The Master of Divinity (M.Div.) and Master of Arts in Theological Studies
(MATS) programs are open to qualified students of all Christian traditions.
Every student must have earned the degree of Bachelor of Arts or its
equivalent, based upon four years of work beyond secondary education
in a college or university approved by one of the regional accrediting
bodies. Exemption from this requirement must be fully justified and documented.
Applicants who have achieved an average grade of B or better (3.0 on
a 4-point scale) in appropriate baccalaureate or pre-M.Div. subjects
receive priority in admission.
Students from institutions of collegiate standing outside the United
States in which a bachelor's degree is not granted may be admitted if
they present satisfactory evidence of having completed work comparable
to that required for a B.A. degree in American institutions, and of having
adequate financial support.
Preparation for undertaking M.Div. work should include experience with
critical thinking, writing, and the study of the humanities and social
sciences. Applications that show gaps or weaknesses in these areas may
be placed on hold by the Admissions committee until the applicant takes
courses that demonstrate or improve the ability to do graduate work in
theology. An applicant may be also be admitted with the proviso that
certain approved introductory courses in the history of world civilizations,
philosophy, or English composition are to be taken before embarking on
the first year of the seminary program. When such a stipulation is made,
the courses must be completed at an accredited college or university
with a grade of no less than B (3.0).
For applicants to the M.Div. program whose undergraduate or graduate education was not in English, a minimum TOEFL test score of 550 (213 computer-based, or 80 Internet-based) must be earned as part of the application for any SFTS degree program.
SFTS reserves the right to exercise its discretion in distributing or
not distributing, accepting or rejecting, and processing or not processing
applications for admission on any grounds consistent with the Seminary's
educational and religious purposes and with the standards under which
the Seminary is accredited.
When to Apply
Prospective students are invited to submit applications as soon as their
plans for attending seminary become sufficiently clear. The Admissions
Committee evaluates applications dossiers at the next meeting after
the dossiers are completed, and the applicants are notified promptly
thereafter. Because housing and financial aid are allocated to new
applicants in the order of confirmation of admission, early completion
of the admissions process is recommended.
For admission in the fall semester applications should be received in
the Admissions Office by May 1, with the committee decision forthcoming
by May 31. Applications made after that date may be considered at the
committee's discretion. Applications for admission for the spring semester
are not accepted to the San Anselmo/Berkeley program due to the sequential
nature of courses in several areas of the curriculum.
Applicants with grade point averages below 3.0 from their most recent
degree program may be admitted provisionally to the M.Div. program.
Students on provisional admission must take all courses for letter
grades except those offered for Pass/Fail only. Upon successful completion
(GPA of 2.0 or better) of the first full semester (12 units), provisional
students enter regular standing.
As an alternative to entering with provisional status, applicants may
choose to raise their GPA by enrolling as unclassified students or enrolling
in appropriate pre-M.Div. or M.Div. related courses at another accredited
institution. Normally no more than eight courses taken in unclassified
status may be applied toward meeting M.Div. requirements. Applicants
also may take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) to demonstrate their
readiness for graduate study.
Those admitted to the M.Div. or MATS program must confirm their acceptance
of admission within two weeks of written notification with a $200 non-refundable
tuition deposit. This deposit is credited toward the tuition fee when
the applicant matriculates and may be waived if the applicant is already
paying tuition to SFTS as an unclassified student.