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Info & Resources

ADMISSIONS

Application Deadlines

When is my Admissions Application due?

PTS is now accepting applications for fall 2018. 

  • December 15, 2017: Fall 2018 deadline for all PhD applicants
  • January 15, 2018: Fall 2018 deadline for all Master’s-level international applicants (including ThM) 
  • February 1, 2018: Fall 2018 priority deadline for scholarship consideration for MDiv, Dual MDiv/MACEF, and MA(TS) applicants 
  • March 15, 2018: Fall 2018 deadline for MDiv, MACEF, Dual MDiv/MACEF, and MA(TS) applicants who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. Complete applications submitted after this deadline date are considered by the Admissions Committee on a “space available basis.” 
  • April 15, 2018: Fall 2018 deadline for ThM applicants who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. 
When is my Financial Aid Application due?

The Financial Aid Application is separate from the Admissions Application, and will become available upon the completion of the Admissions Application. The Financial Aid Application should be submitted by February 1, 2018, the priority deadline for scholarship consideration

Application Materials

How should I send my official academic transcripts to PTS?

Original transcripts must be sent directly to PTS from every college, university, and seminary where you have received academic credit. (Please note that the wait period for transcripts from international institutions can be significantly longer than the wait period for transcripts from domestic institutions.)

 PTS accepts transcripts by mail:

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

or by email through an official electronic transcript service to: 

[email protected] and/or [email protected]

*PTS does not accept personally scanned and emailed transcripts.

Who should I ask to be my references?

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

At least one of your references should be academic. If you have been outside of an academic environment for a significant amount of time and are unable to acquire an academic reference, please contact the Admissions Office.

Your pastoral endorsement letter 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 endorsement.

Please note that PTS cannot accept references or pastoral endorsements from your family members. Please note, too, that the person who writes your pastoral endorsement cannot also serve as a reference.

Can I apply to PTS more than once?

The Admissions Committee and the faculty at PTS recognize a maximum of two admissions attempts for each prospective student.

Master’s-level applicants may apply for a second time as early as the next admissions cycle opens. In this case, the Admissions Committee and faculty would require a new application, academic transcript(s) from any school(s) attended since the last application, a new letter of endorsement, and at least one new recommendation.

Prerequisites

Do I have to have a particular undergraduate major to apply to PTS?

PTS prepares students to serve in congregations and the larger church, in classrooms and the academy, and in the public arena.This means that PTS 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 PTS recommend at least 60 credit hours of language, philosophy, history, literature, psychology and/or sociology as ideal preparation for Master’s-level theological studies.

Does PTS accept transfer credits toward its degree programs?

PTS accepts up to 1 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.

ACADEMICS AND STUDENT LIFE

History of PTS

When was PTS founded?

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, PTS is a denominational school with an ecumenical, interdenominational, and worldwide constituency.

Does PTS have a denomination affiliation?

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

What is PTS’s relationship with Princeton University?

PTS is accredited separately from Princeton University and has its own faculty, facilities and student body. However, PTS 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. PTS also has relationships of academic reciprocity with Westminster Choir College of Rider University, New Brunswick Theological Seminary, and Rutgers School of Social Work.

What is the difference between PTS and a divinity school?

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 PTS 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

What degree programs does PTS offer?

PTS offers six degree programs:

  • Master of Divinity (MDiv)
  • Master of Arts in Christian Education and Formation (MACEF)
  • MDiv/MACEF Dual
  • Master of Arts, Theological Studies (Ma(TS))
  • Master of Theology (ThM)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

PTS also offers five certificate programs or concentrations that can be integrated into most Master’s programs:        

  • The Certificate in Black Church Studies
  • The Certificate in Christian-Jewish Studies
  • The Certificate in Theology, Ecology, and Faith Formation  
  • The Certificate in Theology, Women, and Gender
  • The Lutheran Studies Concentration
What classes does PTS offer?

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

What academic resources does PTS offer?

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

The 92,000-square-foot 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 Seminary library and Princeton University’s Firestone Library are open to PTS students and to participants in PTS’s Visiting Scholar Program.

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

Does PTS offer distance learning, evening programs, or part-time programs?

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

Additionally, PTS offers a spectrum of specialized events and certificate programs through the Department of Continuing Education

What can I do with a degree from PTS?

PTS 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.

