Educating imaginative, resilient leaders for God's changing world.

International Students

Columbia invites international students (persons who are not U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents of the U.S.) to apply to for admission to any of our seven degree programs. Basic degree programs include the following: Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Practical Theology, and Master of Arts (Theological Studies). Advanced degree programs include Master of Theology, Doctor of Theology in Pastoral Counseling, Doctor of Ministry and Doctor of Educational Ministry.

NOTE: The Doctor of Ministry and Doctor of Educational Ministry are not full-time degree programs. International applicants whose visa status does not require full-time enrollment may apply for admission to the Doctor of Ministry and Doctor of Educational Ministry programs.

Applicants for whom English is not their first/native language must furnish an official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score. The test score must be no more than two years old.

To apply for admission, first download and carefully review the appropriate international student packet below.  Additionally, all international students applying to Columbia must submit the materials specifically required for the degree program to which they are applying.


Basic Degree International Student Packet

Master of Theology (THM) International Student Packet

Doctor of Theology (THD) International Student Packet

For persons seeking general information, the current academic catalog is available online here.

NOTE: Applicants should not come to Atlanta until they have received a formal letter of acceptance from the Admissions Committee to a degree program and have obtained the necessary visa. Accepted students without proper immigration documents will not be allowed to enroll for classes.

Financial Requirements

Upon admission, and before the visa application process can begin, accepted applicants must provide documented proof of financial support for expenses that include, but are not limited to travel, tuition, room, board, books, medical insurance, and all educational and personal expenses. Documented funding must be adequate to meet the total cost of tuition and estimated living expenses.

International students in advanced degree programs are not eligible for financial aid, neither are they permitted to work, except on campus --- and such opportunities at Columbia are very rarely available.

Scholarships awarded by the seminary to international students are limited to those students in established exchange programs with Columbia's partner institutions. Columbia Seminary strictly prohibits international students from soliciting funds from individuals or congregations in the United States.


International students are required to carry the school-sponsored hospitalization insurance for themselves and all accompanying family members.


For more information: 
Office of International Programs
Columbia Theological Seminary
P.O. Box 520
Decatur, GA 30031
404 687-4618 
404 377-9696 (fax)