Grades and Test Scores How to gain admission to the Christian graduate school of your choice
ew decisions are as difficult or important as selecting the right graduate school. But once students have picked the school they want to attend, how can they do their best to get in? Charisma’s Best Graduate Schools and Seminaries talked to admissions counselors across the country about this very question. They shared with us the most important steps students can take— and pitfalls they should avoid—when applying for grad school.
What’s the Process?
The admissions process can look different at every university, but typically it requires submission of undergraduate transcripts and a writing sample. Each school also has unique requirements. For example, Regent University’s School of Divinity asks applicants to submit a personal goal statement. For Asbury Theological Seminary, each aspiring student sends in his testimony and four references. Even within the same school, the admissions process can differ. Matthew 12
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Nixon, an admissions counselor for graduate and professional studies at Vanguard University, says the admissions process for Vanguard’s six graduate programs each look a little different. Students are encouraged to contact the admissions department and get the details about their desired program’s process. Not only does this better prepare them, but reaching out can also grant students perks. Heidi B. Cece, the executive director of university admissions at Regent University, says Regent applicants who complete the application form with an enrollment counselor can have the application fee waived. Regent counselors can also order transcripts on behalf of the applicants—if requested. “Other parts of the admission process vary and require different types of information, depending on the program,” Cece added. “Goal statements, résumés and other information may be needed, and our enrollment counselors work closely with applicants to ensure they understand requirements and submit the right information.” Nonacademic criteria can also be
What to Do
Before submitting an application, students can make themselves appealing to the school. One thing many of the counselors suggest is visiting the campus. Though many applicants think of the campus visit as an opportunity to get to know the college, counselors say the visit lets the college get to know the applicants as well. “While they get to look at us, we get to look at them in a way we might not see on the file,” Ozan says. Laura Kirnan, the assistant director of c h ar ism asb est . com
BY TAYLOR BERGLUND
weighed during the admissions process. Randy Ozan, director of admissions at Asbury, says he likes to make sure students have a viable financial plan. “You’re entering a field where you’re not going to be paid handsomely,” Ozan reminds potential students. “Do you have a financial plan to get through this?” Kevin Bish, vice president for enrollment management and student services at Asbury, added that finding students who match the calling of their seminary is important. “It’s a holistic approach,” Bish says. “It’s very missionally driven. We look at our mission and ask, ‘Does their personal calling match our missional calling?’” Though the process differs from school to school, applicants who reach out to admissions will always benefit.
Published on Mar 30, 2016
Charisma's Best Graduate Schools, Seminaries and Online Education is an exhaustive list of Christian advanced-education institutions organiz...