Frequently Asked Questions

General Admissions Information

Where is Gordon-Conwell located? How many students are enrolled?
Gordon-Conwell has four campuses: an adult education model in Charlotte, NC, an urban ministry focused campus in Boston, MA, an extension of the Charlotte campus in Jacksonville, FL, and the main campus in South Hamilton, MA.  There are approximately 1,286 masters-level students enrolled across all campuses.  The main campus in South Hamilton has 422 students.*  For more information on our campuses, click here.  For more information on the South Hamilton campus and surrounding area, click here.

Can I visit the campus?
Absolutely! Campus visits are not required but are strongly encouraged. Please fill in the campus visit form to schedule a campus visit. After receiving your details, we will contact you to confirm the visit. The seminary provides up to two nights of complimentary lodging and meals for the prospective student and his/her spouse within the limits of guest housing accommodations. In addition, we would be glad to help with other special needs you may have.

In addition, we host a two-day Explore Seminary event for prospective students in both the Fall and Spring semesters. We hope you will join us!

Can I apply to the seminary before I complete my undergraduate degree?
If you are currently an undergraduate degree student in your final semester, you can apply before you graduate. Please send us an unofficial copy of your transcript(s). We will review your file pending receipt of your final transcript after graduation. No student may register unless a final transcript has
been received.

What is your deferral policy?
An accepted student can defer admission to the following semester, but no longer than one year. Please notify us in writing if you plan to defer and send us a matriculation deposit of $100 to reserve your status.

What is the Boston Theological Interreligious Consortium (BTI Consortium)?
The seminary is a full member of the consortium of major theological schools in the Boston area, including Boston University, Harvard Divinity, and Boston College. The consortium opens up a wide range of specialty courses not available at Gordon-Conwell and grants cross-registration privileges and inter-library exchanges. BTI courses generally fulfill elective options at the seminary, but can also fulfill core degree requirements.  For more information on the BTI, click here.

What are the institutional policies concerning campus security?
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary’s Annual Security Report includes statistics for the previous three years concerning reported crimes that occurred on-campus or property owned or controlled by Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies concerning sexual assault. You can obtain a paper copy of this report by contacting the Department of Public Safety, Campus Safety, or by accessing an electronic copy here.

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Application Information

When is your application deadline?
We use a rolling admissions process so there is no specific deadline.  However, keep in mind that some scholarships, federal aid and housing are time-sensitive.  For more information, please see our Admissions Procedure page.

How do I get an application?
Apply online or download a hard copy of our application ($100 application fee).

What is required for a complete application?
Please see our Admissions Procedure page for details on how to apply.  Please note the special requirements for Counseling and ThM applicants, transfer students, visiting students from another seminary, international applicants, special program (IV and CCO) applicants, auditors, and current students applying for a second degree, a change of degree, a status reactivation, or a campus transfer.

What is the difference between a Special Student, a Visiting Student, and an Auditor?
Special Students are qualified students not wishing to enter a specific degree program. Credit is earned and standard tuition costs apply. The number of applicable credit hours earned as a special student shall not exceed one-third of any given degree program. Special students may later apply for degree candidate status through the Admissions Office.

Visiting Students are current students in good standing at another seminary. Visiting students are welcome to take classes at Gordon-Conwell. Please consult the application instructions for the proper procedures.

Auditors are divided into two categories: Courtesy and Official. Courtesy audits are available to students, staff and faculty, as well as their respective spouses, and they are available to alumni and local pastors.  There is no charge for courtesy audits, and eligible persons may take one course per semester. All interested parties must register through the Registration Office prior to attending class. Courtesy audits are not recorded on a transcript. Official audits are available to regularly admitted students by paying the audit fee and receiving approval from the Registration Office. Individuals not enrolled in a degree program and wishing to enroll as official auditors must complete an application and supply supporting documentation as outlined in the application. Official audits will be recorded on a transcript.

How can I get an update on the status of my application?
Once we have received your initial application materials, we are happy to keep you informed of your status. Please e-mail or call (978-646-4038) us for an application update.

If I took a class over two years ago, do I have to reapply? What if it was under two years ago?
You will need to reapply if you took classes over two years ago. If you took classes over two years ago, but less than five, the Registration Office may still have your file in our archives.  You would need to fill out an abbreviated application to reactivate your student status.  If you took classes more than 5 years ago, you will need to complete a full application. Please contact the Admissions Office to begin this process. If you took classes less than two years ago, you do not need to reapply.

