International Students

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
As a non-residential campus, the Jacksonville branch does not provide on site room and board often required by most international students. We are able to accommodate those students currently in the country on an F-1 visa or other valid visa. Individuals seeking to enter the country on an F-1 visa are strongly encouraged to apply to our Hamilton, Massachusetts campus, which offers a full range of services for the international student.

International applicants should write to the Admissions Offece requesting special information on the policies and procedures pertaining to admissions for international students. The Admissions Office will request preliminary information before determining whether a student is admissible. Applications will not be considered without prior approval. A basic four-year college degree (or its academic equivalent) at a superior level of performance is required.

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. International students must commit themselves to returning to their countries to give leadership upon completion of their studies at Gordon-Conwell. 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 all 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), including the TWE (Test for Written English). 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 575 (233 computer-based) or higher is required for all degree programs. Information regarding the TOEFL may be obtained by writing to the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey, 08540, USA. The Gordon-Conwell Charlotte code number is 8737.

College Education
A four year college degree at the bachelor’s level (or its academic equivalent) is required for all international applicants. Normally, a diploma 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.

Financial Support
All international applicants must show evidence of financial support for educational and living expenses. 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 missions boards. The Charlotte campus does not provide special scholarship for international students. Those dependent on scholarship assistance should apply to our Hamilton, MA campus where such funding is available on a limited basis.

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. They must show proof of sufficient funds to cover living expenses and all transportation costs for family members. 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.

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.