Frequently Asked Questions - Princeton Theological Seminary
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Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions & Financial Aid

Application Deadlines

Please note: Applications for 2024 are now closed, and the 2025 application will open in August, 2024.

Important Deadlines

Deadlines for 2025 admission are as follows:

  • December 1, 2024: Fall 2024 deadline for ALL PhD applicants (domestic and international)
  • January 15, 2025:
    • Final deadline for ALL Masters-level international and non-degree applicants
    • Final deadline for ALL MTE applicants (domestic and international)
    • Priority deadline for merit scholarship consideration for MDiv, MACEF, MTS, and Dual MDiv/MACEF applicants who are U.S. citizens, DACA students, or permanent residents of the U.S.
  • April 15, 2025*: Final deadline for MDiv, MACEF, MTS, MAT (Justice & Public Life), Dual MDiv/MACEF, and ThM applicants who are U.S. citizens, DACA students, or permanent residents of the U.S.

*Applications submitted after April 15 will be reviewed on a space-available basis. Requests to apply after the final deadline should be sent to [email protected].

  • Interviews are recommended for all domestic MDiv, MTE, MTS, MACEF, and MDiv/MACEF (dual-degree) applicants. For these programs, an interview is required for merit scholarship consideration.
  • International applicants are automatically considered for our international merit scholarships. Interviews are not required for international applicants, but may be requested by the committee as part of the review process.
  • Interviews are not required for MAT, ThM or PhD applicants, but may be requested by the committee during the application review process.
  • Interviews may be scheduled online anytime after you have started your application, and should be completed prior to the January 15 priority deadline for scholarship consideration. Applicants are encouraged to book an interview early in the process as slots fill quickly. If no interview slots are available, please email [email protected].

Application Materials

Unofficial transcripts from every college, university, and seminary where you have received academic credit must be uploaded in the application.

Princeton Seminary accepts transcripts by mail:

Princeton Theological Seminary
Attn: Office of Admissions
P.O. Box 821
64 Mercer Street
Princeton, NJ 08542-0803

or by email through an official electronic transcript service to:

[email protected]

*Princeton Seminary does not accept personally scanned and emailed transcripts.

One of Princeton Seminary’s primary commitments is to “Faith & Scholarship.” Your recommendations should be formational people in your life who can speak genuinely and in depth to one or both of those things.

One of your recommendations must be academic. If you have been outside of an academic environment for a significant amount of time and are unable to acquire an academic recommendation, please contact the Admissions Office.

Your pastoral recommendation can come from any formal ministerial leader integral to your vocational discernment. Many applicants select the senior pastors from their home congregations, but other specialized pastors and chaplains who have served as mentors can also complete the recommendation.

Please note that Princeton Seminary cannot accept recommendations from your family members.

Each year many highly qualified people apply for admission to Princeton Theological Seminary. Unfortunately, it is impossible to admit them all, and we must make some very difficult decisions. If an unsuccessful applicant is still interested in applying, they should following the guidelines below.

Master’s degree applicants who applied and were not admitted may reapply beginning with the next admissions cycle. In this case, the Admissions Committee would require a new application, academic transcript(s) from any school(s) attended since your last application, and three new recommendation letters.

We strongly suggest a person who is reapplying arrange for an interview and/or a campus visit.

Prerequisites

Princeton Seminary prepares students to serve in congregations and the larger church, in classrooms and the academy, and in the public arena. This means that Princeton Seminary attracts applicants from a variety of vocational fields, taking all undergraduate majors into consideration during the admissions process.

A background in the liberal arts helps prepare students to think and process theologically — the Admissions Committee and the faculty at Princeton Seminary recommend at least 60 credit hours of language, philosophy, history, literature, psychology, and/or sociology as ideal preparation for Master’s-level theological studies.

Princeton Seminary accepts up to one academic year in transfer credits — 26 credit hours total. The Office of the Registrar determines transfer credit eligibility and options with each individual admitted Master’s candidate.

English Proficiency Requirements

Princeton Theological Seminary requires that applicants for whom English is not a primary language take one of the following English proficiency tests:

Such applicants should register for one of these tests at the earliest opportunity, as scoring and processing take considerable time and the results must be received by January 15.

