Are you considering preparing for ministry at the Free Lutheran Seminary? The following information will guide you in discerning that call. Continue reading to learn more about admission requirements and the application process.
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1. A completed application form. A non-refundable application fee of $50 is to accompany the application for admission.
2. A recent photo of the applicant.
3. A medical report on a form provided by the seminary.
4. Official transcripts. Certified transcripts are required of the student’s academic record at any colleges and other institutions of higher education they have attended. The applicant himself must arrange for each school attended to send an official transcript to the seminary office.
5. Two letters of recommendation from pastors, one being his own pastor if possible, and other references as requested. These “recommendation forms” are sent by the applicant to the applicant’s acquaintances for their personal reply directly to the dean’s office.
6. Evidence of satisfactory financial credit rating. A statement from the applicant’s bank to the effect that he is a “customer in good standing” is sufficient.
7. The applicant’s personal statement. Each prospective student must write a 400-word essay about himself in which the following points are developed: a) one’s spiritual autobiography (which would include one’s sense of calling to serve in the ministry), b) one’s church background in terms of denominational affiliations and previous opportunities for Christian service, and c) the applicant’s expectations in pursuing seminary education at FLS.
Each applicant (and wife if married) will be interviewed by the Board of Trustees and faculty before acceptance. All acceptances are for a one year probationary period, and will be reviewed after the student has spent one year at the seminary. A student who, in the opinion of the faculty and Board of Trustees, proves unsuited for the Christian ministry may be dismissed at any time.
Free Lutheran Seminary is authorized under Federal law to enroll international students under the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVIS). In addition to the regular application materials that must be submitted and steps listed under “Admission Procedures” that must be completed by May 1, the following requirements also apply:
1. Completion of the “International Application Form” accompanied by a non-refundable application fee of $100.
2. Return of a signed copy of the “International Student Covenant.”
3. Completion of a TOEFL exam for applicants from countries where English is not one of the official languages. (score of 61 for internet based test or 500 or more for paper delivered test)
4. Submission of evidence of financial support. This may be either a financial guarantor in the United States or sufficient evidence from a responsible individual or organization that the necessary travel expenses and means of support while in attendance at FLS can be met.
When all of the above materials have been received, FLS will consider the application for acceptance. If accepted, the applicant will receive a packet that contains (i) a letter of acceptance, (ii) the I-20 form, (iii) the financial documents provided, and (iv) copies of helpful information from two websites.
When the I-20 is received, the applicant must go to https://www.fmjfee.com/i901fee/index.html# to pay the I-901 fee. Note that information from the I-20 is needed to complete the form I-901. A valid credit card must be utilized to pay the $350 fee. Print the receipt of payment as a copy must be presented to the United States Embassy.
All of these documents, (i) I-20(signed and dated), (ii) Letter of Acceptance, (iii) I-901 receipt, (iv) financial documentation and (v) valid passport should be taken to a United States Embassy in the applicant’s home country. Only the embassy can grant F-1 student status allowing you to travel to the United States as a student. Students can apply for an F-1 visa 120 days before their school start date. Government regulations do not allow a student on an F-1 visa to come to the US until thirty (30) days before their school start date.
International students must carry at least twelve (12) credits per semester to maintain their eligibility to remain in the United States.
There are limited part-time on-campus employment opportunities for international students. Due to U.S. Immigration and Customs regulations, an international student’s employment possibilities are restricted to on-campus work.
Contact the seminary office at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about international student procedures or to request an international student application.
Guide to Studying In the USA
International students who come to the United States must follow certain rules and procedures. Different rules apply depending on a student’s education level and student type.
Please visit the Guide to Studying in the States website to familiarize yourself with International student requirements and rules.
Students who enroll for less than 12 semester hours of classes are classified as part-time students. Those who enroll for four credits or less must complete a part-time application form and submit transcripts of all post-high school courses completed. The regular application fee applies for the part-time application. All other part-time and applicants must complete the regular application process outlined under “Admission Procedures.”
Students transferring from other seminaries may be accepted with advanced standing, provided they apply for admission in the usual way, and present a completed transcript together with a catalog describing the courses of their previous seminary studies.
In evaluating transcripts, no credit will be granted for courses receiving a grade of less than “C” or its equivalent. Grade point averages (GPA) for graduation will be based only upon work done at FLS.
Transfer students must have at least a “C” average and be in good standing at the previous school attended in order to qualify for admission to FLS. Credit is given for work satisfactorily completed in recognized schools, provided these courses correspond to the FLS curriculum. Transfer students must spend at minimum of one year at FLS and earn a minimum of 48 semester credits in residence to be awarded a degree.
Cost and Financial Aid
Tuition and Fees
Full-time tuition – $6440 per semester
Part-time tuition – $550 per credit hour
Auditing rate – $185 per credit hour
Library and IT fee – $500 per semester
Textbooks – approx. $800 per year
*Based on 2022-23 costs
On-campus housing is available by application to all regular and special seminarian students. Full-time seminary students (minimum 9 credits) with family have priority in the selection of applicants for seminary housing. On-campus housing is not guaranteed.
Housing – approx. $1535 per month (average)
Utilities – approx. $250 per month
FLS does its best to secure scholarship aid for students who need assistance. Students may apply for tuition scholarships at the beginning of each semester. A student’s academic standing and his financial resources and needs will be taken into consideration in assessing all applications. Students classified as “regular” students are eligible for a “Grant-in-Aid” from the seminary each semester if needed.
Several scholarship funds have been established by the Free Lutheran Seminary to aid its students financially.
See the FLS Catalog for more information on scholarships and financial aid.