4.0 Admissions Policies and Procedures

4.0    Admission Policies and Procedures »

4.1     Admissions Policies

4.2     Admissions Procedures

4.3     Criminal Background Checks

4.4     Admissions Requirements

4.5     Program Degree Change


4.1     Admissions Policies

Responsibility for determining a candidate’s compliance with the requirements for admission and for administering the admissions policy is vested in the Director of Admissions, who consults with program directors, the Dean, and individual faculty as needed about particular applications.

4.2     Admissions Procedures

Admission to Lexington Theological Seminary is ongoing throughout the calendar year. All applications must be submitted through the online application process. No applications will be considered if sent by email or through means other than the online application process. Students will be eligible to begin coursework no later than six weeks after accepting an offer of admission from LTS.

Reasons for denial are not shared. When an applicant is denied admission, that person must wait at least one calendar year before reapplying for admission. This policy does not imply any promise for admission in the future. The process of reapplication and readmission are the same as those for readmission after an absence from studies. See Handbook Section 5.7.7, Readmission after an Absence. A new non-refundable admission fee is charged for the reapplication.

4.3     Criminal Background Checks

A criminal background check is required for Master of Divinity and Master of Theological Studies degree-seeking applicants who wish to complete their coursework while working in a ministry setting. The applicant submits their own information for that check through the online service Intellicorp, listed on the LTS website. Criminal history in and of itself does not necessarily mean the applicant will be denied admission. However, failure to disclose a criminal history on the application itself, which later turns up in the background check, may be grounds for denial.

If the criminal background check produces a criminal record of concern, the Director of Admissions may request further information from the applicant before an admission decision is made.

4.4     Admissions Requirements

4.4.1     Master of Divinity, Master of Theological Studies, Master in Pastoral Studies

For students applying to the Master of Divinity, Master of Theological Studies, or Master in Pastoral Studies programs, a completed application includes:

  • A completed online application form and non-refundable application fee of $65;
  • Receipt of reference letters in the Admissions office, that include:
    • Two recommendation letters submitted electronically for the general application, including a letter from each
      • An educator, if out of school less than three years; or if out of school three years or more, a recent employer who can speak to the applicant’s leadership skills; and
      • A minister who can speak to the applicant’s potential for Seminary study and potential for ministry;
    • If applying for an LTS scholarship, an additional letter of recommendation, submitted by a minister (not named above) who can speak to the applicant’s potential for excellence in ministry;
  • Receipt of official transcripts, in the Admissions office, and sending of official transcripts (electronic transcripts preferred) from the Registrar’s office, from all secondary schools attended.
  • Applicants for degree programs must have earned a Bachelor’s Degree from an institution accredited by an organization recognized by the Department of Education (or international equivalent) and
  • All applicants must have a minimum grade point average of 2.5; and
  • Proficiency in reading and writing in English is required for this program.

4.4.1.1     Transfer of Certificate in Pastoral Ministry to Masters Programs

Students requesting admission to the Master of Divinity, Master of Theological Studies, or Master in Pastoral Studies programs who do not hold a bachelor’s degree (or who hold a bachelor’s degree from a non-accredited institution) may be admitted to the Certificate in Pastoral Ministry with credit. Upon completion of the Certificate (with credit), if a student’s performance warrants, and the student is in good standing, that student can be considered for admission to the applicable Masters degree program.

4.4.2     Doctor of Ministry

Applicants must have a Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent, have had significant ministerial experience or congregational leadership experience, currently be engaged in some practice of ministry, and have the support of the congregation or organization being served. Doctor of Ministry students receive a 30% tuition scholarship.