On average, 92% of PTS graduates are placed in vocationally-related positions within a year of graduation. They serve congregations, the academy, chaplaincies, social service agencies, and nonprofit organizations. Read some reflections from PTS’s most recent graduating class here.

Residential Life

What housing options does PTS provide?

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

Main Campus Housing includes three dormitories for single students: Hodge, Alexander, and Brown Halls. All three dormitories are air-conditioned, and include communal kitchens, lounges, and laundry facilities. All rooms house a single student and are furnished with a bed, bedside table, desk, chair, chest of drawers, mirror, and bookcase.

Tennent Campus Housing, located two blocks from the main campus and the library, provides apartments for both single students and families in two historic buildings. Tennent and Roberts Halls offer one, two, and three bedroom apartments with kitchens that include an electric stove and full-sized refrigerator. The Tennent campus has laundry facilities, a lounge, a common green and a playground, and houses the Whiteley Gymnasium.

West Windsor Campus Housing, located approximately three miles from the main campus, includes the Charlotte Rachel Wilson (CRW) Apartments for families, Witherspoon Apartments for single students, and the Dupree Center for Children. 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, and a shuttle runs frequently between West Windsor and the main campus.

More information about housing options at Princeton Seminary is available here.

What recreational facilities and activities does PTS offer?

PTS students have free access to the facilities of the Seminary’s Whiteley Gymnasium, featuring a basketball court, racquetball court, and fitness center with weight-training equipment. The CRW apartments also 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. PTS also hosts several intermural sports leagues, such as flag football, frisbee, volleyball, and basketball. Alternatively, students may join the University gymnasium, which includes a pool, at the student rate

Does PTS offer childcare for students?

Children are an integral part of the Princeton Theological Seminary community! The Dupree Center for Children is located at the Charlotte Rachel Wilson (CRW) campus and offers full- and half-day child care year-round for children ages six weeks through pre-kindergarten. Children of students, staff, faculty, administration, and members of the outside community may enroll at the Dupree Center, which is managed by Bright Horizons and licensed by the State of New Jersey

How can I obtain information about the public school districts in the area?

The Princeton and West Windsor-Plainsboro school districts are ranked among the best in the nation. The school district your children attend depends upon your housing situation. For those housed in Princeton (Tennent Campus residents), visit the Princeton Public Schools website. For those housed in West Windsor (the CRW or Witherspoon apartments), visit the West Windsor-Painsboro Regional School District website.

What is spiritual life like at PTS?

Students at PTS not only learn together but also worship, pray, and grow spiritually together. The Seminary community—students, faculty, and staff—gathers in Miller Chapel daily for worship and shares the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper every Friday. President Barnes preaches weekly. 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. 

How can I get involved in the PTS community outside of my classes?

PTS 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, and the Office of Multicultural Relations offers a wide range of programming to promote justice and help students get to know their neighbors. PTS also has a number of choirs and student-led musical groups that enrich the community’s worship life.

FINANCIAL AID

Approximately how much does a seminary education cost?

For the 2017–2018 academic year, tuition is $15,500. A more detailed look at the cost of a seminary education is available here and on our cost calculator

How do I finance my Princeton Seminary education?

Gifts from generous donors and alumni help to subsidize many of the costs faced by Princeton Theological Seminary students. Approximately 93% of MDiv, MACEF, MA(TS), 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, MA(TS), and dual MDiv/MACEF students is 94% 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 here

Do you offer Merit-Based Scholarships?

The majority of the generous financial aid offered by Princeton Seminary is need-based. We do offer merit-based scholarships to a small portion of our admitted applicants, but as a matter of theological conviction we try to cover as many educational costs as we can for the greatest number of students. To apply for one of these merit-based awards, a prospective student must complete their application for admission by February 1, complete the Merit-based scholarship application (which is an optional part of the regular admissions application), and have an interview. For more information, contact the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid ([email protected]). 

How can I contact Princeton Seminary for more information about Admissions and Financial Aid?

Mailing Address:
Princeton Theological Seminary
Office of Admissions and Financial Aid
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]

Educating faithful Christian leaders.

Vicar, Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, Boone, North Carolina

Sylvia Bull , Class of 2015

“My field education placements lifted up my gifts for ordained ministry, and the dual-degree program helped me develop the skills for ministry. ”