Applying for Seminary Admission

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Women and men admitted to Seattle Pacific Seminary will demonstrate a vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ, a commitment to the proclamation of the reign of God, an ability to succeed academically in master’s level work, and an emotional and spiritual readiness to undertake graduate theological study.

You can apply for admission into the Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree program by following the general admissions requirements for master’s degree programs. With your application, include these items specific to Seattle Pacific Seminary:

Two letters of recommendation

(Forms are downloadable from the application page or available from Graduate Admissions)

  1. One personal reference from a clergyperson, church staff person, or parachurch professional who will attest to your emotional, spiritual, and academic readiness for graduate theological study.
  2. One academic reference from a former professor who knows your academic work well; if you cannot secure one, another professional letter of reference attesting to your maturity and suitability for graduate theological work will be accepted with approval from the Seminary's Academic Dean; in such cases, an interview may be required. You may request permission to submit an alternative letter of reference by emailing

A typed personal statement

Your statement should be three to four pages in length, and should include:

  • Your career objectives
  • A narrative of your personal Christian experience.  In your personal statement, you may consider reflecting on those people (e.g., parents, pastors, friends, teachers), institutions (e.g., schools, congregations, ministries), and/or "mountaintop experiences" (e.g., retreats, conferences, life-changing conversations) that have most influenced your spiritual growth.
  • Your rationale for seeking the degree and choosing Seattle Pacific Seminary
  • Other insights you deem appropriate

The Seattle Pacific Seminary Admissions Committee evaluates applications based on your previous coursework, academic achievement, recommendations, professional experience, emotional and spiritual preparedness, and personal goals. Admission to the program is granted by the committee and communicated to you in conjunction with Graduate Admissions.

Application deadlines

Students can apply to Seattle Pacific Seminary to begin Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters, and to begin during Summer Sessions, though most students choose to begin their program in Autumn Quarter.   

  • Autumn Quarter (beginning courses in September), the application deadline is July 31.
  • Winter Quarter (beginning courses in January), the application deadline is November 15.
  • Spring Quarter (beginning courses in March), the application deadline is February 15.
  • Summer Sessions (beginning courses in June), the application deadline is May 1.  

Transfer credits

If you wish to apply graduate-level coursework that you completed at a regionally accredited university, divinity school, or seminary into the MA or MDiv degree programs, you must provide applicable transcripts and/or syllabi with your application.

Applicants may transfer up to 26 quarter credits from another ATS-accredited institution into the MA degree program, and up to 36 quarter credits into the MDiv degree program.

To receive transfer credit:

  • Each course must be at least three graduate quarter credits and be equivalent to courses taught in Seattle Pacific Seminary.
  • Each course will be considered on a case-by-case basis as to the fulfillment of specific curricular requirements.
  • A minimum grade of B is needed for transferred work.
  • Transferred courses must have been taken within seven years of admission.

In all cases, the final 40 MDiv credits or 26 MA credits must be taken at SPU.

Non-degree students

You may take up to nine credits of graduate theology courses as a non-degree student, if you:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • Fill out a short application form with the Seattle Pacific Seminary office.
  • Receive permission from the dean or associate dean of the School of Theology.

Contact the School of Theology at or 206-281-2342 for more information.

International students

  • Applicants who are not citizens or permanent residents of the USA must provide an official confidential affidavit of financial support covering the first year of intended enrollment. Without this document, SPU cannot issue an I-20 immigration form.
  • Students holding undergraduate or graduate degrees from colleges, universities, and/or seminaries located outside the United States of America are expected to have their transcripts evaluated by a professional credential agency. Such an evaluation is required before an application for admission to SPS can be granted and before any graduate credits taken elsewhere can be applied to an SPS degree. Following University-wide practice, SPS accepts professional transcript evaluations from agencies recognized by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), the Foundation for International Services (located in nearby Edmonds, WA), or any of the agencies belonging to the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).
  • English Language Proficiency: Applicants whose first language is not English must submit scores on the TOEFL. A minimum score of 600 on the TOEFL paper, 250 on the TOEFL-CBT, or 100 on the TOEFL-IBT is required. ACE scores will not be accepted.

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The Rev. Dr. Scott Dudley, senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Bellevue, WA, talks about why Seattle Pacific Seminary is unique.

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Professor of Theology Doug Koskela discusses one of the required courses at Seattle Pacific Seminary, "Vocational Discernment and Discipleship." 

"It is a critical question for all students -- those who have questions about their vocation and those who have a clear sense of where God might be leading them -- to address now and throughout their lifetime."