Applying to Seattle Pacific Seminary
Admission to Seattle Pacific Seminary is a two-way process of discernment. You, the applicant, must determine whether SPS offers the kind of theological education and spiritual formation appropriate to your vocational objectives. You do so by studying our promotional materials, by visiting campus (if possible), by talking with our faculty, staff, and students, by praying for God’s guidance, and by consulting with trusted spiritual advisors. Conversely, the SPS Admissions Committee must determine whether you are spiritually and academically prepared to succeed in one of our programs. We do so by carefully and prayerfully studying your application materials and by assessing how your gifts, graces, and sense of vocation fit with the mission and ethos of the Seminary. We admit women and men who can 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.
To be considered for admission into the Master of Arts Christian Leadership, you must apply online. Find the help you need with the admissions process of the program of your choice through Graduate Admissions.
If you are an international student, also refer to International Graduate Students information about additional admission requirements.
With your online application, include these items specific to Seattle Pacific Seminary:
A typed, three- to four-page personal statement, including:
- 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.
Two letters of recommendation
(Forms are downloadable from the application page or available from Graduate Admissions.)
We ask you to secure letters of recommendation from two persons, both of whom know you well, but in different capacities, and who can therefore speak to different aspects of your preparedness for the challenges of graduate theological education.
- Spiritual/emotional preparedness: This letter should be from a pastor, church staff person, chaplain, parachurch professional, youth leader, Bible study leader or college religion professor. It should describe the depth of your Christian faith, as evidenced by the way you live your life, serve your neighbors, and participate in the ministry of a Christian community (local congregation, parachurch organization, chapel program, etc.).
- Academic Preparedness: This letter should be from a former college professor who knows your academic work well and can describe your intellectual curiosity and your skills in research, writing, critical thinking, problem-solving, and time management. If you cannot secure a letter from a former professor, a letter from an employer or manager who can address these matters will be accepted with approval from the Seminary's Academic Dean (firstname.lastname@example.org); in such cases, an interview may be required. You may request permission to submit an alternative letter of reference by emailing email@example.com.
If you wish to apply graduate-level coursework completed at a regionally accredited university or an ATS-accredited divinity school or seminary toward your MA in theology program, you must provide official transcript(s) and, in some cases, course syllabi. You may transfer up to 27 quarter credits from other graduate programs. To receive transfer credit:
- Each course must be at least 3 graduate-quarter credits and be equivalent to courses taught in the 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 will be needed for transferred work.
- All courses applied toward the graduate degree must be taken within seven years of admission.
- In all cases, the final 27 MA in Theology credits must be taken at SPU.
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 (courses begin in September), the application deadline is July 31.
- Winter Quarter (courses begin in January), the application deadline is November 15.
- Spring Quarter (courses begin in March), the application deadline is February 15.
- Summer Sessions (courses begin in June), the application deadline is May 1.
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 Seattle Pacific Seminary at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-281-2342 for more information.