Why do I keep reading about Basic and Advanced Degrees?
Our degrees fall into one of two categories: Basic and Advanced. Basic Degrees include our MDiv, MAPT, and MA(TS) degrees. Advanced Degrees include our ThM, DMin and DEd Min degrees.
Can I attend part-time in a degree program?
Yes, Columbia Seminary allows students to enroll on a part-time basis in all degree programs. In the MDiv, MAPT, and MA(TS) degree programs, part-time status is when a student is enrolled for less than 9 credit hours in the fall or spring semesters, or 3 credit hours in a summer term.
What if I want to take one course?
Students may apply as special students for the purposes of taking one course. Any credit earned as a special student will be credited toward the degree if the student applies and is later accepted into a degree program. See our Want to Take a Course? page.
How long will it take to complete a basic degree program?
Full-time students may complete the MDiv degree in as few as three (3) full years. A student’s program may be lengthened or shortened by a variety of factors, such as participation in internships or taking a reduced load or increased course load in any given semester. The MA(TS) and MAPT programs may be completed in as few as two (2) years. The Dual Degree may be completed in as few as four (4) years.
Admissions Questions about Basic Degrees
Do I have to have a certain major in college to apply for admission to a basic degree program?
No, as long as your bachelor degree is from an accredited higher education institution, your major can be in any subject.
What kind of accreditation is needed by the institution where I earned my bachelor degree?
Columbia accepts degrees accredited by the following regional accreditation agencies: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, New England Association of Schools and Colleges; North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities; and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
If I attended an institution that is not accredited by one of the six regional accreditation agencies, may I still apply to a degree program?
Ordinarily, Columbia does not admit students who have undergraduate degrees from educational institutions not accredited by one of the six agencies. However, a student who would like to seek admission may apply. In addition to the standard admission application requirements, the student must submit an additional essay. This essay will be assigned during the admissions process.
I do not have a bachelor degree. Can I still be considered for admission into a basic degree program?
Those without a bachelor degree are not eligible to enter a degree program.
What are the requirements to apply?
To be considered for admission for the MDiv, MAPT, or MA(TS) programs, prospective students must a) have completed a baccalaureate degree, or its equivalent, at an accredited university or college, b) submit a completed application form, c) complete an admissions interview, d) submit official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended, e) submit recommendations (3 for MDiv and MAPT applicants; 4 for MA(TS) applicants), f) complete a background check, and g) pay application fee.
Do you require an admissions interview?
Yes, an interview is one of the requirements to be considered for admission into a basic degree program. Admissions interviews are conducted by a member of the Admissions Committee. Applicants for the MA(TS) and MAPT programs interview with the director of the program to which they wish to apply. We prefer interviews to happen on-campus, but will make alternate arrangements if an on-campus interview is not possible.
Do I need to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test?
Test scores from the GRE are not required.
When are your admissions deadlines?
The deadline depends on when you intend to start. Check out the Application Dates page on our website to see which deadline you need to meet.
How much is the application fee?
$50.00 for all degree programs.
Can I check the status of my application?
Yes! When you apply, you can create a username and password that you use to access your application. Visit the Self-Service Center portal to edit and submit your application. Your admissions decision will be published there as well and you may confirm your enrollment as well in the Self-Service Center. We do not offer a paper application.
How long before I know the decision of the Admissions Committee?
Columbia Seminary has rolling admissions, which means we consider applications as they are completed. We do our best to get a decision back to you within one month of receiving all of your application materials. You can always call the Admissions Office to get a better idea of when you will receive news of your decision.
How much is tuition?
Tuition is based on credit hours. For our basic degree programs, tuition is $468 per credit hour or $1,404 per course. For our advanced degree programs, tuition is $554 per credit hour or $1,662 per course.
Yes, any full-time MDiv, MA(TS), or MAPT student, regardless of denomination, may apply for need-based financial aid. New students must complete the FAFSA for aid eligibility determination. Please select your desire for need-based aid on your admissions application.
Does Columbia offer academic scholarships?
Yes, the Columbia and Honors scholarships are awarded each year by the Admissions Committee to a limited number of entering basic degree students. These are both renewable merit scholarships. Students interested in being considered for these scholarships must submit all admission application materials by January 15.
Who should I contact with my specific financial aid questions?
Lucy Strong, Associate Director of Admissions & Financial Aid, 404-687-4529, StrongL@CTSNET.edu
Admissions Questions for Transfer Students
I am already in a basic degree program (MDiv, MA, etc) at another institution, but I would like to transfer.
Students in good standing in other ATS accredited seminaries may apply as transfer students. In addition to the standard application requirements, transfer students must submit a letter from their academic dean indicating that they are students in good standing.
How many credits can I transfer from another institution into Columbia Seminary’s MDiv program?
Students applying to the MDiv degree program may receive no more than 45 credit hours for work completed at another Association of Theological Schools (ATS) accredited seminary completed within the past five years. Transfer credits will only be given for courses passed with a grade of B or higher. A student who has completed a Master of Arts (MA) degree from an ATS accredited seminary may transfer in up to half of the MA degree toward Columbia Seminary’s MDiv degree. The determination of whether or not courses taken at other institutions may receive credit, and whether credits transfer as required or elective hours is made by the Office of Academic Affairs.
How many credits can I transfer from another institution into Columbia Seminary’s MAPT program?
Students applying to the MAPT degree program may receive no more than 18 credit hours for work completed prior at another Association of Theological Schools (ATS) accredited seminary completed within the past five years.. Transfer credit will only be given for courses passed with a grade of B or higher. The determination of whether or not courses taken at other institutions may receive credit, and whether credits transfer as required or elective hours, is made by the Office of Academic Affairs.
Admissions Questions for International Students
I am an international student. May I apply to a basic degree program (MDiv, MA[TS], MAPT)?
Yes, international students (persons who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents) may apply for the degree programs. The application deadline for all international students is March 1st for summer or fall enrollment.
Do I need to take the Test for English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)?
All applicants for whom English is not their first language must pass the TOEFL before admission and enrollment for credit can be attained. Those seeking admission to a basic degree program must score at least 220 (computer format), 550 (written format), or 76 (internet format) with minimum scores in the following areas: Reading 22; Listening 16; Speaking 16; and Writing 22.
Those seeking admission to the ThM, DMin, or DEdMin programs must score at least 86 (iBT) with minimum scores in the following areas: Reading 22; Listening 20; Speaking 20; and Writing 24.
TOEFL scores must be no more than 2 years old from the date of application to any of the degree programs.
Questions about Campus Visits
Can I visit the campus?
Absolutely! We encourage anyone who is considering study at Columbia to come visit us. The best way to get a feel for the campus and community life is to come for a visit.
When should I plan to visit?
The best time to visit is when the semester is in session so that you can attend class, talk with current students and professors, tour housing, worship, and share meals with the community. You may want to consider joining us for one of our Discover Columbia events for prospective students held each academic year in October, November and February.
Is there a place to stay on-campus?
We have guest rooms available for overnight stays and we welcome spouses and children to come as well.