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Scholarship and Tuition

Are scholarships available for full-time students?
Yes. You are eligible for scholarships as a full-time student. Please see the Financial Aid page for a complete listing of scholarships or contact the Financial Aid Office.

Are scholarships available for part-time students?
Yes. You are eligible for scholarships as a full-time student. Please see the Financial Aid page for a complete listing of scholarships or contact the Financial Aid Office.

What are tuition costs at the South Hamilton campus?
For current tuition costs, please visit our Tuition and Fees page.

What are the billing procedures?
The school year is divided into six sessions: a fall semester, a January term, a spring semester, and three summer sessions. We also have a full summer session that includes week-long intensive courses. Bills will be prepared and sent to students 2-3 weeks after the start of semester.

What scholarships does Gordon-Conwell offer?
Gordon-Conwell is committed to making seminary affordable and accessible. For more information on our scholarships, please visit Scholarships and Grants page.  In general, students are billed in installments twice per year, on August 1 and February 1. Each billing installment will be for one-half the yearly full tuition rate, minus one-half the scholarship award. There is no limit to the number of courses a student may take in a year under the scholarship programs for full-time students.

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Is on-campus housing available?

On-campus housing is available for full-time students enrolled in a degree program. Students must take at least seven (7) courses (21 semester hours) towards their degree per Lease Year. Of these seven courses, at least one must be taken in the fall and spring semesters, respectively. There are six
dormitories on campus for 107 men and 50 women and 211 apartments, including studios, one, two and three bedrooms.

How do I apply for on-campus housing?
Only matriculated residential students are eligible to apply for on-campus housing. To find the housing application and answers to other frequently asked Housing questions, please visit the Housing page.

How can I find the most updated information regarding the Clery Act?
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary’s Annual Security Report includes statistics for the previous three years concerning reported crimes that occurred on-campus or property owned or controlled by Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies concerning sexual assault. You can obtain a paper copy of this report by contacting the Department of Public Safety, Campus Safety or by accessing an electronic copy on the Campus Safety webpage.

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Degree Programs

What is the difference between a Master of Arts (MA) degree and the Master of Divinity (M.Div.)?
While the M.Div. degree requires thirty courses for completion, the M.A. degrees require only 20 courses.  The M.Div. degree educates students in the classic disciplines of theological training – Hebrew and Greek language competency, biblical exegesis, theological constructs, historical perspective, and ministry skills.  It is designed for those preparing for professional ministry, especially the pastorate.  Our academic MA degrees (Religion, Old Testament, New Testament, Biblical Languages, Church History, Theology, Christian Studies) are designed for those who desire knowledge in a particular field and are not planning on entering pastoral ministry.  Individuals enrolled in these programs typically plan to pursue doctoral studies, usually in areas other than Bible and Theology, or to serve as school teachers and Christian leaders in other professions.  The professional MA degrees (Counseling, Intercultural Studies, Global Leadership) are intended for individuals who desire to prepare themselves for professional ministry in church and parachurch contexts.

I would like to pursue doctoral studies after seminary.  Should I get a M.Div. or a M.A. degree?
We recommend the Master of Divinity degree to students who wish to pursue doctoral studies in the areas of Bible and Theology for several reasons.  First, the length of the program (30 courses vs. a 20 course MA) allows M.Div. students to delve deeper in the areas of biblical languages, church history, theology, etc. than the typical M.A. student.  Second, the M.Div. does not “close any doors,” so to speak.  If you do not get into your desired doctoral program or decide later that you would like to pursue pastoral ministry, the M.Div. best prepares you to obtain a full-time job in ministry.  This being said, many of our students who plan to pursue doctoral studies often do a dual M.Div. and M.A., 2 M.A. degrees, or a M.Div. and a Th.M. so that they can specialize in an area of study.

What if I want to specialize in something that you do not offer as a specific track or degree?
The Master of Arts in Religion degree, our most flexible degree, allows you to build your own concentration around a specific vocational goal or area of interest.  In the past, our students have pursued a concentration in Worship, Social Justice, Women’s Ministries, Semitic Languages, Bible Translation, Christian Education, Christian Ethics, and many, many more.  As a student in the MAR program, you will be able to acquire the particular tools you need for your specific calling.

