Bockman Hall in winter

How to Apply

International Applicants

The Office of International Student and Scholar Affairs manages the application process for non-immigrants (those in visa categories) who apply to Luther Seminary.

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Start your application

Apply for M.A. or M.Div. (First Theological)

Apply for M.Th. or D.Min. (Graduate Theological)

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.

Alternate method: If you need an accessible version or do not have reliable access to an Internet connection, you may download the appropriate PDF version (M.Div., M.A., M.Th., D.Min. in BP, D.Min. in CML) to print out and send in.

Note: The application process and deadlines for international students are different than those for U.S. citizens, as follows:

Application deadlines
International application deadlines for most degree programs are:
  • Fall term: April 30
  • January term: October 31
  • Spring term: October 31

Applicants interested in financial support from ELCA Global Mission should submit a separate application to ELCA Global Mission by Oct. 15 of the year prior to enrollment.

Additional notes for ELCA Companion Church candidates

If you are an international applicant whose church or institution has a companion relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Global Mission, and you are seeking financial support for your study and stay at Luther Seminary, you are encouraged to apply for an ELCA International Scholarship through your national (home) church body to ELCA Global Mission.

For example, if an applicant is a member of the Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria (LCCN), he or she should apply through the LCCN following the LCCN's procedures.

The application must be submitted to ELCA Global Mission by October 15 of the year before a student intends to enroll. The complete application to ELCA Global Mission can also serve as an application for admission to Luther Seminary.

Once your initial application is received, you will be sent an email that walks you through the next steps in the application process and provides login instructions for MyLutherNet, where you can track your application progress.

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Application components

In addition to the prerequisites listed for the specific degree program to which you are applying (M.Div., M.A., M.Th., or D.Min.), most international applicants will need to submit the following:

TOEFL or IELTS score

  • TOEFL scores: 550; 213; or 80.
  • IELTS score of 6.5.
  • Luther Seminary's institutional code for TOEFL and GRE is 6377. Questions about TOEFL or IELTS can be directed to iss@luthersem.edu.

National church or institutional endorsement

Download and submit the national church endorsement form (PDF) or institutional endorsement form (Word doc) to iss@luthersem.edu or mail it to Office of International Student and Scholar Affairs, Luther Seminary, 2481 Como Ave., Saint Paul, MN 55108 USA.

 

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Faith statement or autobiography

What is a faith statement?

The faith statement is a two- to five-page narrative description of your history, training, experiences and purpose for applying for the specific program of interest. This could also include the significant events and people in your life that have nourished your faith in Christ, given a sense of God's call, and brought you to apply for admission. Include your past, present and future goals.

The faith statement should include:

  • a description of your present relationship to the church

  • a brief self-assessment of strengths and limitations as a candidate for church leadership

  • reasons for interest in study at Luther Seminary, including area of desired concentration

  • a summary of future plans for ministry

  • a brief outline of your personal faith and theological convictions

Submit your faith statement as a Word doc or PDF by email to iss@luthersem.edu, by fax to +1 651-641-3274 or by mail to Office of International Student and Scholar Affairs, Luther Seminary, 2481 Como Ave., Saint Paul, MN 55108 USA.

Please include your login number (included in your initial application confirmation email) with your essay.

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Transcripts and letters of recommendation

Send transcripts 

Please request official transcripts translated in English from every accredited college or university from which you have received credit. Transcripts should be sent directly to the Admissions Office (admissions@luthersem.edu or 2481 Como Ave., Saint Paul, MN 55108).

Submit recommendation forms

  1. Two recommendation forms from two different teachers (or professional reference if applicant’s most recent academic experience is more than five years ago)

  2. A personal/other recommendation form from a non-family member

You may download the PDF version of the recommendation form and share it with your recommenders. Ask them to submit the completed form directly to the Admissions Office (admissions@luthersem.edu or 2481 Como Ave., Saint Paul, MN 55108)

Submit national church or institution endorsement form

If you haven't already done so, submit the national church endorsement form (PDF) or institutional endorsement form (Word doc) to iss@luthersem.edu, by fax to +1 651-641-3274 or by mail to the Office of International Student and Scholar Affairs.

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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 within one business day of the meeting.

If you are accepted (congratulations!), you will:

  1. Receive a follow-up letter with further instructions from the Office of International Student and Scholar Affairs.
  2. Receive communications from other departments at Luther Seminary as well with additional instructions and requirements.

You will also be asked to:

  1. Send an affirmation of intent to the Admissions Office (admissions@luthersem.edu or 2481 Como Ave., Saint Paul, MN 55108); and
  2. Submit a deposit or deposit waiver to confirm your intent to enroll (if applicable).

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 an I-20 Form (DS-2019, when applicable) within two months of arrival date at Luther. If within the United States, contact the Office of International Student and Scholar Affairs for next actions.
  • Pay the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System's (SEVIS) fees, when applicable; information available at www.fmjfee.com.
  • Schedule your visa interview with U.S. Consulate.

  • Obtain appropriate visa from U.S. Consulate abroad.

  • 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 to complete the process.
  • Participate in the Writing and Research Workshop, mandatory International Student Orientation, and the seminary's First Week.