Admissions Requirements

NOTE: New admissions to the Ph.D. program have been suspended until further notice, beginning with the 2013-14 academic year.

Applications for admission to the Ph.D. program are made to the associate dean of graduate theological education at Luther Seminary.

All application materials are due January 1 preceding the academic year for which admission is sought. Applicants are notified of the admission decision of the Graduate Committee shortly after March 15. An applicant who does not meet the following stated requirements in a particular area must have exceptional qualifications in other areas and/or demonstrate competence in an interview to be considered for admission.

  1. A First Degree in Theology
    Applicants must have a master of arts, master of divinity, or bachelor of divinity degree (or an equivalent) from an accredited theological school.

  2. Acceptable Grade Point Average
    Applicants must have a grade point average of at least 3.25 on a 4.00 scale on each transcript submitted.

  3. Application Form
    Applicants are encouraged to apply online. Alternatively, apllicants may download and print forms for submitting via postal mail (PDF forms).

  4. Transcripts
    Official transcripts of college, seminary and other graduate work must be sent directly from the schools to the Office of Graduate Theological Education at Luther Seminary.

  5. Academic Recommendations
    Three academic recommendations are required. Normally, references include two seminary or graduate school professors and one college professor with whom the applicant has studied. If college study occurred more than five years ago, another academic reference may be substituted. Formal Recommendation Forms are available to download and print and must be sent directly to the associate dean by those writing the recommendations.

    If applicant comes from a school that does not give letter grades or uses some form of the pass/fail system, the applicant must provide names and contact information of two additional professors with whom the applicant has studied. This information is requested in the online application.

  6. Graduate Record Examination Score
    Applicants must submit an official record of results of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test not more than five years old. Luther Seminary's testing code with Educational Testing Service, which administer the GRE  is #6377. The GRE requirement does not apply to international students submitting TOEFL scores.

  7. TOEFL or IELTS Score (International applicants only)
    International applicants must submit a score from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The internet-based test (iBT) TOEFL score is preferred, although the computer-based and paper-based scores will be accepted.

    • 1st Theological degrees and post-master (MTH) 550; 213; or 80
    • PHD 600; 250; or 89 or GRE score if TOEFL or IELS is exempt
    • Required IELS score are 6.5 and 7, respectively
    • Luther's institutional code for TOEFL and GRE is 6377

    International applicants who have completed a degree from an English-speaking institution must submit a GRE score in lieu of a TOEFL or IELTS score. The GRE score must not be more than five years old.

  8. Statement
    Applicants must write a statement (no more than 5 pages) giving reasons for pursuing graduate study, a summary of academic work done in anticipation of doctoral study, and a description of the intended area of study and specialization.  Indicate why you think Luther Seminary is suited to meet your needs and interests.

  9. Writing Sample
    Applicants must submit a recent sample of written work, normally not exceeding 5,000 words, that demonstrates academic ability in the proposed field of study.

  10. Clinical Pastoral Education (Pastoral care and counseling applicants only)
    One unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) in an approved, accredited program is a prerequisite for admission to the pastoral care and counseling area of study.

  11. Endorsement (International students only)
    Official endorsement from the appropriate officer of an applicant's denomination is required for all international students sponsored by their denominations.

  12. Financial Aid
    Financial aid is awarded by the Graduate Committee on the basis of merit and need. Notifications of financial awards are included with offers of admission. (Candidates seeking federal student loans should see "Aid for Post-Graduate Students" on the Financial Aid page.)

For further information contact:

Paul Lokken, Associate Dean - Graduate Theological Education

Katie Dahl, Associate Director, Graduate Theological Education

Sarah Grow, Program Coordinator, Graduate Theological Education