1. Start your application
The international student applications apply to you if you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
Complete the online application form to get the process started. You can save your progress and return to complete your online application at any time. Applications for the Fall open in the late summer and close March 1.
Individuals from the global church or communities abroad who are interested in short-term study or research at Luther Seminary (not leading to a degree) should contact the Office of International Student and Scholar Affairs directly for instructions (email@example.com). Those interested in continuing education should contact Faith+Lead.
Note: The application process and deadlines for international students are different than those for U.S. citizens, as follows.
Applicants interested in financial support from Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Global Mission should submit a separate application to ELCA Global Mission by Oct. 15 of the year prior to enrollment.
The deadline for receiving all international application materials is:
- MA or ThM Application Deadline: March 1, 2024
- Ph.D. Application Deadline: January 8, 2024
Once your initial application is received, you will be sent an email that walks you through the next steps in the application process and notifies you of your missing materials. You can check your online admissions portal at anytime to track your application progress.
Additional notes for ELCA Companion Church candidates
International applicants whose church is a global companion of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) may be eligible to apply for generous scholarship support through the ELCA International Leaders Program, in partnership with Luther Seminary. ELCA scholarships provide additional financial support, including some living expenses, and can support students in the M.A., Th.M., or Ph.D. programs.
Applications to this program are due by October 15 of the year prior to enrollment, and access instructions are distributed to companion church head offices each year. Applicants must be endorsed by their home church body in order to apply. Luther Seminary works together with the ELCA International Leaders Program and companion churches to determine priorities for financial aid. You may contact the ELCA scholarship team at GlobalScholars@elca.org.
2. Additional Application components
TOEFL or IELTS score
- TOEFL scores: Composite score of 80 or above on iBT (213 on the computer-based or 550 on the paper-based).
- IELTS score of 6.5 or above (7.0 or above for Th.M. or Ph.D.).
Luther Seminary’s institutional code for TOEFL and GRE is 6377. Questions about TOEFL or IELTS can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants requesting a waiver to this requirement must provide proof of completion of at least four semesters of English language study with an average grade of B or higher.
National church or institutional endorsement
International students will be asked to submit a national church/institutional endorsement form as one of their recommendations. Please see application for more details.
3. Once your application is complete
Once all of your materials are received, your application will be reviewed at the next regularly scheduled admissions committee meeting. You will be notified of their decision after the meeting.
If you are accepted, you will:
- Receive a follow-up letter with further instructions from the Office of International Student and Scholar Affairs (ISSA).
- Receive communications from other departments at Luther Seminary with additional instructions and requirements.
You will also be asked to send affirmation of intent forms to the Admissions Office through the online application portal.
Additional steps in the process include:
- Provide additional information as requested by ISSA, including passport copies, financial statements, and the completed Estimate of Expenses worksheet.
- After ISSA has received and verified all requested documents, you will receive a Form I-20 (DS-2019, when applicable) within two months of your arrival date at Luther Seminary. If you are within the United States, contact the Office of International Student and Scholar Affairs for your next actions.
- Pay the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System’s (SEVIS) fees, when applicable; information is available at www.fmjfee.com.
- Schedule your visa interview with a U.S. Consulate.
- Obtain the appropriate visa from a U.S. Consulate.
- Participate in the Writing and Research Workshop via email and the seminary’s online orientation course in August.
- Provide your flight information and arrival plan to ISSA. If you are entering from outside the U.S., your arrival date cannot be more than 30 days prior to your start date.
Once you arrive at Luther Seminary:
- Meet with the Office of International Student and Scholar Affairs (ISSA) to complete the process.
- Participate in mandatory in-person International Student Orientation.