Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Theological Studies, Master of Arts in Christian Counseling, and Non-Degree-Seeking Students
Candidates for the Master of Divinity (M.Div.), Master of Arts in Theological Studies (M.A.T.S.), Master of Arts in Christian Counseling (M.A.C.C.) and non-degree programs must possess a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and demonstrate Christian character and commitment to ministry.
Master of Theology
Candidates for the Master of Theology (Th.M.) must possess a Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent from an accredited school whose standards are similar to those of Beeson Divinity School and demonstrate Christian character and commitment to ministry. Additionally, Th.M. candidates should have a minimum 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) for all previous graduate coursework and demonstrate proficiency in Hebrew or Greek, as appropriate to research interest.
Application Timeline and Deadlines
There are two application cycles for the M.Div., M.A.T.S. and Th.M. degrees. There is only a fall admission cycle for the M.A.C.C.
Fall Entry Term
- Priority Deadline: February 1*
- Final Deadline: June 1
Spring Entry Term
- Priority Deadline: September 1*
- Final Deadline: December 1
*Persons who complete an application by the priority deadline for the respective entry term will be considered first for admission and scholarship. Admission and scholarship decision letters are sent within one month of each priority deadline to those who complete an application by the deadline.
Those who apply after the priority deadline but before the final deadline will receive admission and scholarship decision letters on a rolling basis, typically within one month of completing the application.
All items on this checklist must be received by the application deadline. Further instruction is given on the online application.
- Online Application Form
- Personal Faith and Vocation Essay (required for all degree programs)
- Apostles' Creed Essay (M.Div. applicants applying for tier one scholarships only
- Academic Writing Sample (Th.M. applicants only)
*See the online application for full essay prompts.
- Academic Recommendation (to be completed by a college- or graduate-level instructor)
- Character Recommendation (to be completed by a pastor, church member, campus minister, mentor or employer who can speak to your Christian character and calling to ministry; cannot be a family member or friend)
- Church Endorsement (to be completed by your senior pastor or a full-time church elder or minister; cannot be a family member).
- Admission Interview
- M.Div. and M.A.T.S. applicants are responsible for scheduling an interview with the admission staff prior to the application deadline. In-person interviews on Samford's campus are preferred, but Zoom interviews are acceptable. Schedule your interview through the application portal.
- M.A.C.C. and Th.M. candidates will not schedule an interview during the application process. Final candidates will be invited to interview later.
- Official Transcript(s): Official transcript(s) from all institutions attended since high school graduation are required. Please see the application portal for instructions about how to send the transcripts.
- $35 Nonrefundable Application Fee: This fee is to be paid by credit card when submitting an online application. The fee is waived for graduates of Samford University and students who attend a Preview Day or an official campus visit.
Admission to the Ph.D. program is competitive. Applicants for admission must possess a strong record of achievement in previous graduate theological studies and evidence capacity for success in doctoral-level studies. They must demonstrate commitment to the Christian faith, Christian character and maturity, orthodox and confessional doctrinal convictions, and a desire to serve the church of Jesus Christ. To this end, they must be able to articulate coherently their research interests and vocational objectives.
Consideration for admission will be given to applicants who hold a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree or its educational equivalent from an ATS-accredited school, with a GPA of 3.5 or above. Consideration may be given to applicants who do not hold the M.Div. degree if, in the view of the admission committee, the applicant’s previous graduate theological studies include sufficient coverage of the theological disciplines to prepare them well for research doctoral studies. Acceptable candidates for admission will have completed a minimum of six hours of graduate course work in Greek or Hebrew language. (Competence in the second biblical language and any modern research language must be demonstrated before comprehensive exams.)
Application Timeline and Deadlines
Students are admitted annually to begin studies in the spring semester. Applications are received between April 15 and August 15.
Admission decisions are made and communicated in September. Those accepting offers of admission must submit a nonrefundable enrollment confirmation deposit of $200 by October 15.
- Completed online application and $35 application fee
- Official transcripts from all schools attended since high school
- Ministry resume or curriculum vitae
- Three letters of recommendation: two academic recommendations and one pastoral/church recommendation.
- An academic writing sample (3,000-5,000 words) from within the last five years
- Two essays
- Statement of intended research interest (1,000-1,500 words): the admission committee recognizes students will circle around various dissertation ideas when discerning their research topic. This statement seeks an understanding of the student’s general field of interest for the dissertation (e.g., Patristics or Pauline Epistles), aiding the committee in its assigning of faculty supervisors. Also, this statement should demonstrate the applicant’s awareness of the particular field they wish to engage at the dissertation level.
- Statement of motivation and purpose for the degree (1,000-1,500 words): this essay provides the admission committee with an understanding of the student’s motivation for postgraduate study (i.e., “why” and “for what purpose”). It is important for the student to craft this essay in conversation with the program overview.
Prospective international students must complete and submit the following evaluations to the Beeson Divinity School Office of Admission before beginning the standard application process for admission.
- World Educational Service (Official course-by-course transcript of academic work sent through World Educational Services)
- TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Any applicant whose native language is not English must also submit a score of at least 550 (paper-based) or 80 (Internet-based) on the TOEFL. Students should arrange to take the TOEFL by visiting www.toefl.org or by writing to Educational Testing Service at P.O. Box 955, Princeton, NJ 08540.
Once the above material is completed, an international prospect may begin the standard application process by clicking on the "Apply Now" button below.
International applicants to masters degree programs must apply by the priority deadline for their preferred enrollment term (September 1 for spring semester and February 1 for fall semester.)
Important Financial and Visa Information
Following an admission decision, the applicant will need to complete the Affidavit of Financial Support, including an official bank statement. The USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) requires proof of funds totaling approximately $30,000 (minus any scholarship assistance) in order for an I-20 to be processed, therefore it is recommended that funding is secured before the completion of the application process. Please contact Jennifer Beck if you have any questions.
The United States Information Agency's insurance regulations for J visa holders require international students and their dependents to have and maintain health insurance during residency in the United States. Proof of coverage is required before registering for classes. The law mandates that Samford University must deny student status to international students who do not continue to comply. Information about specific carriers, minimum coverages, and premium costs is available from Samford University Health Services.