Standards for Admission
In general, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an institution that is accredited by a recognized regional or national accreditation body before they can be admitted to master’s-level programs at Fuller Theological Seminary. Requirements for admission are described under each degree program in the various sections of this catalog. Admission is granted to a specific program and not to Fuller Seminary or to one of its schools at large.
Applicants whose native language is not English may be required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic Format as part of the application to Fuller Theological Seminary. English language requirements for admission to programs at Fuller may be found at fuller.edu/admissions/requirements-and-deadlines/english-language-requirements/. Applicants who are not citizens of the United States must also meet visa requirements as described in the International Students section.
It should be understood that admission to Fuller depends on factors beyond the applicant’s academic record. These factors include, but are not limited to, theological development, Christian experience, spiritual growth, call to service and gifts for ministry. Men and women of God are qualified for Christian ministry by faith, moral character, experience, and academic achievement. Such people are characterized by compassion for individual persons, by sensitivity to the needs of the total community, by a burden that the whole of God’s will be obeyed on earth, by a readiness to accept correction, by a desire for moral growth, by personal integrity, and above all, by a mature trust in Jesus Christ as the foundation of life and ministry.
Fuller Seminary reserves the right to draw conclusions regarding the evangelical, Christian profession of faith of all applicants. This determination will be made on the basis of the statements of Christian faith given in the application and the references submitted on behalf of the applicant. Such statements are a significant factor in the admission decision.
The seminary also reserves the right to admit or deny admission to any non-Christian or non-evangelical individual or any individual from an organization having a theological stance which is not in accord with the seminary’s Statement of Faith. While desiring to maintain flexibility in admission to its programs, the institution will not compromise the integrity of its purpose and Statement of Faith by admitting students whose orientation may be disruptive or may confound the academic freedom of fellow students or faculty.
Admission to Fuller Seminary is competitive. Merely meeting minimal academic entrance requirements does not mean that an applicant will be automatically admitted. The admissions committee carefully reviews an applicant’s entire application file and may also consider other available public information that is deemed relevant.
Fuller Theological Seminary admits students of any race, gender, color, nationality or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students of the seminary. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, color, nationality or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, loan programs, and other seminary-administered programs.
Admission on Academic Probation
Students who have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, but whose cumulative grade point average is less than 2.7, may be admitted on probation to certain master’s degree and certificate programs at the discretion of the admissions committee. Academic probation may be removed after the successful completion of 40 units (36 units for MAGL) with at least a 2.5 cumulative grade point average at Fuller.
- Students on probation are required to take ST511 Orientation to Theological Studies in their first quarter of studies (Korean language program applicants may be exempt from this requirement). This class is available both on the Pasadena campus and online.
- Students on probation are restricted to a limited number of units in their first quarter at Fuller.
Admission Without an Accredited Bachelor’s Degree
A limited number of applicants without an accredited bachelor’s degree may be admitted to most master’s degree programs and certificate programs at the discretion of the admissions committee if they can demonstrate that they possess the knowledge, academic skill, and ability generally associated with persons who hold such a degree. This is known at Fuller as Special Student admission. Applicants must also demonstrate at least 12 years of work experience subsequent to the completion of a high school diploma and at least three years of full-time vocational ministry or at least five years of significant part-time ministry. Applicants to the MA in Global Leadership program must have at least four years of significant ministry experience (10 hours per week of more) and be actively engaged in a leadership role.
This admission option is not available for the MA in Theology, the MA in Intercultural Studies, any School of Psychology & Marriage and Family Therapy program, nor any doctoral program.
Students without an accredited bachelor’s degree are admitted on probation for 40 units (36 units for MAGL). Certificate applicants without an accredited bachelor’s degree are admitted on academic probation for the entirety of the certificate program.
In addition, the following restrictions apply to all those admitted in this way:
- Special Students are required to take ST511 Orientation to Theological Studies in their first quarter of studies (Korean language program applicants may be exempt from this requirement). This class is available both on the Pasadena campus and online.
- Special Students are restricted to a limited number of units in their first quarter at Fuller