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Seminary School Requirements

Is God calling you to grow in your ministry? A seminary degree can provide an academic and spiritual foundation to support you in your God-given purpose. Choosing a seminary that will both challenge and equip you for your call is an important decision. Read on to learn what to expect as you apply, and what the seminary school requirements are. 

What is a Seminary?

Seminaries are faith-based schools that teach theological and practical concepts for spiritual leadership. Their graduates will be ordained as pastors, priests or deacons, or they might serve as lay professionals in teaching, social work, chaplaincy, or nonprofit organizations. 

Every seminary will have different admission requirements, but here are some common themes you might encounter during the application process. As always, you should do background research to better understand what each specific school requires.


Seminary Requirements

Seminary School Requirements

Faith and Belief

Faith and belief will be at the core of your studies and your degree.  During your studies, you will be studying a variety of subjects including church history, scripture, church texts, gospel principles, doctrine, and more.  With such an emphasis on faith, it is important to understand what faith and belief mean to you. Seminaries do this to ensure your spiritual maturity, commitment, and relevant experience in order to best set for success upon graduation.

During your application process for seminary school, you will be asked to write two short essays, and will also be asked to provide letters of recommendation.

Moreover, some schools might require you to sign a letter of agreement reflecting your faith and belief. Suppose you plan to enter into the priesthood. In that case, you may be required to sign a letter of agreement that stipulates your pact to remain celibate as an extension of your faith.


Academic Ability

Academic requirements for seminary school may vary depending on the type of institution you intend to join. For seminaries affiliated with other universities, you’ll need to adhere to their affiliated institutions’ admission standards. 

In most cases, seminaries require you to have a bachelor’s degree to be admitted into a master’s program and a master’s degree to be admitted into a doctoral program. You will be required to provide copies of official transcripts from previous schools you attended.

You do not necessarily have to be at the top of your class or score highly on standardized tests to gain entry to a good seminary. But you do need to show that you are prepared to undertake graduate-level academic study. An academic essay is another common requirement that can showcase your critical thinking and writing skills.



Seminaries may also consider an applicant’s personal character as part of the admission process to ensure that the school is preparing responsible and conscientious spiritual leaders. Various processes can help a school evaluate this subjective quality. 

Many schools request a character reference in the form of a letter from someone who is not a relative and has known you for at least a year. A background check is another common requirement.

Seminaries try to practice the tenets of repentance, forgiveness, and redemption that they teach, so the identification of past criminal activity or misconduct through a background check is not automatically a reason for a school to decline your application. Even those convicted of a felony or who have served a prison sentence may be granted admission, depending on the circumstances and the applicant’s eligibility for other admission requirements.

Some seminaries will require that students joining their school undertake a psychological test to assure they admit stable, mature students. 


Final Thoughts

The admission requirements to any seminary differ based on an individual school’s policy. Before you apply for admission, it’s critical to go through the school’s requirements to understand whether you qualify. However, seminaries aim to mold individuals who will support and lead communities in matters of faith and character development. Therefore, you should be ready to go through vetting related to your faith, character, and academic abilities.

If you would like to learn more about United’s online application, please visit our webpage on how to apply.

For an overview of our courses, please visit our webpage on our courses overview.  We offer Master’s and Doctorate degrees in divinity, ministry, theological studies, arts in Christian studies, and more.

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