As openings permit, a limited number of students who do not hold baccalaureate degrees from regionally accredited colleges or universities may be admitted to pursue the Master of Divinity (M.Div.), M.A. degrees, or Certificate programs at the Seminary. Applicants for this status must meet the following requirements:
- Demonstrate exceptional merit and academic readiness for graduate-level education
- Have significant ministerial leadership
- Ideally (but not required): 30 years of age or older and have already completed 60 credits at an undergraduate level of study or its educational equivalent
Individuals seeking special admission must fulfill all the standard admissions steps including an additional writing requirement. Applicants will need to demonstrate academic writing through one of the following two options below.
- Submit a writing sample of 2,000-2,500 words on a theological topic that has been mutually agreed upon by the applicant and the Office of Admissions.
- Submit a paper from past academic work on any subject matter. The paper should be 2,000-2,500 words and should demonstrate the student's ability to critically engage in the topic presented.
Papers should ideally be submitted in a written research format. The writing sample should include references to outside sources which are cited in the bibliography. Students may use a past paper as their writing sample.
The submitted writing sample will be a critical part of the admissions process to demonstrate a student's readiness for graduate-level work.
What if I don’t have a paper to submit?
Many students no longer have past paper samples to submit. A helpful way to become familiar with a seminary education and write a paper is to take a class (audit or for-credit). You do not need to be accepted as a student to take a Seminary class. Once the Seminary class is complete, you can use a paper from the class to submit as part of your admissions file. Any class that is taken for credit will transfer into your eventual program as long as the class aligns with the program requirements.
What else would help strengthen my admissions file?
It is highly recommended that you submit a ministry or professional resume. This may be submitted as part of your admissions file.
What if I don’t have the necessary 60 credits?
You have two options:
- You may take additional credits at any accredited college or university to help reach the necessary 60 credits. It is important to note that to be eligible for federal loans, a student needs at least 72 completed undergraduate credits.
- You may take existing Seminary classes as a non-matriculated student to demonstrate readiness for graduate-level theological education. If you take four seminary-level classes at Northeastern (not Field Education) and receive a B or higher, you will not be penalized in the admissions process for lack of an associate degree or 60 credits. You will be required to apply to the Seminary following your classes. This will include the standard admissions steps along with a writing sample from your classes. Whether you want to pursue a Certificate program or Master's program, you will need to the Seminary following four classes (twelve credits). None of these four classes are eligible for federal financial aid. If you are accepted into Northeastern Seminary following the four classes, all classes may be transferred into a Certificate or Master’s program as long as the classes are required for your program.