Admissions Policy

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary admits students to degree programs in accordance with the standards laid out by our accrediting agency, the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).  Those standards include the following: 

Master of Divinity: The MDiv is a postbaccalaureate degree. Admission requirements include (1) a baccalaureate degree from an institution of higher education accredited by a US agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, or approved by a Canadian provincial quality assurance agency, or the demonstrated educational equivalent of an accredited or approved North American baccalaureate degree; (2) evidence of the commitment and qualities desired for pastoral leadership; and (3) the academic ability to engage in graduate education.

Ministerial Master of Arts Degrees: The professional master’s program grants a postbaccalaureate degree. Admission requirements shall include (1) a baccalaureate degree from an institution of higher education accredited by an agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, or approved by a Canadian provincial quality assurance agency, or the demonstrated educational equivalent of an accredited or approved North American baccalaureate degree; (2) evidence of the commitment and qualities desired for ministerial leadership; and (3) the academic ability to engage in graduate education.

Academic Master of Arts Degrees: Admission to any of these degree programs requires a baccalaureate degree from an institution of higher education accredited by a US agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, or approved by a Canadian provincial quality assurance agency, or the demonstrated educational equivalent of an accredited or approved North American baccalaureate degree.  Admission to these degrees should be offered to students whose background and academic records indicate the ability to engage in graduate-level study for academic pursuits or personal development.

Master of Theology: Admission to the program shall require an ATS Board of Commissioners approved MDiv, or first graduate theological degree providing equivalent theological background, or its educational equivalent, from an institution of higher education accredited by a US agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, or approved by a Canadian provincial quality assurance agency; and evidence of aptitude for advanced theological study. Comparable degrees from institutions outside North America may be accepted provided schools can demonstrate that they meet the standards of the Board-approved degrees for admission.

Doctor of Ministry: Students must possess an ATS Board of Commissioners-approved MDiv or its educational equivalent from an institution of higher education accredited by a US agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or approved by a Canadian provincial quality assurance agency. Degrees from institutions outside of North America may be accepted provided schools can demonstrate that they meet the standards of the Board-approved degrees for admission. MDiv equivalency is defined as 75 graduate semester hours or comparable graduate credits in other systems that represent broad-based work in theology, biblical studies, and the arts of ministry and that include a master’s degree and significant ministerial leadership. Ministerial experience alone is not considered the equivalent of or a substitute for the master’s degree. Applicants to the DMin degree program should have at least three years of experience in ministry subsequent to the first graduate theological degree, and, as part of the program goal, show evidence of capacity for an advanced level of competence and reflection in the practice of ministry beyond that of the master’s level.

General admissions requirements can be found on our Master’s Application Procedure and Doctor of Ministry Application Procedure webpages. Some individual degrees have special requirements which can be found under our Degree Programs webpage.  All applications are reviewed by the Admissions Committee for completeness and conformity to accreditation requirements, institutional standards, and degree-specific requirements. 

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, national or ethnic origin, age, handicap or veteran status. A complete statement of compliance with federal laws and regulations can be found in the Gordon-Conwell Student Handbook.