in Practical Theology

Required for all degreed programs
$50 Application Fee,

nonrefundable.

Resume/CV

of professional and academic experience.

University, College or Seminary Transcripts

from each institution you have attended, regardless of whether you earned a degree.

Letters of Recommendation

from those who know you best.

  • Academic references,

    who can speak to your educational background.

  • Professional references,

    who can provide insight on your professional skillset.

  • Pastoral/Vocational references,

    who can let us know about your character, calling, and motivations for pursuing theological studies.

Academic Writing Sample

from within the past five years, which demonstrates your ability to think and write in a clear, nuanced manner about an academic subject of your choice.

Required for all degree programs: 4 to 7 pages; double-spaced; 12-point font.

Those who do not have a recent or relevant writing sample may engage Columbia’s alternate writing sample prompt.

Autobiographical Statement

that introduces yourself with a narrative review of your interests and experiences. Should answer the questions: Why you? Why Columbia? Why now?

Required for all MDiv, MATS, MAPT, and Dual MDiv-MAPT degree programs; 1 to 2 pages; double-spaced; 12-point font

Concentration Declaration Statement

to identify your intended concentration (Worship, Preaching and the Arts, Educational Ministries or Pastoral Care and Pastoral Theology) and how that choice connects to your sense of vocation.

Required for the MAPT and Dual MDiv/MAPT degree programs 1 to 2 pages, double-spaced, 12-point font

Dual Master of Divinity / Master of Arts in Practical Theology

Required for all degreed programs
$50 Application Fee,

nonrefundable.

Resume/CV

of professional and academic experience.

University, College or Seminary Transcripts

from each institution you have attended, regardless of whether you earned a degree.

Letters of Recommendation

from those who know you best.

  • Academic references,

    who can speak to your educational background.

  • Professional references,

    who can provide insight on your professional skillset.

  • Pastoral/Vocational references,

    who can let us know about your character, calling, and motivations for pursuing theological studies.

Academic Writing Sample

from within the past five years, which demonstrates your ability to think and write in a clear, nuanced manner about an academic subject of your choice.

Required for all degree programs: 4 to 7 pages; double-spaced; 12-point font.

Those who do not have a recent or relevant writing sample may engage Columbia’s alternate writing sample prompt.

Autobiographical Statement

that introduces yourself with a narrative review of your interests and experiences. Should answer the questions: Why you? Why Columbia? Why now?

Required for all MDiv, MATS, MAPT, and Dual MDiv-MAPT degree programs; 1 to 2 pages; double-spaced; 12-point font

Concentration Declaration Statement

to identify your intended concentration (Worship, Preaching and the Arts, Educational Ministries or Pastoral Care and Pastoral Theology) and how that choice connects to your sense of vocation.

Required for the MAPT and Dual MDiv/MAPT degree programs 1 to 2 pages, double-spaced, 12-point font

Master of Theology

Required for all degreed programs
$50 Application Fee,

nonrefundable.

Resume/CV

of professional and academic experience.

University, College or Seminary Transcripts

from each institution you have attended, regardless of whether you earned a degree.

Letters of Recommendation

from those who know you best.

  • Academic references,

    who can speak to your educational background.

  • Professional references,

    who can provide insight on your professional skillset.

  • Pastoral/Vocational references,

    who can let us know about your character, calling, and motivations for pursuing theological studies.

Academic Writing Sample

from within the past five years, which demonstrates your ability to think and write in a clear, nuanced manner about an academic subject of your choice.

Required for all degree programs: 4 to 7 pages; double-spaced; 12-point font.

Those who do not have a recent or relevant writing sample may engage Columbia’s alternate writing sample prompt.

Plan of Study

outlining your academic goals and any particular courses or faculty members you wish to engage while enrolled.

Required for the MATS, ThM, DMin, and DEdMin degree programs 1 to 2 pages, double-spaced, 12-point font

Statement of Purpose

outlining the origins and trajectory of your theological interests. Also identifies the key problems, theories, historical periods, cultural or ecclesial contexts and movements you plan to engage as a part of your studies.

Required for the ThM, DMin and DEdMIN degree programs 3 to 4 pages, double-spaced, 12-point font

Doctor of Ministry

Required for all degreed programs
$50 Application Fee,

nonrefundable.

Resume/CV

of professional and academic experience.

University, College or Seminary Transcripts

from each institution you have attended, regardless of whether you earned a degree.

Letters of Recommendation

from those who know you best.

  • Academic references,

    who can speak to your educational background.

  • Professional references,

    who can provide insight on your professional skillset.

  • Pastoral/Vocational references,

    who can let us know about your character, calling, and motivations for pursuing theological studies.

