What does it take to be admitted to seminary?
Generally, requirements include:
- A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
- A demonstrated capacity to handle graduate level academic work
- Evidence of personal maturity and leadership potential
- Strong letters of reference
Endorsement by the candidacy committee (or its equivalent) of the student’s denomination is sometimes required for admission to seminary. As Christian denominations and communities of faith differ significantly in the ways they handle candidacy issues, students are advised to contact the appropriate committee or officer of their synod, diocese, presbytery, district or judicatory early in their course of exploration. Often, the pastor of the student’s home congregation is a valuable resource in this regard.
What degrees do seminaries offer?
The degree a student pursues in seminary varies, depending on the individual’s vocational goal, aptitudes and interest. The most frequently offered “first theological” degrees are:
- Master of Divinity (M.Div.)—three or four years, typically required for ordination
- Master of Arts in Religion (M.A.R.)—two years
- Master of Arts in Ministerial Studies (M.A.M.S.)—two years
- Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.)—two years
- Master of Sacred Music (M.S.M.)—two years