The School of Theology. Sewanee: The University of the South

Requirements

Academic Year Basic Requirements

  • Students applying for admission to one of our graduate programs should hold a B.A. or B.S., or the equivalent, from an accredited college or university.
  • One must be a postulant for Holy Orders, have the permission of one's bishop, or have an equivalent ecclesiastical authority, in order to enroll in our Master of Divinity program.
  • The applicant for Anglican Studies should have a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree from an accredited seminary and be a postulant for holy orders.
  • For admission to the S.T.M. degree, evidence of a first theological degree is required.
  • Students whose first language is not English are required to complete the TOEFL or IELTS.  Students who do not have US citizenship or legal permanent residency in the United States are required to have or acquire a valid U.S. visa.

Other Attributes for the Academic-Year Programs

  • Applicants should have a mature Christian faith, a history of active participation in a church community, and have begun a disciplined spiritual life.
  • The applicant's vocational goals should have been examined and tested within a faith community. The program to which the applicant is applying should be appropriate to his or her vocational goals.
  • The applicant should have the intellectual ability and academic background to engage the curriculum in a satisfactory way and to fulfill successfully the requirements of the program to which he or she is applying.
  • We require transcripts of the applicant’s previous academic work, and examples of the applicant’s writing.
  • The applicant should demonstrate appropriate maturity and emotional stability.
  • The applicant should have what the admission committee considers a realistic plan of how the student intends to finance his or her seminary program including adequate medical insurance for self and if applicable, other family members. It is expected that the applicant will not be encumbered with significant consumer debt.

Summer Term Requirements

  • Evidence of the Master of Divinity degree, ordination, and a minimum of three years ministry experience are required for the D.Min. degree.
  • The completed application form
  • Official transcripts of all the student’s previous college, seminary, and graduate school work
  • Recommendations from two theological school professors and, for D.Min. applicants, one church official
  • An extended paper addressing the questions on the application form (some questions are directed toward a particular degree)
  • Records of non-academic continuing education experiences, such as C.P.E., career development counseling, workshops and conferences that the student considers to be relevant to his/her participation in the D.Min. program
  • The completed application must be received by May 1 to begin classes in June.

Other Attributes of the Summer Term Programs

  • A minimum grade average of B in post-baccalaureate work is generally required for admission.
  • For the S.T.M. degree, evidence of a first theological degree is required.
  • Applicants for the D.Min. program must possess an ATS Board of Commissioners-approved M.Div. In rare cases, for exceptional applicants, The School of Theology will accept an educationally equivalent degree from an institution of higher education accredited by a U.S. 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 would-be applicants can demonstrate that they meet the standards of the Board-approved degrees for admission. M.Div. equivalency is defined as 72 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 masters degree and significant ministerial leadership. Ministerial experience alone is not considered the equivalent of or a substitute for the master’s degree. Three years of post-degree, ordained, pastoral experience is in any case required of applicants. The determination of degree equivalence is made by the associate dean for academic affairs, whose decision is final. Applicants who wish to request that a degree be considered as equivalent to the M.Div. must submit a transcript and course syllabi, together with a cover letter outlining the request and the ways in which the degree satisfies the criteria listed above.

Policy on Transfer Credit for Summer Term Students

The School of Theology may accept credit for transfer to a degree program, advanced placement and professional certificates after appropriate evaluation. Such evaluations are made by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. All transfer work is evaluated on a course-by-course basis using the following criteria:

  • Only graduate (post-baccalaureate) credits will be considered for transfer.
  • Credits are accepted only from institutions accredited by agencies recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education.
  • No credits are accepted with a grade less than “B.”
  • Normally credits are not accepted that were earned more than five years earlier.
  • The Associate Dean assesses the relevance of the course(s) to the Advanced Degrees curriculum, and may interview the student as part of that assessment.
  • A maximum of nine semester hours may be transferred.
  • When deemed appropriate, final approval for transfer credit may be deferred until the student has completed further academic work at The School of Theology.
  • The School of Theology does not award transfer credit for course work taken on a non-credit basis or for life experiences, or for course work used in earning another degree.

Requirements for Special Students

Non-degree-seeking students may enroll in courses in the Advanced Degree Program with some limitations. Special students must be able to do graduate level work, and the Advanced Degrees Committee reserves the right to determine who will be admitted as a special student. Special students are limited to nine credit hours.

Special student applications must be approved by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and include:

  • The Special Student Application form
  • Transcripts of all previous college, seminary, and graduate work