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Thank you for your interest in Northeastern Seminary.

Students applying to one of Northeastern Seminary's Master of Arts programs must meet the following admissions qualifications to be eligible.

For more information, contact the admissions staff below.

Additional Requirements

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

A person who holds an earned baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university and wishes to pursue studies for credit—but not a degree—may be admitted on a space-available basis by completing an application for individual courses. Students who are in good standing and currently enrolled in an accredited graduate program may take classes at Northeastern as non-matriculated students. All non-matriculated students will be limited to accumulating up to twelve credits.

A person who meets the admissions requirements for Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry, or United Theological Seminary will, under the terms of the cross-registration program, be considered as admitted to Northeastern Seminary for enrollment.

A person who qualifies for regular admission may audit one or more courses. This privilege requires the approval of the vice president and dean's office and the instructors.

Applying to Northeastern Seminary as an international student involves the following steps:

  1. Complete the application
  2. Three letters of recommendation
  3. Official academic transcripts include:
    • Evidence of degrees and courses completed and grades earned  baccalaureate level programs
    • Students transferring from another university must provide evidence of courses or subjects completed, grades earned, and duration of each course during university study
    • These transcripts must be in English. In some cases, transcripts from countries other than the US will need to be evaluated by World Education Services (WES).
  4. Autobiographical statement
  5. International students for whom English is not the first language are required to demonstrate English language proficiency by one of the following:
    • Minimum TOEFL score of 79
    • Minimum IELTS score of 6.5
    • Have scores sent electronically to Northeastern Seminary—scores must be received before a student will be considered for admission

*All documents must be in English

Immigration Requirements

International Student Financial Statement (ISFS) - Admitted students will receive an ISFS along with their acceptance letter—the document identifies how a student will pay for her or his education. It does not need to be filled out before admission. The ISFS must be completed and returned to the Office of Admissions in order to receive an I-20.

I-20 - Following acceptance into the program and receipt and approval of the International Student Financial Statement, students work directly with an International Student Coordinator to begin the application process for an I-20. The I-20 application stands for "Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status for Academic and Language Students." This is filled out by Northeastern Seminary and will require a signature by the student. Any fees associated with the I-20 are to be paid by the student.

Visa -Following completion of the signed I-20 document, the student must apply for their visa. Students are responsible for applying for and receiving a visa. If they do not receive a visa, they will not be allowed to enter the country. The visa allows them to enter; the I-20 allows them to stay. Any fees associated with the visa are to be paid by the student.

Additional Resources for International Students

For additional information, please contact the office of admissions at Admissions@nes.edu.

The use of this term at Northeastern Seminary follows generally accepted practice. It describes the process of transferring graduate credits earned elsewhere and applying them to the student's program at Northeastern. Except for courses taken at Roberts Wesleyan College, course credits transfer without the grades.

Students who have prior graduate credit should take initiative upon enrollment to have transcripts evaluated to determine whether credit can be applied to their Northeastern Seminary program.

  • Transfer credits will not be accepted as a substitution for, or waiver of, the Seminary's Great Conversation curriculum and Capstone requirements (RES 690NE, MIN 691NE, MIN 790NE) 
    • Rarely will Personal Spiritual Formation courses already completed at another seminary be transferred into a Northeastern program; previously taken courses must be exactly equivalent to PSF 611NE and 612NE to be transferable
  • Only credits eligible for graduate credit in the institution where they were taken will be considered for transfer
  • Only the graduate credit earned within 10 years of a Northeastern Seminary degree conferral may be applied toward degree requirements
  • Only the graduate credits earned at an institution accredited by a recognized accrediting body will be considered for transfer. Students may be asked for a letter of good standing from their prior seminary as part of the admissions process at Northeastern Seminary.
  • Graduate credits earned at an Association of Theological Schools (ATS) accredited seminary/graduate school with a grade of C+ or higher (2.3 on a scale of 4.0) or a non-ATS-accredited seminary/graduate school with a grade of B or higher (3.0 on a scale of 4.0) will be eligible for transfer consideration
  • Only the graduate credits earned at an ATS seminary/graduate school of theology may be applied against the required Ministry (MIN) courses at Northeastern
  • Graduate credits earned at a non-ATS seminary/graduate school will be accepted as transfer only in meeting designated "elective" credits in the relevant Northeastern degree program
  • Transfer credits for the M.A. electives will be limited to eleven (11) credits and must be ministry related
  • Transfer credit for the M.Div. electives will be limited to fifteen (15) credits and must be ministry related
  • Once evaluated and approved by the director of field education, a student may transfer one (1) unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) for six (6) credits (M.Div.) or three (3) credits (M.A.) of field education
    • An M.Div. student may apply a second unit of CPE toward six (6) credits of electives. An M.A. student may use the additional three (3) credits from one (1) unit of CPE towards the elective credits
    • Students pursuing the M.A. in Theology and Social Justice or M.A. in Transformational Leadership may not use CPE units toward their field education requirements, but they may be counted as free electives
    • In rare hardship cases, a petition may be considered for M.Div. students wishing to transfer additional CPE credits toward field education requirements
    • Students planning to apply for chaplaincy certification through the military or through the Association of Professional Chaplains should determine whether utilizing CPE credit toward the degree will prevent the CPE credits from counting toward certification
  • No more than two-thirds of the credits required for a Northeastern Seminary degree may be granted on the basis of transfer credits, subject to the limitations noted above
  • Credit from a previously earned graduate degree may be considered for transfer, but not more than half of the credits required for the previously earned degree may be transferred into a Northeastern program 
    • Such credits will be accepted as a substitution for, and waiver of, specific Northeastern courses only on the basis of equivalency as determined by the vice president and dean's office

Northeastern Seminary students may consider taking elective courses and specific denominationally-required courses at other accredited seminaries.

Students who have prior doctoral-level credit may be eligible for transfer credit as follows:

  • Transfer credit will not be accepted as a substitute for, or waiver of, the required Northeastern orientation/foundation courses, Research Methodology courses, or the dissertation
  • Students may fulfill the requirements of no more than two (six credits) of the four support courses by alternate means, according to the following guidelines:
    • One course (three credits) may be earned by independent study
    • Up to six doctoral-level credits with a grade of B or higher earned at an Association of Theological Schools (ATS) accredited seminary/graduate school of theology within 10 years of enrolling at Northeastern may be transferred as support course credit at the discretion of the vice president and dean’s office; courses accepted by transfer may not duplicate the content of required Seminary coursework
    • In rare cases, one course (three credits) with a grade of B or higher earned at a non-ATS but regionally accredited institution will be considered for transfer only by petition which clearly shows the direct correlation of the coursework to the Northeastern D.Min. program in scripture, spirituality, and leadership, as well as its relevance to the proposed dissertation topic
    • The responsibility lies with the student to demonstrate how the transfer credit requested relates to and supports the current program of study

Students with credits older than 10 years but earned at an ATS-accredited seminary/graduate school of theology may petition for up to six transfer credits toward the support course requirements; the petition must outline the relevance of the coursework to the Northeastern D.Min. program in scripture, spirituality, and leadership, as well as how the course material has been applied to the individual’s ministry since the credit was earned.