Attending The General Theological Seminary

A bachelor's degree, or its equivalent, from a regionally accredited college or university, is required for admission to all programs. Students without a bachelor's degree may be considered for admission to the M.Div. or professional M.A. degree programs if they have significant leadership or ministry experience, and possess the equivalent of an Associate Arts degree. Other requirements may be requested upon evaluation and review by the Office of Admissions.

General Seminary recognizes that God calls people with many different gifts to serve and lead the church and world. Factors other than the academic record are taken into consideration when making admissions decisions. These may include other graduate study or degrees, occupational experience, church and community leadership and an applicant's maturity.


General Application Requirements

The following requirements are common to all programs except Part-Time Non-Degree study.

  • Submission of application by the appropriate deadline (see above).
  • Non-refundable application fee of $75 paid online or through check or money-order.
  • The degree of Bachelor of Arts or its equivalent.
  • Completion and submission of the standard online application.
  • An autobiographical statement written in essay form which is part of the online application form.
  • Transcripts of all academic work beyond the secondary school level; transcripts must be in English, or with English translation attached.
  • For international students and other applicants whose first language is not English, Results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or results from the aptitude section of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Requirements may be waived for foreign students who have graduated from a U.S. college or university.
  • Three letters of recommendation, one must be from the applicant's parish priest or pastor and one may be the ecclesiastical endorsement. Students who have previously taken courses at General Seminary are encouraged to submit at least one reference from a General Seminary faculty member in support of their application.
  • Personal interviews by seminary staff or faculty (on campus or through other means).
  • Evidence of immunization. If registered for 6 credits or more, students are required by New York State Law to be immunized against measles, mumps, and rubella. The law applies to all students born on or after January 1, 1957. Students born outside the United States before 1957 must present written proof of immunization. Students must provide written proof of immunization within 30 days of the start of classes. Immunization record forms may be obtained from the Registrar. (See Appendix K).
  • Evidence of social security number. U.S. citizens: submit a copy of the card itself or of the label from your tax return. Non-citizens (only): submit a copy of your passport showing the passport number.
  • Graduate Record Examination: GRE scores are required for S.T.M. applications.

Any applicant not granted admission may not, for the span of two years, (a) reapply, or (b) study on a non-degree basis at General Seminary, unless otherwise stated in the letter of non-acceptance.

Additional Requirements by Degree

Master of Divinity (Pre-Ordination)

For applicants who intend to pursue ordination, the Admissions Office is required to obtain an appropriate form of ecclesiastical endorsement. For those in dioceses of the Episcopal Church, this normally means that the applicant is a postulant for holy orders. Where the process toward postulancy is incomplete at the time of application for admission, a letter from the bishop of the diocese, indicating that the applicant is known to him/her, that the canonical process has begun, and, most important, that the bishop concurs with the applicant's desire to proceed toward admission to the Seminary, is generally be received by the Seminary as an appropriate endorsement. Applicants (seeking ordination) from dioceses of the Episcopal Church are urged to be in contact with their bishop and their Commission on Ministry before applying to the Seminary. Applicants from other churches who intend to pursue ordination are asked to provide the Seminary with a form of ecclesiastical endorsement that, in the judgment of the Admissions Committee, is analogous to the requirement for Episcopal students.

Master of Sacred Theology

Applicants for admission to the S.T.M. program must possess B.A. and M.Div. degrees or the equivalent. The S.T.M. application deadline is June 15. Applicants for the S.T.M. should include among their recommendations two from former instructors who can speak to the applicant's ability to pursue graduate-level work. Applicants should be prepared to answer the following questions about their proposed field of study: 1) What will be your major field of concentration in this program? 2) If you have in mind a possible area for a thesis, please state it. 3) My first language is.... 4) Classical languages I read include... 5) Include a statement of purpose that answers the following question: What vocational and academic aims lead you to apply for advanced study in theology? Please attach one or more sheets, each clearly headlined “S.T.M. Statement of Purpose,” giving your response to this question in no more than one thousand words.

Master of Arts

Applicants who desire admission to the Master of Arts Program are asked to provide, in addition to the required autobiography, a statement 2 to 3 pages in length responding to each of the following: A) What, if any, area of concentration do you anticipate pursuing and why? B) What specific educational, vocational and personal purposes do you have for pursuing the M.A. degree, and how are these goals best served by GTS's M.A. program? Your response should answer these questions: 1) If interested in pursuing further academic work, what benefits do you believe this program will provide? 2) If your goals are vocational, how will this degree be beneficial? 3) What are your areas of personal interest, and how does the GTS curriculum meet them? 4) If you seek to enhance a lay or diaconal ministry, what is this work and how will study at GTS benefit it?

If you are applying for a MA in Christian Spirituality: In the autobiographical statement, please focus on why you feel called to the study of spirituality, and how you anticipate using this formation in your life of faith and ministry.

Diploma in Anglican Studies

Applicants seeking ordination must have their bishop's approval for study at General prior to beginning their studies.

Admission Deadlines

Every attempt is made to accommodate prospective students. The General Theological Seminary cannot guarantee acceptance, financial aid, or housing when the below deadlines are not met.




M.Div. Jun. 15 Nov. 15
S.T.M. (Fall Only) Jun. 15 N/A
M.A. Jun. 15 Nov. 15
Anglican Studies Jun. 15 Nov. 15
Certificate Jun. 15 Nov. 15

Financial Aid Applications are due April 16 for new students and May 1 for continuing students.


Part-Time Non-Degree Study

Part-time students come from all over the metropolitan New York area, the United States and even from around the world. Some are clergy, and others are lay men and women interested in learning more about their faith and the church. Their diversity of background and opinion enriches the classroom experience.

Those wishing to participate in Seminary course offerings as part-time students who are not seeking a degree have the opportunity to choose from day and evening schedules and courses in either traditional 12-week formats or intensive formats that meet over a period of days or a weekend.

Registration for a course must be received by the deadline (normally one week prior to the start of the class), together with all fees and tuition. Early registration is helpful to the professors in planning their courses! Some courses require part-time students to obtain the instructor's permission for registration.

Part-time students who are not seeking degrees are ineligible for courses offered under any cross-registration agreement into which the Seminary has entered with other educational institutions. Non-degree students may earn up to 14 credits toward an M.A. degree and up to 25 credits toward an M.Div. degree. Students must matriculate if they want additional credits to apply toward a degree.

Detailed admissions information is available in the Catalog


Transfer Students

No candidate for the Seminary's degree shall have spent less than one full year of academic residence at the Seminary. The Seminary will accept Senior transfer students from other seminaries (1) if they are highly qualified, (2) if they plan to be resident students rather than commuter students, and (3) if there is room without taking space needed for the incoming class.

Prospective students applying to a General Theological Seminary degree program may petition the Academic Affairs Office to accept transfer credits. Upon receipt of all the above items, a written decision regarding the transfer of credit request will be issued from the Academic Affairs Office within four weeks.

Please contact the Admissions Office for detailed information regarding the transfer of credits to GTS.