Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary takes seriously the task of providing quality education toward preparation for leadership in gospel ministry for international students who have taken full advantage of the best theological education available in their own countries. Applicants are selected on the basis of potential for significant contribution to the Christian Church in their own homelands. International students are expected to return to their native countries to provide leadership in ministry upon completion of their studies at Gordon-Conwell.
Policies Regarding Admission
Requesting Application Materials
- Formal application is made directly to Gordon-Conwell–Boston (CUME).
- The following items must be received before action will be taken on any application:
Completed application form including:
- Personal Statements addressing questions about vocational goal, church involvement, previous ministerial experience, encouragement from others, and an assessment of strengths and weaknesses.
- A brief autobiography
- Application fee of $50 (U.S.).
- Official Transcripts from any educational institution where at least one course was taken for credit.
- Three written recommendations on forms supplied online, attesting to the applicant’s commitment to Christ, capacity for leadership, emotional maturity and stability, personal integrity and responsibility, social sensitivity, communication skills, and motivation.
Potential for Contribution to the Church
Applicants are selected on the basis of potential for significant contribution to the Christian church in one's homeland. Also, letters of endorsement are required from a denominational official and a local church leader.
Competency in English
Competency in understanding and using the English language is necessary for international students. The ability to handle graduate studies requires facility in English. Therefore, students whose native language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). This test must be taken even if English is the applicant's second language. The results must be sent to Gordon-Conwell. A TOEFL score of 570 (230 computer-based, 90 internet-based) or better is required for masters students and 575 (233 computer-based, 91 internet-based) or higher is required for Th.M students. Applicants showing a particular weakness in English may be required to complete an intensive language program at a local college prior to enrollment at Gordon-Conwell. Information regarding the TOEFL may be obtained by writing to the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey, 08540, USA. The Gordon-Conwell-CUME code number is 0200.
A four year college degree at the bachelor's level is required for all international applicants applying to the Master of Arts or Master of Divinity Programs in Boston. Normally, a diploma overseas is not the equivalent of a bachelor's degree. Superior academic work should be evident. Where an educational system differs in structure from that of the United States, Gordon-Conwell may require the applicant to submit a catalog from the school where the degree was received. An applicant may also be asked to provide a statement from a college official explaining particular aspects of the education received.
Course of Study
Under the terms of an F-1 student visa one is required to pursue a full-time course of study during the academic year, September through May. For immigration purposes, Gordon-Conwell/Boston commonly defines full-time study as registration for nine or more credits each semester (3 courses each per Fall and Spring semesters).
All international applicants must show evidence of financial support for educational and living expenses. After receipt of acceptance letter from the Admissions Office at CUME, specific instructions with estimated costs will be sent by separate mail from our International Student Advisor. Serious consideration of the high expense of living and studying in the United States must be made. We recommend that international students seek support from family members, friends, denominational agencies, local churches and mission boards.
Accepted students who desire to bring their family members with them to Gordon-Conwell must receive approval from the seminary prior to arrival in the United States. The United States government requires that proof of financial support be given before the proper forms for entrance to this country can be granted.
Students arriving in the United States without proper visas are normally deported at the expense of their national governments and are not eligible for readmission to the United States. Severe employment restrictions are imposed on international students by our government, meaning that employment opportunities for such students are limited. Any questions regarding international student employment should be addressed to the Associate Director for Administration, Naomi Wilshire at firstname.lastname@example.org
The SEVIS I-901 fee is mandated by Congress to support the program office and the automated system that keeps track of students and exchange visitors and ensures that they maintain their status while in the United States. Each student or exchange visitor issued an initial Form I-20 or DS-2019 on after September 1, 2004 is responsible for paying this fee to SEVP. For further information on this fee with frequently asked questions, please go to http://www.ice.gov/graphics/sevis/i901/faq.htm
Vocational Goal and Christian Witness
The vocational goal of the applicant must be clear and the Christian testimony must be strong. Gordon-Conwell desires to help train Christian leaders who have a sure sense of call from God to a particular task and who evidence consistent Christian living.