Required English proficiency test scores for Princeton Theological Seminary are as follows:

  • TOEFL Internet Based Test – 100 with 25 (out of 30) for each part
  • IELTS – 7.0
  • Duolingo English Test* – 130

*Only Duolingo English Test scores with subscores (Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening) will be accepted

English Proficiency Waiver

English proficiency waiver requests must be made through the application.

Financial Aid

For the 2024-25 academic year, tuition for full-time students is $20,900. MAT students are billed at a reduced tuition rate of $595 per credit (total program length is 36 credits).

A more detailed look at the cost of a seminary education is available on our cost calculator.

Gifts from generous donors and alumni help to subsidize many of the costs faced by Princeton Theological Seminary students. Approximately 93% of MDiv, MTE, MACEF, MTS, and dual MDiv/MACEF students receive grants or scholarships. 85% of all students receive aid from the seminary financial aid program, and 87% of students receive the maximum level of financial aid. The average award for MDiv, MACEF, MTS, and dual MDiv/MACEF students is more than 90% of tuition. These funds significantly reduce our students’ reliance on student loans.

Masters-level students can learn more about the financial support the Seminary offers in the Financial Aid section of our website.

Information about the generous financial support offered to PhD students is available.

Mailing Address:
Princeton Theological Seminary
Office of Admissions
P.O. Box 821
Princeton, NJ 08542-0803

Physical Address:
Princeton Theological Seminary
64 Mercer St.
Princeton, NJ 08540

Telephone, Fax, and Email
Phone: 609.497.7805 or 800.622.6767, ext. 7805
Fax: 609.497.7870
Email: [email protected]

Academics and Student Life

History of Princeton Theological Seminary

The Theological Seminary at Princeton was established by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in 1812. It was the Presbyterian Church’s first graduate school for the education of clergy, and the second such school in the United States. Affiliated from the beginning with the Presbyterian Church and the wider Reformed tradition, Princeton Seminary is a denominational school with an ecumenical, interdenominational, and worldwide constituency.

Princeton Theological Seminary is a seminary related to the Presbyterian Church (USA). Enrollment is open to students of any Christian denomination.

Princeton Theological Seminary is accredited separately from Princeton University and has its own faculty, facilities, and student body. However, Princeton Seminary has a relationship of academic reciprocity with Princeton University which allows students to take one class per semester at the University (excluding their first and last semesters at the Seminary) and gives them full access to its libraries (subject to health guidelines). Princeton Seminary also has relationships of academic reciprocity with Westminster Choir College of Rider University, New Brunswick Theological Seminary, and Rutgers School of Social Work.

Princeton Theological Seminary is a freestanding graduate school dedicated to educating Christian leaders; divinity schools are part of larger universities. While divinity schools provide excellent religious education, students at Princeton Seminary are holistically prepared for ministry in the church, the academy, and the public arena through the Seminary’s combination of world-class scholarship, opportunities for hands-on ministry experience, and life together in residential community.

Degree Programs

Princeton Seminary offers eight degree programs:

  • Master of Divinity (MDiv)
  • Master of Arts in Christian Education and Formation (MACEF)
  • MDiv/MACEF Dual
  • Master of Theological Studies (MTS)
  • Master of Arts in Theology & Ecology (MTE)
  • Master of Arts in Theology (Justice and Public Life) (MAT)
  • Master of Theology (ThM)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Princeton Seminary also offers five concentrations that can be integrated into most Master’s programs:

  • Black Church Studies
  • Christian-Jewish Studies
  • Lutheran Studies
  • Theology, Ecology, and Faith Formation
  • Theology, Women, and Gender

The most current classes, schedules, instructors, and book lists at Princeton Seminary can be searched here.

Apart from top-tier faculty members and more than 600 integrative field education sites worldwide, Princeton Seminary offers students one of the best theological research libraries in the world.