Our M.A. and M.Div. students are also able to create an area of concentration by using their electives.  Please note that the the M.Div., the MA in Educational Ministries, the MA in World Missions and Evangelism, the MA in Counseling have set tracks, or concentrations.  For more information, please visit our degrees page.

What classes will I need to take for my degree?
Please see our degree program checksheets for a detailed listing of what courses are required for each degree.

What degree should I apply for?
The Master of Divinity is designed for students who wish to pursue full-time ministry.  The MA degrees are designed for students who wish to specialize in one area of ministry or study.  For more information on degree goals and descriptions and required courses, please visit our degrees page or our degree program checksheets page.   Also see the question above regarding the difference between the M.A.’s and M.Div.

In undergrad, I took courses that you require for your degrees. Can I receive Advanced Standing for any of your courses?
Gordon-Conwell offers opportunities for Advanced Standing based on successful completion of competency exams and/or on previous coursework:

  • Students who demonstrate proficiency in Bible survey and language competency exams will receive Advanced Standing in these areas. Competency exams are available for new students at the beginning of each semester.
  • Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary also grants Advanced Standing to graduates from CCCU schools (Council of Christian Colleges and Universities).

Learn more and apply for Advanced Standing at Gordon-Conwell.

How can I transfer credits from another graduate school or seminary to count toward a degree at Gordon-Conwell?
Typically, as long as the course was taken at an accredited graduate school or seminary, courses can be transferred either to fulfill degree requirements or as electives.  You will need to fill out a request for a transfer credit evaluation and the Registrar will determine if and how the credit will be accepted.

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Semlink and Distance Education

How much does Semlink cost?
The standard tuition rate applies to Semlink courses, plus a services fee. For more information on Semlink tuition and fees, please visit the Semlink page.

When can I start a Semlink class as a non-residential student?
Upon admission to the seminary, students may register for online classes before the start of spring, summer, and fall semesters. Fall Semlink courses will begin the week after Labor Day, spring courses will begin the week after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and summer courses will begin the week after our Charlotte campus’s commencement ceremony in mid-May.

Can I complete a degree at a distance?
For the majority of degrees at Gordon-Conwell, up to 1/3 can be completed through Semlink, our distance education program. The Charlotte campus offers a Master of Arts in Religion degree that can be completed up to 1/2 online. Each summer and January term, we also offer numerous week-long intensive courses at the Hamilton campus.  At both the Boston and Hamilton campuses, we offer weekend courses, which are held during three weekends each semester. Degree programs at Gordon-Conwell’s Charlotte and Jacksonville campuses are uniquely designed for students actively engaged in both careers and ministry.  As such, all classes are offered in either the weekend or week-long intensive, or web-enhanced with three-day residency (which do not count against your distance limit) formats.  Gordon-Conwell Hamilton students are free to take courses at the Boston, Jacksonville, or Charlotte campuses.

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Course Registration

If I am accepted for the fall semester can I start in the summer?  If I am accepted for the spring semester can I start in the January term?
Yes. All you need to do is notify the Admissions Office that you would like to begin your courses in the summer or January term. If you are a Graham, Trustee, or Partnership scholarship recipient, the scholarship only covers Summer Sessions II and III (or January) prior to your first fall and does not cover Semlink distance learning courses prior to your first residential course.

When do I register for summer or January courses?
You register for summer or January courses on the first day of class each session. You simply come to class the first day and register with the Registration Office.  You will be receive information from the registration office prior to the term about how to reserve a spot in the course(s) you desire to take.  Click here to view our current course schedule.

When do I register for fall courses?
Matriculated students will be notified by Registration sometime in early summer with information as to how to reserve their courses.  New students will officially register for these reserved fall courses during orientation. Orientation usually takes place on the Tuesday-Thursday after Labor Day in September. That Thursday is the new student registration day.

How many classes should I take each semester?
Full-time students typically take 3-4 classes each semester, and we consider a full-time load to be about 10 courses per year.   You must take at least 7.5 courses in each major semester (fall and spring) in order to be considered full-time.

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*Data based on Fall 2018 census

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