Academic Writing Sample

from within the past five years, which demonstrates your ability to think and write in a clear, nuanced manner about an academic subject of your choice.

Required for all degree programs: 4 to 7 pages; double-spaced; 12-point font.

Those who do not have a recent or relevant writing sample may engage Columbia’s alternate writing sample prompt.

Plan of Study

outlining your academic goals and any particular courses or faculty members you wish to engage while enrolled.

Required for the MATS, ThM, DMin, and DEdMin degree programs 1 to 2 pages, double-spaced, 12-point font

Statement of Purpose

outlining the origins and trajectory of your theological interests. Also identifies the key problems, theories, historical periods, cultural or ecclesial contexts and movements you plan to engage as a part of your studies.

Required for for the ThM, DMin and DEdMIN degree programs 3 to 4 pages, double-spaced, 12-point font

Doctor of Educational Ministry

Required for all degreed programs
$50 Application Fee,

nonrefundable.

Resume/CV

of professional and academic experience.

University, College or Seminary Transcripts

from each institution you have attended, regardless of whether you earned a degree.

Letters of Recommendation

from those who know you best.

  • Academic references,

    who can speak to your educational background.

  • Professional references,

    who can provide insight on your professional skillset.

  • Pastoral/Vocational references,

    who can let us know about your character, calling, and motivations for pursuing theological studies.

Academic Writing Sample

from within the past five years, which demonstrates your ability to think and write in a clear, nuanced manner about an academic subject of your choice.

Required for all degree programs: 4 to 7 pages; double-spaced; 12-point font.

Those who do not have a recent or relevant writing sample may engage Columbia’s alternate writing sample prompt.

Plan of Study

outlining your academic goals and any particular courses or faculty members you wish to engage while enrolled.

Required for the MATS, ThM, DMin, and DEdMin degree programs 1 to 2 pages, double-spaced, 12-point font

Statement of Purpose

outlining the origins and trajectory of your theological interests. Also identifies the key problems, theories, historical periods, cultural or ecclesial contexts and movements you plan to engage as a part of your studies.

Required for the ThM, DMin and DEdMIN degree programs 3 to 4 pages, double-spaced, 12-point font

APPLICATION

DEADLINES

Applications for…
  • Columbia’s first-level masters programs, including the MDiv, MATS, MAPT, and Dual MDiv/MAPT are due by:
    15 November – Early Decision Deadline
    15 January – Priority Deadline
    15 June – Final Deadline
  • Columbia’s ThM program are due by:
    15 March – Priority Deadline
    15 June – Final Deadline
  • Columbia’s DEdMin program are due by:
    15 April
  • Columbia’s DMin program are due by:
    15 April
  • Special or Non-Degree Students are due by:
    15 June
  • International Students
    15 January – Regardless of Degree Program
Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis between November 15 and June 30. Prospective students typically receive a decision within one month of submitting a completed application. If admitted, students will also receive a scholarship offer within two to three additional weeks.

INTERNATIONAL

STUDENTS

Students traveling from abroad will require an additional set of documents, listed here:

Special Considerations for International Students
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Application Deadline: 15 January

International students must complete their applications by 15 January regardless of degree program. This earlier deadline gives you extra time to secure visas in the months prior to your enrollment.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

If English is not your first language, you may be required to submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Scores must be from tests taken within the past two years.

For first-level masters degrees, applicants must generally reach a total score of at least 84 on the internet-based test (iBT) with a minimum score of 21 in each of the four areas (Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing). TOEFL scores should be submitted directly from ETS using Columbia’s Institutional Code (5118). You will also be asked to self-report scores within your application.

Degree Eligibility

Columbia’s DMin and DEdMin programs do not require full-time enrollment and therefore cannot be used as the basis for securing a student visa. If you are not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, you may only enroll in these programs if you already have another visa which allows part-time studies.

Financial Certification

The federal government requires all admitted international students to demonstrate that they have the financial resources to cover tuition, student fees, books, health insurance, rent, utilities, and food. If you plan to list a spouse and/or children as dependents on your visa, they will also need to be covered financially.

To prove you have sufficient funding, you will be asked to provide six months of recent bank statements. Please know that scholarships you receive from Columbia can be listed as a resource, as well as financial support you receive from family, your church, or other sources.

Bank statements must be received by the Columbia Admissions Office no later than June 30th to provide sufficient time for an I-20 to be issued and for you to schedule a visa interview at a United States Embassy or Consulate Office in your home country.

SEVIS Record

If you are currently in the United States on a different visa and wish to enroll at Columbia, you will need to transfer your SEVIS record. In addition to following the above guidelines, please plan to submit either a copy of your current visa or Form I-797-A, as well as a copy of your current I-20 or DS-2019.

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