Applicants for the Doctor in Ministry program must satisfy the following:

    • Have a Masters of Divinity degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution
    • If the applicant does not have a Masters of Divinity or equivalent, but has an accredited Master degree in the area of their vocational calling, they must:
      • Be able to critically reflect on the theological or denominational traditions of their context,
      • Demonstrate the ability to use theological, scriptural, or ethical tools to interpret their ministerial context,
      • Demonstrate the capacity to critically reflect on and adapt their ministry their context,
      • Apply principles of spiritual formation to their personal and vocational lives and to spiritual practices in seeking structural change, and
      • Engage as a ministry peer with others in the program in light of their ministerial or congregational leadership experiences.
    • Applicants who do not have a Master of Divinity or its equivalent, but hold an accredited Masters degree in the area of their vocational specialty, would have to fulfill one or more of the following additional requirements upon recommendation of the Doctor of Ministry Committee or Dean:
      • Supplemental courses
      • Essay demonstrating any of the skills noted in the bullets in the previous paragraph
      • A year as a special student to fulfill required skills
    • For Doctor of Ministry applicants, a completed application will include:

      • A completed online application form and non-refundable application fee of $65;
      • Receipt of Reference letters in the Admissions office. These shall include two recommendation letters submitted electronically:
        • One from a professor from the applicant’s M.Div. program or a more recent graduate program, OR one from a judicatory leader (*If the applicant is a member of a denomination without judicatory leadership or engaged in ministry outside of denominational or judicatory leadership, a colleague in ministry who can speak to the candidate’s excellence in ministry will suffice.) and
        • One from a recipient of the applicant’s ministry site (e.g., a lay leader in the applicant’s congregation or ministry site).
      • Receipt of official transcripts by the Admissions office and sending of official transcripts (electronic transcripts preferred) from the Registrar’s office, from all post-secondary schools attended with the following stipulations:
        • Applicants for the Doctor of Ministry degree program must have an ATS-approved Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent, or have an accredited Master degree related to their ministerial vocation that fulfills the criteria above, and
        • Applicants must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in their Master of Divinity or equivalent program; and
      • Proficiency in reading and writing in English is required for this program.

      4.4.3     Non-Degree Requirements

      All non-degree students including Certificate Students, Special Students and Auditors are subject to all policies and standards of conduct described in the Seminary’s Student Handbook.

      4.4.3.1     Special Student

      Special Students at Lexington Seminary can take up to twelve credit hours of coursework as long as they meet all prerequisites (or present equivalents approved by the Dean) for the courses they wish to take. After taking up to twelve credit hours, the Special Student may choose to apply to a LTS degree or certificate program, transfer to another institution, or leave the institution with twelve hours on his/her transcript.

      For Special Student applicants, a completed application will include:

            • A completed online application form and non-refundable application fee of $65,
            • Receipt of one letter of recommendation, submitted electronically, from a minister, educator, or employer who knows the applicant well and can speak to the applicant’s preparation for seminary work, and
            • Receipt of all official transcripts  by the Admissions office and sending of official transcripts (electronic transcripts preferred) from the Registrar’s office, from secondary schools attended. All applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.5.

      4.4.3.2     Certificate in Pastoral Ministry

      Certificate in Pastoral Ministry students may take coursework for credit or non-credit. Applicants seeking to take courses for credit must have earned a minimum of one full-time year’s credits toward a bachelor’s degree from an institution accredited by an organization recognized by the Department of Education (or international equivalent). Applicants pursuing the non-credit option must have a high school diploma.

      For certificate applicants seeking to take courses for credit, a completed application will include:

          • A completed online application form and non-refundable application fee of $65,
          • Receipt of all official transcripts for post-secondary credits earned and documenting receipt of baccalaureate degree – all applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.5, and
          • Receipt of one letter of recommendation, submitted electronically from a minister, educator, or employer who knows the applicant well and can speak to the applicant’s preparation for seminary work.

      For certificate applicants choosing the non-credit option, a completed application will include:

          • A completed online application form and non-refundable application fee of $65 and
          • Information regarding high school graduation.
            NOTE: Non-credit seeking applicants are required to send in the name and address of the high school from which they graduated as well as the year of graduation.

      4.4.3.3     Auditor

      Anyone can audit courses at LTS. Auditors may take as many courses as they choose, although class size may limit their options.

      For Auditors, a completed application will include:

          • A completed online application form
          • Other fees may apply (see website for specific fees)

      4.5     Program Degree Change

      Students currently enrolled in a degree or certificate program at Lexington Theological Seminary who wish to change their program to another certificate of degree program must complete a program change form. Some program or degree change requests may require a student to submit an additional letter of recommendation, complete a background check and/or complete prerequisites. All requests will be submitted to the Registrar’s office for evaluation. The Academic Dean will have the final approval.

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