Admissions
Pursue your passion. Do something with your faith. Challenge yourself at a world-class graduate school of theology. Whether you’re interested in ministry, social justice or serious religious scholarship, CTS will take you to the Next.
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Master of Sacred Theology

Applicants to the S.T.M. Program must have earned a Master of Divinity Degree (or first graduate theological degree providing equivalent theological background) and demonstrate aptitude for advanced theological study.

The S.T.M. application process includes:

  • Official transcripts from all academic institutions attended;
  • Four letters of reference—at least two must be academic, one may come from a pastor or other ministry professional, and one may come from a supervisor or friend;
  • An autobiographical statement, as guided by the questions stated within the application form;
  • A current resume;
  • A two page statement of proposed focus of study, as guided by the application instructions;
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores are required of applicants for whom English is not a first language. The exam must be completed no more than two years prior to application. The TOEFL may only be waived if the applicant has completed another degree, in English, in the United States.

STM Application

The Master of Sacred Theology is a one-year program of advanced study beyond the Master of Divinity (or its equivalent) designed for students who seek the opportunity to study a topic in theology with an advanced focus. Emphasis is placed on cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural approaches to biblical, ethical, and theological studies.  The Master of Sacred Theology program is ideal for: international students desiring additional year of study in the U.S.; students seeking additional academic preparation prior to pursuing a Ph.D. program; Master of Divinity graduates and pastors on sabbatical who would benefit from one year of advanced academic study in an area of theological interest.

Application Instructions

Qualifications: Applicants to the Master of Sacred Theology Program must have completed a Master of Divinity Degree or first graduate theological degree providing equivalent theological background and demonstrate aptitude for advanced theological study.

  1. APPLICATION PROCESS: Completion of the online application form is only one part of the comprehensive application process. Official transcripts and application for financial aid will be submitted in hard copy.  Applications must be complete before they will be forwarded to the CTS Admissions Committee for consideration.  Please plan accordingly to meet the appropriate deadlines.
  2. ONLINE APPLICATION FORM: The bulk of your application information will be collected by way of the online form. Read all directions prior to beginning the form to understand the requirements for the degree program to which you are applying.  Prepare your written materials and assemble them in one document to be submitted as an attachment.  Identify the persons who will serve as referents. Gather information regarding institutions attended and degrees received. 

    You may complete the form in more than one session. If you experience technical difficulty, please contact the Office of Admissions at 773.896.2410 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  3. APPLICATION FEE: A non-refundable $50 application fee is required of all online applicants. Payment may be made by debit card or credit card (MasterCard, Visa, Discover Card or American Express.)  Persons serving as volunteers, team members, Corp members, staff and alums of the AmeriCorps, City Year, Peace Corps, and VISTA are eligible for an application fee waiver.   
  4. SUBMISSION: Transcripts and the CTS Application for Financial Aid form should be mailed to:
    Chicago Theological Seminary
    Admissions Office
    1407 E. 60th Street

    Chicago, IL 60637
  5. STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS: All applicants must complete the admissions process within two years of submission of application materials. No applications will be held after two years.  Applicants who are not accepted to CTS may only re?apply after two years, and must re?submit an application. Submission of an application and the supporting documents assumes that the information is accurate and true to the best of the applicant’s knowledge. All documents submitted as a part of an application become the property of the Chicago Theological Seminary and are not transferrable to a third party.

International Students

Chicago Theological Seminary welcomes applications from international students for admission to graduate study.  International students should plan to begin their studies at the Seminary in the Fall Term. All necessary documents must be received by the appropriate application deadline.Follow the general application instructions above, noting the following additions and clarifications:

  1. TRANSCRIPTS written in a language other than English must be accompanied by a notarized translation.
  2. APPLICATION FEE:  A non-refundable $50 application fee is required of all online applicants. Payment may be made by credit card (MasterCard, Visa, Discover Card and American Express) or debit card.
  3. TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language):  TOEFL scores are required of applicants for whom English is not their first language. The minimum acceptable TOEFL score is 550 on the written test, 217 on the computer test, and 80 on the internet-based test.  The CTS school code for the TOEFL is 1120. The TOEFL may only be waived if the applicant has completed another degree, in English, in the United States.
  4. I-20 FORMS:  You may contact the CTS Office of Financial Aid prior to applying for information about cost of attendance or I-20 requirements.