Mature Admission - Gordon Conwell

God calls us from all walks of life and at all stages of life. We understand that not everyone looking to be equipped in ministry has a college degree in hand. Don’t let that stop you from investing in your calling.

Your Options through Gordon-Conwell

Accelerated Degree Programs

Did you know you can earn your bachelor’s degree and seminary degree (MACM, MATS, or MDIV) in only five years?

Gordon-Conwell has partnered with Gordon College to offer accelerated pastoral degree programs, strategically overlapping undergraduate and graduate coursework. If you plan to enter into ministry, these programs can provide you the training and credentials for a fraction of the time and cost.

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Mature Admission

It is sometimes impractical for prospective students to complete their undergraduate degree in order to enroll in seminary. This is often the case for a person with significant ministry experience who has engaged in self-study but does not have formal training. Or for a person who is older, perhaps mid-career, or someone who opted to complete a program at an unaccredited institution. Our policy allows us to evaluate whether a student’s work/study /service/ministry might be considered equivalent to an undergraduate degree. Such students have the option to apply to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary under our “Mature Admission” policy.

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Mature Admission


Students without a bachelor’s degree must have a minimum of:

  • 5 years full-time ministry experience, or
  • 10 years part-time ministry experience

Every candidate will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis with consideration given to essays, references, and life experience. See below for other important considerations.


As you consider the path forward as a Mature Admission student, please keep these considerations in mind:

  • If you have completed the equivalent of a Bachelor’s Degree (120 credit hours) at an unaccredited institution, please email us for more information.
  • If you are associated with Youth With A Mission (YWAM)’s School of Biblical Studies (SBS) and wish to apply for admission to Gordon-Conwell based on that partnership, please email us for more information.
  • Students who have completed less than 3 years of full-time study at the undergraduate or graduate level (or a combination of both) do not qualify for federal aid. Please reach out to our Financial Aid team for further information.
  • Students desiring an academic MA or MDiv must note that a course like Interpreting the Bible will not transfer into an academic MA or an MDiv. If a student desires a change of status into a degree program, students desiring the academic MA or MDiv may submit their change of status after completing all courses with the exception of Interpreting the Bible.

Mature Admission Process

1. Apply to the Graduate Certificate in Christian Studies or Urban Ministry

Our standard entry route for Mature Admission students is the Graduate Certificate in Christian Studies or Certificate in Urban Ministry. We require the following:

  • Complete the Mature Admission Application to the Certificate in Christian Studies or Certificate in Urban Ministry
  • Transcripts (if applicable)
  • 3 recommendations
  • Autobiography
  • Personal Statement

For students applying for Mature Admission, we recommend you use the application’s required autobiographical essay and personal statement essay to demonstrate your ability to produce clear and correct writing.

For students who have earned the equivalent of a Bachelor’s Degree (120 credits) from an unaccredited institution, please contact us to learn how you can apply directly for a Master’s Degree.

2. Complete CT500 Theological Writing and Research

Mature Admission students may be accepted to the Certificate in Christian Studies with additional conditions and provisions, often including a requirement that they enroll in our CT500 Theological Writing and Research course during their first semester. This arrangement is intended to help the mature student begin graduate level work at a reasonable pace and commitment level, and to succeed in their program. Under this policy, we have seen the majority of our Mature Admission students flourish in their programs.

3. Apply to a Degree Program

Students demonstrating sufficient academic progress in the Certificate in Christian Studies may go on to apply for a full degree program. As many as 5 of the 6 courses are transferable into the majority of our degrees.

Have Questions?

Someone from our friendly admissions team would be happy to reach out to you.

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.