The 92,000-square-foot Wright Library houses:

  • More than 600,000 print volumes, 600,000 microforms, museum-quality artifacts and other special collections
  • 2,750 cuneiform tablets that illuminate life in Ancient Babylon
  • Rare texts, illuminated texts, hymnals, and Bibles from the Middle Ages
  • The unrivaled Moffett Korea Collection, including photographs, missionary papers, and a 1,000-volume research library on Korean history, culture, and religions in Korea
  • The Wilhelm and Marion Pauck Collection, which highlights the life and work of leading 20th-century theologians like Reinhold Niebuhr, James Luther Adams, and Paul Tillich
  • An extensive Latin American Collection of 25,000 Spanish and Portuguese books and 1,300 periodicals

Both the Wright Library and Princeton University’s Firestone Library are open to Princeton Seminary students and to participants in Princeton Seminary’s Visiting Scholar Program.

Princeton Seminary also offers students the opportunity to participate in specialized research initiatives including:

Princeton Seminary serves the church and to the academy through an intentionally residential and primarily full-time curriculum.

While some courses offered as part of a full-time Master’s program are held in the evening, the majority of courses are held on campus between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekdays.

However, one of Princeton Seminary’s core commitments is to “Tradition & Innovation.” The Admissions team and the registrar work together to embrace the vocational diversity of Princeton Seminary’s student body, and are open to discussing the potential of part-time or non-degree status with individual applicants.

The Master of Arts in Theology (Justice and Public Life) is the Seminary’s first low-residency degree. The MAT is a two-year, 36-credit program designed for working professionals who wish to lead social change toward justice.

Additionally, Princeton Seminary offers a spectrum of specialized events and certificate programs through the Office of Continuing Education.

Princeton Seminary prepares people to serve Jesus Christ in ministries marked by faith, integrity, scholarship, competence, compassion and joy, equipping them for leadership worldwide in congregations and the larger church, in classrooms and the academy, and in the public arena.

Princeton Seminary graduates serve in congregations, the academy, chaplaincies, social service agencies, nonprofit organizations, and in the public square.

Residential Life

The Seminary provides a variety of housing options for students at about half the local market rate. Most Princeton Seminary students live in Seminary housing.

Main campus housing has one residence hall for single students, Brown Hall. Brown Hall is air-conditioned, and includes a communal kitchen, lounges, and laundry facilities. All rooms are air-conditioned, carpeted, come fully furnished with a twin-size XL bed, desk, chair, nightstand, chest of drawers, bookcase, and a micro fridge.

West Windsor campus housing, located approximately three miles from the main campus, includes the Charlotte Rachel Wilson (CRW) Apartments and Witherspoon Apartments. The CRW Apartments are made up of one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom units with air conditioning, balcony, dishwasher, microwave, electric stove, refrigerator, and washer/dryer. Pets are only allowed in first- and second-floor apartments at CRW; availability is limited. Witherspoon Apartments are one- and two-bedroom apartments with air conditioning and balcony, and include an electric stove, refrigerator, and dishwasher; laundry facilities and a lounge are provided in the building. The West Windsor campus has a courtyard with a playground and a picnic pavilion.

The CRW Apartments have a small fitness center with exercise equipment. The Seminary offers fitness classes such as yoga, dance, and circuit training for both children and adults for a small fee. Princeton Seminary also hosts several intermural sports leagues, such as flag football, frisbee, soccer, and basketball.

The West Windsor-Plainsboro school district is ranked among the best in the nation. For those families housed in West Windsor (the CRW or Witherspoon apartments), visit the West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District website.

Students at Princeton Seminary not only learn together but also worship, pray, and grow spiritually together. The Seminary community — students, faculty, and staff — gathers in the Chapel daily for worship and shares the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper every Friday. The Seminary community does not gather for worship on Sundays so that all can be involved in local churches. The chapel is open at all times and houses a prayer and meditation room as well as the main worship space.

The Office of Student Counseling offers counseling, individual and group spiritual direction, retreats, and other wellness services. Students regularly create their own Bible studies and prayer and support groups.

Princeton Seminary is dedicated to being a residential community of learning where students are formed together for ministry through class, field education, communal worship and extracurricular activities.

The Student Government Association hosts a variety of student groups that offer a wide range of programming to promote justice and help students get to know their neighbors. Princeton Seminary also has a community choir that enriches the community’s worship life.